6 side hustles that will actually make you money

Dog walking is a good option, so long as you are patient, extremely good with animals, always on time and fit.
Dog walking is a good option, so long as you are patient, extremely good with animals, always on time and fit.

Petrol and food prices keep rising and the economy shows no signs of picking up. Even those lucky enough to have jobs struggle to make ends meet at the end of the month, which is why resorting to a side business to supplement an existing income is something more people are pursuing. While some side ventures will turn out to be all effort and no payoff, others could become lucrative enough to take on full time. #Trending looks at what options are out there, and which might actually make you some extra cash.

1. Rent out your ride

If you need to supplement your income, and own a car, renting it out might be a good move. Paarl-based property investment consultant Heinrich Kapp uses Rent My Ride, a local mobile app that allows owners to safely rent out their cars.

Renters have access to lease a vehicle long term – at 40% less than traditional car rental companies.

The rental period is completely at the owner’s discretion – so you can rent out your car for a day or even years.

Kapp rents out two cars. His family loaned him the money to buy both vehicles.

His job means he works mainly on the phone and doesn’t need to travel, so he wanted to let his money work for him.

“The first six months working as an investment consultant were difficult, and I must say the money I made from the vehicles did help me out a lot,” he says.

So how does it work?

You list your vehicle, submit the required documents and then set your price. The platform’s calculator will suggest a daily rate you should rent your car out for.

Kapp says, “Your car has to have a certificate of road worthiness and needs to have less than 180 000km.”


Your car is then advertised on Rent My Ride, where users pick the car that suits them. The app puts users through a rigorous screening process, and they have to provide a valid driver’s licence, ID, employment details and proof of address. Then a background check is done to see what the person may want to do with the vehicle, which takes one or two days.

So, is this a lucrative side hustle?

“Yes most definitely,” says Kapp. “If you have the capital to get a vehicle.”

And how much does he actually make? “Anything between R1 500 to R3 000 per month. I have a lot of long-term rentals, so it can be anything from one person to four renting it out.

“If I had a few more cars I’m not sure I would work,” he jokes.

And what happens if the person renting your car crashes it? “Rent My Ride has an external service provider for third party damage and bodily harm.”

2. Buy it, fix it, sell it

Buying used items and selling them for a profit is a great way to earn some extra cash.

Websites including Gumtree, bidorbuy, OLX, Junk Mail and, more recently, Facebook Marketplace, are great platforms for buying and selling.

One of the smartest items to buy online is used furniture that needs some restoration. Outdated items can be modernised with a little elbow grease and a new paint job.

According to Claire Cobbledick, the general manager of Gumtree SA, imbuia wood furniture is particularly in vogue.

“Imbuia was originally imported as a cheap alternative to stinkwood.

These days, an old imbuia dresser can easily fetch R5 000 on Gumtree.

Ball and claw furniture is especially popular among upcyclers, who love sanding down imbuia furniture and painting it in funky hues for resale,” says Cobbledick.


An imbuia ball and claw table like this goes for R800 on bidorbuy, but can easily be modernised and resold for more

Other items that are great for reselling:

Antique rings: David Stockenstroom, buyer and manager of Kay’s Antiques, says that some of his biggest sellers are good antique rings.

“People still want classic Victorian rings for engagement rings. They are so rare now and people collect them.”

Vintage toys: Do you remember the toys that you grew up playing with? Well, they could be sought-after collector’s items now.

Cobbledick says: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figurines, for example, can sell for up to R300.

Vintage video games in working condition can sell for up to R1 500, and old Fisher-Price toys, such as the iconic Fisher-Price phone, can sell for about R500.”

Vintage clothing: Hats and jackets from the 1950s, glamorous pantsuits from the 1970s and any form of vintage brooch or hair accessory is popular on Gumtree, says Cobbledick.

They sell from R200 to R500 per item.

You might also be surprised at what you can sell the “junk” that is lying around your house for.

The best way to find out if an item you have stored away could be worth something is to have it evaluated by a professional.

Sophie-Louise Fröhlich, office manager of Stephan Welz & Co in Cape Town, says: “You can contact the auction house you want to deal with and send them a picture of the item.

Tell them what you think it is and take pictures of any noticeable markings, such as signatures.

If we think it’s of value, we’ll do a house visit and find out more about where the item comes from.”

3. Make dough by dog-sitting

If you have a connection with animals, dog-sitting or walking could be a way to make some extra cash. Because you can do it after work or over the weekends, it’s a good side hustle to supplement your main income.

So how do you get into it? You can either start up on your own – advertising your services on social media, specifically among neighbourhood groups on Facebook – or distribute flyers in affluent suburbs where people would be willing to pay for your services.

However, it will take time to build up a reputation as a reputable dog walker or sitter, and you might find dog owners are wary of leaving their beloved pets with a stranger.

The best way to start is to apply to work for an established pet-sitting service. One of them is Paws n Claws, which services clients and their pets in Gauteng.

Owner Karen Rhodes says that those who apply should be aware that they need to be available during peak times – weekends, long weekends and public holidays.

“We need a lot of sitters in December, so if you’d like to pet sit, you have to make peace with the fact that you might have to work over Christmas and New Year’s Eve.”

Sitters also need their own transport so that they can do house visits.

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“You will get paid R85 for a single house visit, R150 for two visits and R160 to stay over,” says Rhodes.

She says she interviews about 500 prospective pet sitters a year, but only hires about 30 of them.

“It’s very difficult to find someone who is good with animals, available on public holidays, and who is honest and reliable.”

In terms of dog walking, you could apply to work for a business like Jolly Walker, which was founded by Billy de Kock five years ago.

“Depending on how many dogs you walk, you can make between R100 and R150 a walk,” De Kock says.

