CNBC make it 2024-02-26 02:50:49

7 in-demand side hustles you can do from home—some can pay as much as $100 an hour

You don’t need a background in tech to start a lucrative side hustle from home.

There are dozens of in-demand, non-tech side hustles you can do remotely to earn extra cash — some of which can pay as much as $100 an hour.

FlexJobs, one of the most popular platforms for finding remote and hybrid work opportunities, has seen a steady increase in the number of remote, part-time listings for non-tech roles including virtual assistants, accountants and customer service representatives in recent months, FlexJobs lead career expert Toni Frana tells CNBC Make It.

To help people interested in pursuing a side hustle find the best remote opportunities, FlexJobs has identified seven in-demand side hustles that can be done from home, based on listings from more than 58,000 companies on its platform posted between July and December 2023. These jobs have dozens of active listings and offer remote, part-time opportunities. 

Here are seven in-demand side hustles that can be done from home, and how much they pay, according to FlexJobs, with salary estimates from Payscale:

  1. Virtual assistant ($18 per hour)
  2. Bookkeeper ($20 per hour)
  3. Customer service representative ($16 per hour)
  4. Accountant ($23 per hour)
  5. Technical writer ($26 per hour)
  6. Social media specialist ($19 per hour)
  7. Video editor ($22 per hour)

While the total number of hours varies from role to role, most of the jobs on FlexJobs’ list ask for a commitment of 10-25 hours per week.

Some of these side hustles, including video editing, bookkeeping and customer service, don’t require a bachelor’s degree, says Frana. Instead, she adds, hiring managers will often evaluate candidates based on their previous work experience and soft skills. 

“There are core soft skills people look for across all of these roles: an ability to meet deadlines, strong communication skills both in writing and on the phone, being a self-starter, problem-solving and, of course, foundational technology skills,” Frana explains.

Some of these remote side hustles can pay upwards of $100 per hour, depending on your level of skill and the project. Bookkeepers on Upwork, for example, can charge as much as $175 an hour or, for some projects, $300 an hour. 

For virtual assisting roles that require more specialized skills — whether it’s building email campaigns or creating WordPress sites — “you’re often talking at least $100 [per hour] and up,” Angelique Rewers, founder of the consulting firm BoldHaus, previously told CNBC Make It.

The most salient benefit of pursuing one of these remote side hustles, says Frana, is the flexibility. You can choose to go freelance and set your own hours, or, if you apply to a part-time listing, Frana says many employers will let you adjust your schedule as needed.

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

These are the 10 U.S. cities with the best quality of life—none are in Florida

U.S. News and World Report recently released its annual ranking of U.S. cities with the best quality of life.

Cities were ranked based on the following factors:

  • Crime Rates
  • Quality of Education
  • Well-being
  • Commuter Index
  • Quality and availability of healthcare
  • Air quality index
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency

Data from a March 2023 public survey was used to rank the cities, the report notes.

While Florida is synonymous with retirement, not a single city in the Sunshine State ranked in the top 10, according to the U.S. News and World Report.

The best U.S. city for quality of life is Ann Arbor, Mich.

Quality of life score: 7.9

Ann Arbor is the best U.S. city for quality of life. More than 90% of the city’s residents live less than a 10-minute from a public park, according to the U.S. News and World report.

A 2023 SmartAsset study report says Ann Arbor saw its Gen Z population—those ages 18 to 24— grow the fastest in 2022. The city had 26.4% new Gen Zers and a total population of 35.9%.

Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan which is one of the biggest employers in the city. Ann Arbor is also considered part of the Greater Detroit area at just under an hour’s drive away.

Cost of living in the Michigan city is 4% higher than the national average, according to PayScale. The average Ann Arbor home value is $471,650, up 5.7% over the past year, according to Zillow.

10 best U.S. cities for quality of life

  1. Ann Arbor, Mich.
  2. Boulder, Colo.
  3. Madison, Wis.
  4. San Jose, Calif.
  5. Portland, Maine
  6. Boston, Mass.
  7. Green Bay, Wis.
  8. Hartford, Conn.
  9. Rochester, N.Y.
  10. Trenton, N.J.

