“Side hustle” or “sideline” in some cases, is increasingly becoming a common term among young Filipinos. To put it simple, a side hustle is a source of income that isn’t someone’s primary occupation or employment.
For example, you could be working at an office as an accountant during the day and by night, a freelance graphic designer during your spare time so as to bring in extra money.
The benefits of having side gigs are apparent: you make more money than you usually would.
The downsides are just as obvious: Since you’ve already spent 8+ hours on your day job, the rest of your dwindling free time would be exhausted doing extra work.
What follows is a list of the most profitable side gigs you can get into with varying degrees of difficulty.
1. Financial Advisor or Insurance Agent
Estimated Monthly Earnings: P20,000 – P50,000
This may come as a surprise to some, but being a financial advisor or insurance agent for a large company can be incredibly profitable if you have the necessary interpersonal skills to go along with it.
The job description mainly revolves around offering financial advice and educating people about insurance policies, and how these services can help your potential clients’ lives in the long run.
These jobs are often advertised as flexible with time, with high earning potential – which is true, as your salary would be on a commission basis (around 40% – 50% commissions per sale).
Granted that you have the necessary PR skills, you’ll earn as much as you’re capable of selling.
Successful agents can earn six digits a month for every 20-30 hours a week spent meeting with clients, but that depends entirely on one’s ability to network, market and sell the services.
Doing the math:
If you can sell at least 3 insurance policies worth P20,000+ (per annum) every month, you can modestly earn around P30,000 per month (and assuming your clients will continue on with their policies, you’ll receive the same amount on the succeeding year).
What makes this side hustle lucrative?
Only 47% of the working population in the country are insured, which means there are millions of Filipinos out there that will eventually need to have one. And there’s VUL, an insurance policy that offers both life insurance and investment features.
Although, in order to become an agent, one must take the appropriate certification exams in the Philippines. These prerequisites can cost up to P6,000 total (P2,020 for the Insurance Commission Exam for traditional and VUL, while the License costs P3,030 – which is valid for 3 years). So study up to get yourself certified and licensed to work for companies such as AXA, Manu Life, or Pru Life.
Bigger institutions like Sun Life Financial do offer free certification/licensing exams, including free reviewers (reading materials) and free seminars.
Estimated Monthly Earnings: from P10,000 – P100,000
A freelancer is defined as a self-employed worker who has no long-term commitments to an employer.
The Philippine business climate in Manila seeks freelancers that have skills in the following fields:
- Multimedia arts (video editing, sound editing, dubbing, voice acting, graphic design)
- Creative writing (article writing, proofreading, copywriting, data entry, transcription)
- Digital marketing (SEO, digital PR, social media management, content marketing, creating promotional campaigns and material)
- Events (organizing, promoting, coordinating, logistics, photography, etc…)
- Teaching (online ESL tutor)
- Admin & customer service (virtual assistant, customer service representative)
- Web & Software Development (programmer, web developer, web designer, QA)
If you are aiming to earn extra money as a freelancer, reassess and reevaluate your skills. Here are a few sample questions to ask yourself when assessing an opportunity:
- Do you have an eloquent command of English and/or another language?
- Do you have a knack for writing and putting character and significance to articles and coming up with substantial topics to write about?
- Do you have a keen eye for proofreading?
- Do you have the proper productive habits, work ethic and the right equipment for video editing or graphic design?
- Do you have the PR skills or a strong technical background in Digital marketing?
- How well do you manage time and delegate tasks when it comes to organizing schedules and events?
If you have any of these skills or have something equally useful in your repertoire, you can sell your skills as a freelancer. There are plenty of online platforms which you can use to sell your services, such as:
- Jobstreet (for part-time home-based job opportunities)
Freelancers tend to earn on a project basis, so your skills need to be competitive, flexible, adaptive and constantly evolving. The difference between a good and great freelancer is that the former meet deadlines, and the other beats deadlines (accompanied by high-quality outputs).
It’s easy to improve your skills by offering your skills for cheap to build a portfolio and client-base. A freelancer becomes more attractive to future clients if he can turn up and show the projects he’s done.
Some people have built whole careers out of their freelance work, earning anywhere from P10,000 to P100,000 (or even more) per month depending on the quality of their work, and consistency and availability of projects.
