Hello, friends. Another month, another income report. As always, I post these to hopefully educate and inspire others to make some serious pocket change off of side hustling! After all, an extra couple of hundred bucks never hurt anyone. In case anyone is curious what I do with my side hustle cash: aside from this month (see note at the end), I usually pay down my mortgage and dump the rest into retirement accounts (fine, and maybe like two takeout orders). Whomp whomp. Not terribly exciting, I know, but such is the life of a personal finance blogger.
On to the numbers…
Grand total: $959.90
Wowza. That’s nearly $200 more than last month and the most I’ve earned in a month of side hustling, to date. After I was feeling burnt out last month AND had an increase in work hours, I made an effort to scale back the time I committed to side hustling. I did just that, and I’m happy to see that my numbers haven’t dipped because of it. I always aim to make at least an extra $500 per month, but side hustling is volatile. Just because I nearly doubled that goal this month doesn’t mean that it’s on a fixed, upward trajectory. In fact, I have a feeling that July will look a little scant compared to this month, but we’ll cross that bridge after we get there.
How’d I do it?
Face-painting Income: $421
I mentioned last month that I had two gigs lined up on the same Saturday. They both went off without a hitch, and I made a fair amount in tips as well. One of the gigs, I landed through Thumbtack (it’s not always a scam, people), and the other, a business owner sent me an inquiry through my website.
Side Hustle Gospel of the Month: I cannot overstate the importance of responding to requests for quotes, facepainting or otherwise, as fast as humanly possible. Both of those instances, I sent messages in like thirty seconds (canned quote templates are your friend) and they both said something to the effect of, “Wow, thank you for your fast reply.” It’s A) good customer service + B) gives them less time to wander off and hire someone else (trust me, that happens).
Dog Sitting Income via Rover.com: $382
This month, I hosted three doggos at my house. There was a ‘Morkie’, a Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier, who stayed overnight while her humans had the nerve to go get married without her.
Then there was a Golden and Sheltie mix who also only stayed the night because her human came into some sweet suite tix for a Tigers game (and apparently no dogs allowed).
Lastly, for the past two weeks, I’ve had a Chocolate Lab and Shepherd mix staying with me.
Come to find out, on Rover.com you can include an ‘extended period’ rate in your kit and caboodle. That is, for any stays longer than four days, the user will automatically be charged the extended period rate rather than your normal rate. I apparently enabled this feature and set my rate to an extra $4 per night – honestly, I forgot about it, so it was a surprise (but a pleasant one) to see the extra money in my account.
As for how it went, I couldn’t ask for better pups this month. They’ve all been the absolute perfect house-guests. No accidents, no property destruction, no incessant barking. They all just wanted to hang out and be cute and cuddle and nap; I’ve made sure their humans know they can come stay with me again any time.
Oh, no. Here it comes. It’s happening. This is bad, very bad…
*takes deep breath*
I want a dog!!
Click here to get started with your own side hustle of dog-sitting on Rover! As you can see, I like it very much, and the money’s not bad.
Bartending Income: $142
I mentioned last month that I wasn’t sure if I’d keep on with the catering gig. Well, I didn’t. The tips were too unreliable, and the scheduler was pushy about asking me to pick up shifts when it was supposed to be a hands-off, work-when-you-want type of gig. But, if you’ll allow my inner lazy girl to live out loud for a moment, the biggest reason I decided to hang it up: I lost my name tag and didn’t want to pay $5 for a replacement.
Anyway, a good friend recently stepped up as the General Manager for a brew-pub in town and crowd-sourced Facebook for bartenders. Since I work full-time, I couldn’t commit to any regular shifts, so we agreed to ‘stand-by’ shifts here and there. I went in for two shifts this month, one of which was a training session, so I only got half tips, but I didn’t mind because it was a blast.
Brewpub > catering gigs.
The tips are better and the people are happier. Seriously. Here’s to no more caterwauling mothers-in-law at weddings. Cheers!
