3 High Risk Side Hustles & 3 Lower Risk Alternatives

3 High Risk Side Hustles & 3 Lower Risk Alternatives

3 High Risk Side Hustles & 3 Lower Risk Alternatives | brokeGIRLrich

In the constant search for how to bring in more income, you’re likely to come across an awful lot of options floating out there on the Internet. I know there are several I come across regularly that seem to promise the potential for some pretty high payouts, but I wonder about the risk levels involved.

A lot of times, increasing your income does rely not only on what skills or resources you have, but your tolerance for risk. Deciding to do something like start your own business has a way high risk rate than picking up a few extra shifts at someone else’s business – but it also has a high reward potential.

Here’s a breakdown of a few higher risk ways to bring in some extra money and some lower risk, lower income potential alternatives.


Say what? Did I really just start this list with gambling? I did. It’s the epitome of high risk, high reward. Just sitting at a slot machine trying to hit it big isn’t really what I’m talking about here though.

You could put effort into learning how to count cards, to give yourself an advantage at Blackjack. Card counting isn’t illegal, but if you do it blatantly, casinos do have the right to eject anyone they want, so you may be asked to leave. However, if you use it carefully, it can make you money.

Additionally, while poker does rely on some luck, there is a lot of learnable skill to the game and there are folks who make their living playing poker. USPokerSites did a survey of how much professional poker players make, while some make as low as $10,000 a year, the average is actually closer $100,000-$250,000 for a semi-pro. The top tier of poker players can bring in over $1,000,000 a year.

Create a Course on Udemy

Maybe the notion of becoming a gambler as a side job is just a little to risqué for you. Fair enough – there is a lot of risk in that hustle. There’s a lot less risk if you take your card counting knowledge and turn it into a Udemy course. If you really know how to do it, set up a table in your basement, enlist a friend to be your dealer for the day, and record a bunch of how to videos.

If poker is your thing, you can create a Udemy course for that too. You could teach the basics of what hand beats what. You could have a series on bluffing and tells. You could do a unit on how to find local poker games in your area.

Spread Betting

Maybe gambling on cards isn’t your thing, but you’re really into the stock market. Well, you can essentially bet on the movement of stocks or on the movement of currency.

Without owning the stock, you can bet on what will happen to it. Say Exxon is at $90 and you think it will go up to $96 by the end of the week. You can make that bet, with odds set by the spread betting company and if you’re right, you receive a payout based on the odds and if you’re wrong, you owe them. ETX Capital’s spread betting platform allows you trade several different types of commodities.

Drop Shipping

If you don’t feel informed enough to bet on stocks, you can start a drop shipping company where you essentially bet on a product that people will really want to buy.


Drop shipping is where you select a product to sell. You mark it up from it’s original price and when people buy it from you, you buy it at a lower cost – possibly from a warehouse or the manufacturer and then have them send it directly to the purchaser. You don’t have to ever actually see the product.


Some people invest more in having a low cost item manufactured and then shipped to Amazon to be stored and listed on their site. Amazon FBA holds your items that are for sale and takes care of shipping them for you once they sell. According to a collection of drop sellers sharing their knowledge of Quora, it’s reasonable to be able to build up to an income of $10,000 a month within a year of starting your drop shipping business.

Donate Your Eggs


Sorry men, you’re out of luck here. Sperm donation can net you up to $1,500 a month, but the competition is fierce and there are usually a lot of hoops to jump through.


For the ladies, the Center for Reproduction quotes egg donation at $8,000 a cycle. With the right qualifications or a higher egg count, you could net up to $14,000. Donating your eggs requires about a month of your time. During this, you’re interviewed and screened, and taught how to administer your own hormone injections. You then visit the clinic about 10-12 times in the morning to be checked in the days leading up to the egg retrieval. The eggs are retrieved while you’re under IV sedation and you’re usually encouraged to take the day off to rest afterward.


There are a lot of moral implications to consider before going this route, but the Center for Reproduction allows up to 3 donations a year, so if you have high demand genetics, this could net you an extra $30,000..


Start a Dog Walking Business


If letting doctors invade your uterus (or you don’t have one) is a little too high risk for you, you could start your own dog walking business. In affluent areas of NYC, you can rake in a few hundred dollars an hours by walking 3 or 4 dogs at once.


You can start small and learn the ropes by working for a company like Rover. If you find you like it, branch out and start your own dog walking business. Lower income, but a lot less risk than donating parts of your own body.


Have you ever done a high risk side hustle? Did it pay off for you or burn you?

3 thoughts on “3 High Risk Side Hustles & 3 Lower Risk Alternatives

  1. My little side hustle is buying things from thrift stores or garage sales that are not really me but too nice to leave there. I can buy an item of clothing for $3 and sell it for $25 with about $5 total costs. It kind of pays for my own thrift store purchases, and I do LOVE hunting around thrift stores!In the past I’ve made up to $400 a week doing it, when I wasn’t working full time. It’s a bit of work – finding, cleaning, photographing, listing online, dealing with buyer, posting etc etc. There’s even a way of getting your money back on clothing that doesn’t sell. Just remove all buttons, zips, lace etc, save it up and sell it when you’ve got a bulk lot of something. Again, a bit of work. I guess it depends what you enjoy doing! Every so often I get a real score in something I’ve bought for a few bucks that sells for $80 or so. It’s quite entertaining.

    • Beth,
      That sounds awesome and fun! What’s your preferred place to sell what you find at thrift stores, etc.? Etsy, Ebay, Facebook, somewhere else? If you’ve sold in several places, which do use more/like better and why?


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