You can surely earn more when you start closing long-term projects (that will pay you on a retainer) – and eventually scale it into a business when you start hiring more people to do the work (while you’re focusing on getting more projects).
As a freelancer, you must also learn how to assert yourself when it comes to charging your clients and collecting your salary, without being abrasive.
3. Making use of Sharing Economy
Estimated Monthly Earnings: P30,000 – P60,000
Being in the age of smartphones, the inevitable rise of consumer convenience apps such as Uber, Grab and AirBnB, making passive income from your assets has never been as profitable and accessible as now.
If you have a car and spare time, you can apply to be an Uber or Grab driver, where you use your car to bring people from point A to point B for a profit.
Full-time drivers typically make P30,000 to P40,000 per month, so your income will depend on how frequent and available your schedule is to drive people around.
Other people employ drivers to drive a small fleet of cars to make the most out of Uber and Grab. The highest earnings for Grab and Uber would be during rush hour, but the drawback is that you’ll spend the most amount of time stuck in traffic.
If you own a condo or house that has a spare room, you can register and promote that place up on AirBnB to rent it out to anyone. Usually to tourists or workers who live far from their workplaces, looking for temporary accommodation.
Depending on your location and the size of your spare room – you can charge anywhere from P500 – P4,000 per day – and make decent money every month.
When it comes to operational expenses, renting out a room has low-maintenance costs per week. Your main responsibility is to maintain the cleanliness of the room after the customer is done renting it.
You may also need to organize your schedule to meet future tenants who are interested in renting your place to give them keys and let them in. AirBnB can be a high-earning business idea for you if you’re located in an attractive location, especially if you live in places in proximity where a lot of tourists want to spend time in.
4. Buy & Sell (Item Trading)
Estimated Monthly Earnings: P10,000 – P30,000
If you have a knack for spotting good deals and understanding what people like to buy online, and organizing the market in niches, you can make a good amount of money using online sales platforms like:
One common thing to do here is to look for cheap deals to buy from and then re-sell them on the same platforms for more.
Alternatively, you can look into going to offline marketplaces such as garage sales, thrift shops and other places which aren’t making good use of online marketplaces to score cheap deals which, in turn, can flip you a good profit using those platforms.
Profit and time invested are less certain as they depend entirely on what you’re looking to sell. Often the time investment relies on moving on deals quickly before someone scoops up something that you see could be profitable.
The main thing you’re creating value for customers here is your ability to spot deals and items for their convenience.
Remember: Buy low, sell a bit higher.
5. Offering Professional or Trade Skill Services:
Estimated income: P15,000 – P40,000 per month
There are many other services you can offer to make money on the side. For instance, anyone can get together a few other people and offer to clean people’s houses, cars, condos or else for a tidy sum of money.
There are platforms to offer such services on, such as:
These platforms create listings for skilled craftsmen and artisans too. Including manual labor jobs for:
- Home repair and improvement
- Moving & trucking services
- Cleaning, electrical, pest control, and plumbing services
- Gadgets and appliance repairs & services
- Food catering services
- Events, performers, and other business services
- Fitness/Personal trainers and more.
They also list licensed professionals such as accountants, lawyers, physicians, and engineers.
Of course, social media is a powerful tool to market your services to people looking for them. As with anything else, your earnings depend on the service you provide and how well you do in the field.
Here’s a recap of tips to maximize your success with your side hustle:
- Do something you’re good at – you have skills, you just need to know which ones you can reinforce and sell. There’s no point in selling something you’re bad at, chances are you’re not going to be making money anytime soon.
- Research. You need to know the market to break into it. How much competition are you up against, what type of customers and niches are you targeting and how much should you be charging?
- Don’t forget it’s a side-hustle. Only put so many hours into this as you can spare – if you want to be entrepreneurial and end up opening your own proper business out of this, you better work like it’s your only hustle.
In conclusion, when it comes to side hustles, keep trying.
You’re not going to make thousands of pesos on your first day, your first project or during your first gig.
Get a grasp of the market and experiment with how you position yourself in the market. Try out some strategies and keep selling and building your presence until you find your niche.