Aside from the fact that it’s killing my keto (there’s this jalapeno amber ale that’s sooo yummy), I’m now rather convinced I need to open a brewery at some point in my life. My bar would also serve house-made donuts. Who’s with me?
iBotta income: $9.02
So, I love this little app. Usually, I don’t get rebates for specific grocery items, just their standard ‘$0.25 back on your entire purchase at qualifying stores’ rebate. (Although, this month, there was a rebate for bacon, any brand, which was nice since I’m on the bacon diet). However, I stopped by JoAnn’s for crafty, side hustle supplies and got 10% back from my entire purchase there. Then, either for meeting a minimum threshold or for using the app a certain number of times (I can’t figure out what the criteria was; if anyone knows, leave a comment!), I was credited a $5 bonus. Woo! That pushed me over the $20 cash out minimum, which they PayPal’d to me on the same day.
Not half bad for food and supplies I was going to buy anyway.
Also, I like the fact that, as long as you have your receipt, you can go back afterward and get the rebate. I like sites like eBates and SwagBucks, but I always forget to log in to their portal first before making my purchases.
JobSpotter Income: $4.83
I learned about this nifty app from Financial Panther. The premise is that you snap photos of ‘Help Wanted’ signs and submit them for points. You’ll get a varying amount of points (which translates into Amazon gift cards) for each submission. For example, I submitted the ‘We’re hiring!’ signs from a nearby Starbucks and Planet Fitness and only got 5 points apiece, but the sign from my local deli market and sushi joint earned me 96 and 102 points, respectively.
My office is a stone’s-throw away from hundreds of shops and restaurants; since it’s a University campus and staffed primarily by students, the turnaround is constant. It’s a hustle only in that I had to make myself take a walk around campus on my lunch break to go ‘sign spotting’, which, all things considered, is probably a good thing (getting paid to get up from my desk and take a walk. Oh, the horror.)
Survey Income: $1.30
Again, I devote almost no time to taking surveys. Mostly, I find them tedious and boring, and the payouts aren’t worth the time invested. But, I bus to and from work each day and can spare at least one minute on StreetBees and Surveys On The Go. I’ve mentioned before, StreetBees has good payouts and no minimum threshold for payouts, but infrequent surveys. SotG has not quite as good payouts (and will, frustratingly, let you get twenty questions into a survey before telling you you’re not qualified) and a minimum threshold that I’ve yet to meet after seven months, but more frequent opportunities.
Blog Income: $0.05
Movin’ on up…
When I first started my blog, I had the idea that I was going to do a monthly favorites. But, that’s not really my jam, so if you’ll indulge me, I want to start including a Song of the Month with these reports because I’m obsessed with Spotify and creating The Perfect Playlist.
Song of the Month: Clean by Big Data
If you like slow(ish), intense, and kind of sexy electronic music, this is for you.
Where the Money Went
Life happened. Again.
- Side hustle taxes were due on the 15th. Yes, my fellow American side hustlers. Your pocket change, through and through, is income on which you need to pay taxes. Next quarterly estimates are due in September.
- Car insurance was due! I pay semi-annually to get a discount, but… highest premiums in the nation, yo. One day, I shall be car-less in some fashion, biking leisurely to and fro. But, until then…
Goals for Next Month
- Going to pitch to various/new places for face-painting. It’s summer, a.k.a. Birthday party/picnic/summer festival/fair/carnival season. Were I trying harder and dependent on this for my full-time income, then I suspect that July is make-or-break territory. I’ve also been accepted into a closed Facebook group for family entertainers, so that’s a solid network that hopefully leads to more gigs. Currently, I’ve got one gig, a 4th of July party. From there, we’ll see.
- I took my AirBnB listing offline. I’m just not ready to host guests. I don’t even have a bed in my guest bedroom. So, I guess that’s a goal: get a bed. Profit.
- If you noticed, most of my hustles were offline/in-person. No mystery shopping. No freelance writing, which is a shame, because I enjoy doing it and want to get to a point where I could support myself from writing alone. A goal for next month, then, is to do at least one writing gig.
- MORE DOGS. Always more dogs.
Anyway, that was my snapshot of my month. What do you think? Any tips on how to hustle smarter not harder? Any new and interesting ways or apps you’re using to earn your pocket change these days?
Previous Side Hustle Income Reports:
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