Fly (Like an Eagle) With These 18 Flexible Side Gigs in Philly

Philadelphia Skyline from the PSFS Building 33rd Floor in the Lowes Hotel at sunset
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Honest Abe


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All right, Philly. You’re proving 2018 is going to be a successful year after that big Super Bowl win.

Heck, you even managed to climb greased street light poles. And you partied outside a Wawa.

Very Philly. Very delicious.

But now it’s time to focus on yourself — and your finances. If you’re looking for flexible ways to make money in Philadelphia, we’ve got you covered.

18 Ways to Make Money in Philadelphia

Perhaps you already work a full-time job. Or maybe you just want to make some extra money without putting in full-time hours. Whatever your situation, you’re bound to find some income in this list of flexible jobs.

1. Share Your Space

bedroom available on airbnb
Photo courtesy of Airbnb

Have a spare room? Might as well use Airbnb to make some money by renting it out.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.

And there’s no reason you can’t be creative. We found a guy who earns $1,380 a month renting out a backyard tent on Airbnb!

A few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one.

Here are some tips:

  • Make your space available during high-demand times in your area. Think: concerts, conventions and sporting events.
  • Be a good host, and stock your place with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels.
  • Be personable. A lot of travelers turn to Airbnb for the personal touch they won’t find at commercial properties.

Here’s the link to sign up as an Airbnb host.

(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)

2. Take a Drive ’Round Town

Paul Pruce drives in in Philadelphia, PA on January 13, 2017.
Photo by Jessica Kourkounis for The Penny Hoarder

Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people?

Try driving with Lyft.

Demand for ride-sharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

We talked to Paul Pruce, who’s been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year. He earns $750 a week as a driver in Philadelphia.

Best of all, he does it on his own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!

Because it’s easy to switch between apps, Lyft drivers often also sign up to drive with Uber.

As a partner driver with Uber, you’re an independent contractor. You set your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want.

If you want to give it a try, here are a few things to keep in mind: You must be at least 21 years old, have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. (three years if you’re under 23 years old), have a valid U.S. driver’s license and pass a background check.

Finally, your car must be a four-door, seat at least four passengers (excluding the driver), be registered in-state and be covered by in-state insurance.

Here’s a link to apply with Uber.

3. Taste What’s Brewing

Happy couple having drinks at a bar and making a toast
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The craft beer industry is hoppin’ in Philly, so take advantage of it by, well, getting paid to visit breweries.

When you sign up as a mystery shopper, it’s your job to go to a grocery store, gas station, restaurant or, in this case, a bar, and provide anonymous feedback.

Now, you can get paid to mystery shop — and drink — at breweries in your area through Secret Hopper. (Clever, right?)

The company is looking for detail-oriented beer-drinkers to hop around to different breweries and objectively rate and review their experiences. One Penny Hoarder gave the gig a try. He paid $16 on his visit to a local brewery. Secret Hopper paid him $20 via PayPal within a few days.

So, no, you’re not going to get rich, but you will get free beer, and that makes us hoppy.

All you have to do is sign up, then it’ll contact you when you’re needed.

4. Deliver Food

Ahhh, the sweet smell of takeout stinking up your car.

OK, it might not be the most appealing thing in the world — you might want to crack a few windows, depending on the type of cuisine you’re delivering — but Uber Eats offers flexible food-delivery opportunities.

Here are more details:

  • Pay: Drivers are paid a pick-up fee, for the distance traveled and a drop-off fee. Uber takes a service fee. Delivery partners can cash out up to five times a day with instant pay.
  • Schedule: Flexible.
  • Requirements (may vary by location): You must…
    • Be at least 19 years old if delivering by car.
    • Deliver via car (must be a 1997 or newer with at least two doors), bike, scooter or foot depending on your area.
    • Pass a background check.
    • Have a valid driver’s license and insurance (if you deliver by car or scooter).

For all the information you need, head over to the Uber Eats sign-up page.

5. Rent out Your Parking Space

cars parked on the side of a street
JaruekChairak/Getty Images

If you have an extra parking space in the city, you might be establish a stream of passive income.

“Parking in the city is a hassle and expensive, so if someone has a parking spot in a good location, they could make a killing,” Penny Hoarder Kathleen Garvin, a native Philadelphian, says.

Look for online platforms that allow you to list your space. Craigslist seems to be a popular platform in Philadelphia. It boasts more than 350 parking and storage listings. A reserved parking spot on Frankford Avenue is listed for $150 a month.

Not bad for a slab of asphalt, right?

