Side Hustle Income Report, April 2017: $727.61

Total Side Hustle Income for the month: $727.61

Another month, another side hustle income report! Spring is finally starting to happen here in Michigan, and as a result, the pocket change is coming more easily. Nicer weather means it’s time for parties and vacations – two things that will always need face-painters and house-sitters. Without further ado, here’s my breakdown of my side hustle income for the month of April 2017!

Click here to read all of my published side hustle income reports.


Face-Painting Income: $290

I had two face-painting gigs this month. While the number of gigs was low (due to a combined factor of being lazy, revamping my face-painting site, and an influx of scammers on Thumbtack.com), I did raise my rates ever-so-slightly, and they also tipped generously. This bodes well for side hustling, as the ultimate goal is to make your time profitable by doing something you love. However, it wasn’t all peaches and cream this month: a client left me a four-star review on Thumbtack.com. The horror! While that might not seem overly devastating to the average person, I’m a full believer that in the world of side hustling and free-lancing, it’s 5 stars or nothing at all.

Without sounding too salty, she didn’t give a reason for docking me a star, and I was a bit blind-sided. She’d tipped me, and complimented me profusely (in person and in review). Oh, well. I asked a friend for whom I’ve face-painted before to leave me a review, which bumped the 4-star review down so that it wasn’t the first thing that potential clients saw. Sketchy? Maybe.

House Sitting & Dog Walking Income: $191.40

Short Coated Dog Between Wooden Boards

An increase from last month! I think this is a testament to the fact that you’ll likely start off slow on these sharing-economy platforms, but you’ll gain traction after a while. Just stick with it. For the first month I was signed up on Rover and DogVacay, I had zero hits. This month though, I was able to raise my rates and gain two new clients from Rover. I did not work for the local agency I worked for last month because they have yet to pay me, nearly two months after the fact – even after three angry emails and talking with the owner of the company herself. How frustrating, but again, side hustling has its drawbacks sometimes.

Adding on to that, the dog-walking experience wasn’t particularly great this month. On the same day I received my first 4-star review from face-painting, one of my repeat clients sent me a rather passive aggressive message, erroneously blaming me about something. Also, this was also the same day that, while I was walking their dog, we were almost attacked by an un-tethered German Shepherd. I would say that I don’t plan on working with them again, but it’s a moot point – I’ve since moved cities and too far away from them.

As for house-sitting… one family had old and mean dogs who barked non-stop and pooped on their deck. Their house was filthy, too. Like, they had motherf**king bed bugs kind of dirty. Yeah… definitely not going to house sit for this client again. At least she tipped… $10.

There was also a chihuahua I was walking twice a day who was so scared of me that she pooped herself when came near her. I tried not to take it personally.

All that said, still interested in starting your own dog-walking hustle? Use my referral link to get started on Rover.com!

Bartending Income: $134.35

Pink Liquid on Glass

Holy butts! I worked one shift on an open beer and wine bar. Five hours, no point of sale system, no mixing cocktails. That was it! It was super easy and fun, I enjoyed the company of my new coworkers, and I got to eat leftover banquet food and wedding cake. As you may remember, this is part-time for a catering company; I just log in to the online portal and pick up whatever shifts I want that are open. Honestly, my plan from here on out is if I don’t have a face-painting gig lined up for the weekend, I’m going to pick up as many bartending shifts as I can!

I found them through Craigslist. Honestly, it’s worth your time to trawl CL or your regional equivalent every couple of days to see if there’s any sweet gigs out there like this one!

Mystery Shopping Income: $62 and freebies

Movie GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I kicked my mystery shopping game into high gear this month. I honestly didn’t plan on it, but the two main companies I work with had awesome shops available that piqued my interest. This month I…

  • Ordered pizza for reimbursement and a $7 payment.
  • Took a tour of a daycare for a $40 payment (hilariously enough, as I don’t have a child).
  • Bought an item from an… ahem… adult toy-store… for reimbursement plus $15 payment.
  • Went to a new movie theater with a friend. Two movie tix and a popcorn for full reimbursement. We saw Beauty & the Beast – it was so good!
  • Stayed overnight at a swanky hotel for full reimbursement.

The mystery shop hustle is a good one; I definitely recommend it for anyone interested. It’s easy to pick up, you work when you want to, and you don’t need previous experience. You have to do your share, keep in mind. No one in life is ever just going to give you hundreds of dollars of services and products for nothing. There are reports (and sometimes surreptitious pictures) that you need to complete, and they can get tedious. However, I think it’s worth it! Frugality and tight budgeting means that I wouldn’t ever do things like go to the movies or stay overnight at a hotel, so it’s nice to enjoy those for free.

I primarily work with two companies, though I’ve signed up for what feels like dozens. I’ve found that once you work with a couple companies, you’ll get invited to work with more. This is also another area where I’ve experienced a slow start and then picked up speed. That is, the shops that were available to me weren’t really worth my time: low pay/no pay and at restaurants I didn’t care for. However, once I completed a few and turned in quality reports, the company gave me access to a wider variety and ‘better’ shops.

If you’d like a referral to the company I recommend working for, drop me a line! When I refer you, we’ll both be entered into a drawing for a $50 Visa gift card.

Investment Income: $49.71

Vanguard for the win, kids.

Blog Income: $0.15

Blog pennies, I call them. They make me happy. Statistically speaking, that’s a 500% increase from last month! Not so bad.

.+++.

