Ten Quick Side Hustles that Require No College Degree

Lauren Warliga
6 min readNov 18, 2021
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

In March of 2018, I found out that I was losing my full-time job of nearly 9 years. I was the medical benefits-holder in my household; I made more money than my partner-at-the-time. We lived paycheck to paycheck. This would surely crush us.

I was fortunate enough to have a little warning about my contract non-renewal and I began to prepare. I opened up my iPhone Notes app and started brainstorming.

What could I do to cover basic expenses until I found something else?

I started with what I knew. I had a driver’s license and a running, insured car. I owned a lawnmower. I was good with kids and had a clear criminal background. I liked animals, and they liked me. I had some hobbies that could potentially bring income. I was going to be okay for a little while.

If you’re in a position where you could use some extra cash, here are a few side hustles that just about anyone can do.

  1. Dumpster diving/trash picking: This one’s my favorite. I’ve spent the past year of my life driving around on trash days (yes, I now have my local area’s trash schedule memorized) and bringing decent finds home to sell on Facebook Marketplace. Some days are disappointing and others require that I go home and unload prematurely, my van is so full. I’ve found furniture, appliances, electronics, toys, and household items. I price them to sell and I flip them quickly to ensure that I can make room for new goods. I have gotten the hang of quickly eyeing up an object to determine if it’ll be worth lugging home, and I’m picky with what I grab. I don’t take grills, mattresses, or anything inside trash receptacles; I only take functional curbside items that I know will sell within a week. Some of my favorite finds have been a 7' dining table with 6 chairs from Ashley furniture ($1100 new and absolutely nothing wrong with it), an Ostrich beach chair ($90 new and in perfect condition), a 3" thick Frontgate pool float ($190 new and had a small chunk missing but totally usable), and two gorgeous artificial Christmas trees (over $100 each, easily). Look for moving signs; people in the process of moving throw out the best stuff. Also, check your area’s curbside/trash laws. In some areas, it’s not legal to take trash placed at the curb. The earning potential for trash picking is…

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Lauren Warliga

Lauren brings insight and humor to weight gain, parenting, work, divorce, and bad dates. She lives in NC with her husband, kids, dogs, goats, chickens, & ducks.