A new month means it’s a good time for another side hustle report! For those of you that are new to the blog, each month, I document what I earned from side hustling using sharing economy websites.
My purpose in writing these reports is to show you the type of money that you can make using some of the skills and assets you already own. Even small amounts of side hustle income can add up to a large sum of money given enough time. The beauty of a side hustle, in particular, is the huge impact it can have on your savings rate. This is because every dollar you earn in a side hustle can be saved.
The goal of these side hustles isn’t to replace my day income. It’s to make a little bit of extra money while doing things that I’m already doing or that I think are fun. Because of this fact, whenever I start a side hustle, I always follow three basic principles: (1) I find a side hustle that’s fun to do; (2) I find a side hustle that generally incorporates tasks that I’m already doing; and (3) I find a side hustle where I derive a benefit from it beyond just making money.
For example, I already own a dog, so taking care of a second dog for a few days doesn’t add much additional work to my plate. I basically can make extra money doing the regular dog care tasks I’m already doing. The same goes for making food deliveries on my bike. I enjoy biking around town and exercising, and fact that I can get paid to keep myself in shape is a bonus. Or when I sell trash finds, I help prevent waste and give new life to something that otherwise would go to a landfill.
The good thing about these sort of side hustles is this. If you find out they aren’t for you, you can just stop doing them. There’s very little capital required to begin your side hustle using these sharing economy websites.
I primarily have four sources of side hustle income:
- Renting out a spare guest room on Airbnb
- Dogsitting using DogVacay or Rover
- Making deliveries using Postmates
- Selling trash finds using Craigslist or OfferUp
Side Hustle Income for September 2016
I calculate side hustle income based on the payout date. Accordingly, if I perform a side hustle in August, but get paid for it in September, I count September as the date the income was earned.
For September, my side hustle income was as follows:
- Airbnb: $874
- DogVacay/Rover: $42.50
- Postmates: $307.12
- Selling Trash Finds: $111
Total Side Hustle Income for September 2016 = $1,334.62
Postmates was a bit higher than usual this month. Ms. FP went out of town for a weekend and since I had nothing to do, I decided to spend the entire weekend biking around town making deliveries. It was a ton of exercise and a great way for me to get outside and enjoy the weather.
Here’s a more detailed explanation of how I earned my side hustle money this month.
September brought us a mix of folks coming into town. One of the things we like about Airbnb is learning about our guest’s adventures. And we had a number of interesting travelers stop by our humble abode this month. These included:
- A best selling Australian author
- A guy doing a motorcycle tour of all 48 states
- A pair of girls that had just done a cross country road trip across Canada and were making their way home through the US.
Our Airbnb income was a bit lower than it could have been because we had to block out one weekend for a buddy that was coming into town.
This flexibility to block off days for myself is what makes Airbnb such a great platform for folks that are trying to extract a bit of income out of their home. It’s a totally different feel than going out and finding a roommate.
DogVacay and Rover Income
The dog-sitting business had a very weak month. We ending up only hosting one guest for the entire month – a repeat pup that we had watched last month.
I did have a meet and greet with another potential guest for a stay in September, but that one didn’t pan out. It seemed like the owner wanted someone who would be home 24/7. As I’ve mentioned before, my goal with dog sitting is to be able to make some money doing the dog care tasks I’m already doing. Staying home 24/7 just isn’t something I can offer.
One thing I need to look into is how to drum up more business in my area My neighborhood appears to be super saturated with sitters (lots of college kids with dog sitting listings), so I think I’m just getting lost in the shuffle. October looks to be a better month already, so I’m hoping this was just a down month.
If you’re interested in becoming a host on Rover or DogVacay, consider signing up for Rover using my referral link here. You should also list yourself on DogVacay as well, in order to get your profile out there to as many people as possible.
If you’re looking for more information about my dog sitting side hustle, check out my previous post where I go in-depth about how I make money dog sitting.
This was a pretty big Postmates month for me. Early in the month, Ms. FP was out of town at a dental conference, so I found myself with an entire weekend with nothing to do. Postmates was offering a $60 bonus for Postmates couriers that completed 30 deliveries over the course of the weekend. I’ve never actually tried to collect any of these bonuses before, since I do Postmates sparingly, primarily for the exercise.
This time, I thought I’d give it a shot. So, after work on Friday, I went ahead and made 7 deliveries. I then went on to make 16 deliveries on Saturday, and then 7 deliveries on that Sunday morning/early afternoon. I didn’t track the mileage, but I must’ve biked at least 40 miles total over the weekend. Not too bad. Why pay for a gym if I can just bike around and make some money.
I do have a funny story to share about my Postmates adventures from that weekend. On one Friday night, I grabbed an order from a high-end steak restaurant downtown. The total cost of this order was $438, so I was thinking I could snag myself a huge tip!
On my way into the restaurant, I ran into a partner at my old law firm. Talk about awkward! He asked me how my new job was going and what I was doing downtown. Flustered, I made up a story that I was going to see a buddy at the restaurant. I didn’t really want to share that I was out being a lowly bike messenger! He might think that things weren’t going that well for me…
After getting out of that awkward situation, I walked over to this fancy, high rise apartment building, went up to the 30th floor, and delivered this huge order of porterhouse steaks and salmon The guy went ahead and gave me no tip! It’s not the first time I’ve been stiffed on a tip for an order from an expensive restaurant, but it really confuses me when folks living in extremely expensive apartment buildings order tons of food and then leave no tip. Does this guy do this to pizza delivery drivers? Does he stiff waiters when he’s at a restaurant?
If you want to learn more about how I use Postmates to make some extra money and stay healthy, then check out my post on my Postmates side hustle.
It was college moving season back in August, so Ms. FP and I are slowly working our way through all the trash we found. Here are some of our highlights for this month:
I sold this coffee table I found right away for a quick $15.
I also sold these weird chairs I found. This is the type of stuff that most people won’t even think about picking up.
However, Ms. FP and I, being the curious type, decided to take a closer look and realized that these chairs were made of rubber. This meant that a quick wipe of a rag, and they were perfectly clean! I ended up selling them to a teacher who needed them for her class room. They were perfect for her since they were made of rubber and her students couldn’t mess them up.
These chairs are exactly why I say that people will buy more stuff than you think. I’d never want chairs like these, but you never know what others might need. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right?
We still have a ton more trash to sell, so our plan is to get this stuff moving over the rest of the year. I think $100 per month in trash sales for the rest of the year is entirely reasonable, given what we saved from the dumpster during the August move-out season. And we feel pretty good about saving this type of stuff from the landfill.
If you’re interested in learning more about my trash side hustle, I encourage you to read about how I made over $1,000 selling trash last year.
And that concludes my September Side Hustle Report. There are a lot of ways to make extra income over the course of the year, and it doesn’t have to take up much of your time or energy. Think about your underutilized resources or the things that you are already doing, and figure out how you can make money from it. Over time, your side hustle income can really add up.
Be sure to check out my side hustle report page, where you can find all of my monthly side hustle reports.