It’s a new month (and a new year too) which means that it’s time for another side hustle report! For new readers who have found this blog, I just want to welcome you and thank you for stopping by my little corner of the web.
As for what’s going on here, each month I document exactly what I earned from side hustling using various sharing economy and gig economy apps and platforms.
My purpose in documenting this income is two-fold:
- I want to show you exactly how much someone can earn on the side. Remember, I do all of the stuff I write about here while also holding down a full-time, 9-5 day job, as well as working on this blog.
- I want to give you ideas and inspire those of you who are looking to make a little extra income. If I can do this, I know you can too.
I think what’s particularly useful about these side hustle reports are that they consist of stuff that most people can do. You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to get started earning extra money on your own time – most of the things I do are just a simple matter of taking the time to sign up for it or get your listing set up. If it works out for you (like it has for me), then great! If it doesn’t, you can just move onto the next thing and you haven’t really lost anything except for a small amount of time.
Importantly, the numbers here, I think, are realistic for the vast majority of people. You might be able to make thousands and thousands of dollars on the side one day – and if that’s your goal, you should definitely go out there and do that (I’d love to be in that position someday too). But, if you need to make an extra $500, $1,000, or $2,000 right now, this is exactly how you can do it.
With that said, let’s take a look at how I did in December of 2017.
Side Hustle Income for December 2017
Here’s a breakdown of my side hustle earnings in December.
- Airbnb: $373
- Rover: $127.50
- Postmates/DoorDash/Uber Eats: $221
- Selling Trash Finds: $40
- Wag: $196.50
- Job Spotter: $16.53
- WeGoLook: $20
- Roadie: $28
Total Side Hustle Income for December 2017 = $1,022.53
In December, I managed to bring in over $1,000 from eight (8) different income sources. That’s one of the great things about having multiple revenue sources. Even if you have a slow month, you can make up for it in other areas.
In this case, as you can probably see, Airbnb was a low earning month compared to what it usually is (typically, Airbnb makes up 50% of my side hustle earnings each month). But because I was able to make money in other areas, I was still able to bring in a solid amount of side income.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of my December side hustle income:
Airbnb Income: $373
December is always a slow month for me on Airbnb, mainly because I block off the last two weeks of the year for family coming in for the holidays. That’s actually one of the great things about just renting out a room like this – when my wife and I need the house, it’s ours. You lose that flexibility when you opt for a regular roommate.
For the month, I ended up hosting 6 different guests for a total of 10 nights. That averages out to a nightly rate of $37. Admittedly, that’s not a very high nightly rate, but demand is lower in the winter and the guests I get in December are typically very low maintenance. In fact, December is one of my favorite hosting months because it’s residency and medical school interview season, and due to my location, I get a lot of guests coming into town for these interviews.
The nice thing about residency and med school interviews are that these type of guests usually arrive late in the evening, then leave early in the morning for their interviews. I had one guest this month, for example, that was in my house for literally less than 7 hours – he arrived late in the evening, went to sleep, and was gone before I even woke up.
If I ever do stop hosting on Airbnb, which will probably happen at some point, I think I’d still at least try to make my guest room available during interview seasons. It’s not a lot of money, but I get a sense of satisfaction with giving students a comfortable and affordable place to stay for a night or two. My wife and I both remember what it was like traveling to different schools on a student budget, so I feel like I’m helping someone out in a way.
If you’re looking to generate some extra income from your home, Airbnb is a great place to do it, especially if you already have a guest room that’s going unused. If you feel like supporting me, sign up to be an Airbnb host using my referral link. I think hosting on Airbnb is worth trying out at least once, just so you can see if it’s for you or not. If it’s something you enjoy, then great, stick with it. And if not, you can at least know you tried it out.
Rover Income: $127.50
After the goose-egg last month, I got back on track with Rover in December. I actually ended up watching two guest dogs in December, but one of the dogs I watched was during the Christmas holidays so that income will be reflected in next month’s side hustle report. This month’s income report only reflects the guest pup that I watched around the beginning of December.