Boulder is the No. 2 U.S. city for quality of life with a score of 7.7.

The city is home to more than 60 parks and 155 miles of hiking trailers. Boulder’s downtown area is full of restaurants and bars while the outdoor Pearl Street Mall is considered a popular shopping destination.

Just like Ann Arbor, Boulder was also named a city with one of the fastest growth amongst the Gen-Z population, according to SmartAsset. The city had 23.4% new Gen Zers and a total of 33.2% total among that population last year.

Boulder is about 25 miles north of Colorado’s capital, Denver and is home to the largest University of Colorado campus.

The average Boulder home value is $958,651, down 1.3% over the past year, according to Zillow.

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

23-year-old paid $500/month to live in a ‘dry’ cabin—it had no running water: Take a look inside

The day after AnnMarie Young graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2021, she and her best friend moved to Fairbanks, Alaska for the summer.

The 23-year-old artist lived in Alaska for three months before returning to Texas. But Young tells CNBC Make It that the moment she left, she knew she wanted to go back to the Pacific Northwest state.

“Something in my heart just didn’t want to leave Alaska,” she says. “I wanted to prove to myself I could tough it out.”

Young used the money she made from selling her art that summer to buy a van that had already been converted into a tiny home. She packed up, headed toward Alaska, and after a week of driving cross country she arrived.

“I was going slow and taking scenic routes,” she says.

Young spent the summer of 2022 living out of her van, but when winter rolled around, she had a decision to make — either go back home to Texas again or find a different living situation there in Alaska.

The artist eventually found a cabin in Fairbanks through word of mouth, but it did come with a catch. The cabin Young was being offered was a dry one — a residential structure without running water. The property did come with an outhouse.

The owner, Mollie Sipe, a retired educator, 71, was renting it out for $500 a month.

Sipe tells CNBC Make It she bought the cabin in 1988. It is one room about 10 feet x 20 feet with a bedroom nook. It includes a kitchen area with a stove and a microwave and a heater that runs on heating oil, which Sipe always fills up before each new tenant.

Young got to see the cabin from the outside, but never got to tour the inside before deciding to accept the rental. Fortunately, it all worked out just fine. “It’s not the dreamy cabin that you imagine but it is really cute on the inside. It was very cozy and perfect for just me at the time,” Young says.

“I had a whole section to do my art stuff and that was the most important thing to me.”

‘It’s a place for women to take a turn in their lives and jumpstart in Alaska’

Sipe started renting the cabin in the 80s, and her tenants have only ever been to women — a total coincidence but a fact that Sipe loves.

“They always find the next person for me, and it has always been women. That’s sort of the mystique of the ‘Cabin Girls, ’ as I call them. They have been very dependable that way, so I never have to look,” Sipe says.

“It’s a place for women to take a turn in their lives and jumpstart in Alaska,” she says. “It’s just a way of life that you get to find out what you’re made of, what you can do, and how capable you are.”

After rent, Young’s expenses included 25 cents to fill up three five-gallon water jugs, something she drove into town to do every week and a half or so.

Young admits that one of the biggest issues she had living in the dry cabin was access to internet. The cabin is surrounded by tall trees which made it difficult to get reliable cell and internet connection. She even tried using Starlink at one point, but had to cancel due to inconsistent service.

Living in a dry cabin meant Young had no plumbing, laundry, shower, washer, or dryer.

She washed her dishes and brushed her teeth in a five-gallon water jug that drained into a bucket underneath and had to be dumped manually.

“Because I was already living van life, transitioning to a dry cabin was a lot easier. I was already living without things that the dry cabin didn’t have, like a shower or bathroom,” Young says. “It took me a week to get used to it, and then it just became my new normal.”

“I’m not a tough person; I didn’t grow up camping and am not a rugged outdoor person, but if I can do it, I think a lot more people can do it,” she added. “It’s all about setting your mind to something,” she adds.

Young was able to take a proper shower at a neighbor’s house every couple of days, and used baby wipes and other products in the dry cabin in between.

“We had a deal setup that I would come and use the shower when they weren’t home because they wanted someone to use the pipes to make sure they didn’t freeze,” she says.

