KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The pandemic drastically changed finances for so many families, with lost jobs or reduced hours forcing people to find new ways to make ends meet.
James Irwin, whose greatest passion is cooking, planned to work in a restaurant that was supposed to open in 2020. Those plans were derailed.
"For it to not take off was heartbreaking," Irwin said.
He found his plan B in Uber, which he is now using to fund his other side business, a meal service called Moonlight Manipulations.
Irwin is one of the many people who had to get creative in 2020 to earn extra income.
Jobs in the gig economy are popular.
- Delivering groceries through Instacart
- Delivering food through Postmates, Grubhub, DoorDash or UberEats
- Driving for Uber
- Completing odd jobs like furniture assembly through TaskRabbit
The flexibility of such gigs is a big selling point.
"It's easy. You got your own schedule, you drive when you want to drive," Cathy Sims, who drives with Uber, said.
Sims is retired and uses her side gig to pay for her hobby: bowling.
"If I got a tournament or a trip coming up, I'll get out there and hustle a little," she said.
The Penny Hoarder's Adam Hardy compiled a list of more side gigs to consider for 2021.
For example, one option is to become a contact tracer. Johns Hopkins University offers a free online training course.
Hardy writes that Applied Memetics, Contrace and Government Jobs are three recruitment companies where jobs are posted.
Freelancing is another side hustle alternative.
The website Fiverr lets users create listings for services ranging from copy editing to working as a virtual assistant.
With so many kids learning remotely, becoming an online learning assistant is another suggestion from The Penny Hoarder. People can post services on Nextdoor or in Facebook groups dedicated to remote learning.
Whatever option you choose, it's important to stay organized.
"Be steadfast in receipts for tax write-offs as far as doing things like Uber," Irwin said, "Your gas, your insurance, things like that, they're all deductible."
Find which side hustles work best for you.
"They're out there. You've just got to want to do it," Sims said.
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Whether you're Getting Back to Work after a layoff, need help Making Ends Meet during these trying times or need tips on Managing the Pressure we're all feeling, The Rebound has resources to find help. We'll also make sure local leaders are Doing What's Right to get Kansas City back track after a three-month shutdown.
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