A lot of people ask me why I waste my time with all of these silly side hustles. To most people, it doesn’t make much sense that someone like me – a lawyer with a perfectly good job – would spend my free time doing things like delivering food to people, renting out a room on […]
Welcome to this month’s side hustle report! It’s been a busy summer for me, and unfortunately, it’s led to me not posting as often as I’d like. My bad. But, there are some big changes going on with my professional life that I’m hoping will help me get back on track. Can’t wait to share it with you when I get the chance! For now, though, let’s get right to it with this month’s side hustle report.
For those of you that are new to this, each month, I document exactly what I made side hustling using the sharing economy. The nice thing about sharing economy side hustles is that they’re low risk and easy to do. You can start making money immediately and most of the time, you don’t even have to spend any money upfront in order to get started. You can’t say that with pretty much any other business.
Welcome to this month’s edition of the side hustle report. If you’re new, each month I document exactly what I earned doing various side hustles using sharing economy and gig economy apps. I think there’s a lot of value in showing exactly what you can make with these types of apps. They’re super flexible and cost pretty much nothing in upfront costs. There aren’t a lot of businesses that allow you to make money pretty much overnight, whenever you want.
When it comes to side hustling, I have four main sources of income:
The start of April means it’s tax time here in the Financial Panther household. As I’ve been gathering up all my tax documents, I thought it’d be helpful to share with you exactly what I made in 2016 via the sharing economy.
Without a doubt, 2016 was my biggest side hustle year. Altogether, I pulled in a total of $14,181.43 by taking advantage of sharing economy apps like Airbnb, DogVacay, and Postmates! That’s a pretty surprising number to me, especially considering the fact that I spent essentially no money in startup costs and that I made this money by doing things that I was already doing anyway.
Most people that I talk to about Airbnb agree that it’s a cool concept. Now that Airbnb has become pretty mainstream, my guess is that most of you have used it before or at least know someone who has. At this point, I think it’s probably more surprising to find someone who doesn’t know what Airbnb is.
Even though there are a ton of people using Airbnb on the guest side, the majority of people I talk to are understandably hesitant about actually hosting guests on Airbnb. I definitely understand the concerns – they’re ones I still think about as an Airbnb host. My biggest fears are having someone steal from me or otherwise mess up my house. Luckily, nothing like that has happened to me yet.
Even though I know that most people won’t sign up to be an Airbnb host, I still always try to convince people to at least give Airbnb hosting a shot. My rationale is that you don’t need to do it all that time. Instead, you can just try it out a few times and see what it’s like. If it’s too weird for you, you can just deactivate your listing. At most, you lose a bit of your time. But I think even people who are weirded out by having a stranger in their house can handle hosting someone in their home for just a few days per year. Why not challenge yourself and see?
A huge point of controversy in the sharing/gig economy world has been how to classify those of us who work in it. Most people reading this have probably seen or read about lawsuits challenging Uber’s classification of its drivers as independent contractors, rather than as employees. The same lawsuits have been raging on with basically every app out there in this space, including delivery apps like Postmates, DoorDash, and Caviar.
I’ve sometimes wondered if the folks fighting to be classified as employees understand the huge benefits they could be giving up by going that route. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand the problem with misclassifying workers. Most people need the benefits and protections that come with traditional employment.
But, I suspect that many people fighting to be classified as employees under these apps don’t really understand what they stand to lose.
In last month’s side hustle report, I wrote about how I made a little over $25 taking pictures of hiring signs using an app called Job Spotter. Since I didn’t make a ton of money from it, I didn’t expect a lot of people to care too much about the app. But, I was pleasantly surprised at how many people asked for more info about the Job Spotter app. Goes to show that the hustle doesn’t stop around here, no matter how small it might seem.
Those of you who follow Financial Panther know that I’m all about trying to monetize things I’m already doing. It’s why I do bike deliveries when I’m trying to get some exercise, or why I do some dog sitting in my spare time. I walk my dog pretty regularly and I bike around town a lot. While I’m doing this, I probably pass by countless stores and restaurants that are looking to hire people. When I found out there was an app that could help me make some money while I’m already walking around town, I thought it made sense to give it a try.