It’s a new month which means that I’ve got another side hustle report for you guys. Those of you who have been following along with these reports know that each month I document what I made doing various side hustles in the sharing economy. The great thing is that these side hustles allow me to earn income off of the resources I already own. These side hustles also don’t take up very much of my time and have minimal to no startup costs.
And the thing that doesn’t get mentioned enough. Unlike with starting up most businesses, side hustles like these allow me to start making money literally from day one! There aren’t very many side businesses you can start up where you can make money right away with almost no startup costs and very little risk.
If you need to earn a little bit of extra income, I don’t think it’s ever been easier than it is today. We’re in the golden age of side hustling. Imagine what an extra $500 or $1,000 per month could do for you.
When it comes to side hustling, I have four main sources of income:
- Renting out a spare guest room on Airbnb
- Dogsitting using DogVacay or Rover
- Making deliveries using Postmates, Doordash, and Uber Eats
- Selling trash finds using Craigslist or OfferUp
Side Hustle Income for February 2017
I calculate side hustle income based on the payout date. Accordingly, if I perform a side hustle in January, but get paid for it in February, I count February as the date the income was earned.
For February, my side hustle income was as follows:
- Airbnb: $471
- DogVacay/Rover: $148.75
- Postmates/DoorDash/Uber Eats: $151.51
- Selling Trash Finds: $5
- Jobspotter: $24.07
Total Side Hustle Income for February 2017 = $800.33
The side hustle income remains steady even though we’re still fighting through the winter months. The glaring weak spot, as you can probably see, was trash income, which was basically non-existent. It’s not for lack of inventory. I actually still have a garage filled with all of our finds from last August. I just haven’t been motivating myself to get all that stuff listed up, but I do plan to hustle a bit more on the trash front next month. We need to clear out our garage anyway because it’s starting to get overwhelming.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of that income:
Airbnb Income: $471
Airbnb continues to remain steady throughout the winter months. We ended up booking 12 nights for February, which isn’t too bad considering it’s winter time and the demand is pretty low. We also had family coming into town in the last week of February, which required us to block off those dates.
Our guests for the month were primarily folks coming into town for interviews, conferences, or to visit their kids on campus. My favorite guest was definitely an IT guy who was in town for work. His company gives him a per diem to pay for hotels, and wisely, he opts to go for more affordable Airbnb accommodations, allowing him to pocket the remaining cash. It’s a smart move, and something I’d do as well if I were in his position. I’d totally be friends with this guy in real life if I just met him in the street.
One key thing I do to help keep my occupancy up during slow times and maximize my revenue is to make use of pricing apps. I use an app called Beyond Pricing which monitors the local demand for hotels and Airbnb’s in my area, then adjusts the price accordingly. The app has been consistently lowering my rates for the winter in order to help me attract more guests. It’s similar to the way hotels adjust their prices.
In exchange, Beyond Pricing charges me a 1% fee based on what I booked that month. So, if I book $1,000 worth of stays for the month, Beyond Pricing charges me $10. The price is worth it since I’m usually able to either charge someone more during high demand periods or get a booking that I otherwise might not have gotten if I had just stuck with a static price.
If you’re an Airbnb host, I’d highly recommend using Beyond Pricing in order to optimize your pricing. If you use my link, you get your first month free.
And if you haven’t already, why not try your hand at being an Airbnb host? I think it’s worth trying out to at least see if it’s something you could do. It’s a pretty low-risk way to try your hand at being a landlord.
DogVacay and Rover Income: $148.75
Rover continues to do nothing for me in 2017. For whatever reason, my listing is buried behind a million other listings and it’s basically a neverending cycle. As I get fewer bookings on Rover, my listing continues to drop more and more. At this point, either a lot of people aren’t using Rover in my city or I’m basically now invisible on that platform.
Luckily, DogVacay continues to bring me a steady stream of dogsitting clients. This is exactly why platform stacking is so important. If one platform starts struggling, you can make up for it on another platform.
