After a few bad months, I’m doing my best to get the May side hustle report out in a timely manner (instead of at the end of the month, as has so often been the case). So, welcome to the May 2018 side hustle report!
If you’re new here, let me break down what these side hustle reports are all about. Each month, I document exactly what I earned from side hustling using sharing economy and gig economy apps. I share these reports for two reasons:
- To show exactly what someone can make doing these side hustles while also working a full-time job; and
- To inspire you and give you ideas so that you can do the same thing if you want to.
The nice thing about writing these side hustle reports is that it gives me something to look back on. I’ve been doing these side hustles for years, and before starting this blog, I never really kept track of it. It still surprises me today what someone can make doing all of these little things on the side.
Anyway, with that said, let’s see what I made in May from side hustling:
Side Hustle Income for May 2018
- Airbnb: $878.82
- Rover: $106.25
- Postmates/DoorDash/Uber Eats/Amazon Flex/ClusterTruck: $200.85
- Wag: $241.80
- Private Dog Walking Client: $24
- Selling Trash Finds: $5
- Job Spotter: $12.29
- WeGoLook: $12
- Gigwalk/EasyShift/Field Agent/Observa: $3.60
- ReceiptPal/Receipt Hog/Fetch/Trunow: $25
- Google Opinion Rewards/Dabbl/1Q: $2.02
Total Side Hustle Income for May 2018 = $1,511.63
May turned out to be a really good side hustle month, as I was able to pull in over $1,500 outside of my day job. For a lot of people, an extra $1,500 is huge – maybe even life-changing.
Remember that I did all of this while working a full-time job and working on this blog as much as I can. What this means is that, if I can do this, you can do it too. Believe me, I’m not swimming in free time.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of my earnings in May.
Airbnb Income = $878.82
Airbnb continues to perform well, bringing in over $800 for the month. As a quick reminder for new readers, my wife and I have rented out a guest room on Airbnb for over two years now. It’s worked out well, allowing us to monetize our home without having to live with a full-time roommate. It’s also a more efficient use of our space since if we didn’t Airbnb the room, it would just end up being an empty room most of the time (and let’s face it, a lot of you reading this probably have a guest room that sits empty most of the year).
In terms of specifics, we ended up booking 16 nights in May, which comes out to an average nightly rate of about $54. Booking 16 nights is about what we like doing – we end up with half of the month for ourselves, and then the other half of the month our house generates as much or more income than if we rented out the guest room full-time to a traditional roommate. We were also out of town for 2 of the weekends that we had guests staying with us, so we didn’t even lose any privacy during those two weekends since we weren’t home anyway.
Our guests for the month were all fairly typical of our location – folks coming to visit the campus or folks in town for conferences. Like anything with real estate, location matters, and being near a large college campus is really advantageous. We end up with really great guests.
One moneymaking opportunity that we missed out on this past month that I hope to take advantage of next year is graduation season. It occurs to me that graduation brings in a lot of families, and our house seems like it would be a perfect place to rent out during that time. We couldn’t do it this year since my wife was graduating from her residency and we needed the house for family members. Next year though…
If you’re considering hosting on Airbnb (and I think everyone should try it out at least once), feel free to use my referral link.
Rover Income = $106.25
My wife and I took care of one dog during the month – a little mini-schnauzer that we watched for about a week during the middle of the month. It was an easy stay, and our guest pup got along great with Financial Pup. Here are the two of them chilling on our porch.
I think this is the first new dog that we’ve watched in a long time. Since we’ve been doing Rover for so long, we’ve built up a pretty big base of repeat clients. This is good since it means that we’ve got a nice base that should hopefully be able to sustain this little dog sitting business of ours. Repeat pups are also nice since you know exactly what to expect from the dog coming into your home.
At the same time, even though repeat dogs are ideal, it’s also good to get some new good dogs in the door. You never know when a former client will move or find someone else, so you always need to keep a new pipeline of pups to watch. We’ve had a lot of dogs over the years that have disappeared from us – most likely because the owners found someone else or just moved.
Rover is a good side hustle for anyone that already owns a dog, but just remember that it can take a long time get yourself established. It can be frustrating. There are so many Rover sitters on the platform now (way more than the number of people using Rover, in my opinion), so you’ll need to take some time to establish yourself. Consider getting started now using my Rover link if you feel like hosting pups and want to support this site.
Postmates/DoorDash/Uber Eats/Amazon Flex/Clustertruck Income = $200.85
I had a pretty good bike delivery month, so I’m happy with that. The goal I set for myself a long time ago was to try to make $50 a week. That was easier to do when I had more time, but when you’re balancing a full-time job, a blog, and all of the other crap I do, it sometimes can get hard to find time to bike around and do deliveries. So, long story short, it’s good to see that I got myself back on track this month.
