The BEST Side Hustles In Germany

Discover the best side hustles in Germany, from minijobs to freelancing, and learn how to boost your income with realistic and scalable opportunities 🤑.

Key Takeaways

Introduction

In our recent article on passive income, you asked for a follow-up on the best side hustles in Germany, and we are here to deliver. Unlike many social media suggestions that promise quick riches through dropshipping or AI agencies, which require specialized skills, we are focusing on realistic side hustles that anyone can start. We know that selling you an overpriced course on how to get rich quickly would generate more clicks, but honesty is our priority. Instead, we will discuss nine practical side hustles that are easy to start and have the potential to grow significantly.

Some of these side hustles can even allow you to quit your main job eventually. As we’ve mentioned in many of our articles, to improve your financial situation and potentially become wealthy, you need to increase your income. Our FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) article highlighted that saving alone isn’t enough. You must boost your income while keeping lifestyle expenses in check to save and invest more efficiently. So, let’s explore the best ways to increase your income with these side hustles. Ready? Let’s go.

Standard Side Hustles in Germany

520€ Job (Minijob):

The first side hustle on our list is the 520€ Minijob, a concept likely familiar to many. These part-time jobs are widely available and typically easy to find if you keep an eye out while going about your daily activities. Local stores and shops often have vacancies for Minijob positions, and since you’re visiting these places anyway, it might be worth considering if you can fit the role. Many Minijobs require little to no expertise or special skills, making them highly accessible. Just submit an application and you’re set—it’s as straightforward as that.

This ease of entry earns the 520€ Minijob a five-star rating for feasibility. However, some positions might require basic German language skills, which can be a minor hurdle. Despite this, the earning potential is significant. With jobs like cashiering, babysitting, or dog walking, you can earn up to 520€ completely free of tax and social security deductions. This is a considerable amount, especially when compared to your main job, where more than 40% of your earnings can be taken by the government.

While surveys may not be the most lucrative side hustle, they are incredibly easy to start and fit seamlessly into your daily routine. By joining multiple platforms and expert networks, you can maximize your earnings and make this a worthwhile addition to your income streams.

Translator or Interpreter:

The next side hustle, ideal for expatriates, is becoming a translator or interpreter. Given that many expats come from diverse linguistic backgrounds, this opportunity leverages your native language skills. In Germany, both professions are unregulated, meaning anyone proficient in at least two languages can pursue them.

If you’re fluent in two languages and can think quickly, interpreting might be your niche. This role demands real-time language conversion, often in dynamic environments. For those who prefer a more relaxed and flexible schedule, translating texts is a viable option. While it typically offers a bit less pay, it compensates with reduced stress and the ability to work at your own pace.

Finding clients can be challenging, but platforms like Fiverr and Upwork simplify this process. These sites connect freelancers with clients worldwide, though they do take a commission from your earnings. The trade-off is beneficial as these platforms handle much of the client acquisition, allowing you to focus on your work.

Translating and interpreting offer flexible work arrangements and the chance to monetize your bilingual skills. Whether you seek the immediacy of interpreting or the laid-back nature of translating, these roles can provide a steady income stream.

Freelancing:

Freelancing is the final side hustle in the standard category, and it offers a unique opportunity to monetize your existing skills. This avenue is appealing because it has the potential to grow into a full-time job replacement if pursued diligently. However, embarking on a freelancing journey is not without its challenges. Firstly, you might need to obtain permission from your current employer to ensure no conflicts of interest. Additionally, setting up a freelance business requires new tax information, appropriate insurances, and other bureaucratic necessities.

Despite these initial hurdles, the rewards can be substantial. The earning potential in freelancing varies widely depending on your skill setindustry demand, and ability to market yourself effectively. Freelancing can offer considerable financial rewards and flexibility, allowing you to work on diverse projects and clients.

A crucial tip for aspiring freelancers is to ensure full compliance with German tax lawshealth insurance requirements, and public pension regulations. Our personal experience as a university teacher in Munich taught us the importance of staying on top of these obligations. The German public pension system, for instance, can be particularly demanding and frustrating, often requiring persistent communication and documentation.

Overall, while freelancing requires effort and organization, it offers a promising path to financial independence and career satisfaction. With the right approach, freelancing can be a lucrative and fulfilling side hustle.

Exotic Side Hustles in Germany

Surveys:

Let’s dive into three exotic side hustle ideas, starting with surveys. Yes, you can get paid to take surveys! Numerous platforms offer German surveys where you can earn upwards of €50 per survey, which isn’t bad for about 20 minutes of work. With a bit of research, you can also find platforms offering surveys in English. Personally, we’re listed in several expert networks that request online or telephone interviews once or twice a month, focusing on topics such as the German financial markets, insurance, investments, or real estate. These specialized surveys pay significantly more, often double what general online platforms offer.

However, the earnings potential from surveys is somewhat limited because these opportunities don’t come around daily. You might only get a few surveys per month, depending on your expertise and the platforms you join. Despite this, the beauty of taking surveys lies in their flexibility. You can complete most surveys while doing other activities, such as watching TV or commuting, allowing you to make extra money without devoting additional time solely to this task.

While surveys may not be the most lucrative side hustle, they are incredibly easy to start and fit seamlessly into your daily routine. By joining multiple platforms and expert networks, you can maximize your earnings and make this a worthwhile addition to your income streams.