My puppy guests for this month included a repeat guest and a new pup. Both pups were a little bit bigger than what we usually watch and a bit more of a handful than usual. Here’s our repeat guest, who stayed with us during Super Bowl weekend. She’s a good pup – just way more energetic than Financial Pup.
The other pup we had was a new pup with some definite anxiety problems. She was great while we were around. But, when we left the house she would just scream at us (she stayed in a kennel when we left the house). Luckily, we didn’t have any guests with us during that time, but I’ll have to note to myself that we cannot watch this pup if we have Airbnb guests staying with us.
While this pup was here, we did have some freakish 50-degree weather in the Twin Cities. This led us to take a 4-hour walk all around the city. We got some nice pictures as well.
Ms. FP also managed to snag this crazy good picture of the Minneapolis skyline. This was done with a regular iPhone 6. No special camera or anything.
If you love playing with pups in your spare time, then why not try your hand at dogsitting? Consider signing up to be a sitter on Rover. Don’t forget to sign up to be a sitter on DogVacay as well.
Postmates/DoorDash/Uber Eats Income: $151.51
This income should really be more like $50, but I managed to snag a referral bonus through Uber Eats. I don’t think it came from this blog, though.
About a month ago, I posted up a referral link on a pretty large Facebook group for Postmates, explaining that Uber Eats was offering a $100 referral bonus if you did 10 deliveries. I thought that the bonus was worthwhile given how easy it was to do, so I wrote up a little post for the group explaining how simple it was to do and why people should consider it. I didn’t just post up my referral link – there was a value add because I did write a pretty lengthy rationale as to why it would be worth the time to use my referral link.
Naturally, the hate came in. I even offered to split my referral bonus with anyone who wanted to do it. I think one key difference between people who do well with money and those who don’t is the ability to see when there are opportunities to make money. Here I am, approaching a group that is already doing deliveries and constantly complaining about not making enough money, and yet, when I explain a way to make more money doing the same thing, I’m basically met with negativity.
Oh well. After posting my referral link, I guess someone reported me and I was kicked out of the group. One person did take me up on my offer and I managed to make $100 as a referral bonus.
If you’re interested in trying your hand at deliveries, you should sign up for Uber Eats using my referral link.
I’ve been getting a ton of emails from Uber stating that they’re giving a $100 bonus to anyone who signs up with my link and completes 10 deliveries. Note that your mileage may vary, as I don’t know if they’re offering the same bonus in every city. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Trash Income: $5
It was a shameful trash income month (has anyone ever heard someone talk about a shameful trash month?). I have a ton of inventory, but I just haven’t been moving it. The lone sale for the month was a crappy nightstand that we’ve had listed for a long time now. I’ve started getting back into listing more of our trash finds, so March should hopefully be a better month.
Related: Making Over $1000 Selling Trash Finds Found In One Dumpster
Jobspotter Income: $24.07
Jobspotter has quickly become one of my go-to apps. I wrote about my experience with this app in a previous post.
I really never knew how many hiring signs there were out there. And it’s not like I go around looking for them. I think one of the benefits of using a bike and your own two feet to get around is that you can actually see these type of things. If you’re doing everything with a car, you’ll probably never see a hiring sign.
In any event, making 24 bucks doing basically nothing isn’t so bad. It’s enough to cover an HBO subscription with some change left over. I don’t know if I can continue to make this level of income with Jobspotter, but I do think 10 bucks a month isn’t crazy.
And that concludes this month’s side hustle report. February was another slow month, but it’s still pretty interesting that I can make $800 without doing a ton outside of what I already like to do. An extra $500 or $1,000 per month might not seem like all that much. But add it all up and that could easily be $10,000 of extra income for the year. Imagine what you could do with a $10,000 raise.
Be sure to check out my side hustle report page if you’re interested in seeing what I’ve made in other months. And to make it easier, here are some links to my recent side hustle reports right below! Enjoy!
