One feature I thought I’d put on this blog is a monthly Side Hustle Report to track my side hustle income.
What I love most about side hustling is how easy it is to develop a side hustle today. Back in the old days, you really needed a specific skill, maybe needed to develop a website, and definitely needed a way to reach customers.
That’s all changed with the new sharing economy platforms that have sprung up in the past few years – think Airbnb, Uber, Postmates, etc. For anyone looking to make a couple extra bucks a month I always recommend getting involved in these sharing economy platforms. Unlike getting a second job, there’s really no commitment if you find out that you don’t have the time or inclination for the side hustle. If it’s not for you, then you can just stop using the platform. No harm, no foul, and no cost to you other than some of your time.
Earning a little extra in a side hustle might not seem like much, but a few hundred bucks a month can lead to a couple hundred thousand in 20 to 30 years. If you have trouble maxing out your Roth IRA for example, just think how hard it would be to earn $5500 a year in side money (the 2016 maximum contribution to a Roth IRA). That’s $458 per month or $15 per day. It can be done! (I know you need to account for taxes, so you need to take that into consideration as well. Save your money in the side hustle to account for taxes, but the point remains, a little bit of side income can really help and add up).
So how do I side hustle? 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
To simplify my math, I’ve decided to calculate my monthly side hustle income based on payout date. So if I perform the side hustle in May but get paid for it in June, I count June as the date the income was earned.
Without further ado:
- Airbnb = $1210
- DogVacay and Rover = $531.25
- Postmates and Caviar = $695.71
- Trash Finds = $60
Total Side Hustle Income for June 2016 = $2,496.96
Admittedly, this was a uniquely high earning month. A little background into how I made that money:
We’ve had a college intern staying with us in our spare guest room for the entire summer. He is paying our nightly Airbnb rate, which comes out to between $45 and $55 per night. I’ll concede, this is an unusual guest. Most guests aren’t going to pay that much to rent a room for such a long period of time. Reasonably, we’re aiming to make about $600 per month from Airbnb income, so this number will not usually be so high.
We own a 5-year-old Beagle-Italian Greyhound mix and it dawned on us that it wouldn’t be difficult for us to watch a second similarly sized dog. Since we already take care of our own dog, watching a second dog really isn’t any more work.
In 2015, we found DogVacay and Rover. Both websites are basically an Airbnb for dogs – people go out of town and need someone to watch their dog for a few days. They find us on DogVacay or Rover, we meet them to make sure that they have a good dog that gets along with our dog and fits with our schedule. We’ve been charging $25 per night and usually average about $200 per month for taking another person’s dog into our home.
This month, our payout for this side hustle report was higher than usual because we had a guest pup stay with us at the end of May and stretching into June. We’re paid either 1 or 2 days after the stay ends, so the payout came in June, which skews the numbers a bit.
I have so much fun doing this. Postmates and Caviar are essentially a bike messenger delivery service. People order food and the order gets dispatched out to a delivery person. As a Postmate or Caviar Courier, you can simply log in anytime you want and accept a delivery if you are pinged. If you don’t want to make the delivery, you can just reject the order or log off. I make my deliveries on bike, so I see it as a double benefit of getting exercise while also getting paid!
June was higher than normal. I quit my job at a large law firm in mid-June and had a few days off before I started my new government job the next week. Just as a test, I decided to Postmate for an entire day just to see what I could make. I had so much fun biking around town all day. Probably no one should have this much fun being a delivery man, so I’m probably just odd. Unfortunately for the Twin Cities, Caviar recently shut down. While I wasn’t getting a ton of orders on Caviar, I did find it to pay the best. Now I’ll have to rely on just Postmates. We’ll see if the orders keep coming in.
I found an Ikea Entertainment Center in the trash of my old apartment building. It was disassembled and all the pieces were in a plastic bag. I sold it on Craigslist for $60. A pretty good score for something I fished out of the trash.
So there you have it. $2,496.96 in side income for June 2016. My goal for the end of the year is to make $10,000 in side income, and I believe I am well on track to reach that amount.
More information about each of these side hustles to follow in future posts!