In terms of pups, this one was definitely a winner in my book – easily one of the top dogs in my Rover history. Take a look:
Dogs like this are the ones you want to snag – she basically just slept the entire time, got along very well with Financial Pup, and otherwise fit in very well with my family’s lifestyle. I’m hoping this can be a repeat, guest pup, but when a dog is this chill, I feel like the owner will probably always have a friend who will watch their dog for free.
Rover is a particularly great side hustle for anyone who already owns a dog. If you think about it, if you already own a dog, you’re already used to doing all of your daily dog tasks. Taking care of a second dog doesn’t really add much additional work to your plate.
If you’re interested in trying your hand at dog sitting and feel like supporting me, you can sign up to be a Rover sitter using my link.
Here’s another good shot of that guest pup before we move on:
Postmates/DoorDash/Uber Eats Income: $221
A lot of my delivery income relies on the weather – since I do deliveries on my bike, I’m much less likely to go out and do deliveries in the rain or cold. That’s why my delivery income typically dips a ton during the winter months.
Luckily, the first half of December was unseasonably warm, which meant that I was able to get out there and do a lot more deliveries compared to what I would normally do in December. The really interesting thing in December, though, wasn’t just that I did deliveries, but where I did them.
As I mentioned in a post last week, at the beginning of December, I went to the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis thanks to taking advantage of the events that SoFi offers for being a SoFi member (essentially, free food, drinks, and other fun stuff).
To get to Indianapolis, I flew down to Chicago from Minneapolis, then had a buddy of mine pick me up as he drove down to Indianapolis from Madison. I landed in Chicago in the morning but needed to kill a few hours until I could get picked up (my buddy had to work that morning and wouldn’t be able to get to Chicago until later in the afternoon). Instead of just sitting around in a coffee shop, I thought it’d be fun to turn on my Postmates app and see what the delivery world looked like in Chicago.
First, I needed to get some wheels if I wanted to do deliveries. I grabbed a 24-hour pass on the Divvy bike-share program for $10, then turned on the Postmates app and snagged a delivery pretty much right away. Chicago is a big city, so I basically got as many deliveries as I wanted. This is another reason bike share systems are such amazing infrastructure – it gives me the opportunity to do things like this. I basically got to explore a city on two wheels, make a little money while I killed some time, and have a little fun doing some deliveries too. I made back my $10 investment pretty quickly.
Chicago wasn’t the only place I did deliveries in December – I also did a bunch of deliveries while I was in Indianapolis. My friend and I were staying at a hotel downtown and when we had a little downtime, I turned on the Postmates app, accepted a delivery, and hopped on a bike share bike in Indianapolis (they have their Pacer bike share stations located throughout Downtown Indy, and with temperatures near 60 degrees, it made for very comfortable riding weather).
One restaurant worker in Indy was very intrigued when she found out that I was doing deliveries and was only in town to visit. It’s a thing a lot of people don’t know about Postmates – you can do it in any city that Postmates operates in.
I’ve got an unofficial goal of doing a delivery in every city, and so far, I’ve gotten that number up to 6 now (I’ve done deliveries in Minneapolis, DC, New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Las Vegas). Unfortunately, the other apps I use (DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc), don’t seem to allow you to do deliveries in other cities unless you ask them to switch what city your app operates in, which is too much of a hassle to do.
If you’re wondering, here’s a breakdown of what I earned on each delivery platform in December:
Remember, I do all of these deliveries on my bike, so not only do I not cause any extra pollution, but I’m getting healthier just by being out there biking. It’s like I’m getting paid to exercise.
If you’re looking for more info about my experience as a bike messenger, make sure to check out these posts:
- My Postmates Review: Getting Paid To Bike Around Town
- Is It Possible To Make Over $50 Per Hour As A Bike Messenger?
Trash Income: $40
It was a fairly standard trash month in December – I haven’t put a lot of effort into selling trash finds recently, so this income has taken a dip over the past few months.
One quick trash find we sold was an old hutch that my brother-in-law asked me to sell for him. He and his wife just bought a house and the previous owners left this in the house:
They thought about keeping it (hence why they put their plates and bowls in it) but then decided that they didn’t really want it – it was pretty dinged up and not in the best condition. I ended up listing it for sale for $25 and it sold within an hour (if you need tips on where to sell your stuff, here’s a list I put together a while back). We then used that money to get ourselves some dinner.
