Side Hustle Income Report, 2018: Part One – $1,662.20

*Affiliate and referral links abound! Read my disclaimer here

Hello, hustlers.

Long time no income report! It’s not because I haven’t been hustling and making that sweet side cash. It’s just that this time last year when I was cranking out the blog posts, I had much more time on my hands to write and hustle.

(Getting a full-time job really cut into my free time, you see…)

So, while I’ve still been side-hustling, it’s not to the same extent. Last year, I was all over the map: face-painting, dog-sitting, bartending, surveys, mystery shopping, freelance writing, and sundry.  This year, I’ve pared down to just face-painting and dog-sitting. Scaling back definitely comes with a decrease in cash, but even so, I’ve still made a decent chunk of change:

In (the first half of) 2018, I’ve earned $1,662.20

I’ll take it.

This time last year, I’d netted $3,000 in side hustle cash. So, I’m not keeping pace, BUT, consider this: I’ve still managed to make more than half of last year’s total with only two hustles and significantly less time investment.

Personal records aside, I’d say I’m doing just fine. Not only that, but I feel a bit more mentally and emotionally sound by reclaiming my weekends and free time. As I’ve blogged about before, side hustles shouldn’t feel like extra work. To recap, a side hustle:

  1. Is something you enjoy doing.
  2. Is not an intense time commitment.
  3. Comes with a good return for your time.

Not meeting one (or all) of those conditions truly feels (to me) like working for work’s sake. Which, no judgment there – if you’re a workaholic and that, um, works for you, more power to you! My workaholic tendencies are born of a near-constant anxiety that I’m never working hard enough to ensure my FIRE- future; most weekends, I have to actively stop myself from feeling guilty for using the time for R&R.

Anyway, that’s enough Eeyore from me. There’s probably fodder there for another blog post down the line, but for now, let’s talk about face-painting and puppies!

Face-painting Income: $1,151

I’ve mentioned before, but face-painting was my first paying job in life. I don’t think I’ll ever not be a face-painter because twelve years later, I still love it! The goal isn’t to be a full-time face-painter (see point #2 above), but there’s something to be said about tapping into a side hustle that allows you to play in the sandbox of your inner child and get paid for it.

Where I found my face-painting gigs:

  2. Networking on a family entertainer’s group on Facebook
  3. My old place of employment (while I may have left the administrative tasks for someone else, at least it’s nice to know they could never replace me as their resident face-painter).

I’ve had five gigs total, which means my average pay per gig is $230.20. I usually don’t spend more than 2-3 hours at each gig, and I really try to limit how far I’ll drive (gas-guzzler of a car without a functional air-conditioner… blech). A huge improvement from the days when I charged <$100/gig!

I wrote in my year-end income report that my goal for this year was to break $3,000 in face-painting income. I think I’m definitely on track to do that!

In passing, if anybody cares for a recommendation, I think Diamond FX is my new favorite brand; intensely pigmented, easy to work with, and creamy without being melty / gloopy / streaky.


Dog-sitting Income: $511.20

I want a dog.



There’s a number of reasons why I haven’t manifested this dream into a reality just yet. For one, I live alone, and I would have to leave a doggo alone for long stretches of time. I know I could mitigate that by hiring my own dog-sitter / walker, but that feeds into reason number two: my yearly income isn’t quite where I would want it to be to take on another mammal. Puppers are expensive and deserve all the love (and $$$) that I can’t quite give them… YET. Reason number three: it’s harder to adopt a dog from a rescue group  than it is to get a gun than running ten marathons. You need references and vet records and interviews and home visits and a fenced yard and and and

I get it. Dogs are treasures. You want to make sure they go to a good home… but I’m a good home, damn it!! #NotSalty.

For now, I will just rent puppers.

This year, it’s been almost exclusively a repeat client – I originally met her through, but after our first visit, we handled dog-sits privately (because takes a nice 20% commission -_-). I love visits from her dog because he is just so sweet and well-behaved and goofy. He’s welcome back any time!

Butt to butt. As it should be.

My other guest this year was this incredibly handsome Schnauzer-mix:

Looks good in a tie. A dog you could bring home to mom. 10/10.

Somehow, I always get the sweetest and most well-behaved pups out there. Maybe I just throw out that aura to dogs, that I’m one of their people. Forgive the maudlin sentiment, but the hardest part of this gig is saying good-bye when they leave. They’re gone, and my heart house feels so much emptier.

My goal was to also hit $3,000 in dog-sitting income for this year. I don’t know that I’m quite on pace for that, so I’m revising to $1,000. One thing that’s impeded business is that I’m quite pickier than before over which dogs I’ll watch (no puppies / high energy dogs, they must agree to come do a meet-and-greet beforehand, etc.) Also, that chocolate lab (above) is moving out of state relatively soon, and he’s been my breadwinner, so…

Ready to get paid to hang out with dogs? Use my referral link to get started on! As you can tell, I like it quite a lot. Maybe too much.


Click here to read ALL of my published income reports!

And there you have it. Professionally, health-wise, emotionally, mentally, and every other metric in-between, 2018 has been a better year than the one before. I’m excited to see what the rest of the year brings.

My current financial goals:

  1. Leveraging passive income & penny-collecting to buy a PS4 by the end of the year (Kingdom Hearts 3, people! Have you heard? January 29th, 2019. I’m so ready).
  2. Setting up a Home Equity Line of Credit to start working on my real estate empire in the near future. So much paperwork. Ugh.

Obviously, the PS4 is the more important of the two. What are YOU working on?


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3 Replies to “Side Hustle Income Report, 2018: Part One – $1,662.20”

  1. I love this! I have been thinking of working on a side hustle but haven’t been able to figure out what I would like doing.
    I love coffees but working as a barista isn’t enticing enough.

    1. Yay! Would you lean toward dog-sitting or face-painting? Both are pretty fun and fulfilling, in my experience.

  2. That’s some very good side income. I also recently hit the $1k mark after years of freelancing, writing, and blogging. My best number is $1010 so far and I hit that in December. The good thing is that I directly route this extra income to investment instruments and do not spend a bit of it. Really helps in creating wealth on the side.

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