Finding a side gig to fund your goals

Wanting to buy your first home or finally take that trip to Greece? Some goals take extra planning and money, so if you’re looking for extra income, working a gig-economy job could help you save for your dreams.

By Nicole Freeman, Goals Coach, U.S. Bank 

Tags: Budgeting, Goals, Savings
Published: September 29, 2021

As a goals coach, I meet with clients to help them work toward their goals, from managing their debt to saving for retirement. Whatever goal you’re hoping to tackle next, you may be wondering how to fund these plans. You may have considered taking on a part-time job, but if your schedule is unpredictable, what can you do? A gig-economy job may be the answer.


Delivering riders and food to their destination

Driving for a rideshare service and delivering groceries or restaurant meals may be the first ideas to come to mind. And for good reason. It’s easy to sign up to become a driver for one of these services. Most only require drivers to have a clean driving record, a reliable vehicle and a smartphone. You can set your own hours, turning on the app of your choice only when you’re ready to work. When you’re done working on a given day, you can shut off the app and not give it another thought until you’re ready to work again.


Sharing expertise with students

Whether you play the trumpet or can explain algebra with ease, there are kids and adults who need your help. Talk to your friends with children and ask if they know of anyone who might need your services. You can also check with your local school district to see if they have a tutoring program in place and what you can do to get on their list of approved tutors. Musicians should also talk to music schools in their area to see if they need lesson instructors. Since most tutoring sessions and music lessons happen in the evenings, this is a great way to make some extra money after your 9-5 workday.

“I’m getting married this fall, and the bills for vendors are quickly adding up,” said Jessica H. “I have a background in childhood psychology and education, so I decided to offer afterschool tutoring for elementary school kids who were struggling to meet their educational goals. Not only am I making some extra money to help pay for caterers and florists, but I also know that I’m helping children.”

Nicole Freeman
Pictured above: Nicole Freeman


Finding a fun freelancing opportunity

If you have a passion for photography, writing or graphic design, you can often find side gigs working for newspapers, magazines or other businesses’ websites – ranging from news sites to a local realtor’s blog. These companies may be short-staffed or simply need creatives to fill in when their team members take vacation or medical leave. Check your local media outlets’ job listings and social media pages for postings. Don’t lose heart if you don’t see listings. You can always reach out directly to the editor or business owner and ask about creative freelance opportunities. 

“I’m a semi-retired journalist/editor, now working from the comfort of my own home,” said Linda A. “This supplements my Social Security income; plus, it keeps my mind and hands active. As an added bonus, I have significantly less stress compared to when I worked in an office full time. I control when and how much I want to work.” 


Babysitting children, caretaking for seniors

Many families need someone compassionate and dependable to help with their children or aging family members. If you ask your friends, they’re bound to know at least a handful of people who need some extra support. Caretaker services in your community may offer on-call work to those wanting a part-time gig on the weekends or evenings.


Walking and caring for pets

Similarly, chances are that your network of friends knows someone in need of a pet sitter. They may need your services for a week while they travel or for someone to stop by their home daily to feed Fido and take him out for a walk. If referrals from your inner circle don’t provide enough business to keep you busy, you can always sign up for an account on a website that matches sitters with pet owners.

“I used to work as a vet tech, and I love being around animals,” said Stephanie G. “My side job as a pet sitter helps me make extra money; it’s something that doesn’t feel like work to me.”


Using your extra income to work toward goals

Keep in mind that there may be some additional financial considerations as you make money as a freelance or gig worker. Keeping your side gig money separate from your personal funds may help you stay on track financially as you work toward your goals.

If you’re unsure of where to start on your goal setting journey, reach out to me or one of my fellow goals coaches to set up a free coaching session. Your coach will talk to you about your goals and help you create an individualized plan so you can start tackling your dreams, one by one.  



Goals Coaches do not:
- Recommend or offer any products or services of U.S. Bank or its affiliates. 
- Conduct financial planning or provide investment advice.
- Make recommendations or give advice on matters involving health, including physical, mental, emotional or medical. 
U.S. Bank assumes no responsibility for and makes no claims concerning the merit or sufficiency of your goals and does not assume any responsibility or liability for any losses or other outcomes resulting from decisions made by you, actions taken or not taken by you, in connection with U.S. Bank and U.S. Bank Goals Coaching services.