I’ll be adding up all of my trash income numbers for 2017 in the coming months, but at the moment, it’s looking like it’ll be over $1,600 worth of trash that I’ve sold. That’s 4 figures worth of stuff that my wife and I literally found in the street! Pretty incredible how much stuff people throw away.
Wag! Income: $196.50
Wag continues to be a surprising income earner for me. At first, I didn’t see a lot of value in Wag for a working professional like myself since I work during the day and during the day is when most people are looking to get their dogs walked.
But it turns out that if you work anywhere with apartment buildings nearby, it’s possible for Wag to integrate very well with your day-to-day life. Most people need their dogs walked around lunchtime, so if you have apartment building near your office, it’s possible to snag a walk during lunch and earn some cash while getting away from your desk for an hour. That’s basically what I’ve been doing – there’s a client that gets regular dog walks in the apartment building across the street from my office. Instead of spending $10 or whatever at lunch, I instead go across the street, stretch my legs, and walk their dogs for half-an-hour.
Another interesting thing about Wag is that, like Postmates, you can do it in any city. While I was in Chicago, I ended up snagging a walk with this little guy:
Definitely not a bad way for me to spend a day in a new city. If you’re trying to live like a local, seems like walking someone’s dog is the way to do it.
For more information, make sure to check out my in-depth write-up about my experience as a Wag walker.
Job Spotter Income: $16.53
Same as usual on Job Spotter this month. Job Spotter is becoming really consistent income for me. It really is a no-brainer for anyone – you need to have this app on your phone.
After adding it all up, in 2017, I earned $221.62 from Job Spotter. Not bad at all.
Be sure to read my in-depth review of Job Spotter if you’re looking for more information about how this app works.
WeGoLook is one of the picture-taking apps I use. There are a lot of apps in this space that I keep on my phone – Merchandiser, Field Agent, EasyShift, and GigWalk. I don’t go out of my way to do these gigs, but I will do them if they happen to be nearby to where I already am.
This month on WeGoLook, I saw a gig for a scene inspection near me. These are basically the easiest WeGoLook gigs you can do and ones I always grab if they’re anywhere near me. For a scene inspection, you’re basically taking pictures of where an accident occurred (according to the notes in the app, a car was turning right and hit a biker that was riding alongside the car).
Instead of sending an insurance adjuster to look at a scene, WeGoLook contracts for someone like me to go out to the accident scene and take photos. Note that you’re not taking photos of the actual accident, just of the scene where the accident would have happened.
A scene inspection takes me 15 minutes max to complete, so I think it’s always worth doing for $20 and if it’s near you. It’s not a ton of money, but it can add up.
I’ve written briefly about Roadie in other side hustle reports, but basically, Roadie is an app where you can deliver stuff to people. The idea behind the app is that there are tons of cars driving in all directions, and most of those cars could be carrying things too.
For me, what’s most interesting are the baggage delivery gigs. Roadie has a contract with Delta to deliver lost bags to people – when the airline loses your bag, they find it, get the bag to the airport, then dispatch a Roadie to bring it to you from the airport. I’m guessing it saves the airline money since, instead of having to pay an employee to drive around delivering bags, they can just pay an independent contractor to drop the bag off if they’re already heading in that direction.
When my buddy and I were driving back to Chicago from Indianapolis, we happened to see a bag delivery gig to a town along the way. We stopped by the Indy airport on our way out of the city, grabbed the bag from the baggage claim, and then we were on our way to the house. It was a quick couple of bucks that didn’t require us to do anything really since we were already heading in that direction.
You definitely shouldn’t go out of your way to do Roadie gigs, but if you happen to be at the airport already, it’s worth firing up the app just to see if there are any deliveries to be made in your direction. It’s a few bucks for not that much work, after all.
And that’s the December 2017 Side Hustle Report!
It was a great year for me on the side hustle front and I think I earned income from something like 20 or more different income sources to a tune of over $16,000.
There’s a lot of money to be made out there, and it’s possible to incorporate all of this stuff into your life if you want to. Plus, you might find this stuff fun – I get a therapeutic benefit in doing all of these different things that are unlike anything I do in my normal, day-to-day work.
Hope everyone had a great 2017! Be sure to check out my side hustle report page if you’re interested in seeing what I’ve made in other months. You can also check out my most recent side hustle reports below if you’re looking for quick access to other side hustle reports.
November 2017 Side Hustle Report -$1,450.57
October 2017 Side Hustle Report – $1,884.13
September 2017 Side Hustle Report – $2,055.19
August 2017 Side Hustle Report – $2,495.50
July 2017 Side Hustle Report – $1,816.50
My question for you. How did your 2017 side hustling go? Any sharing economy/gig economy platforms that you’ve tried out in 2017 that you had success with?
Erik @ The Mastermind Within says
Even with a decreased amount of AirBnB, still a $1000+ month! Congrats!
What are you forecasting for 2018? $30k in side hustle income?
Financial Panther says
Haha, naw. I’ve got pretty mild goals – I try to aim for like an average of $1k on the side each month from various things.
1. That pup is GORGEOUS. I’m intensely jealous. I’m a hound-lover through and through.
2. Re: deliveries / Wag / Roadie – another thing I’m jealous about. I want to try these out, but most / all of them aren’t ‘in my city’ just yet. Which, is silly, since I live in a Big 10 University town, as well. We also have a bike-share program. So much potential!! I really like the idea of trying it out whilst traveling. I’m going to LA for a work-conference at the end of February, but will have two days to kill at the end… why not, right? I’m getting paid to be there, why not get some side hustle dollars on top of it?!
Financial Panther says
I knew that pup was a winner as soon as I met her.
Ah, maybe see if some other delivery service is available? My buddy lives in Madison and they didn’t have Postmates, but did have Uber Eats and Grubhub. It’s fun to be able to do this stuff anywhere.
Margin of Saving says
$1,000 per month is impressive! I think it helps that you like what you do on the side (or at least get good exercise), so it doesn’t feel like a job.
Financial Panther says
Thanks! There’s a definite therapeutic benefit of doing these side things, which I think has value in itself, even if the gig itself doesn’t seem like its paying all that much.
Mr. Groovy says
Postmates + ride share = awesome side-hustle income in a foreign city. Very ingenious, my friend. This is one side-hustle I can see pursuing. What a great way to use some down-time and get to know a city.
Financial Panther says
It’s something I think you could call, the Postmates vacation. And it’s fun too and can get you off the beaten path.
Penelope Silvers says
Do you know how many people just need to make an extra $500-1000 per month to make ends meet? This is seriously good information, and I believe you will help many folks with what you’ve shared. Have an amazing side hustle January! 🙂
Linda Summer says
This seems to be a good spot to ask about income tax in your side hustles. Are you issued any kind of 1099 or are you just expected to claim the extra money somewhere on your 1040?
I am going to try to set some side hustles up this year if where I am moving to will accommodate some of them. I was already thinking about local dog walking anyway as a way to earn money and get exercise.
Financial Panther says
Good question. In general, if you make over $600 in a year from any of these platforms, you’re going to get a 1099, although the platforms that pay you through PayPal aren’t required to give you a 1099 unless you make something like $200,000, so in those cases, I just report the income myself on a Schedule C.
Basically, you report all of your self-employment income on a Schedule C. Here’s a post I wrote a while back about how side hustle taxes work – definitely worth a read if you’re looking for a little more background.
Linda Summer says
Millennial Peach says
Every month I am impressed with your side hustle and you have inspired me to start my own side hustle! Hope you check out my monthly side hustle reports. Look forward to seeing how well you do in 2018!
Financial Panther says
Thanks man! Checking it out now!
What the heck, if I’m understanding it correctly then WeGoLook sounds awesome. It’d be kinda fun during the summer to find a spot that someone needs pictures taken and go on a bike ride there. Although I suppose the requests for pictures aren’t very frequent… or are they? I’ll just have to check it out myself.
Financial Panther says
Yep – that’s exactly the issue. It’s not frequent enough to consistently do these gigs. At least not in my city. If you look back at my side hustle reports, you’ll see that my WeGoLook income is very sporadic.
Summer is obviously the best time and biking to a scene inspection is exactly what I do. My best one I had was a scene inspection that was literally on a bike path (someone had gotten clipped by a car at the bike street crossing). Not bad to bike over there and get 20 bucks to do it.