6. Sell at Flea Markets

woman shopping for sunglasses at a flea market
PeopleImages/Getty Images

As soon as the snow melts and the weather warms, flea markets start popping up. Rather than perusing the tables and spending way too much money on tchotchkes, why not set up a table and start selling?

The startup costs are minimal, and really, you can sell such a wide range of items.

If you’re not sure where to start, The Penny Hoarder contributor Steve Gillman shared his tricks of the flea market trade.

You could even find some unique Craigslist freebies to resell.

7. Take a Breather (and Some Surveys)

Shot of a young man working on a computer while sitting at a desk in his home office
kupicoo/Getty Images

You get home from work, or you put the kids down for a nap… ahhh, sweet silence. Rather than sitting idly and scrolling through Instagram, why not make some money by taking surveys? Heck, you can even watch Bravo.

No, you won’t get rich quick, but you can stockpile a few dollars here and there. Plus, it’s fairly mindless… and there’s the couch.

Here are a few survey sites we like and trust:

  • Opinion Outpost offers surveys from all kinds of businesses and organizations. Most of them take around 10 minutes to complete and will earn you points you can redeem for free gift cards to places like Amazon and iTunes.

What sets it apart from other survey sites is it gives away $40,000 every year. It has a quarterly drawing for a $10,000 cash prize — and for every survey you complete, you’ll get one entry into the sweepstakes!

  • PointClub is awesome because you’ll get points for every single survey you take — guaranteed. Plus, the company gives you $5 just for signing up! Once you accrue enough of them, you can redeem those points for gift cards to a ton of useful vendors like Walmart, Amazon and PayPal.
  • You might recognize the Ipsos Panel name because it’s the same company that does most of the political polling during elections. It also has a survey app called i-Say that pays you for your opinions.

Some of the top-end surveys can pay up to $95, but those are rare and can take awhile to complete. Most surveys pay a buck or two and only take 10 to 15 minutes.

Also, i-Say rewards you with points you can redeem for cash via PayPal or gift cards to Amazon, iTunes and others. (For example, you can redeem 1,000 points for a $10 PayPal deposit).

8. Tutor Kids Around the World

Just because you’re in Philadelphia doesn’t mean you can’t work internationally. Thanks to the internet, you can tutor students in China.

VIPKID is hiring part-time ESL teachers to work at least 7.5 hours per week, mostly on weekday mornings and weekend evenings. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree, plus experience working with kids ages 5 to 12.

The base pay is between $7 and $9 per half-hour session, and with bonuses, the company states you can earn up to $22 an hour.

9. Work an (Eagles?!) Event

If you’re looking for a side gig, try finding one through Shiftgig. It’s available in several major U.S. cities including — ding, ding! — Philadelphia.

The online platform works to pair people with work-on-demand opportunities at events and companies. To get started, apply for an interview through the app. If you seem like a good match, the Shiftgig team will get in touch.

Penny Hoarder Kelsey Buxton shared her experience using Shiftgig. She picked up gigs here and there that helped her with a little extra income. These included three-star catering gigs at wedding and other events.

10. Rent out Your Car

If you have a reliable vehicle but don’t want to do the driving, take the lazier route. Rent out your car when you’re not using it. No, that doesn’t mean handing it off to a stranger.

Through Turo, you can rent your car to a community of approved drivers.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a calendar to let travelers know when your car is available.
  2. You’ll get notified when someone requests your car. Just coordinate a meeting place, or deliver the car right to the traveler at the airport or other location.
  3. Get paid!

Turo will dynamically set your car’s rental price based on market value, location, time of year and other data. For a car with a market value of $10,000, Turo suggests you could earn about $1,800 a year renting it just five days a month.

You’ll earn 65% to 85% of the trip price, depending on the vehicle protection package you choose. If you provide your own commercial rental insurance, you’ll earn 90%.

Sign up here to get started.

11. Sell Your iPhone Photos

Young man is holding his mobile phone up above his head and capturing that perfect time of the day when sun is going down
AleksandarNakic/Getty Images

If you have a smartphone and a good eye, you’re in luck. Philadelphia is obviously a beautiful city chock-full of landmarks. Use that to your advantage.

An app called Foap lets you turn your smartphone photos into cash.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the free app and create an account.
  2. Take a quality photo and upload it to Foap’s marketplace.
  3. Someone buys the license to your photo for $10. You make $5.

If your photo sells 20 times, you make $5 each time and end up with $100 in your pocket — all for about five minutes of work. Pretty cool, right?

12. Serve as a Mock Juror

Like every other person these days, we’ve become obsessed with true-crime podcasts. “My Favorite Murder,” anyone?

