Breakup and divorce are stressful for several reasons, including the financial upset that comes with suddenly finding yourself single. In many cases, you are going from two incomes and shared expenses under one roof to managing (and paying for) everything on your own.

This new economic reality can be a real shock to the pocketbook and the spirit. Whether you need some additional income for a few months or the long haul, it’s important to know that not all side gigs are created equally. And some even have additional benefits for your post-breakup psyche!

Side hustles by job type

There is nothing wrong with picking up a rideshare or food delivery gig, but you already know about those. Here are some other options that may spark your interest.

Skilled creative work

If you are a professional in any of the areas below, finding side work through an online platform like Upwork, Fiverr, or Creative Circle is an obvious option. But if you have amateur or better skills in these areas, you don’t need to be a pro to get started. Begin with small projects, get some positive reviews, and more work will come.

Many of these roles are remote, which is great if you have kids at home or need to fit in your side gig at odd times of the day or night.

  • Graphic designer
  • Marketing manager
  • Proofreader
  • Social media marketer
  • Web developer
  • Writer or editor
Social media marketer unpacking a box
If you’re savvy with social media, you can help brands and companies understand trends and engage their audiences while making some solid earnings yourself. (Shutterstock / Chay_Tee)

Office or administrative

The demand for remote help in office and customer service roles continues to grow. Hiring a part-timer saves a business a lot of money, so the demand is great. As the VA Handbook, a resource for virtual assistants, puts it: “Find people who need help, help them, send them an invoice … repeat.” In addition to the usual freelance platforms, The Mom Project is another excellent source for side hustles, including these jobs that let you virtually pitch in (and cash in) remotely.

  • Bookkeeper
  • Data analyst
  • Online customer service representative
  • Project manager
  • Transcription
  • Virtual assistant

Teaching and tutoring

Even if you’re not a licensed teacher, if you enjoy sharing your knowledge with others, there are ways to contribute to others’ learning and get paid — on your own schedule. Depending on the gig, these can be online or in-person sessions. Check with your local community college, park district or school district to find out the need near you or explore online opportunities.

For those drawn to this work, playing a part in someone’s education can be a hugely satisfying and soul-pleasing side hustle!

  • Community education instructor
  • ESL instructor
  • Online course creator or instructor
  • Substitute teacher
  • Tutor or test prep
Lifestyle creative hobby and freelance artistic work side job concept
Many businesses are eager to have custom artwork that resonates with their customers, personal tastes and spaces. (Shutterstock / Anna Kraynova)

For the artsy and entrepreneurial

For some of us, plopping down in front of a computer for a side job or heading to a classroom does not float our boat. If you’re an artistic or enterprising go-getter, finding a market for your services or creations might be the best way.

Depending on the nature and size of your venture, today’s online and cooperative marketplaces make it easier to start without having a huge nest egg or signing a scary lease. Shared retail, art and consignment spaces are popping up all over the place, from big cities to small towns. In the cooperative spirit, you might even grab a supportive friend to collaborate with on your enterprise.

  • Furniture flipping
  • Create a cool vacation rental
  • Creative e-commerce
  • Online or in-person consignment
  • Shared art space

Love people or pets?

The American Pet Products Association projects that pet parents will spend upwards of $150 billion on their fuzzy, feathered, or finned friends in 2024. Pet-sitting app Rover reported nearly $218 million in revenue in 2023. Pets are big business. So, clearly, there is money to be made on the other side of the leash.

And people reportedly also spend a bit on childcare. In 2023, the childcare market was estimated at $60 billion. Whether you can watch someone’s child all day or help with after-school care, working parents are seeking help. Online platforms, local apps, or just putting the word out in your neighborhood can get you a gig.

Families and seniors also need help with yard work and small jobs around the house. If you’ve got the skills (or are willing to learn them), rolling up your sleeves can earn you some extra cash.

  • Babysitter
  • Part-time nanny
  • Pet sitting, walking or boarding
  • Yard work
  • Handy work
A personal trainer helps a your woman workout
It’s easier than you think to create a personal trainer side hustle. (Shutterstock / – Yuri A)

Sports and fitness

Talk about a gig that is great for your post-breakup wellness routine! If you’re a regular at Zumba, yoga, water fitness, or indoor cycling, check with your studio, gym or local park district about teaching a class. The same is true if you’re a talented youth sports coach. For any of these fitness- or sports-related hustles, you can connect with a local facility or try going out on your own by spreading the word in your neighborhood or on a local app.

  • Fitness instructor
  • Gym attendant
  • Personal trainer
  • Sports lessons
  • Referee

Explore your other interests

Now that you have an idea of what is possible, explore the things you love, are good at, or want to learn more about. Find something connected to that interest and learn how to get involved. You might be surprised at the opportunities you didn’t realize were there – and suddenly your side hustle can start to look a lot like exploring your newfound freedom after your breakup!

Before you dig into your side hustle search, consider the following to help you find the right fit.

How much additional income do you need?

Depending on the nature of your relationship and breakup, you may or may not have financial support (alimony) due from – or to – your ex. There will also be the matter of marital debt to deal with. These are just a couple of the many monetary matters you’ll face at the start of the breakup. Where did you end up when all the dust settled? Can you cover your monthly expenses, or are you in the red?

As scary and painful as this calculation might be, open your eyes all the way and figure out your monthly budget. Get a good idea of how much extra income you need to get into the black?

A stack of money and an inscription Side gig income on it.
Laying out a work/life plan before you dive into a side job can help avoid some of the stress an additional job can bring. (Shutterstock / Vitalii Vodolazskyi)

How much do you have for a side hustle?

Before applying, estimate how much time you can dedicate to your future gig weekly. Be conservative about this at first. Just because you need the cash (and even if you happen to be going through a social life dry spell), don’t plan to throw yourself in for every spare hour in the day. You can always increase your hours later once you get your sea legs.

Be extra careful about overextending yourself, especially if you have a full-time job or kids. There’s a reason they call it “burning the candle at both ends.” Eventually, you get scorched. If you are a parent, the age of your child and how much cooperation you have from your ex will matter here, too. If you have an absent ex, when are friends and family (free, trusted childcare) available to give you a hand?

Laying out a work/life plan before you dive into a side job can help avoid some of the stress an additional job can bring.

Know your skills – and your worth

This should go without saying, but sometimes, when we are overly motivated to earn supplemental income quickly, we might not make the most informed decisions. For instance, if you are a skilled graphic designer, don’t start spending hours at a time taking online surveys for chump change. And if you drive a gas-guzzling minivan and live an hour from the airport, ride share might not be your most profit-generating choice.

You don’t have to overthink it, but you should consider in advance what you are putting in and getting out. You’ve only got so many hours you can put into a side hustle; make sure it’s worth your while. And if you find something you enjoy, you’ll enhance more than just your bottom line.