Speak to any taxi driver or the older folks in Singapore and they’ll tell you that there’s no way you can make enough money—at least not in Singapore. After all, our country has ranked first as the most expensive city to live in, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit, for five years in a row. It’s not surprising then that even some of us need a side hustle to pay off student loans and you know, pay bills.
But if you don’t fancy doing data entry as a side hustle no matter how much you’re paid, you might want to consider one of these more “unusual” jobs.
There are way too many frustrated, yappy dogs stuck in HDB flats that don’t get enough exercise because their owners are never around to take them out. Most of the time when you see dogs being walked around their estates, they’re accompanied by maids.
Now it’s super easy to become a dog walker or a pet sitter with Airbnb-like website and mobile app Pawshake, which links pet owners up with people who can take care of their animals. Just create a profile, wait till someone engages you for a job and then sit back and let the reviews roll in. The more reviews you get, the more likely you’ll be engaged for future jobs.
Pay: $13 to $25 per walk
Pet sitter or boarder
Singaporeans love to travel and also own pets. So what happens when they go travelling and leave their pets at home? You can step in the gap to be a pet sitter.
Your job will be to play with the pets, feed them and give their owners daily photo updates. Sounds like what you do on a daily basis already? Then get paid for it!
If you have the space at home, pet boarders tend to charge about $12 to $50 a night, although prices can vary significantly. If you have skills like pet grooming you’ll be able to charge more. If making sure a dog doesn’t misbehave sounds preferable to making sure a kid does his math homework, this is the part-time job for you.
You can list your services on Pawshake, or even Carousell.
Pay: $20 to $25 a day / $12 to $50 a night
If you live in a condo with pool facilities and want to earn some money from the comfort of your own home, becoming a swimming instructor might be the job for you.
Remember how you were forced to go for those swimming tests as a kid where you had to jump into the pool with your clothes on and then create a float out of your pyjamas? Put those classes to good use now by becoming a swim instructor yourself.
Sport Singapore, Swimming Teacher’s Association and AUSTSWIM conduct certification courses for swimming instructors, and you’ll have to be proficient in all four strokes as well as lifesaving. It should be noted however that many coaches who teach at private pools do so without qualifications.
You can earn a pretty generous side income from teaching kids and adults how to swim.
Pay: $15 to $40 per hour per student for group classes
Buy overseas stuff back for Singaporeans
If you’re constantly jetting off on overseas holidays, let strangers subsidise some of your trips by helping them buy stuff—at a cost. Using AirFrov, you can see what people are requesting from the country that you are visiting and make attractive commissions.
If you’re going to Paris, you can make attractive commissions by buying expensive designer bags. If you’re going to Japan, offer to bring back electronics or snacks. If you’re in South Korea, offer to bring back beauty products.
Pay: Depending on item
Most Singaporean families aren’t used to engaging babysitters, usually preferring to leave their kids with their grandparents or employing a live-in maid.
Despite that, there is a gap in the market for ad-hoc babysitters, whether amongst locals or expats. In fact, some mothers complain about how hard it is to find a part-time babysitter who’s willing to go to their homes. In addition, nanny agencies like A-Team may charge agency fees or high rates that people just aren’t willing to pay.
That means there are jobs to be had for those who can keep that smile plastered on their faces when confronted with soiled diapers.
Pay: $20 to $40 an hour, depending on experience
Water theme park associate
Being a tutor to a reluctant kid can feel tiresome after a while. You have to act like the bad cop when their parents don’t want to. Turn the job on its head and be a good cop instead.
You can be a water theme park associate, which basically involves you encouraging families to take photos at the water park. It may or may not involve holding a water gun and shooting or splashing children.
Pay: $9.50 per hour
Text: Joanne Poh / Moneysmart / April 2019
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