January 2017 Side Hustle Report – $806.84
December 2016 Side Hustle Report – $704.43
Smart Money MD says
Nice job on the AirBNB! Pretty cool that you are able to continue capitalizing on renting out your extra space. As other readers have mentioned, I’m still hesitant on doing this, mostly for convenience. I sometimes end up having to travel for a weekend at the last minute and having to have plans set out in advance for rentals would make it tough unless I have some help in case something happens.
Keep it up!
Financial Panther says
Thanks! Airbnb definitely isn’t for everyone but it’s a really interesting way to monetize the home that you already live in. Obviously, schedules don’t work well for everyone. One thought is to try it out a few times just to see what it’s like. The great thing is, if you rent out your space for 14 days or less, you get all of that income tax-free! It’s one of the few totally tax free pieces of income out there. And I think almost all of us could deal with a stranger in our house for 14 days over the course of a year.
Well done, Panther. An extra $800 or so is nothing to scoff at! How are you allocating your extra income? Does it go straight to your retirement fund, or do you allow yourself to live large with the bonus money?
Financial Panther says
Good question. The interesting thing is how this side hustle income gets classified. “Active” income (such as dog sitting and deliveries are subject to self-employment taxes, which means I throw as much of that income as I can into a Solo 401k). “Passive” income, such as Airbnb, isn’t subject to self-employment tax, which, unfortunately, means I can’t throw it into any tax-advantaged account since I already max out all of my accounts with my day-job income. For now, the Airbnb income is sitting in savings and is being used as the house emergency fund.
Wealth Psychology says
I’m always surprised that more people don’t take advantage of AirBnB for earning some extra cash. I know lots of people have extra space! It looks AirBnB and Beyond Pricing are working great for you. -Aaron
PS: Watch out for duplicate text in your posts (e.g. search for “In exchange, Beyond Pricing”)
Financial Panther says
Thanks Aaron for the heads up. I’ve been trying this app out – Grammarly – and it keeps doing a weird double paragraph thing when I edit. I thought I had fixed that problem but I guess not.
Julie @ Millennial Boss says
Congrats! You’re killing it and I love that you have diverse income streams. I actually signed up to use Door Dash after reading about it on your blog (as an eater, not a deliverer haha) but it’s been really cool to use. I like knowing that I technically could leave my 9-5 and be scrappy and make ends meet with all of these different services (rover, door dash, airbnb, etc.). I’m very, very tempted.
Financial Panther says
It totally feels like a worst case scenario back up if worst came to worst! One good thing about doing these type of gigs is that it really keeps you humble.
” I did write a pretty lengthy rationale as to why it would be worth the time to use my referral link.
Naturally, the hate came in.”
Yeah, it’s tricky to do self-promotion in forums. Even if it’s valuable and helpful to other people and it’s free. People immediately get their torches and pitchforks out because their brain cells are screaming “scam! This person wants something from me!”
But I’m glad at least one person took you up on that offer!
Good job on this month’s side hustle income! Looks like it’s pretty consistent from month to month, so definitely a great inspiration to people who want to make a side income.
Financial Panther says
One thing about a group like Postmates is that the level of discourse in there isn’t very high. There aren’t a lot of lawyers doing these type of gigs.
The interesting thing about these side hustles are that they don’t take a ton of my time. I’m basically monetizing stuff I already have to do anyway (i.e. Cleaning my house, walking my dog, exercising). It’s micropreneurship at its finest.
Mrs. Groovy says
One thing no one can accuse you of is being lazy! My gosh you’re hustling and then some. I like that you’re using multiple platforms and backup platforms. Congrats on earning some serious extra dough!
Financial Panther says
Thanks Mrs. Groovy! You know these type of gigs are pretty darn good for the retired folks too. Basically just make a little extra income whenever you feel like it.
Go Finance Yourself! says
Nice work. Seems like you’re pretty consistently making around $1k per month which is some nice extra cash. The Beyond Pricing app seems well worth the money for your Airbnb listing. Keep hustling!
Financial Panther says