How to Earn Side Income in Singapore: 10 Side Hustles for Everyone

byFelice Dominique Albay
  • Sep 08, 2020
  • 9 mins

With rising inflation and interest rate hikes on the cards, now is as good a time as any to start your own side hustle in Singapore. Besides letting you earn extra income, side hustles when done successfully could be your ticket to an early retirement. 

The more you earn, the more you can save and the faster you will reach your retirement planning goals. If you start earning an extra income early enough, you get to enjoy the magic of compounding interest on your savings. Side hustles can be beneficial even if you are closer to retirement age as it is an opportunity to catch up on your retirement goals. If anything, a little extra money wouldn’t hurt.  

Before you dismiss the idea of starting a side hustle because it seems like too much work, get this – there are ways to earn a side income in Singapore without having to leave your home! Whether online or offline, here’s 10 ideas on how to earn more money in Singapore.

1. Provide delivery services

Providing rides or making deliveries is one way to make some side income in Singapore.

With the rise of e-commerce and online shopping, there has been an uptick in demand for courier and delivery services and this has become a popular choice for many Singaporeans wondering how to earn a side income in Singapore.

If you're able to ride or drive and don’t mind spending your day zipping around the island, try applying as a delivery partner at Foodpanda, GrabFood or Deliveroo, where you could earn between S$5 and S$7.50 per delivery. 

Have some extra time to spare after work or on the weekends? You could also consider becoming a delivery agent at courier companies such as Lalamove and Pickupp, with the latter offering an average of S$25 per delivery.

2. Freelance

The remote workforce has grown significantly as work-from-home arrangements have become a norm post-pandemic. Freelancing, in particular, has become an attractive way to make money online for those who have the extra time and right skill sets to offer.  

Some potential areas to consider include fields such as:

  • Graphic design
  • Photo and video editing
  • Web design and development
  • Translation
  • Content writing or copywriting
  • Digital marketing
  • UX/UI development

Of course, there are many other fields that you can venture into depending on your skills. The rate you get for freelance work will depend primarily on your experience, the scope of the project, the client's budget, and the rates suggested on some online freelancing platforms. 

For example, you could earn a side income of US$20 to US$100 per project for logo design on Upwork or US$0.03 per word for online translation services on Gengo. To get a better idea of what to expect, you can browse through the freelance projects available on Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Gengo and Stepes among others.

3. Sell online

If you have some items lying around at home that you think someone else might want – old clothes, footwear, bags, collectibles, figurines, houseplants, and more – sell them online! 

Nowadays, you can start your own online business in just a few clicks. There are numerous platforms you can take advantage of like Etsy, Carousell, Shopee, Lazada, and even Facebook Live.

If you're looking to take your online business to the next level, you can even consider creating your own e-Commerce website. One of the easiest ways to venture into the e-Commerce world without investing much upfront is through dropshipping.

Dropshipping is a retail fulfilment method where a store doesn't keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, it transfers customer's orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, another retailer, or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer. To get you started, try e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento or BigCommerce.

Home-based food businesses are another way to make side income in Singapore.

4. Start a home-based food business

Do you know how to bake? Are you an excellent cook? If you have any of these skills, you can consider starting a home-based food business for baking or catering services! You could also start your own private home dining experience if you prefer to share your food with guests over a more intimate but homely setting. 

Regardless of the type of home-based food business you venture into, it’s important that you adhere to the following government regulations: 

  • The business must be operated by owners, registered occupants or tenants of the property (with consent from the property owners). Third parties and non-resident employees are not allowed. 
  • There must be no advertisements, signages, or posters displayed at the residential premises.
  • No extraneous traffic should be introduced to the site nor should there be any adverse impact to the neighbourhood and the living environment, such as, noise, smoke, smell, litter, effluent or dust nuisances or danger posed to surrounding residents.
  • No use of heavy equipment or appliances that are not intended for domestic use.
  • No large-scale storage or frequent loading and unloading of goods, especially for bulky items or use of the residential premises as a distribution centre.
  • You must comply with food safety and hygiene requirements and fire safety requirements.

How much extra income you can earn from this side hustle really depends on what you are selling and the cost price of your ingredients. To give you an idea, private home dining establishments currently charge between S$100 to S$400 per person, depending on the menu.

5. Tutor

With the emphasis that Singaporean parents place on their children’s education, tutors will always be in demand in Singapore. 

