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Best apps to use for your side hustle or ‘gigs’

I had a good side hustle for the last few months.

What’s a “side hustle” you ask?

My hustle was mentoring writers online. I received papers, suggested edits, and sent them back for students to revise and submit for a grade. It was easy work for not a lot of pay, but it helped enhance our summer vacation savings.

Think of it as extra work, but not a part-time job.

As a teenager, my side hustles were mowing lawns and shoveling sidewalk snow around the neighborhood, but my part-time job was flipping burgers at the local Burger King. The part-time job is better understood as employment that requires clocking normal hours with hourly pay and some benefits.

If you have a full-time job, the side hustle is merely supplemental income. Maybe you’re trying to make ends meet. Maybe you’re saving for a new TV. Maybe it’s for your subscription to a favorite local newspaper (wink, wink). Maybe you just like the extra work.

Side hustles were built for freelancers. Also known as side “gigs,” hustles are often the kinds of jobs we like, or that we’re passionate about, with the freedom to decide how much (or how little) we want to work.

When I think of the word “gig,” I’m reminded of my friend who is a jazz musician. He has a job as a high school music teacher, but he loves playing so much that he picks up extra performance “gigs” on the weekends.

His motivation for the side gig is his passion for jazz.

As freelancers, we’re not receiving benefits from a particular company other than a fixed dollar amount based on a prearranged scope of work.

So, how do you find this extra work? It’s never been easier thanks to trusted apps.

Here are a few good ones:

l Fiverr. Upwork. There are so many gigs on the Fiverr and Upwork apps that I’m not really sure where to begin. If you’re a writer or editor, graphic designer or digital marketer, photographer or musician, you’ll find work. There’s also work for programmers, legal and financial consultants, and new categories for industries and lifestyles (e.g., life coaches, spiritualists).

They’re easy to use. For example, here’s how Fiverr works. First, sign up for free, set up your “gig,” and offer your services to Fiverr’s global audience. You’ll be notified when an order is placed, and you’ll use the Fiverr interface to discuss details with the customer.

You get paid when the order is complete and the customer is satisfied.

l Lyft. Door Dash. Whether it’s driving people (Lyft) or food (Door Dash) around town, your vehicle could be making you extra cash.

Some people who drive or deliver are doing so to supplement their regular jobs. One of my recent Lyft drivers had a weekday factory job, but delivered high priority packages for UPS and drove for the rideshare company on the weekends.

For the IRS, this is all taxable income. Remember that Uncle Sam wants in on your side hustle. Keep receipts and income records on anything you make from this extra work. Some side hustle apps will help you manage that documentation.

You can download these side hustle apps for free in your mobile app store (data rates apply).

Dr. Adam Earnheardt is chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University. Follow him on Twitter at @adamearn and on his blog at www.adamearn .com.

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