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September 2016 Side Hustle Report

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.

Homer likes making a little extra cash.

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:

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.

Airbnb Income

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.

You’ll notice Financial Pup curled up to the right. She appears to have melted into the couch.

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.

Postmates Income

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.

Okay, I didn’t actually have to go off-roading to make deliveries.

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. 

Trash

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.

September 2016 Side Hustle Report 3

I also sold these weird chairs I found.  This is the type of stuff that most people won’t even think about picking up.

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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.

26 Comments

  1. Really impressive the side income you can make in the sharing economy. I really need to explore some of these options.

    I love the sustainability angle of this too. The benefit stacking of the Postmates gig and Craigslist hustle. It’s really fun to see your reports

    • Thanks Adam! I’m just trying to have some fun out there with these gigs. They aren’t going to make me rich by any means, (or maybe they will?). Glad you enjoy them. My hope is just to show people that you can make a little bit of money out there with these gig economy apps.

  2. Great job on the side hustles! You make a great point in that small amounts of side income can add up to great savings over time (or be used to pay of debt quicker).

    My wife and I have done Rover a couple of times. It’s a pretty low effort way of making some extra money since we’re already taking care of our dog. We haven’t considered Airbnb yet, but it might be something we can consider in the future.

    Anyway, great update. Keep the side hustles coming!

    • Thanks SRGO! I’ve had a great time doing Rover and DogVacay so far, although it’s definitely nothing more than just a bit of side money. But it’s fun and who doesn’t like playing with dogs?

      If you have a house, you should definitely consider putting up a room on Airbnb just to see if its for you. When we first started, our plan was just to experiment with it and see if we liked it. At first, we found it a bit awkward and were planning to stop, but after a while, we just got used to it and found it didn’t interfere with our life very much. People are just genuinely nice, it seems, and are happy that you are sharing your home with them, even if it’s a business transaction.

      The good thing, if you start up one of these type of side hustles and find out its not for you, you can just stop, and all you’ve lost is the time it took to get started. I tried out Instacart, for example, and after doing it once, I realized that doing grocery deliveries wasn’t for me, so I just quit doing it.

  3. I love it! Your reports are always awesome. When I worked for a furniture store, I did notice that the folk who spent $20k on furniture were LESS likely to tip vs the people who were spending $1k-$2k. I would often remind the more wealthy customers so the delivery guys didn’t get stiffed.

    • Thanks Ms. MT! I’m glad you enjoy these reports!

      I wonder if the lack of tipping is simply not understanding how these type of workers are compensated and how important tips are to making a decent wage. One thing about doing a “low level gig” like this is that it has really made me humble and made me understand how important tipping is in service based industries like this. It’s a good way to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

  4. Your report inspired me to check out something similar to Postmates that’s in my city. Not a whole lot of money but an extra $20 here and there is so valuable. Thanks so much!! I needed to be reminded.

    • No problem Finance Solver! One thing I do recommend is to stick to services in which you can bike around town, rather than using your car. As you noted in your recent post about staying healthy, your body is your greatest weapon. Being able to bike around town, exercise, and get paid to do it, is a great way to make some side money while exercising.

  5. Interesting…I was wondering about Postmates and I think Amazon supposedly is coming out or maybe has already come out with a delivery service for those who want 1-day delivery. I haven’t really looked into it that much though because I’m a bit lazy and time-crunched…with 2 little ones…and I also do wonder if I might get caught up in a similar awkward circumstance. What if you knew the person ordering the delivery?? And pretty messed up that you didn’t get a tip!

    • If you have 2 little ones and are busy with other things, it might be hard to carve out time to bike around town making deliveries. Although, we all need to do some exercise, I suppose.

      I’ve actually been in several situations where I made a delivery to someone who I knew. I’ve made two deliveries to a guy who was a teaching assistant when I was in law school, but I don’t think he recognized me. I’ve only had to explain myself to one guy who I saw in an apartment building while I was making a delivery to someone else. I knew the guy from a lawyer event, and when he asked me what I was doing, I just explained that I sometimes Postmate on the weekend for fun and exercise. He laughed and thought it was funny.

  6. I love reading your side-hustle reports! An extra $1300 is nothing to sneeze at.

    Interesting you didn’t get a tip from the expensive meal. My 16 y.o. said one of his friends doesn’t leave tips at restaurants. Now that’s one thing, but when you’re ordering a $400+ meal, there is just no excuse for it.

    • Thanks Amanda! It’s been pretty fun seeing all this money add up. Not tipping on that $400+ delivery was pretty crazy to me. Maybe he just figured my money was made from the delivery fee or something. It’s odd because I’ve gotten stiffed a few times now on deliveries from expensive restaurants, which makes me wonder why these customers are ordering from these restaurants in the first place if they can’t afford to/don’t want to tip.