Here’s the breakdown of my delivery earnings for May by platform:
- Postmates: $6.85
- DoorDash: $144.30
- Uber Eats: $40.20
- Amazon Flex: $0
- Clustertruck: $9.50
You’ll notice that Clustertruck is a new addition to the delivery game. They recently entered the Minneapolis market, and I signed up for them to see what delivering for them was like. Unlike the other delivery apps, Clustertruck is actually, in essence, a restaurant that only does deliveries. Customers order the food directly from Clustertruck using their app, the food is made in their kitchen by Clustertruck employees, and then delivery people (who are independent contractors) pick up the orders from the Clustertruck kitchen and deliver it to customers. This is in contrast to normal delivery apps where the food is made by other restaurants and you’re traveling around to different spots.
I signed up and did a few deliveries on Clustertruck this past month and found the experience enjoyable. It’s quick since you just pull up and pick up the food from the kitchen. And the delivery zone is really small, so it’s really easy to do on my bike. They also gave me some free food, which I appreciated.
Unfortunately, Clustertruck won’t be staying in my delivery arsenal. They have a really stupid policy where they basically kick you off the platform if you haven’t done a delivery in a week or so. Once you’ve been kicked off, you then have to email them and have them reactivate you, which is a pain to do. I’ve already been kicked off the platform twice now, and I’m not planning to jump back on. I sometimes go weeks or months without doing a delivery on some platforms, so obviously, Clustertruck is not going to work out for me.
I still have Postmates, Doordash, and Uber Eats as a good base of delivery apps, so I think those three should be able to keep me busy. One nice bonus is that Postmates recently changed up their settings so that you can see where the delivery is going, instead of the blind drop off system that they had before. This is big since, with Postmates and Doordash, I now have two delivery apps that let me see where an order is going before I accept it. This makes it way easier for me to do things like monetizing my commute (i.e. finding a delivery after work that’s going towards my house).
Wag Income: $241.80
Whoa, I made some big money on Wag this past month. I think a lot of this was just luck – for whatever reason, a lot of people must have been getting dog walks in May. It’s worked out well for me since I do almost all of my Wag walks during my lunch hour, allowing me to get paid to basically get some fresh air and exercise at lunch.
One repeat pup that I’ve walked a ton now is the below one. He’s super chill, although a little bit lazy, as you can tell by the below picture where he literally plopped down in the grass during our walk. A few treats gets him moving again.
Wag seems to be drying up a bit lately for the current month, so hopefully, it picks back up again. It’s obviously a lot more fun doing Wag walks during the summer, rather than in the winter, but I’ll take what I can get during my workday. It’s a nice way to break up my day.
If you want to learn more about Wag, make sure to check out the in-depth post I wrote about Wag here.
Private Dog Walking Client Income = $24
I mentioned in last month’s side hustle report that I had picked up a private dog walking client in the building across the street from my office. At the time, their dog was a puppy, so he couldn’t really hold it the entire day. Now that he’s a little older, he can last all day in his kennel, so they no longer need me to walk their dog on a regular basis anymore. Bummer. It was nice having a private dog walking client, but I guess I’ll have to rely on Wag for my lunchtime dog walking fix.
Trash Income = $5
I’ve basically been doing nothing with trash sales lately. It’s just a bit too much work for me given the return, especially since I haven’t found any good trash in a while. For the month, I sold one thing – a dumb lamp that I found. It wasn’t too hard to sell, so it was an easy 5 bucks.
Job Spotter Income = $12.29
Same steady income on Job Spotter for this month. There are hiring signs all over the place, and I really think that if you live in a city and actually walk around, you should make at least $10 every single month. It takes 20 seconds to take a picture and upload it. Last year, I made over $200 for the year just by taking pictures of hiring signs. I think I should end up doing the same this year.
Read my in-depth review on Job Spotter if you’re looking for more info about how Job Spotter works. Even if you’re the laziest person in the world, Job Spotter is something you can do.
WeGoLook Income = $12
WeGoLook is one of those apps I do every once in a while when I see an easy gig. Basically, there are three types of gigs that I see on the app:
- Gigs where you take pictures of a damaged car. These are annoying to do because you have to schedule a time with the car owner, so you can’t really do it on your own time and you have to interact with someone, which I hate doing. I rarely do these unless they’re super close to my house.
- Gigs where you take pictures of an intersection where an accident happened. These are the best and I always snatch these up if I see one near me. You just go to an intersection and take pictures.
- Gigs where you leave a letter from a debt collection company with someone at their house. These are easy to do – you just go up to someone’s house and tape a letter to their door.
In May, I did one gig where I had to leave a letter at someone’s house. It didn’t take me long to do and earned me a quick $12. I did it while I was out on a bike ride.