TOTAL: $727.61

.+++.

Note: I also received $140 for house sitting for my parents and then later for a friend. I don’t include it in the total because I think income reports ought to be helpful; that is, it’s fairly disingenuous and altogether unhelpful to say, “Side hustle pro-tip: house sit for friends and family for an easy $140!”. That said, I do think house-sitting can be lucrative, and networking your services to friends and family is a good start.

The Merits of Side Hustling

‘Life’ happened to me this month: the cost of a CPA and also the cost to rent a trailer for moving. Those were expected expenses that I’d already budgeted for. However, what wasn’t expected was my windshield on my 10-year-old car growing a rather healthy crack right through the middle. That was a $250 hit. Ugh. Again, life happens. For a lot of people, it’ll either come out of savings or go onto credit cards. Luckily, $700+ dollars of pocket change was more than enough to carry me. Much as I would have wanted to save the money and invest it, it is what it is.

Upcoming Hustles

  • One face-painting gig scheduled so far; I suppose I’ll get off my booty and try to start landing more gigs. There was a point in time when I made $800 in a month from face-painting alone, but marketing myself was a full-time hustle, not just a side one.
  • Week-long house sit for two adorable and hyperactive pitbull puppies. Pray for me that there’s no bed bugs.
  • Mystery shop job at a grocery store next to my house! This is going to help out with my penny pinching in the kitchen. The goal is always to spend less than $100 on groceries for the month.
  • Maybe a writing gig from Upwork.com? The client took 6 weeks to respond to my proposal to affirm that he’d like to hire me… so, I think I’ll likely be waiting another 6 weeks for further details. I’m not holding my breath on this one.

Goals for May 2017

  • More face-painting gigs, more dog-walking gigs, more house-sitting gigs. So, you know. The usual.
  • Bartending gigs on weekends I’m not face-painting!
  • Start AirBnb-ing. As of this post, I’ve just moved back into a house I own (it was rented out for a year while I played pirate on a cruise ship). I live alone and have not one but two spare bedrooms. I’d love to hustle and make some cash off of them, and as per Financial Panther’s side hustle report, he mentions that living in a college town helps the hustle. I’ll let you guess where, but I live within 10 miles of two division-one universities. I’m a little nervous about letting strangers into my home, but we’ll see how it goes. Plus, the nights when I’m away from my home because of house-sitting for others, I suppose I’d be able to charge a higher rate for guests having the whole house to themselves, right?
  • Online tutoring. When I first graduated college, I set up profiles on a number of sites for tutoring Latin and English, both of which I have teaching certification for. I recently re-logged in to all of them and found that my profiles are still approved and active. Good deal! There’s also a number of English tutoring sites out there based in China, but the hours likely wouldn’t work for everyone. Personally, I never sleep and have a flexible enough work schedule that I can stay up until 3:00a.m. to run an English lesson.
  • Selling tradelines. Say what you will, but I’ve got amazing credit; selfishly, I’d like to be rewarded for it.

That’s what I’ve got! How were your side hustles this month? Did you clean up well? Got any tips or tricks you’d like to impart upon your fellow side-hustlers? Leave a comment below!

Previous Income Reports:

Click here to read all of my published income reports!

Before you go, I’ve started a group board on Pinterest, Inspiring Income Reports. If you would like an invite, follow me on Pinterest and either leave me a comment below or drop me a line with your email address and Pinterest profile.

 


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4 Replies to “Side Hustle Income Report, April 2017: $727.61”

  1. Man! Awesome month! I can’t believe getting paid to pet and watch doggos is a thing in real life! What is selling tradelines? I don’t think I’ve heard of it before.

    A tip for Airbnb (from a fellow college town host) you can set it so that you have to pre-approve guests, instead of them being able to automatically make a reservation. It makes it easier to decline guests that give you the creeps, or give you zero information about themselves.

    1. Literally typing this reply with a pitbull puppy sleeping in my lap. Two days into May, and I’ve already surpassed my dog sitting income from last month… it’s a good hustle!

      Selling tradelines is where people will pay you to list them as an authorized user on your credit cards to boost their credit score. It doesn’t affect your own score, and they aren’t ever able to get a copy of your card or your personal information… but it’s still sketchy, to be sure. The issuing bank can close your card if they catch wind of it, which could in turn impact your credit score since it lowers your amount of available credit and raises your utilization percentage. Some people also find it unethical because credit scores determine interest rates on things, and an artificially inflated credit score is a dishonest way of gaming the system.

      I… am all right with all of this, haha.

      And, yes. Give me all your AirBnb tips. I *just* made a listing for my property last night, and the entire time I was like, “I have no idea what I’m doing???” You should make a post all about AirBnb-ing!

  2. Great job working the side hustle! Dog sitting can be extremely lucrative. We typically spend $45 a night, and the people we use max out at 4 dogs a day. Imagine making $180 a day hanging out with puppies! Plus you probably get fantastic tax writeoffs. You use your laptop to run the business so part of that is deductible. After a rowdy weekend with 4 dogs, you might need to hire a professional cleaner. Extra food, treats and poop bags too. Keep doing great!

    1. That’s a great idea, about the tax writeoffs! We’ll have to see what the CPA says come tax time.

      To be honest, I’m getting a little burnt out. I’ve been house & dog-sitting for three weeks straight and haven’t had any time to myself or slept in my own bed. That’s the good thing about side hustles, though: take a break without consequence!

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