  7. That is an extra 1,300 going straight to retirement, or whatever your desires may be! I like how you pointed out the flexibility you have with AirBnB. This is something you do not get with renting which makes this such an interesting concept that I feel many people can take advantage of.

    Looks like Postmates is not only going to get you into incredible shape but they can easily cover your grocery services, which is ironic.

    • That’s definitely why I like Airbnb right now. We get more income than we would get with getting a roommate, but we get a ton more flexibility. Guests that stay with us know they are guests, so they are super respectful and quiet. Another side benefit – we keep our house really clean now! I don’t know about you, but before we started Airbnb, it was pretty easy for our house to just get really messy just from being complacent. But since we have guests staying in our house regularly, we’re regularly keeping our house clean since we don’t want people to think we’re slobs. It’s a personal pride thing really.

  8. This is the first time of read one of your side hustle reports, I found it very interesting, some of the hustles wouldn’t necessarily work for me (in the UK) but it’s encouraged me to be a bit more open to other opportunities.
    Thanks.

    • Thanks for reading Aaron! Glad you found this post helpful. There’s alot of way out there to make some extra money. I think the key is to be open to trying them out (you also have to be a bit of a wierdo like me – what kind of young professional does bike messenger deliveries on the side, right?).

  9. TJ TJ

    I wasn’t aware of PostMates. This is an intriguing side income opportunity!

    Have you guys had any monthly visitors yet with AirBNB?

    I see the huge discounts and my eyes light up when planning my upcoming road trip, I feel like staying in a few different spots for longer period of times will be a nice break from constantly being on the road, and a way to cut my costs…

    • Hi TJ! We are getting regularly booked with Airbnb. It seems like any day we have available gets filled eventually, which was very unexpected to me.

      If you’re traveling and just need a place to stay, just finding a guest room that someone is renting out is really the most cost effective way to get around. Obviously, you lose the privacy aspect of a hotel room, but if you’re like most of the travelers we have stay with us, you’re probably only going back to the house to sleep. Our guest room has been hosting a lot of folks who are in town for a day or two interviewing for grad school programs or attending conferences.

      I plan to have some posts coming up on my Postmates and Airbnb experience, so stay tuned if you’re looking for additional info!

  10. Nice work, Panther! Another excellent side hustle income, and awesome that you’re making money exercising. It’s nice to have flexible side hustles that you can do as you choose.

    • Thanks Mr. Crazy Kicks! It’s been a ton of fun doing this side hustle experiment and it’s pretty interesting to see how that money adds up over the course of a year.

  11. I love dumpster diving and finding new treasures. Isn’t it amazing what you can find and resell? Most of the time I only need to clean the items and it’s good to go. We recently found two double strollers laying next to our neighbors trash. We took them home and cleaned them up. There was NOTHING wrong with them. It turns out the going rate for them on craigslist was $200 each. Easiest money we ever made 🙂

    • That’s awesome! I think I remember you saying that you had found these in strollers before, so I’m glad to see you got it sold and that someone else can use them now, instead of them ending up in a landfill!

      And $200 for something you found on the street!? It’s like someone left you two $100 bills, in a way!

  12. Really impressive side income you’ve got going on here, especially love the trash selling! In Quebec, they have what’s called “Moving Day” every July 1, where a significant portion of renters decide to move all on the same day. Seems like you could make a killing wandering around in the following days picking up gems to resell.

    • We actually have that same thing here! I live in a college neighborhood, so in August, all the college kids were moving out of town. Ms. FP and I just went around the neighborhood picking up every good piece of trash we could find. The great part is, during moving season, you can grab trash with no shame, since we just look like college kids finding furniture for our house. I actually ended up collecting so much trash during the moving season that we are slowly working our way to selling all of it. Will probably have enough trash to keep us busy through the end of the year.

  13. Dude, you’re motivated! Yea a lot of people will throw out stuff that is like-new or new in its package with tags on them. It’s crazy man. I was reading the Frugal Woods blog and they find a lot of decent stuff in the trash. Mrs. Frugal Woods once said she went like 2 years without buying new clothes.

    Also, people do interesting stuff with trash like they do installation art, upcycled art, etc. People get totally creative with it. I was watching a video with Cat Alford, she’s a PF writer, and she said in a video that someone bought a broken lamp from her once. You just never know!

    • That’s exactly what I say about the stuff you find. Even if you think its worthless, there is probably someone out there who thinks it isn’t. I once sold a bunch of Voss water bottles I found in the trash to someone who wanted them for an art project. I sold a broken playstation I found in the trash for $20. I’ve also sold broken flat screen TVs. There are people out there who know how to fix things or have use for broken things for the parts. And if you got it for free out of the trash, any money you make from it is a profit.

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