Comparse Actor:

The next side hustle on our list might surprise you: becoming a background actor, or “comparse,” on a movie or TV set. At first, we thought this idea was nonsense, but it turned out to be a legitimate way to earn money. If you’ve ever watched a film or TV show, you’ve seen people in the background making the scene look realistic. Here’s the kicker: you could be one of those background actors.

The process is straightforward. You register with a casting agency that specializes in background actors and wait for a call. The call might not come immediately, but when it does, your job is simple: sit or stand in the background and perform basic actions that help bring the scene to life. Surprisingly, you can earn up to €300 a day for this relatively easy work.

When we first heard about this, we were skeptical. However, after some research, we found that many people make a decent side income from this gig. It’s an excellent option if you have flexible availability and enjoy the idea of being on a film set. Plus, there’s no need for special skills or extensive experience, making it accessible to nearly everyone. While it may not be the most consistent side hustle, the potential for good pay with minimal effort makes it worth considering.

Medical Trials:

Now, let’s discuss the last exotic side hustle before we delve into the highly scalable ones: participating in medical trials. You may have seen advertisements in the subway or other public places where universities or research institutes seek volunteers to test new drugs. If you’re eligible and speak decent German—since it’s crucial to fully understand the risks and requirements—this can be an easy way to earn money.

For example, current trials in Munich by Fraunhofer are looking for people with asthma for their Thunder 2 study, which pays up to €3,000. That’s a substantial sum, but it comes with significant caveats. Before you register for any study, ensure you thoroughly understand what’s expected of you. Often, these trials involve taking medications that are still in the early stages of testing. While they’re generally considered safe, there’s always a risk, and it’s essential to weigh that against the financial incentive.

Personal health is paramount, and no amount of money is worth compromising it. Therefore, while medical trials can offer high rewards, they should be approached with caution. Make sure you’re fully informed about the potential risks and benefits. If you have any doubts, consider opting for one of the less risky side hustles discussed earlier. Your well-being should always come first.

scalable side hustles in Germany

(Online) Tutor:

The first scalable side hustle on our list is becoming an online tutor. The beauty of the internet is that it allows you to teach whatever you’re good at to a global audience. Somewhere in the world, there is always someone interested in what you have to say. On our YouTube channel, you can watch videos about personal finance, which proves this point.

Starting as an online tutor might not be easy at first. You may face challenges finding your initial students. However, once you get the ball rolling, this can turn into something substantial. Begin by teaching one student, then expand to two or more. As you develop your teaching skills and gain a reputation, you can start thinking bigger.

Consider recording your own course and publishing it on platforms like Udemy or Coursera. This allows you to make virtually endless money because you separate your time from the output. Instead of teaching live sessions repeatedly, your pre-recorded courses can sell continuously without additional effort. This can be the start of some real passive income, giving you financial freedom and flexibility.

Moreover, online tutoring can grow into a full-fledged business. You can hire other tutors, expand your course offerings, and create a comprehensive learning platform. With dedication and strategic planning, becoming an online tutor can be a highly rewarding side hustle with immense growth potential.

Reselling or Leasing:

Reselling or leasing items is another highly scalable side hustle that, while not completely passive, offers significant profit potential. Take, for example, the camera and lighting equipment we use to shoot our videos. These items are utilized only a few times a month, meaning we could easily lease them out to others in need, generating a steady income stream without additional investment.

A friend of ours has turned his passion for sneakers into a lucrative side business. He owns hundreds of pairs and continually buys and sells them for a profit. His apartment is a treasure trove of collectible footwear, each pair potentially worth more than its purchase price. This model can be applied to virtually any item that holds value and demand.

Personally, our founder enjoys bonsai trees and plants. Recently, he purchased a massive jade plant for just €180 from a retired couple on Kleinanzeigen. If he wanted, he could sell this plant for five to ten times its purchase price. Furthermore, investing a bit more time and effort, he could divide the plant into multiple smaller bonsai trees. With an additional €200 investment in pots and substrates, he could potentially increase his investment fiftyfold.

There’s no better way to make money than by leveraging a hobby you love. Whether it’s through reselling valuable items or leasing out equipment, this side hustle offers a perfect blend of enjoyment and financial gain.

Social Media Theme Page:

The most scalable and potentially lucrative side hustle on our list is managing a social media theme page. Similar to previous suggestions, choose a topic you’re passionate about; for our founder, it would be bonsai. Others might focus on dogs, high-end bicycles, or summarizing news from their favorite board.

You may have come across TikTok channels that review Amazon gadgets; these creators earn affiliate commissions from product sales. However, be warned: running a successful theme page demands immense effort and patience. While some pages may experience sudden viral success, sustaining it is a different challenge altogether. Monetizing your page with affiliate links, ads, or sponsorships takes time—possibly years.

While surveys may not be the most lucrative side hustle, they are incredibly easy to start and fit seamlessly into your daily routine. By joining multiple platforms and expert networks, you can maximize your earnings and make this a worthwhile addition to your income streams.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we have discussed some of the best side hustles in Germany, ranging from Minijobs and freelancing to more unique opportunities like comparse acting and medical trials. Each of these side hustles offers a different level of commitment and earning potential. Whether you choose a simple, easy-to-start job or a scalable venture that could eventually replace your full-time job, the key is to find something that aligns with your skills and interests.

Increasing your income through side hustles is a practical way to achieve financial independence and build wealth. Let us know in the comments if there are any other side hustles you would like us to explore or if you have tried any of these yourself.

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