1Jolly Walker owner Billy De Kock

Dog walkers typically do two walks a day (in the morning and afternoon) for an hour each, so this is not necessarily something you could do after work.

However, if you have flexible working hours, you could fit it into your schedule.

“You need to be patient, extremely good with animals, always on time and fit. Sometimes I walk up to 25km a day,” says De Kock.

  • Paws n Claws: 066 123 6690
  • Jolly Walker: 079 516 1416

4. Online is always an option

Because social media eliminates the need for traditional – and often expensive – marketing, individuals like you and me can sell anything from craft beer to clothing online. But how is it done, and can you actually make money this way?

As the most disruptive e-commerce force, Instagram has moved from being just a photo sharing app to a booming business platform.

Becoming an influencer and focusing on sponsored posts for brands is not the only way to make money.

You could, for instance, become an affiliate. Affiliate sales is something that’s really taken off overseas, but South Africans haven’t tapped into it yet.

Basically, an affiliate works towards making sales for a brand in exchange for a commission through a trackable link or a promo code to make sure that any clicks are converted to sales.

It requires you to approach a brand and say: “I would like to market your product off my Instagram page. Would you be willing to give me commission on what I sell?”

Be innovative and ballsy, don’t be scared to get in touch with certain brands and see if there is a partnership there.

Online shopping

Instagram is also great for creatives to sell photography, poster photos, paintings, drawings, animations, videos and other image- or video-based virtual products.

Another great online moneymaking tool is Paydesk.co. If you have writing skills and creative talent, you can get paid to create content, and if you’re willing to put in the work, this can become a viable income stream.

PayDesk.co is a marketplace where publishers, broadcasters and editors find, book and hire professional news-gathering assets around the world. It puts everybody in touch and guarantees payment.

PayDesk professionals include journalists, reporters, writers, researchers, translators, photographers and camera crews.

The service is free for freelancers, and every reporter on its books undergoes a strict vetting process, with references and previous work checked.

Building a successful YouTube channel is not easy and requires a lot of planning, persistence, hard work and creativity.

If you manage to have at least 10 000 public views of your channel videos, you are eligible to apply for the YouTube Partner programme, where you can monetise your videos and share the revenue the platform gains from advertising on your channel.

However, most YouTubers will tell you that you won’t make much money this way.

The real money comes with deals and partnerships with brands. This will happen if you have a commercially appealing channel and enough “clout” to make it worthwhile for the brands.

5. Sell your brains

Were you a bright spark in school, particularly in maths and science? Becoming a tutor to pupils and students is a good way to not only share your knowledge, but also to make some extra cash.

You can jump into the deep end and start advertising your services through friends, family or social media, and might even have success.

The problem is that most parents want to know that they’re paying for a reputable and efficient service, so you might struggle to get business if you don’t have any prior experience or references.

The best option is to go through an established tutoring agency – and there are many.

Master Maths, Genius and BrightSparkz are some of the big ones. Dean Cook is the general manager at Genius, which offers extra lessons in all subjects. He says tutoring is “an unbelievable way” for young people to make money.

“Our tutors earn R250 an hour, and can earn between R5 000 and R22 000 a month. They learn communication skills on the job and we have plenty of team-building and networking opportunities.”

African-american woman walking with her small dog.

In order to become a tutor at Genius, you have to have got an A in matric for the subject you would like to teach, and will be required to do subject tests at a Genius examination centre, as well as scholastic psychometrics and an interview. You will also need your own car and driver’s licence.

Genius requires its tutors to be able to do a minimum of six sessions per week.

Another avenue for tutoring that has sprung up is the online kind. Here you can list yourself on a platform like SuperProf or TutorMe, and offer sessions to scholars via the web.

Signing up will require you to upload your CV and “sell yourself” using your experience, teaching methods, previous successes and, most importantly, references.

Online tutoring is a competitive environment, and you will have to be dedicated to get students to enrol with you.

But the benefit is that you can set your own hours and can host sessions in the convenience of your own home.

Tutoring is by no means an easy task, and imparting knowledge to young people requires patience and good communication skills.

Nevertheless, if teaching is something you’ve always been adept at, this could become a fairly lucrative stream of income.

  • To apply to be a Genius tutor, click here

6. Make rands on your room

Why not cash in on your hospitality with Airbnb? Whether it’s an extra room or your whole house, your sanctuary could also be your side hustle.

Becoming an Airbnb host doesn’t require much admin. It’s a simple three-step process – firstly, acquaint yourself with the criteria Airbnb requires from hosts; secondly, create your profile by uploading high-res images of your home, and writing accurate and truthful descriptions of what you have to offer; thirdly, wait for Airbnb’s review.

The perk of this side hustle is that you retain control – you decide when your room or house is available, plus it’s your house, so you get to set the rules that guests have to adhere to.

Airbnb allows you to get to know your guests before they book – you can read reviews from other hosts, chat to them using the Airbnb app and get information such as their ID numbers and contact details to verify that they are who they claim to be.


You also decide what to charge, and Airbnb offers a tool to help you match your prices with the demand in your area.

Airbnb acts as a broker and receives 3% to 5% commission from each booking. Additional costs such as late check-in fees, cleaning fees, discounts, special prices for certain times of the year and extra guest fees are all your prerogative depending on the experience you offer guests.

These should all be disclosed to guests before they complete their booking.

As soon as guests check in, so do your coins. Payments are processed immediately with the payment method of your choice.

So, what if the person you’re renting to trashes your home? Airbnb offers $1 million (R15 million) worth of cover for property damage per booking to quell concerns about the safety of your belongings.

There is a further $1 million in host protection insurance for liability against accidents.

Airbnb also has a 24-hour helpline for hosts and maintains ongoing support by giving you advice on pricing, how to improve your setting and other regular updates to help you track your progress.

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