The Ultimate List of Side Hustles that Aren’t MLMs

The Ultimate List of Side Hustles that Aren't MLMs

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There are a billion side hustle opportunities out there, everything from proofreading to delivering pizzas. Some involve learning a new skillset, while many others have costly start-up fees to get going.

MLMs (multi-level marketing) is a marketing strategy where not only does your income depend on your commission from sales, but also on getting others to sign up underneath you, so you’re earning a bit of their profits as well. Think companies like Avon, Tupperware, Pampered Chef, etc. You know what I’m talking about, right?

While I’m not personally against MLMs (as I’ve said before), they work for such a small percentage of people. Why? Because not everyone’s built to be a salesperson. If you don’t have the right skillset or personality, it’s easy to never make back the start-up money that you invested. Not only have you lost our on your time and energy, but you’ve lost out on even more money than if you’d done nothing at all.

While I believe that you have to invest money to make money, picking up extra work shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. It also shouldn’t be a steep learning curve to getting yourself up to snuff in order to make money. When choosing a side hustle to pursue, you need to think about your return on investment. If you’re not looking to create an optional side career, and just need to make quick money, remember to keep things simple.

I’ve gathered a list of easy and low cost side hustles that aren’t MLMs to get you started quickly on your path to debt repayment!

The Ultimate List of Side Hustles that Aren't MLMs

Low Start-Up Cost Side Hustles that aren’t MLMs

  • Dog/house sitter
  • Dog walker
  • Create printables on Etsy/Crafty (if you already have the software and skills)
  • Offer food preparation to busy families. Sell premade freezer dinners that serve 4-6 people with a side and dessert that just needs heated up!
  • Sell Meal Planning services by creating PDFs of weekly meal plans
  • Make soap
  • Get paid to test websites at
  • Tutor through VIPKids
  • Start a paper route
  • Small engine repair (if you already have the know-how and tools)
  • Landscaping / mow lawns
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Handyman
  • Crochet hats, gloves, blankets and accessories to sell
  • Do affiliate marketing. You don’t need a website, you can do this through Pinterest or landing pages at ConvertKit
  • Resell items around your house via eBay, Craigslist, Letgo, Facebook trade groups, or local consignment shops
  • Edit videos with software
  • Digital bills/paperwork organization
  • Offer budgeting services
  • Plan vacations/seek out vacation deals for others
  • Find deals for others on particular items, get paid a percentage of the savings
  • Provide seamstress services
  • Starting a cleaning service
  • Write blog posts for other bloggers
  • Proofreading / Editing
  • Bartend / Waiter / Waitress
  • Babysit
  • Become a sleep training guru (I would have handed over my retirement funds for this one!)
  • Ask for a raise
  • Ask for additional duties at your main job for additional compensation
  • Pick up a better paying shift and/or holiday hours
  • Figure out how to do your current job in a freelance capacity
  • Look around for your position at another company – get paid more for the same work!
  • Shovel snow
  • See where you can earn referral fees for networking you already do
  • Rent out a room
  • Use your home for AirBnB
  • Drive for Uber / Lyft
  • Delivery work
  • Do jobs on Fiverr

  • Do surveys on Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, Springboard America, etc.
  • Participate in in-home testing of products through companies like Swagbucks
  • Become a VA (Virtual Assistant)
  • Become a Social Media Manager
  • Be a coach or consultant in something you’re passionate about
  • Publish an ebook
  • Sell your photos on stock photography sites
  • Trade in old gift cards
  • Become a voiceover actor
  • Become a video game / app tester
  • Get paid to do research
  • Review resumes
  • Catering
  • Repair computers
  • Do nails
  • Cut hair
  • Flip furniture
  • Run errands for others
  • Read to people who are physically unable to
  • Haul things for others
  • Pick up/trade in scrap metal
  • Help people move
  • Clean pools
  • Start a painting service
  • Become an event planner
  • Provide translation services
  • Become a personal assistant
  • Become a customer service rep (there are many work at home opportunities here!)
  • Wash cars
  • Sell vegetables, flowers, bulbs from your garden
  • Teach music, art or computer lessons
  • Do laundry for those without access to washers/dryers

What’s the Best Way to Pick a Side Hustle?

The best advice I can give is to find side hustles that match your skillset. By picking jobs that you already know how to do, you’ll feel more confident when applying for them, and will be able to have a larger return on your investment by shortening your start-up costs and time.

Speeding up the debt repayment process doesn’t have to be difficult, costly or overly time consuming. What it really takes is figuring out your “why” and putting yourself out there. If you’re willing to work harder and smarter, you’ll find yourself debt free in no time!

Have you tried any of these low cost side hustles? Or do you have more to add? Post them in the comments, I’d love to hear them!

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12 responses on “The Ultimate List of Side Hustles that Aren’t MLMs

  1. Akiko

    I have thought about offering meal planning pdfs. Now to find more time to do all things. 🙂
    Reviewing resumes is a great one. I had a friend do that for me, as it was her side hustle related to her 9 to 5. She offered great insight..

  2. DJT @ Thinking Thrifty

    Some great ideas here, it’s so important to diversify your income. I’ve learned quickly since going self employed this year, you need several income streams because one can suddenly be gone overnight! I love that there are no MLM in here too, I’m really not convinced!

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