Looking for side hustles to pay off debt without a big salary? You’ve come to the right place. Use these ideas to start earning income on top of your day job and pay off your debts faster.
Our own team members here at Azingo have used many of these side hustles to pay down car loans and student loans—they work.
The best part? Once the debt is paid off, you have a fully-functioning side hustle bringing in money to pay for vacations, your next big purchase, or even just retirement savings.
Here’s what you can do to start earning money on the side like a professional.
Did you know that skilled freelancers make more per hour than 70% of Americans?
Freelancing can cover a wide range of services. It comes down to performing a service you already know. Generally it’s best to offer whatever you do best—most likely something related to your day job.
Here are some ideas to get started:
Businesses need all kinds of services. This gives you options. You don’t need to quit your day job to do any of these, either.
Start by finding one client who needs your one service, and build the relationship from there.
Some clients need work done on a regular basis, while some only need a bit of work done right now. You should talk to all of those leads, because they can all become repeat business in the future.
You can also charge them in multiple ways, depending on what they need. Here are your billing options:
This lets you earn extra cash without having to learn a new skill—in fact, you can practice your existing skills to improve beyond your day job. This is what makes freelancing one of the best side hustles to pay off debt quickly.
Administration takes time, and it’s generally considered the least existing part of running any business. That’s why people don’t want to do it.
Their aversion to administration is your opportunity.
You can take on those responsibilities for multiple clients. Here’s what it looks like:
Providing these services allows consultants and small business owners to focus on doing what they do best, minimizing the time they need to spend on organizing things.
It’s not just that they don’t want to do this stuff, either. They can probably make more money offering their specialized services with the time saved by outsourcing administrative tasks.
Take this example: you might charge $25 per hour as a virtual assistant, but your client might charge anywhere from $50 - $120 for an hour in their more specialized line of work.
If they charge $60 per hour but spend 5 hours per week on admin, then they lose $300 in billable hours.
Here’s where you come in: if you charge $25 per hour for 5 hours of work ($125), then that consultant can still earn that $300. The consultant makes $175 more per week than if they had spent those billable hours on admin tasks.
You can do this, too. The key is to make sure your hourly rate is lower than your client’s rate.
If you have deep knowledge in a field and love to impart knowledge, then consider starting a class. You can hold classes once or twice a week for a larger group of people instead of charging one person a high hourly rate to learn something.
You could lower your ticket price to $20 per class (or per week), then get 25 students to join your class. Here’s what your income would look like:
At $25,000 per year, you can pay off just about any debt quickly. And when you’re done paying off that debt, you could have an extra $25,000 per year flowing in on top of your day job.
What kind of classes can you hold? We’d recommend starting with something you already know and do really well, but here are some ideas to get you started.
Teaching classes is one of the best side hustles to pay off debt early on in life because it scales your time better than a part-time job would. You can also hold classes online and upload them with Azingo, letting your students rewatch if they want.
You can turn fairly basic tasks into neighborhood subscriptions pretty easily, if you don’t mind making connections with the people who live around you.
Think of all the things people need done around their homes:
You could offer a monthly service to people in your community to do these things for them. This is especially helpful to elderly homeowners who might not be able to do it all themselves, but who also can’t afford to pay a handyman $50 an hour for basic tasks.
Here’s how to get started: find 10 households and charge $100 per month for around 4 hours of basic work that they need done regularly.
That’s about 9-10 hours per week, and it puts $1,000 per month into your pocket. It's a simple and reliable side hustle to pay off debt.
Some people are just driven to build relationships and to share knowledge. That’s what coaches do, and some people will pay good money for one.
The real question becomes: what can you cover as a coach? It’s best to pick a niche based on your existing industry knowledge. Can you coach people in one of these areas?
Yes, you probably can.
What’s stopping clients from consulting with you once and never booking a followup, though?
You aren’t just giving clients knowledge to go implement on their own (although that’s part of it). You need to be in touch with them on a regular basis to make sure they are sticking with the routine you helped them develop.
People who need coaches often don’t have support networks to help them achieve their goals. Even if they do, that network often can’t help out with a client’s more specialized needs.
Take career coaching, for instance. How many friends and family members can do that?
Probably not, and that is why somebody, somewhere needs your coaching services. All of these challenges are beyond the abilities of the average person’s support system to handle.
The next step: learn how to get your first coaching client.
Subletting a room is one of the easiest side hustles on this list because it doesn’t really involve “doing” anything in particular. Instead, you give up space in your home to someone else for a certain length of time.
This is fantastic if there is a nearby college, since students are always looking for affordable housing.
It's a stable income and you don’t need to trade time for money. This is an especially good way to supplement a mortgage payment if you’ve just purchased a property.
Even if you’re already living in an apartment, you can still sublet a second bedroom for around 40% - 50% of the apartment’s monthly rental fee. This is fantastic for paying down student loan debt early in your career.
Pro tip: since subletting doesn’t take time out of your schedule, you can take on another side hustle at the same time to earn twice as much money. You can manage billing for both of them right inside the Azingo app, too.
Know a lot of people looking for jobs? That’s been common since the pandemic started in 2020—so why not monetize your network?
Recruiters do this for a full-time living—it’s a real business model. There’s no reason you can’t treat it as a side hustle, either.
It’s simple: you just charge a finder’s fee for introducing successful job candidates to businesses you know.
Even better? You can offer a discounted rate and still make a great profit.
Recruiters get expensive, charging employers as much as 30% of a candidate’s salary for the finder’s fee. Charging something lower (like 15%) on a successful candidate with a $50,000 salary would net you $7,500.
The beauty of this is that you don’t need to spend time looking for candidates. Just refer people you already know when and where it’s relevant, then spend the rest of your time earning money through another side hustle.
Using side hustles to pay off debt is an excellent strategy to build a financially stable life for yourself. It might even be necessary, depending on your financial situation.
Try out the side hustles that make the most sense for your situation and skill set, and don’t hesitate to combine them if the opportunity is there. You can try freelancing, holding classes, outsourcing administration, or even coaching clients who need accountability.
Monetizing your existing skills and resources is the key to doing it quickly, though. Start your service-based side hustle with Azingo and set up your business in minutes (complete with your new professional website).