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19 Recession Proof Side Hustles – Proven Ideas (2024 Guide)

Don't Work Another Day is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own.
  By Kathryn Rucker | Last Updated:  November 17, 2022

Are you worried about the state of the economy and how it will affect your career? 

You're not alone. Many people are concerned that they will lose their jobs in the next recession. Don't panic!

While experts say there is a 96% chance of a recession in the next year, there are some things you can do to get your finances in shape, like starting a side hustle.

There are tons of great recession proof side hustles to help you get by when times get tough. Let's dig in!

Some of the best recession proof side hustles include:
  • Child care services like babysitting or nannying
  • Pet care services like pet sitting or dog walking
  • Bookkeeping and tax prep services
  • Online side hustles like blogging or working as a VA

Best Recession Proof Side Hustles

1. Delivery Driver

Delivery services have become extremely popular in recent years with over 50% of adults claiming it's essential to the way they live.

Delivery side jobs like delivering food with Doordash or delivering groceries can be another great side hustle to consider when a recession hits.

These are pretty simple gigs that can help you make ends meet when times get tough and they cost nothing to start.

All you'll need is a vehicle and some free time to start making money!

The pay for these jobs will vary depending on your city and the amount of tips you can generate, but it's possible to earn over $25 per hour with this part time job.

Some people can even make a full time living delivering food by using a few hacks!

With Doordash you can set your own schedule and work when you want. Earn over $20 per hour today!
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2. Babysitting

While being a babysitter might not be everyone's call, it's an excellent recession-proof side hustle for people who like kids.

If you enjoy being around the young ones, caring for them, and teaching them things, this might be the perfect side hustle for you.

Child care services will never grow old, even during the recession, as there's always going to be a person who needs someone to watch their kids while they run errands or simply relax. 

It's typically a rewarding gig as you can earn a nice income while doing something fulfilling like spending time with kids. However, before deciding on this side hustle, remember that babysitting requires a lot of patience and commitment. You're in charge of someone's safety and care, so you must be sure that this is something you can handle.

Babysitting can be a full-time or a side hustle you can combine with your regular job, which is essential during a recession. 

If you like kids and feel you're up to the task — go for it!

3. Live-in Nanny

People with babysitting experience could also try out being a live-in nanny.

This career option is excellent during a recession, as families need constant care of their kids.

This profession will bring you a good income, while it also has other conveniences because it is a job that pays for housing.

Live-in nannies live with the families they work for, meaning they typically have housing and food for free. That said, by working as a live-in nanny, you'll earn money while reducing your spending, which is incredibly important during the recession. 

4. Camp Counselor

Being a camp counselor is also a good job for people looking for a recession-proof side hustle because many camps are sponsored by government agencies.

While these camps mainly operate during summer, it's not a gig you can commit to for more extended periods, but it's still rewarding.

You don't need special skills to be a camp counselor, but you should be well-organized, honest, and hardworking.

This job may seem easy, but it's up to you to organize all the activities, supervise the kids, ensure their safety and promote development.

If you like jobs where you're frequently active and you get to do a lot of fun activities while working, you should try out for the next cam counselor, as it could be fun while helping you save some money. 

5. Rental Real Estate Investing

Many companies will experience lower sales during a recession making the stock market a very risky place to put your money.

But people will still need places to live.

As a result, rental real estate investing could be a fantastic recession-proof side hustle for you to consider.

Now, you'll need to have some money to get started with this business – but it can be a great way to navigate a tough economy.

Alternatively, you can also choose to invest in real estate through a platform like LEX Markets with as little as $250.

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6. Flipping

Flipping can be a great way to make $1000 a week or more in your free time without needing a fortune to get started.

With this side job, you'll earn a profit by purchasing items at a discount and selling them for more than you paid.

It's simple in concept, but it can be more challenging to execute.

To be a successful flipper, you'll need to be excellent at finding deals and knowing what items are in demand.

There are tons of different items you can flip ranging from furniture to electronics and even digital assets like domain names.

The amount you can make will depend on how much effort you're willing to put in.