And when she needed to use the bathroom, Young would throw on a thick robe and slippers and start walking the path to the outhouse in the back. Young was sure to always keep that path clear of snow.

A typical day in Young’s life when she lived in the dry cabin included training her dog, Moose, driving into town to a coffee shop to use the Wi-Fi and work on her website, and hours spent painting.

While some may think living in a cabin in the middle of the woods sounds isolating, Young says she’s never felt more of a sense of community than when she lived there.

“I had such a good group of people in the area that I felt like I was hanging out with friends every night,” she says. “I loved feeling like I was doing something special and tough and that the whole way of life is normalized in the area.”

“You can do it by yourself but it’s a lot harder, so I loved the community aspect of everybody leaning on each other to live that kind of lifestyle,” she adds.

Young lived in the dry cabin for about eight or nine months before she moved into a one-bedroom apartment with her boyfriend in Anchorage, Alaska. The two split a $1450 a month rent payment and while she loves having the extra space, Young admits she misses life back in the cabin and would do it again in a heartbeat.

“I think that we could do it again. I miss the aspect of living in a cabin,” Young says.

“I feel so connected to Alaska since the first summer I came up. I don’t know if I’ll be here forever, but I know it’s where I want to be right now.”

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

I’ve lived in the Netherlands for 14 years—why we’re always ranked one of the world’s happiest countries

I was born in Poland and grew up in Germany, but my family and I have been living in the Netherlands for the last 14 years.

When I first discovered the concept of “niksen,” or the Dutch art of doing nothing, I was fascinated. I even wrote a book about it. When I applied it to my own life, my perspective about happiness shifted in a significant way.

I believe niksen is one of the reasons why the Dutch are consistently ranked as some of the happiest people in the world. Niksen might seem selfish or boring at first glance, but it’s actually a service to you and your community.

Here’s how it make it work for you:

1. If you’re doing nothing, own it

When someone asks you what you’re doing during your niksen time, simply respond, “Nothing.”

Be unapologetic about taking breaks or holidays. Think of niksen not as a sign of laziness, but as an important life skill that might help you regain some composure, find calm, and prevent burnout.

Tony Crabbe, the author of “Busy,” says that resisting cultural pressures is easier when done with other niksen-minded people.

Or you can do what my mom does and hang a sign on your office door that reads: “I bite.” (She doesn’t bite, but it’s clear that she doesn’t want to be disturbed.)

2. Work and rest according to your natural rhythm

People have different chronotypes, which means they need to sleep and work at different times of the day to achieve maximum productivity. Some of us are at our best in the morning, while others feel the most productive in the afternoon.

“Every one of us should figure out when we’re at our most creative. Most productive. And niksen is part of this,” says Dutch psychoanalyst Manfred Kets de Vries. He suggests drawing a diagram like the one below:

Then look at your activities, tasks, and obligations and decide where they fit on the diagram.

3. Do nothing, together

I always thought of niksen as something you do alone in your home, by yourself. But those sweet nothing moments can become more special when they are shared.

For many parents, the best thing in the world can be reading to their children or playing with them. To me, it’s hugging. When I’m in a great mood, I’ll ask, “Who wants a hug?”

And if I’m lucky, at least one of my three kids will be willing to put their little arms around me and give me a cuddle. Sometimes, I’ll lie down with them on the floor and do nothing but put my arms around them.

When the kids are in bed, my husband and I often watch a TV series together. I’m usually snuggled into my husband because he is soft and warm, and I often think that the series is secondary. I’m simply niksening up against him.

4. Just be normal

In the Netherlands, people tend to steer clear of intense emotional outbursts, or what they consider to be overly dramatic behavior. It’s also generally not acceptable to complain or brag about working all the time. 

This attitude stems from a famous Dutch saying, “doe normal, dat is al gek genoeg,” which means “just be normal, that’s already crazy enough.” 

Meaning, that if you put in too many hours or too much effort into your job, you likely won’t get any accolades. Instead, you might be on the receiving end of some eye-rolls and sighs, while also being told to just be normal, go home, and take some time for yourself.

