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5 side hustles to boost your bank balance

·Contributor
·5-min read
Businessman checking money, Australian dollars, in the envelope
Side hustles are a great way to boost your income. (Source: Getty)

As cost of living rises, more and more people are earning money outside the nine-to-five job to make ends meet.

According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), released in March 2022, 850,000 Aussies are being forced to take on second or even third jobs.

There are so many ways to earn extra income, from becoming an Uber driver to renting out a garage or a room on Airbnb.

Read more from Emily Chantiri:

Meanwhile some have found their own way to start a side hustle, usually spawned from seeing an opportunity in the market place.

The options are endless.

Here, Yahoo Finance has spoken to five Aussies about their unique and successful side hustles, some of which have turned into small businesses.

1. Hemp bed linens

Earning potential: Around $1,000 per week

Mum and lawyer Kate Taylor’s idea came from a desire to use hemp bed linen when she was styling her home.

“I found that it wasn’t readily available in Australia, was prohibitively expensive and often came with a bit of a hippy vibe. I decided to try my hand at importing a small selection of hemp linens and marketing this myself,” she said.

Another important issue for using hemp was that it left a significantly smaller environmental footprint than the mainstream bedding options available.

In 2021, Taylor founded Calvi.Co.

“Initially it was a passion project that sat alongside my career and raising my children but it is now generating some income in its own right.”

Her weekly turnover averages around $1,000 at the moment.

“I have been in operation for less than a full calendar year so there have obviously been some much higher and some much lower weeks since I launched the business.”

2. Creative cushions

Earning potential: Up to $4,000 per day

Single mother Laura Varsanyi started her online business The Creative Muster in the midst of the pandemic.

“This ran alongside my full-time government job. As a single parent, it enables me to earn extra income and I don’t have to worry about leaving my kids. It takes up one to two hours per day which I do after my children go to bed.”

She says her cushion design resonated as more people improved their homes over lockdowns.

“I launched just as the pandemic started it worked in my favour with eyes being on social media and people improving their homes.”

Varsanyi said her income varies.

“One day I turned over $4,000 in ball cushions, which is my main product. That was my busiest day. I get out of it what I put in. If I can keep new colours and fabrics coming in I can sell more.”

3. Online marketplace

Earning potential: $400-700 per month

In October 2021, Claire Cunliffe started her online side hustle, Glad Rags Markets, a monthly market where people can buy space to sell their unwanted clothes and accessories.

“It's growing in popularity. I think it’s because people are becoming more aware of the environmental benefits of buying second-hand as well as being able to buy good quality pieces that are a fraction of their retail price,” Cunliffe said.

Stallholders use the space to sell their items.

“They can make, on average, $300 at the market. It's a win-win situation as the sellers make money on their unwanted clothes and the buyers can grab a bargain. Some examples, like a genuine Chloe bag for $90, or a current Shona Joy dress bought for $20 that is still on sale for $275.”

Her monthly takings vary between $400 and $700 per month.

“The money I make certainly helps with the rising costs of living.”

4. Pet care products

Earning potential: Small side hustle turned into a full-time $1 million small business

Back in 2019 while at university, Emily Martin’s beloved pet dog suffered from spina bifida.

Martin searched for dog nappies to help her ailing pet. She found nothing worked from here or overseas.

With the help of her vet, she came up with a solution; to develop sustainable nappies.

Three years later her Queensland-based business, Dundies, makes reusable nappies and pet care products to protect pets and homes.

Now at just 23, she has built a $1 million business. Her side hustle has turned into a full-time small business with nine employee.

5. Missing socks

Earning potential: $5,000-$6,000 per month

During the pandemic lockdowns, like many, Jason Herald’s regular work shut down. While at home with his children he came up with an idea to help deal with missing socks.

“I came up with a silly solution on the side. My kids were always losing their socks in the wash. It was just a fun idea that I thought I would sell a few and keep myself busy.”

Since that time, his business, SokSack has become a global business in 18 months.

Turnover ranges from $5,000 to $6,000 per month.

“I made one for my kids and then their friends wanted some, then other parents asked for them. I realised I was on to something. We sell about 300-400 direct a week, with retailers now wanting to stock the product. Many adults are now buying for themselves.”

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