Personal Finance

5 Fun Side Gigs to Supplement Your Day Job Income

Living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, it can feel like your income from your full-time job isn’t quite enough. What can you do to supplement your income on weekends?

To keep up with the rising costs of living in Singapore, some people who hold full-time jobs have had to take up a side job to supplement their incomes. In fact, 17% of freelancers in Singapore are people who either hold regular day jobs or are students or retirees who want to supplement their income. The rise of the gig economy and platforms like Fiverrr, Grab, and Upwork have made it easier for freelancers equipped with relevant skills and tools to supplement their income. If you’re wondering what else you can do to earn some extra cash in your spare time, here are 5 side gigs you can consider taking on.

1. Part-Time Food & Beverage Staff

If you like to socialise on weekends, getting a job as waiter or bartender will allow you to meet new people while making extra money on the side. With these jobs, you can channel the experience you gained as a wait staff in your teens or early 20's. However, even if you don’t have any prior experience, most establishments will provide on-the-job training. Typically, restaurants and bars tend to be understaffed on weekends, so part-time help is needed so full-time employees can get a couple days off.

This table shows the average earnings you may make as a waiter working an 8 hour shift one day out of the week. The total potential earnings are before taxes.

According to PayScale, the average hourly wage for a waiter/waitress in Singapore is S$8 per hour, which equates to a daily wage of S$64. You can request to work both Saturday and Sunday, or either one of those days, depending on how much you need the extra income. However, you should bear in mind that restaurant work is more challenging than some of the other gigs on our list and there could be times when you may be requested to work on your days off.

2. Tutoring

A 2017/2018 Household Expenditure Survey conducted by Singstat found Singaporean households spent a total of S$1.4b on private tuition and centre-based tuition. Tutoring has become a pretty lucrative industry as Singaporeans continue to place importance on academic performance. Depending on qualifications and the educational level you’re teaching, the average hourly charge of private tutors is S$45 per hour, according to PayScale. If you’re able to teach English, maths or science for 2 hours a week, you’ll earn an extra S$360 a month. You can advertise yourself through various marketing channels like Facebook ads, the old-school tear-off ads or word-of-mouth. For a start, let your friends or relatives know that you’re tutoring and they could either hire you or refer you to others.

This table shows the average earnings you may make as a tutor on the weekends. The total potential earnings are before taxes and not including costs like transportation.

3. Private Cook/Home Baker

If you cook and/or bake in your free time and you’re good at it, why not turn it into a small home business? Whether you want to be a chef for hire, sell your homemade goodies or host private dinners for a fee, you can make use of platforms like DineInn or SendHelper to offer your culinary services. If you like the idea of hosting dinners or casually cooking for others, you can try DineInn, where hosts charge anywhere between S$3 to S$120 per dish. On the other hand, SendHelper is a bit more formal and you will be hired as a private chef to cook in someone else's home. On SendHelper, your earnings start from S$22 per hour for ad-hoc jobs and S$20 for recurring jobs.

For both options, you should note that it will take time to build a customer base. You should be sure to upload clear, well-plated photos of your food and write an enticing description of your cooking to attract potential customers. Furthermore, both platforms take a small cut out of your earnings (Dineinn's admin fee is 20% of the dish), so you should calculate that cut into your pricing.

4. Grab Hitch Driver

Unlike a regular Grab driver who drives full-time, Grab Hitch drivers are usually car owners who pick up passengers heading in the same direction of the drivers’ destinations. Grab states that you can “expect to receive between $8 to $12 per pickup on average. If you do 2 pickups a day, that's around $600 a month”. This amount can either cover your petrol costs or supplement your income if you increase your pickups per day. Your earnings may vary depending on how business is on any given day and the length of your trips. To maintain a good rating and increase your chances of getting customers, you should keep your car in good condition and be polite to your passengers. You can also strike up a friendly conversation with your passengers, give them your contact details and let them know they can call you for a pickup and still pay what a Grab Hitch ride would cost.

This table shows the average earnings you may make as a Grab Hitch driver on your way to and from work (2 rides a day, 5 days per week). The total potential earnings are before taxes, fees and costs like gas.

5. Pet Sitting

If you have experience caring for furkids, you can offer your pet boarding and sitting services on platforms like Pawshake and Petbacker. With a day job, the range of services you can provide includes dog walking, home visits or house sitting in the owner’s home. Pet sitters on both Pawshake and Petbacker charge an average of S$15-S$30 per walk for dog walking, which is enough to generate a couple hundred dollars per weekend.

This table shows the average earnings you can make as a dog walker who walks dogs over the weekend. The total potential earnings are before taxes and don't include any app fees.

Your profile is your only tool to advertise your services. In order to get your first booking, you should put in some time and effort to tell potential customers about yourself, your pet caretaking experience, and what you can provide to the pets under your care. Ensuring that your profile is well-written and having clear photos of the spaces that the pets will stay in would also help. Like many home-based businesses, it’ll take time to build your customer base and gain repeat customers to generate steady supplementary income.

Use Your Existing Skills and Tools to Achieve Your Financial Goals Faster

These side gigs we’ve compiled only require you to make use of what you already possess. Whether it’s your prior experience, your education, your car, your cooking and baking skills, or the fact that you can take care of pets, there will be a side gig that suits you. If you’re used to an office job, adjusting to working in the service industry can be tough. For instance, if you end up deciding on being a waiter or bartender, you may find that service staff sometimes get disrespected while on the job, which can negatively impact your psyche. But if you can find the strength to ignore societal judgments, what matters is your confidence in juggling your day job and a part-time job. With a side gig, the extra cash you earn will give you more financial security in the long run and you can build up savings for your goals faster.

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