If you want an insider look at what happens when a case hits the courtroom, you can serve as an online mock juror. As a mock juror, you’ll help lawyers prepare for real cases. You can earn $10 to $60 for about an hour of your time.

From your computer, you’ll review evidence including documents, videos and photos.

13. Walk Adorable Pups

Dog walker with dogs enjoying outdoors.
hedgehog94/Getty Images

Love dogs? So does everyone else in Philadelphia, it seems. And who wouldn’t?

Find dog-walking gigs through Rover, an online network of dog walkers. (Ahem, also backed by the beautiful Ashton Kutcher.)

When you create a Rover profile, you’ll gush over how much you love dogs. Then you’ll set your availability and rates. You can commit to a full-time gig or earn a few bucks during your lunch break.

As for income, you can set your own rates. You might want to start with a lower rate, like $10 per 30-minute walk. Then, once you become an established walker, you can start increasing it to match your market’s demand.

Before we get too carried away, note a few requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have the latest Rover app for iOS or Android (It’s free!).
  • Pass a background check.
  • Be available to work on weekdays.

Ready to snuggle every single dog in Philadelphia?! For more information, check out our guide to Rover.

14. Pick up Cash at the Convention Center

Our native Philadelphian Penny Hoarder, Kathleen Garvin, let us in on an easy way to pocket some cash in a few hours’ time.

Head over to Craigslist. (Beware of scams.) Next, search Pennsylvania Convention Center under gigs. There, you’ll find various conventions and events looking for sales reps, brand ambassadors, product demonstrators — you name it.

At the time we wrote this post, a few listings included:

  • Demonstrator at the Philadelphia Flower Show (pay not listed).
  • Event personnel at the Philadelphia Auto Show ($20 per hour).
  • Sales assistant for a large conference (starts at $200 per day).

Garvin says she’s made good money just spending the day at fun conventions.

15. Work From Someone Else’s House

Danielle Kennett works from her home in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

Working from home is wonderful, but sometimes it’s nice just to experience a new space — perhaps in a new town or a new country.

Consider house sitting. You can make big bucks by keeping someone’s house company. There are tons of websites out there that’ll help you find the perfect, gig, too. Check out a few of these house-sitting marketplaces.

16. Play Trivia

If you’re one of those people who can pull seemingly useless pieces of knowledge from out of nowhere, you’ll want to download this app.

It’s called HQ Trivia. With more than a million players logging on at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. EST each day to play, you might’ve heard of it.

“Quiz Daddy” Scott Rogowski is the game’s main host. He asks 12 questions. You’ve got three multiple-choice options and 10 seconds to answer. If you get all 12 questions correct, you’ll split the grand prize (around $2,000 lately, though up to $25,000 on randomly chosen special occasions) amongst the other winners.

At the time we wrote this, the all-time leader had banked $6,000. And hey, even Dan Rather is playing — and winning.

The HQ Trivia app is available for iOS and Android.

Pro tip: Share your personalized referral code with friends and family to get an extra life. Trust us, you’ll want it.

17. Release Your Aggression and Throw Axes

Axe-throwing is a new trend taking over America. And, no, we’re not kidding. It’s typically paired with beer and flannel. Also not kidding.

Philadelphia has picked up on the fad. Last summer, we chatted with Lily Cope, “axe master general” at Urban Axes, located in the East Kensington neighborhood.

Right now, Urban Axes is looking for “axeperts” to help lead group events. “Sick of delivering pizza or working in a coffee shop? Want to throw axes for a living?” the job description reads.

It even encourages those who’ve never thrown an axe to apply. Read the full listing on Urban Axes’ website.

18. Break out the Snow Shovel

Bike Covered in snow in Rittenhouse Square. Philadelphia, PA
Zerothesignal/Getty Images

It’s snowing, and you’re stuck inside. But you can make some extra money by downloading an app called Shovler.

It works similarly to Uber but, um, for shoveling snow. Basically, folks who are in need of a shoveling will post a request. Whenever you have free time to work, just accept a job.

Daniel Miller, the app’s CEO, told The Penny Hoarder via email the average pay in Philadelphia has been about $44 per job this winter. But big storms bring big profits — up to $100 per gig, not including tips.

Not snow bad, right?

Ready to Be Almost as Rich as an Eagles Player?

Just kidding. That likely won’t happen any time soon… unless you break into the U.S. Mint. Just kidding again. We don’t recommend that.

What we do recommend is taking on a side gig here or there to help pay for rent, fund a much-needed vacation or maybe start saving for next year’s Super Bowl tickets.

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Her travel bucket list includes a trip to Philadelphia.

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