Gig economy jobs can be lucrative if done right. It is important for you to understand your true rate, how to maximize your earnings, how to file your taxes, and how to find the right gig for your unique abilities.
As delivery apps, rideshares, and on-demand services have become increasingly popular, there is a wide variety of options available to consumers. While there are many opportunities available, it can be challenging to determine which are worth pursuing when you have limited free time. It is already difficult for you to work hard at your current position and you are not sure if you want to move on. Moreover, you are not sure whether the side hustles you keep hearing about actually pay or if they are a fraud.
Here is a brief overview of the gig economy.
What Is A Gig Worker?
Working as a gig worker means taking on short-term, flexible jobs that pay you based on your performance. There are a variety of services available, such as delivering food, walking dogs, or assembling furniture. In most cases, they are on-demand services for a set fee that is paid each time they are performed. The fact that gig work is usually arranged through a company, such as Uber, DoorDash, etc., means that you will have less to worry about in terms of marketing or finding clients than you might with a more entrepreneurial side hustle.
Pros And Cons Of The Gig Economy
Pros    Cons
Since the app locates clients on your behalf, you do not have to worry about marketing.
Asking for advice from other gig workers is easy.
There is flexibility in gig work - you are in charge of when you work.
Every gig that you perform is paid.
 It is possible that the pay is not always as advertised. There are many apps that advertise how much you can earn without accounting for your expenses (e.g., fuel costs if you drive, or travel time).
Uncertainty in the workplace. It is up to the app to make decisions for you. It is possible to lose a job due to a few bad ratings.
The cost of insurance and other expenses will be incurred up front with some gigs. In the case of rideshare drivers, for instance, you are responsible for obtaining your own insurance.
Scams Involving Gig Work Are Also A Concern.
There are many shady individuals out there who are willing to waste your time by offering gig jobs.
The following tips can assist you in spotting scams:
The company/app cannot be verified as legitimate.
In order to register or become a member, they require an upfront fee. Several legitimate applications charge fees for background checks or other vetting purposes.
The approval process does not involve an interview or an application process.
It is they who locate you. A suspicious pitch or promise of easy money is usually presented to you by these individuals.
There are several errors in the job posting.
Gig Economy: 5 Ways to Make Money
There are a number of companies and apps that offer gig work. In no particular order, here are five of the most popular:
1. Take Part In Taskrabbit's Random Work Program
The tasks range from assembling Ikea furniture to awaiting a person in line. There are people who make a living waiting in lines as a gig. On TaskRabbit, you can instantly earn money if you have any handy skills or are able to perform odd jobs. As there are so many available gigs on TaskRabbit, all requiring different skills and paying differently, here is how you can find a gig that is right for you:
Take a look at the most popular gigs in your area. 
Try searching for something you can do (such as handiwork or house chores).
Compare this service's prices with others.
Calculate what you might earn as a gig worker.
Provide your services.
Assembling a desk can earn you between $60 and $151, lifting furniture upstairs can earn you $159, and waiting in line can bring you up to $80 per hour. A TaskRabbit account does not require any upfront payment. Whenever you have time, you are free to accept jobs and get paid for them.
2. On Rover, You Can Work With Dogs
As a gig worker on Rover, you have a wide range of options for earning a living. A dog sitter may be able to take care of furry friends for the night or you may be able to walk dogs during your lunch break. The amount you can earn per 30-minute walk is up to $20, and if you are interested in hosting dogs overnight, you can earn up to $75. Depending on your location and the services that you are willing to provide, the rates may also vary. A $25 one-time processing fee is required to apply as a dogsitter since a background check is conducted. Upon approval, you will be able to begin applying for gigs.
3. Deliver groceries, food, or alcohol (e.g., UberEats, DoorDash, etc.).
Food, meals, and even alcohol can be delivered to people. It is important to note that there are established companies such as DoorDash and UberEats, as well as new competitors who are constantly emerging. In our testing, we saw how one earned approximately $15/hour making deliveries for DoorDash. However, the amount you can earn will vary depending on where you live and what the demand is at the time. In the event that you decide to use your own vehicle, you will have to consider fuel costs as well as other expenses.
4. Make Use Of Fiverr or Upwork
Many random gigs can be found on websites such as Fiverr or Upwork. From voiceover services to logo design, the services can be customized to meet the needs of the client. Based on your specialized skill set, you will be able to provide a particular service. Originally, Fiverr's name was derived from the fact that everything on the site was $5. This has since changed, and rates on similar freelancing sites can vary greatly. In setting your rates, the most efficient way is to reverse-engineer it: think of the service(s) you can provide, and then figure out what the going rate is for a similar project. A 20% service fee will be taken every time you use Fiverr.
5. Provide An Airbnb Experience To Your Guests
A variety of tours and activities are available through Airbnb Experiences, including everything from food crawls to Tarot card readings to yoga classes with goats. Airbnb offers a wide variety of activities that can be turned into activities. It would be possible for you to charge $55 per person to go thrift shopping or $30 per person to lead a street art tour, for instance. To maximize your earnings, you should create an experience that requires few expenses. All experiences offered by Airbnb are subject to a 20% service fee.
Gig Economy Opportunities: How To Find Them
Keep an eye out for what is popular in your community. Do many people seek alternative commute options? As a result of these apps being advertised everywhere for workers during the pandemic lockdown, a friend of mine got into the alcohol delivery business. Consider what you can contribute. Can you help TaskRabbit assemble desks? Does Fiverr offer graphic design services? The next step is to undergo the approval process once you have narrowed your options. It is important to keep in mind that some gigs may require background checks, so you may have to wait a while before you can start applying for jobs.
Aspects Of Being A Gig Worker That Affect The Financial Situation
If you are considering working in the gig economy, there are a few things you should consider in terms of finances.
It is important for you to understand what your real rate is. Knowing your actual rate per hour will allow you to determine how much you are earning. What is the amount of money you are pocketing in comparison to the amount of time it takes you to perform the gig job? Gig apps are pretty clever when it comes to marketing how much you could earn, so be sure to do your own math.
As a freelancer, it is your responsibility to maximize your earnings: The truth is that your earnings will be determined by where you live, how much time you work, and what time you work. 
The responsibility for filing taxes lies with you: You should take into account taxes when you receive a new income source. Due to the fact that gig workers are considered independent contractors, no taxes are withheld from their paychecks. The responsibility of tracking and reporting your earnings lies with you. Setting aside 20% to 30% of your income for tax purposes is a good idea. Ensure that you place it in a separate account so that you are not tempted to spend it.
Final Thoughts
There are many benefits to working in the gig economy, including the ability to make money on your own schedule. A gig economy may be a good option for you if you are seeking extra income or if you are simply interested in trying out entrepreneurship.

By Rashmi Goel