Olga Mecking is a writer, journalist, and translator based in the Netherlands. She is the author of ”Niksen: Embracing the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing″ and a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Guardian, The BBC, The Atlantic and other publications. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

How a 23-year-old started a side hustle that brings in $10,300/mo: ‘It doesn’t feel like work to me’

Sophie Riegel turned her boredom into a six-figure side hustle.

Riegel was a Duke University freshman in 2020, when Covid-19 turned her first year of college into a remote experience. She was “so bored” at home, and began searching her childhood bedroom for unused clothing and other items she might sell online to “make some extra money,” she says.

She found a few items, and netted roughly $200 selling them. “I probably sold, like, an item a week for the first couple months of me selling my own stuff,” says Riegel, 23.

Hooked, she combed through thrift stores around Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Within weeks, she was selling roughly $50 per day of thrifted clothing, mostly buying T-shirts for $1 apiece and selling them for up to $10.

Last year, Riegel graduated from Duke with a degree in psychology, and her side hustle brought in nearly $123,800 in sales — more than $10,300 per month — on online marketplaces like eBay, Mercari and Poshmark, according to documents reviewed by CNBC Make It.

Don’t miss: 28-year-old’s side hustle makes up to $113,500 per year—and it only costs $50 to start

Riegel has pocketed more than $192,000 in total net profit since starting her venture, after accounting for platform fees and the cost of goods. The total figure is slightly higher, she says, due to in-person sales and other revenue for which she doesn’t have documentation.

Now, Riegel sells around 10 items per day, averaging between $400 and $500 in revenue daily. She spends up to 25 hours per week working on her side hustle, she says — in addition to her day job as a professional writer, speaker and mental health coach.

“I’ve been doing [my side hustle] for about three and a half years now, and I wouldn’t do anything else,” says Riegel. “I love it so much. It makes me so happy.”

‘It gives me so much freedom’

Riegel’s full-time career is the kind of job that can require time to develop and build a steady stream of clients. That makes her side hustle money particularly valuable.

’It just gives me so much freedom to do what I really want to do,” she says. “Not only financial freedom … I can have coaching calls at any time, do speaking gigs anytime, because I’m not bound by a 9-to-5 job.”

The payoff isn’t accidental: In her side hustle’s early days, Riegel conducted a lot of research. “I followed tons and tons and tons of other resellers [on YouTube],” she says. “I spent hours and hours learning brands, learning how to use all of the platforms. And in my first year, I had $70,000 or so in sales.”

I followed tons and tons and tons of other resellers [on YouTube]. I spent hours and hours learning brands, learning how to use all of the platforms.
Sophie Riegel

Riegel studied bestsellers across multiple marketplaces to learn which specific items and brands would likely sell quickly or fetch a high price — like Lululemon leggings or Hoka sneakers. Once-expensive items tend to have good resale value, no matter how cheap they are to thrift, she says: A jacket from J. Crew or Carhartt might cost her $10 to $20 in person, but fetch $50 to $150 online.

She learned her local thrift stores’ restocking schedules, too — so she could avoid repeatedly wading through the same items, and get early dibs on new ones. Once, she bought a vintage Chanel purse for $2 and sold it on eBay a few months later for for $1,000: “That was incredible,” she says.

‘I’m going to do it for as long as I can’

Riegel’s side hustle comprised roughly 70% of her income in 2023, she says. This year, she expects a more even 50-50 split as she adds more coaching clients and speaking opportunities.

The side hustle comes with challenges — like keeping track of the roughly 1,300 pieces of inventory she usually has in stock. Riegel spends much of her time researching clothing, photographing items, editing the photos, listing the items online and cataloging them so she can find them quickly in storage once they sell.

Eventually, she might hire employees to help with the aspects of reselling that can feel like a slog, she says — just not the actual shopping.

“Technically, the thrifting takes the most time,” Riegel says. “But it doesn’t feel like work to me.”

As her two careers tracks evolve, Riegel sees no reason to slow down or stop her side hustle. Thrifting makes her happy, and “you can’t put a price” on that, she says. She’s even growing that part of the business by posting her own instructional videos on YouTube and selling her services as a reselling coach.

“I’m going to do it for as long as I can. Both of these [careers] make me happy,” says Riegel. “They both allow me to be independent, and I don’t have to choose between one thing or another.”

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay.