Let’s face it. Money is never enough.
Perhaps you are saving up for that dream trip to Iceland to catch the dancing Northern Lights, aspiring to own your own landed property or drive your own car, or just struggling to pay that seemingly never-ending stream of bills and instalment repayments that seem to be part and parcel of adulthood.
The strain on our wallets gets worse for those of us who own our own home or have kids and other family commitments to take care of.
And if you, like me, are (gasp) late to the game of investing, with home loans, medical bills and whatnot to pay, the financial commitments can be quite demanding.
But there’s a silver lining to this #moneynoenough situation — find a side hustle aka freelance work to supplement your income. You don’t even need to physically move to start your search because the World Wide Web’s always at your fingertips (thanks, technology!).
Heck, I will even feed you the info. Here are 27 websites and apps to get you started:
1. Score freelance writing gigs with Telum Media
If writing is your forte, drop Telum Media an email. The comprehensive media database, which focuses on the Asia Pacific region, is run by former journalists and public relations professionals. It sends a regular email blast with quick summaries of job changes in the media industry, who is available for freelance work and so on. However, do note that your announcement might reach the eyes and ears of your employer, so do get the green light from him/her if not you might be deemed as moonlighting.
2. Flex your creative muscle at Cult Jobs
Photographers, writers, graphic designers, convene at Cult Jobs to find your next side gig — or even your next full-time career. The job board specializes in creative jobs, with the recent postings being that for a freelance social media lead at Jernn International, a freelance writer with YP SG, and a freelance weekend outdoor photographer with Firefly Photography.
3. Bid for a job at ZomWork Singapore
Possess mad skills in IT and programming, marketing, multimedia and animation, business, PR and writing, or design and printing? Create your profile, browse the available projects at ZomWork and bid for the job you want to take on.
Here’s a taste: “We have a bunch of very boring charts on Tableau. We are looking for an analytics data visualization expert who is familiar with Tableau and Power BI, to redesign some of our data visualizations to make them more appealing and intuitive.” Good news is, the site has features like project management software, a virtual workspace and promises timely payment (yay!).
4. Download the YY Part Time Jobs App
Run by the YY Hong Ye Group, this app could be your gateway to finding hourly-paid part-time jobs. This part sounds especially appealing because #money: “After the job is approved, you will be paid within 2-3 working days.” There also seems to be an honour system in place: “Higher chance to get the job based on your credits.” But perhaps the app could use some debugging as the user reviews are a mixed bag of crash complaints and compliments. Nice, however, that both Android and iOS users are both catered for.
5. Become a freelancer on Freelancer
Pretty much like ZomWork with project management features and a bidding system, but caters to every industry. Do read the terms and conditions carefully, as some of the website’s promises to employers have me quite worried, such as: “You only have to pay for work when it has been completed and you’re 100% satisfied.” But still worth a shot, especially for those starting out in the freelancing world who want to get their name out there.
6. Earn more than $5 with Fiverr
The international platform, said to be the world’s largest marketplace for digital services, gets its name from the lowest priced quotes that employers can find, a wallet-friendly US$5 (surprise, surprise). Do anything from voiceover work and video editing to translation and programming, and quote your fee, up to US$10,000. The website also has tips for freelancers to upsell and maximize revenue.
7. Become a talent on StageMetro
The first three gigs through the StageMetro app are free of charge on a basic account. After that, users will need to pay a minimum of $10 a month to gain access to more jobs. What’s dandy is that you can create your “personal stage” on the app, a showcase of blog entries, pictures, videos, an “ask me” section and more. However, earnings are capped per month (unless you get the $30/month subscription).
8. Join the entertainment industry via AADB
This stands for the Actors Asia Database, one of the longest-running talent databases in Singapore. I’ve known about it since 2007 when I was looking for talent to star in my video final year project. The 13-year-old network is a great place to start if you are looking to snag roles in the entertainment industry, such as becoming a bit actor (aka calefare) on TV or even land a modelling gig. Unfortunately, all good things come with a price. After your two-week free trial, time to whip out that credit card and decide what joining package you need (from $150/year; cheaper for NAFA or Lasalle acting students).
9. Join a growing pool of media freelancers at CreativesAtWork
At least this freelancer platform isn’t faceless. It is managed by a real team of creatives with experience in the media industry (so they know our pain). There’s even the address of their brick-and-mortar office at one-north. I really appreciate this transparency and human touch. Plus, it’s got the Tripartite Standards for media freelancers and self-employed persons. How’s that for reassurance?
10. Get tip-offs from Freelancerzone
Free-to-join for part-timers and freelancers, but employers need to buy a paid subscription. That’s another teeny weensy victory for us freelancers! Lots of random appointments available, from freelance admin and camp instructor to mall sales promoter and home-based tuition coordinator. I like how this site seems engineered to prioritize freelancers than employers.
11. Cover someone’s shift via MyWork Global
How this app works: Indicate your availability and let the algorithm match you with the jobs that fit your schedule. You can even sign up using your Facebook or email address, and no CV is required. But there’s a catch — it must be legal for you to work part-time in Singapore, according to the Ministry of Manpower regulations. And like the nature of the job, you need to clock in/out of your shift via the app.
12. Enjoy the fast-paced nature of Startup Jobs
Who knows, your next side hustle could make you the sidekick of the next Steve Jobs? You can search for various job opportunities, including freelance positions, temporary, part-time and even apply to be a… co-founder? Some cool listings I spotted: UI/UX/conversational chatbox designer, corporate blog writer and freelance instructor for a school that teaches kids to code.
13. Shine with Glints
Glints’ motto is “do what you love”. Some job listings on the site would certainly make a passionate individual look forward to work. Take, for example, A-level students can earn $300 to $600 a month by helping to train an AI chatbot by offering their knowledge of math and science. K-drama fans who are fluent in the language can also earn US$1,000 by managing a Telegram community.
14. Convert free time into cash with Freeboh
I love the local flavour and how thoughtful the site’s creators are, with categories such as “Sweet, Short Hours” and “Weekend Jobs”. Become a brand ambassador (aka promotor) with a one-hour paid break, clean a home for monies or revive your rusty taekwondo skills by signing up as an instructor. Event-based vacancies and full-time positions are also posted on the site. Nice to see the potential earnings posted upfront too.
15. Earn diaper money with Careermums
Hats off to the mums out there. It is not easy giving birth to a child, let alone raising one while juggling a full-time job. But for the mothers who have given up their career to look after their precious one, Careermums offers mummy-friendly jobs like a work-from-home resume writer/consultant or other positions with flexible hours.
16. Be a “mumpreneur” with [email protected]
The wonder woman behind [email protected] is Sher-Li, herself a mother of two. This “mumpreneur” started the website eight years ago — and today it is a fully fledged portal with job listings, resources for mums, career advice, inspiring stories and access to special events. A sample of the current job listings: freelance matchmaker, culinary workshop facilitators (flexi-work), part-time researcher and so on.
17. Find/list anything on Carousell, even jobs
Handy with a sewing machine? List your tailoring services on Carousell. Great at writing business proposals? Post it on Carousell. Heck, there’s even a listing titled Family Office Wealth Solution that claims to manage family assets to avoid squabbles and to seamlessly transfer wealth from one generation to the next. Wow. Sounds pricey but there are a couple of likes on this listing.
18. Join a group on Facebook to get word of gigs
The community spirit on Facebook is pretty strong. Insert yourself into groups like The Casting Call in Singapore, Freelance Job Vacancies In Singapore, Singapore Freelance Video Editors, and the list goes on…
19. Become a driver/shopper/courier with [insert popular app here]
Here’s looking at you Grab, HonestBee, Deliveroo, Food Panda and new blockchain-driven ride-hailing app TADA. Chauffeur people around for cash, become a professional grocery shopper, deliver food to hungry people — or sign up for all of these gigs. (Be a Grab Driver on Monday night, assume a shopper Bee identity on Tuesday, and don your pink-and-grey Food Panda uniform on Wednesday etc).
20. Use your location to your advantage with Jobs on Demand
Jobs on Demand, or JOD, describes itself as a real-time, location-based, job matching platform. The app sends out notifications when a job needs to be filled. Good for those keen to work in F&B as most of the current jobs seem to be with a restaurant or eatery.
21. Submit photos for cash with Shutterstock
Anyone can be a contributor and upload their creations to the site. Sounds easy, but there’s a catch. You are only paid if your photo is used. But good news — the platform offers tips for success to those who are still wet around the ears. Other sites to list your photos on include Asia-focused PIXERF and the renowned Getty Images/iStock.
22. Fill up surveys for money/vouchers
Honestly, I’m always wary about survey websites as they take a lot of your personal information albeit in exchange for cash. Still, there are a plethora of sites out there like Toluna or Rakuten Insight Surveys or YouGov, which have a local presence. The first has an app as well, so it is easy to chug at those surveys while on your daily commute.
23. Offer an Airbnb Experience
We can’t rent out our homes on Airbnb, but we can offer tourists a unique experience for a fee. Get an idea from what’s already listed, like cooking classes, mixology classes, urban night photography, or even fishing. However, do check with the Singapore Tourism Board’s regulations as only licensed tourist guides can legally provide paid guiding services to tourists. Those who don’t comply can be fined up to $5,000 as a first-time offender.
24. Sign up as a tutor/mentor
A couple of websites offer this “marketplace of tutors” concept to anxious parents. If you are adept in this field, sign up as a tutor if you haven’t already got a tutee or two under your wing (I got my part-time tutor job 15 years ago the old school way — through my mum’s friend, whose daughter needed help with some school subjects). Some sites to check out include ManyTutors, Deanslist, or become an AskNTeach Mentor by downloading the app and answering students’ posted questions.
25. Become a remote transcriber for TranscribeMe
This international website promises to take the pain out of transcribing lengthy interviews or audio/video files by outsourcing it to individuals for a fee. If you enjoy listening to (what seems like) endless rambling and typing out what you hear (accurately), this is the side gig for you. Other sites to check out are Rev, GoTranscript, and Scribie, which can even promote its freelance transcribers to reviewers.
26. Become a mystery shopper
The term “mystery shopper” may sound quite glamorous, but apart from masquerading as a hotel guest, bank customer or diner, many brands also use mystery shoppers to audit its customer service standards. Back in the day, I posed as a customer for a local furniture brand, as a rich brat buying a $7,000 luxury trenchcoat for her uncle, and so on. It’s not an easy task, as the job requires you to assume a specific customer profile, look out for and remember details like shoe colour, or discreetly record your conversation. Some marketing consultancies are constantly on the lookout for mystery shoppers. Try to get in touch with Coyle Hospitality, Acorn, Opinion Hero and Beacon Consulting.
27. Become a pet sitter with Petbacker
The purrfect job for animal lovers! Care for a furry friend (you would do it for free anyway) and earn extra cash. This comes with an app as well so you can check for jobs while walking the 10 dogs you are currently pet-sitting.