WHEN dog lover Stephanie Carey was looking for some extra cash while living in London last year, the solution was simple.
The 26-year-old, who was living in the English capital and working part-time as a casual teacher, signed up for UK dog sitting service Dog Buddy.
Ms Carey charged clients $45 per night and was able to set her own rate and availability as well as choose which dogs she looked after.
She said it was a great way to supplement her income by doing something she enjoyed, and that she planned to sign up to an Australian dog minding site once she returned home.
"I did it because I love dogs," she said. "I was living overseas and I was missing my own pets - plus who wouldn't want to get paid to play and cuddle dogs all day?"
Ms Carey is just one of the 22 per cent of Australian adults who are turning to the sharing and gig economy to earn some serious cash outside of their "day jobs".
In fact, new research conducted by comparison site finder.com.au has found that Aussies can earn an extra $20,000 this year just by picking up a side hustle.
According to finder.com.au, we're earning an average of $7300 each year in our spare time, and the most lucrative option is to sign up as an Uber driver, with the average Australian raking in $10,490 from the ride sharing service.
We're also earning an average of $8140 by renting out our spare rooms on platforms such as Airbnb, while running errands through apps like Airtasker and Fiverr will net around $590 a year.
Finder's money expert Bessie Hassan said the "sharing economy" was helping Aussies to earn big.
"How much you make is dependent on how hard you work but the research shows it can be very profitable," she said.
"The sharing economy has taken off in Australia and it's seen as a legitimate way to boost income.
"It may not make you rich but it could be enough to pay for an extra holiday or boost your savings account."
The research found one in three adults with a full-time job also had a side hustle, with 17 per cent of Australians renting out spare rooms, seven per cent driving for Uber and six per cent running errands for others.
But if none of those options appeal to you, the good news is there's never been a better time to start up a side hustle thanks to the recent explosion of the sharing and gig economies.
Love animals? Become a dog walker or pet minder like Ms Carey by signing up to local sites like Pawshake or Mad Paws.
Enjoy weddings and public speaking? Train to become a celebrant.
You can even sell your skills as a resume writer or editor, tour guide or even a matchmaker these days.
Last year, news.com.au reported 22 per cent of users of the Invoice2go payments app were processing payments for a side gig, with side hustles an increasingly popular option for Gen-Ys who are keen to pick up a few hours of extra work or embrace a side passion outside of their regular working week.
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