I know some flippers who make over 6-figures each year from their work. Not bad considering you don't need a college degree to get started!

7. Blogging

Benefits of Blogging

One of the best recession proof businesses might just be blogging.

While you might see a drop in revenue during a recession, as long as you continue to create great content, you can make a fantastic income from your efforts.

The business model is pretty straightforward, create content and monetize it to turn a profit.

Unfortunately, it's not always that simple, but if you can learn the ropes of blogging you can build a nice income in a few months.

To get started, you'll need to purchase a domain name and hosting. I recommend using Namecheap and SiteGround for these services. They offer superior products at an affordable price.

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Next, you can install WordPress on your blog and choose a theme for your site.

Finally, you can start creating content and promoting it to others.

To make money from your blog, you can use display ads, affiliate marketing, and even sell sponsored posts.

How much can you really make from blogging?

It depends on the amount of traffic you can get to your blog, but I know some bloggers who make $20k a month or more from their sites!

Blogging can be an excellent option to add financial security to your life, especially during a recession.

8. Dog Walking

Earn Money Dog Walking

You don't have to be a genius to walk dogs; plus, this recession-proof side hustle pays quite well, so why not try it out?

An excellent thing about dog walking is that you can incorporate this gig into your current schedule without risking your regular job. Also, there are no startup costs for equipment or skill courses. All you need is the will to do the job and free time to make more money! 

Here are a few different online apps you can try out to find your first client:

  • Rover
  • Wag!
  • Barkly pets
  • Holidog


70% of US households have pets of some sort and whenever you need to get away, you have to have someone look over them while you're gone, which is where pet sitting comes in.

Pet-sitting is another excellent recession-proof side hustle that doesn't require you to have any specialized skills.

This job is a perfect choice for people who love being around animals, as you'll be required to take care of the pets until their owners get back.

The initial costs for pet-sitting are typically relatively low, so you will only have to invest a little money to get something in return. Also, you can start the job by pet-sitting for your friends and family until your business expands, which is really helpful. 

As there's no strict schedule, you'll be able to perform this side hustle at your schedule and easily combine it with other full-time jobs or side gigs.

If you're ready to get started, I recommend checking out Rover to find people in your area looking for pet sitters. Use the link below to get started!

Start Pet Sitting!

If you're looking for a recession proof side hustle that pays well and allows you to work whenever you want, pet care should be on your list!

10. Virtual Assistant

Working as a virtual assistant can be a perfect remote side hustle that can help you stay afloat during an economic recession.

With this gig, you'll get paid to complete a variety of tasks ranging from basic graphic design tasks to updating website content and more.

The pay for this side gig can be lucrative with some virtual assistants earning over $30 per hour!

If you're ready to get started, I recommend checking out Carrie's Virtual Assistant Accelerator program where you can learn how to build a successful VA business from scratch!

11. Tax Preparation

Benjamin Franklin once famously said, “ this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” This quote holds true to this day!

No matter what is happening in the world, we still have to file our taxes.

In fact, people tend to become more interested in anything that has to do with money during a recession. That is why roles relating to tax preparation, accounting, and bookkeeping continue to be vital.

This hustle typically doesn't require you to have certifications, but you need to be an attorney, an enrolled agent, or CPA. 

Here are the seven states that require you to have a license to become a tax preparer:

  • Illinois
  • California
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Nevada
  • Connecticut

While you may not need a license in your state, you'll need to undergo tax preparation training to start working. Once you learn all the required skills, you can perform this job in your free time and earn a decent amount of money, learning to become more fiscally responsible

12. Bookkeeping Side Hustle

Bookkeeping is a job quite similar to accounting, but it doesn't require you to have a high level of education.

While you don't necessarily need a formal education to start this side hustle, it can certainly be beneficial.

As this profession requires you to work with numbers, you should be well-organized and good at math. Some people even decide to pursue the CPB, which is the certification for a public bookkeeper, which would help you get even higher-paying gigs.

Again, this is another job you can perform either on-site or remotely!

