Many people who need extra cash but already work too much turn to hobbies that make money. I’ve seen a lot of posts calling random jobs hobbies, so let’s talk about some actual hobbies and what you need to know going in.
Before You Start
Before you start looking for the best hobbies that make money, you might want to take these things into consideration.
Do you really want to turn your hobby into a side hustle?
Turning your hobby into a business can be a fun way to make money. It can also be an easy way to stop enjoying your hobby.
If you just need a little extra money to fund your hobby, vacation, or other non-essential expenses, you’ll probably be fine. Once you need to make sure you get paid a certain amount each month, things start to change.
While you might still enjoy some of the activities, you may need to keep a schedule even when you’d rather be doing something else, do activities that are less fun but more profitable, or take care of essential business tasks. Over time, that can turn your hobby from something you’re looking forward to into the same “I don’t want to go to work” feelings you sometimes have about your job.
How much money can you make?
Depending on your skills and the second jobs available in your area, even the most profitable hobbies may not pay as much as other opportunities you may have. You may want to check out the best side hustles instead.
For example, let’s say you want to make an extra $1,000 per month. Your money making hobby might net you $10 per hour while a good side gig might net you $25 per hour. That’s 100 hours per month versus 40 hours per month to meet your goal.
If you choose to work a good side job, you can still have time for your hobby. You can also still try to make money from your hobby while keeping it fun knowing that your side job is covering the money you really need.
What taxes will you pay?
When you earn money from a hobby, there are two ways you might be taxed depending on whether the IRS considers you a hobby or a business.
If you’re a hobby, you’ll pay your income tax rate on the money you receive from your hobby. Under the current tax law, you’re not allowed to deduct hobby expenses.
If you’re a business, you’ll pay income taxes plus self-employment taxes. The good news is that you can deduct your business expenses.
The line between a business and a hobby is usually that if you’re turning a profit after expenses, you’re a business. So if you’re looking for money making hobbies, you’ll probably have to pay business taxes.
Top Hobbies That Make Money
If you’re still looking for ways to make money through a hobby, here are some ideas you might want to consider.
Posting Your Hobby on Social Media or a YouTube Channel
If you already have a hobby, one of the fastest ways to make money is to start posting videos online. You might show off your latest work, give tours of your local fishing spots, or create how-to guides.
If you join YouTube, you can join the Partner Program and show ads on your videos. Another option for both YouTube channels and other forms of social media is joining affiliate programs where you recommend related products and get paid when someone buys through your link.
Many people also treat sports-related jobs as a hobby and way to get exercise. This might include coaching a youth sports team, being a personal trainer for adults, or becoming a referee.
Sports jobs are also good for avoiding burnout because the different seasons give you natural time off.
Hobbyist drone pilots have two common issues — it can be hard to find a spot to fly, and you might get bored always going to the same places. Flying drones to make money can solve both of those problems.
Many real estate agents and other local businesses need drone photos and videos to help in their marketing. While you usually need to get a license for commercial drone flights even with the property owner’s permission to fly there, you can add on a fee for that cost. Having new missions every week can help you avoid any monotony.
Growing fruits and vegetables is another good profitable hobby.
Most people with a vegetable garden end up with too much, anyway. If you haven’t been overproducing, adding another row of plants doesn’t add much time or money once you’ve already gotten your garden started.
Depending on how much you grow, you might sell to neighbors, at a farmer’s market, or to local businesses. You’ll also be saving money by not having to do as much grocery shopping.