Why more Aussies are starting side hustles (and how you can too)

Ask around your friends, and chances are one of them has a side hustle. Whether it started as a passion project to beat lockdown boredom or to keep up with the cost of living ($12 for a bag of grapes, anyone?), more Australians are monetising their skills on the side. And some are even turning them into full-time businesses.

The gap between having an idea and making it a reality has never been smaller. In this article, we explore all things side hustles and share our best tips for you to get started.

The rise of side hustles and Freelancing in Australia

Almost 1 million people in Australia have a side hustle—the highest ever recorded number. New technology, apps and platforms combined with more flexible working conditions have made it easier than ever to juggle jobs and family with personal interests and growth.

Having a single career trajectory or linear career path is also becoming a thing of the past as we have more opportunities to experiment alongside life’s twists and turns. Microsoft’s Work Trends Index found that younger generations are the most likely to aspire to be their own boss, with 76% of Gen Z workers and Millennials saying that this is a goal. These younger generations are also more likely to say that they’d stay at their current company longer if the company gave them the flexibility to pursue side projects or businesses for additional income (77%).

As well as a healthy number of side-hustling business owners, Australia has over 4 million freelancers, and it’s becoming an increasingly popular career choice. Australia currently ranks fourth in the list of fastest-growing freelancing countries. Being in the freelancing industry allows you to take on short-term work or multiple projects simultaneously and most freelancers work fully remotely, opening you up to a global pool of opportunities.

What’s driving Aussies to start a side hustle?

There are several reasons why more and more people are starting side hustles. Months of straight-up interest rate rises and increased costs of almost everything have seen people get creative about saving and earning more.

The pandemic also changed things for millions of office-based workers seeking a better work-life balance. Suddenly they could avoid a costly commute, be more available for their kids or fur babies and work in their sweatpants every day. The leap from working for someone else at home to running your own business from your lounge no longer feels impossible.

The most popular reasons for starting a side hustle:

  • Keep up with inflation
  • Pay down debt
  • Save for something special
  • Create an emergency fund
  • To turn it into a full-time job in the future
  • To be your own boss

Booming side hustles of 2023

If you’re wondering whether to start a side hustle, consider the areas that are most in demand.

imasge of two people using a laptop


The online global tutoring market was valued at $1.2 billion in Australia in 2020, and the Asia-Pacific region accounts for nearly 70% of this lucrative industry’s $100 billion USD worldwide revenue. Online tutoring services are expected to grow 15.7% between now and 2028. And because there is plenty of global work for good tutors, time zones can work very well for those still holding down a day job. There are plenty of tutoring platforms out there like Preply, KIS Academics and Edugraff, so shop around to find the one that best meets your needs.

Freelance or business consulting work

There are now a wide variety of platforms and apps that make sourcing freelance work easier and quicker. Upwork, Fivrr and Toptal are just some of the most popular. You can also find jobs through networking, social media and referrals.

image of a puppy

Pet sitting

61% of Aussie households have a pet and the industry is worth around 13 billion, which means we’re a nation that isn’t shy about spending money to keep our furry friends happy and healthy. Pet sitters charge an average of $20 per hour but this can rise to $60 depending on location, number of animals and what’s required. As well as promoting yourself via local social media groups, you can register with pet-sitting agencies such as Mad Paws, Pet Sitters Australia, and Pawshake.

Renting a garage or car parking space

There are plenty of platforms such as Spacer, that allow you to list your available space, and take care of the insurance and payment sides of this side hustle. How much you can earn depends on your location, but prime spots in capital cities can earn up to $1000 per month for a car park space, and $200-300 for a lock up space.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing earns you a commission by promoting a product or service through an affiliate link that leads to a sale. Affiliate links can be included in blogs, on social media or through your podcast or website. If you already have a large audience in one of these areas, affiliate marketing can be a good way to make extra income. Commissions range between 5% – 50% of the sale. Popular affiliate sites include the behemoth Amazon Associates, regionally-focused Commission Factory and Impact to name a few.

Language teacher

The English as a Second Language (ESL) market was worth $10 billion in 2021, and post-covid hit a record 1.7 billion learners face-to-face and online. Industry groups suggest this market will continue to grow exponentially. The average hourly rate for an ESL teacher is $54.11 and hours can be flexible with classes offered at all times of the day and night. Cambly can be a good starting point as the platform doesn’t require their tutors to have a teaching certificate, bachelor’s degree or teaching experience.

Selling handmade goods

Do you have a hobby that involves making things? If so, you could consider selling these to niche buyers on sites like Etsy. The global handicrafts market is expected to grow by 13.09% between 2020-2025 to 514 billion USD. It’s reported that sellers on sites like this earn anything from $2000 per year to $65,000, depending on their activity and what they sell.

Simplify your side-hustle with Sleek

Get started with 6 essential steps to launch your side hustle

  1. Figure out your goal and the reason for making money. This will help you aim for a specific figure.
  2. List out your skills. What are you best at? What do you love doing?
  3. Do your research. Test your idea with friends, family and especially your target audience.
  4. Work out your budget and if you’ll need to make an initial investment to get your side hustle off the ground. Think carefully about what you can do yourself and what you should outsource.
  5. Understand the time commitment involved. You don’t want to commit to something only to discover it’s not feasible.
  6. Have a plan for how you’ll manage your finances and paperwork for your new business. Seek expert advice so everything is in place for you to grow.

Let us help you get your side hustle hustling

Whether you’re freelancing or running a side hustle, chances are you’re always going to prefer spending your time serving clients and customers than managing paperwork or doing the accounts. Sleek exists to support solopreneurs like you. We take away the headache and grunt work of registering an ABN, accounting and financial paperwork so you can focus on the fun stuff, like developing an idea and launching your business out into the world.

Ready to start earning a second income? Fill out the contact form below, and let’s go.

Start a business in less than 3 hours with us. Talk to our experts today.

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Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended for general informational purposes only and may not be specifically relevant to everyone’s personal situation. It should not be considered financial advice or a substitute for professional tax or accounting advice. Each individual’s circumstances are unique, and laws can vary. For tailored advice, please consult a qualified professional. Contact Sleek for further information on how we can help you.

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