13. Bartending

Bartending Recession Proof Side Hustle Idea

For better or for worse, people turn to alcohol in both the good times and the bad. Side hustles in this industry see a continued demand during a recession. They also tend to be a bit easier to start up when compared to some of the other side hustles on this list. 

Bartending is a simple recession-proof hustle that doesn't require you to have a high education. However, it would be best if you are interested in alcohol and mixing drinks, as that will be your main task. 

This is not a skill you can learn alone at home (unless you have lots of friends and family willing to try your creations!).

You can enroll in a bartending course to learn about making the most famous drinks people typically order.

Once you master your alcohol mixing skills, you'll easily be able to find a bartending job. It pays a decent income, but the downside of this side hustle is that you'll have to work late nights in many cases. Remote isn’t exactly an option for bartenders!

You can also make this into a side hustle by bartending at events like weddings, birthdays, and holiday parties. In fact, with the holiday season quickly approaching you can take advantage of doing this as a fun Christmas side hustle!

14. Taking Online Surveys

While this isn't quite the definition of a fun side hustle, it's an easy way to make extra money online without a ton of effort.

Survey sites like Rakuten Insight, Survey Junkie, and InboxDollars are all tremendous options to make money in addition to your day job.

You can easily make $10 a day online or more with these sites and many of them will give you free money just for joining.

While this isn't going to replace your full time job, it's a great additional stream of income to tack on.

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15. Use Cash Back Apps

While making money is essential with a poor economy, it's just as important to save money.

By using a cash back app like Ibotta you can earn money on all of your purchases, which can really add up.

Some would consider this a passive income app because you don't have to do any additional work to make money.

It's completely free to get started, and they'll give you $5 of free money just for signing up with the link below!

16. Lawn Care

There are tons of recession proof businesses you can consider opening, and none are better than lawn care.

Here's why.

If you own a home, there is mandatory yard work that must be done or you may face local penalties.

This work is often seen as a burden by many people, so they're more than happy to pay someone else to do it for them.

The income you can make from this business is extraordinary.

I know some people who make $50k a month from their lawn care business!

This is a great business idea that's recession proof so you can keep food on the table during an economic downturn.

17. Home Maintenance & Handyman Services

Just like with lawn care services, as long as people own homes, they'll need help with maintenance.

With this recession proof side hustle, you can make great money if you're handy or have some skills that homeowners are looking for. 

For example, unclogging toilets, making simple repairs, or repairing drywall can all be very profitable handyman services and help you earn some extra cash during a poor economy. 

18. Start a Business

Starting your own business can be a great way to combat a recession, but it can be challenging during a recession.

I started my sales consulting business when the pandemic started and actually experienced an increase in interest from the companies I was trying to work with!

There are tons of businesses you can start that are recession resistant, but you'll need to be capable of putting in the work in order to be successful.

I recommend starting a high cash flow business because these tend to perform stronger during a tough economy. 

19. Freelancing

Selling your skills is an obvious way to make extra cash, and it's perfect during a recession.

Whether you have skills are a freelance writer, or you work as a product manager, you can make great money freelancing on the side. 

I recently completed the free Google Project Management Certification course via Coursera, which was designed to help beginners learn project management and potentially get their first job.

I’ve found that not only is project management useful for business, but you’ll find a lot of applications in your personal life as well. I used project management tools and spreadsheets to plan my wedding and I even use them for my own blog!

If you're not sure what to do to make extra cash, think about the skills you have and go from there!

Final Thoughts on Recession-Proof Side Hustles

Finding a recession proof business or side hustle idea is easier than you might think, and there are many different options depending on your skills.

Between working as a bartender, or driving for delivery services, it's easier than ever to make extra money and diversify your income streams with a side hustle.

So whether the economy is in poor shape, or you just want to make some extra cash one month, try to find a gig that works for you!

Kathryn Rucker is a business consultant and personal finance blogger who is passionate about helping individuals and businesses scale by improving their online presence. Kat started traveling the world in 2019 and currently runs her blog and business out of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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