Gigwalk/EasyShift/Field Agent/Observa Income = $3.60
I did one Field Agent gig in May, which earned me $3.60 for my efforts. I honestly don’t remember what I did to earn this though. Field Agent gigs (and all of the gigs in this category here) involve going into stores and secretly taking pictures of things. You’re essentially acting like a secret shopper or a secret auditor.
Whatever I did, it must’ve been easy and unmemorable. Most of the time, I only do these gigs if I’m already in the store or very close to it. My guess is that I was at the grocery store or a convenience store and saw this gig where I was.
ReceiptPal/Receipt Hog/Fetch/Trunow Income = $25
There are a lot of receipt apps out there, but the ones I recommend and personally use are these group of receipt apps where you can buy anything, and you just take a picture of the entire receipt. Since I do deliveries and gather a lot of receipts just from normal shopping, it’s a little extra benefit for me to make a little bit of money off the receipts I already have.
These apps aren’t huge money makers by any means, but they are an easy thing to do – before throwing out a receipt, just snap a picture of it and then toss it. I make about $100 or so every year just from taking pictures of my old receipts.
Note that ReceiptPal gives you credit for literally any receipt, whereas Receipt Hog and Fetch only give you credit for grocery store receipts. Trunow only gives you credit for gas stations (which can be helpful as well for some people – less so for me since I don’t really drive all that much).
Anyway, this month I finally earned enough points to cash out $25 on ReceiptPal. These awards are paid out in the form of Visa Gift Cards, which I then promptly used to pay some of my internet bills in advance.
If you’re interested in trying these apps out, feel free to use the links below. Some are referral links and you’ll get a little money to start off your account. Others have no referral.
- ReceiptPal (no referral)
- Receipt Hog (no referral)
- Fetch (enter the referral code YC7QU and get $2 when you use my referral)
- Trunow (use my code SMAO9F and get $2 when you snap a picture of your first gas station receipt)
Google Opinion Rewards/Dabbl/IQ Income: $2.02
These are short survey apps that I do. You make a few cents for each survey, but it only takes you 10 seconds or less to complete a survey. Most months, you should make a few bucks for what amounts to a few minutes of work over the course of the month.
I’ve written this before, but here’s a description of each of these apps:
- Google Opinion Rewards pays out once you earn $2 from surveys. You should earn $2 each month for a minute or two of your time.
- Dabbl is less easy to cash out but still worthwhile to use. You can cash out your earnings for gift cards once you hit $5. I’m about half-way to earning my second $5 gift card.
- 1Q gives you random, one question surveys every once in a while that literally take 1 second to complete. You earn 25 cents for each question that you answer. The downside is that 1Q doesn’t offer you a lot of questions, but when they pop up, they’re easy to do. I earned nothing from 1Q in May.
I recommend downloading all three of these apps and just leaving them on your phone. You should make a few bucks every month without a ton of work. Google Opinion Rewards and Dabbl both don’t have referral links, but 1Q has a referral link and I get 25 cents if you use my link.
And that concludes the May 2018 Side Hustle Report!
May turned out great, and I expect the rest of the summer to stay strong as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how I earn money on the side, be sure to also check out my side hustle report page, where I have links to every side hustle report I’ve written since 2016.
Thanks for reading. Hope everyone had a great month!
Mike at Balanced Dividends says
Hi Kevin –
I’m relatively new to your site – just wanted to say thanks for the great content. I came across your prior month’s side hustle report just the other day as well. You have a number of great ideas and hustles going!
Thanks for continuing to share. – Mike
Financial Panther says
Thanks Mike! Glad you stopped by and hope this stuff is helpful to you!
panther, unrelated to this post, can you make a post about update on your wife’s school loans, any progress made and what your current plan on that, thank you
Financial Panther says
That is a great idea and I’m going to work on that next. We have some ideas on my wife’s student loans and its worth sharing where she stands now.
Thank you for your side hustle report. Your various side hustles have definitely inspired me. I have been working as a shopper for Instacart and have been making $500 per week in addition to my full time job as an accountant. Working on paying off student loan debt too! Thank you again.
Financial Panther says
That’s awesome! I tried out instacart once and didn’t like doing it, but mainly because I hate driving and hate grocery shopping. Shipt opened up in my area and I keep meaning to sign up, just to at least see what it’s like, but I keep forgetting.
I love reading these side hustle roundup posts every month … please keep them going! It gives me motivation to start earning some side income myself.
Financial Panther says
Thanks John! They’re fun to write, and actually help me out later when I need to do my taxes since I can just look back and figure out what I made through these posts.
Mr. Groovy says
FP: the Sultan of Side-Hustles! Great job, my friend. You’re a true inspiration.
Financial Panther says
Thanks a lot good sir! You’re the real inspiration!