Your rate will vary across the board depending on your qualifications and the level you are teaching at. For example, tutors can command approximately S$20 to S$70 per hour for primary school subjects and between S$25 and S$90 at the secondary level. You will also likely enjoy higher rates if you've graduated with a Bachelor's Degree at a local university or are MOE trained.

If you are musically inclined, you can also earn a side income by teaching instruments such as the piano, violin, or even drums! Depending on your experience, certifications and type of instrument, you could earn anything between S$25 to S$100 per lesson.

For students who are looking for ways on how to earn more money in Singapore, becoming a tutor is a good choice because of its flexibility and the sheer number of jobs available. 

Tutoring in-person or virtually is another way to make some extra money.

6. Sell your photos

Are you a shutterbug with a good eye for composition? Are you armed with a camera each time you head out? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, selling your photos to stock image websites could be an easy way for you to make money online. 

You can upload your photos to sites such as Adobe Stock, Getty Images, iStock and Shutterstock to name a few and get paid when your photos are downloaded. If you have already amassed a portfolio of decent shots, there’s no harm uploading them for potential royalty fees, which goes up to 15% of the price paid for images on iStock and Getty Images. After all, you will retain your copyright to those images.

Alternatively, you can also sell your prints online on platforms like Etsy or even to magazines or news outlets as a freelance photojournalist.

7. Test websites and apps

This is another easy way to make money online. As businesses go digital, there has been a growing demand for user testing to ensure that their websites and apps are customer centric and working as intended. 

All you need is a working laptop and the ability to give feedback as you navigate through specific tasks and functions on websites and apps. Some sites to check out include UserTesting and Enroll. 

How much you can earn from this side hustle depends on the platform and time put in. For example, you could earn roughly US$1.50 for a quick test on Enroll that takes a few minutes, while a 15 to 20 minutes test on UserTesting pays US$10. 

8. Do surveys online

Surveys are low hanging fruits when it comes to online side hustles. These may not earn you much but they are a quick and easy way to earn some extra money. Some online survey apps include Milieu, Rakuten Insight Surveys and Google Opinion Rewards. 

Most of these apps offer you points when you complete a survey, which can then be exchanged for cash payouts once you have accumulated enough points. For instance, Milieu gives you between 200 and 400 points each time you complete a 3 to 5 minute long survey and this can be exchanged for a S$10 payout once you hit 10,500 points. The only exception is Google Opinion Rewards, where you will be paid with Google Play credits instead. 

9. Pet-sitting

Are you an animal lover and experienced with furkids? Pet-sitting might be the best side hustle in Singapore for you. Besides being able to meet new furry friends, you can earn a side income each time you take a dog for a walk or put up a cat for boarding. 

You can get started by signing up on websites such as Pawshake, Petbacker and K9 Petcare. Besides dog walking, you can also offer other services such as boarding services, home visits and daycare services for pets. The fees you can receive from dog walking start from S$15 while daycare and boarding services will give you more, starting from S$25 each time. 

10. Become a tour guide or offer online experiences

Now that travel is opening back up and tourists are returning, why not become a tour guide to show off the local spots that you have been reacquainted with during the pandemic? 

To become a tour guide in Singapore, you will have to complete the Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Tourist Guide Course – which is SkillsFuture claimable by the way – before you can get your Tourist Guide licence. Once you have the licence in hand, you can start to organise your own tours! The extra income from this depends on your experience, the languages spoken and how long the tours are. You could earn fees starting from S$150 for half day tours, while full day tours will give you more.

Another way of sharing your knowledge without being a tour guide, is to offer people online experiences through Airbnb. These are live, interactive video sessions offered to small groups of people and are a great way to meet new folks while earning a side income. They're hosted through Zoom and hosts must meet quality standards before being a qualified host. The online experiences must also meet requirements set by Airbnb

Some examples of online experiences you can offer include cooking classes for local dishes, virtual walkthroughs of attractions in your area, arts and crafts classes, how-to videos, storytelling for kids, and more! For an indication of how much side income to expect, online experiences on Airbnb are typically available for S$20 to S$35 per person.

Side hustles: your financial back-up plan

With the extra income that side hustles provide, it’s no longer a question of whether you should get one, but which side income opportunities you should take advantage of. Think of it as a back-up plan for your finances, just as how insurance protects you against unexpected events. Should anything happen, at least you’ll have the extra income from your side hustle to fall back on. 

Want to grow your side income even more? Contact a friendly advisor today or learn more about the savings and investment plans available that can help you transform the extra income into something more significant. 

Tags: Money

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