It’s a new month, which means it’s time for the monthly Financial Panther side hustle report. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at what I was able to make in May 2021.
As background for any new readers out there, each month I document exactly what I made from side hustling using various gig economy apps. The idea behind this post is to give folks an idea of what’s possible from these various apps.
For years, I’ve called these monthly posts “side hustle reports.” It’s interesting though. When you have a day job, it’s pretty clear what is your main income and what’s your side hustle. Your side hustle is everything that happens outside of your day job.
When you quit your job and make the move to self-employment, however, all of your income sources sort of blend together. Even though my main source of income comes from my blog and my writing, all of these other income sources I write about here are part of my overall income too. It’s really more accurate for me to call these income reports (excluding my blog income). That said, to keep things consistent, I’m still calling these side hustle reports.
Here’s a look at what I was able to earn in May 2021.
Side Hustle Income for May 2021
- Airbnb: $0
- Rover: $107.95
- Postmates/DoorDash/Uber Eats/Grubhub: $1,418.37
- Shipt/Instacart: $12.46
- Wag: $0
- Selling Trash Finds/Flipping: $80.91
- WeGoLook: $0
- TaskRabbit: $17
- ProductTube: $115
- Gigwalk/EasyShift/Field Agent/Merchandiser/Observa/IVueIt/Pickl: $35
- Google Opinion Rewards/Surveys On The Go/1Q: $31.99
- Secret Shopping: $39
- ProductLab: $15
- ReceiptPal/Receipt Hog/Fetch/Coinout/Amazon Shopper Panel/NCP ReCap: $61.85
- Medium: $28.93
- Freelance Writing: $250
Total Side Hustle Income for May 2021 = $2,213.46
May was a good month and I was able to bring in over $2,200 from 13 different income sources. I find it incredible that I’m able to make this much from all of these different activities considering I really don’t put in much time doing these things. And when combined with my writing and blog income, I’m earning enough to easily support my lifestyle while also allowing me to control my time and not be stuck in an office.
As usual, food delivery was my big earner this month. As I’ve mentioned in past reports, I typically spend about 1 or 1.5 hours per day doing deliveries, with a goal of earning $250 per week or about $1,000 per month. Most of the time, I earn much more than that.
The other interesting new income source this past month was a freelance writing gig that I picked up. I’ve never done any freelance writing before, but an opportunity came up and I decided to give it a shot. It’s a nice way for me to earn a bit of extra income from home using the skills I already have.
Below is a more detailed look at my side hustle earnings for this month.
Rover Income: $107.95
Rover income was a bit slow this month, with just four nights booked this month. One of my bookings was a repeat dog that stayed with my family for a day. The other was a new dog that stayed with us for three days. As is typically the case, the dogs I watched last month fit in very well with my family.
It wasn’t a particularly lucrative month, but I’m happy with bringing in some extra income from this side hustle. Dogsitting works out particularly well because I already have a dog. When you need to take care of one dog, watching a second dog really doesn’t add much additional work to your plate. I consider this fairly passive income when compared to many of my other side hustles.
If you’re interested in Rover, you can sign up to be a Rover sitter with this link.
Postmates/DoorDash/Uber Eats/Grubhub Income: $1,418.37
I made good money from my food delivery apps last month, bringing in a little over $1,400 from these apps. Here’s the breakdown of my food delivery earnings in May:
Last month, my ebike was out of commission, so I ended up doing most of my deliveries using a regular bike. It’s not a problem to use a regular bike, but I definitely have more fun with an ebike (and I probably make a bit more on an ebike since I can move around faster). Luckily, I got all of my ebikes back in service, so I’m back doing my deliveries with my ebike.
I typically deliver using a RadCity, but this month, a company called Himiway sent me the Himiway Escape to try out. I’ve been using it as my main food delivery bike over the past few weeks and will be writing an in-depth post about my experience riding and delivering with this bike. So far, I’ve really enjoyed using it and I think it has some unique things about it that make it good as a food delivery bike.
For the month, I averaged between $30 and $40 per hour, working about 8 hours per week. Things were a bit slow on some weeks, but they seem to be picking up again as the summer starts up.
If you’d like to sign up for any of these apps, feel free to do so using the links below. Note that Uber Eats purchased Postmates last year and is rolling that app into Uber Eats soon. So, instead of four big delivery companies, we’re going to be moving into three delivery companies. I think that’s a good thing, especially since Postmates was clearly the worst of the big four delivery apps (at least in my market).
- DoorDash: Sign up for DoorDash here.
- UberEats: Sign up for Uber Eats here.
- Grubhub: No referral link, but you can sign up for it here.
Shipt/Instacart Income: $12.46
I don’t do a ton of grocery delivery shops, but I’ll grab a shop that I think makes sense for me every once in a while. My main problem with grocery delivery is that I’m not very efficient at shopping, which drastically reduces what I’m able to make. Because of this, I tend to stick to prescription delivery shops. These are shops where you simply pick up a prescription and drop it off at the customer’s house – no shopping required.
Last month, I did two prescription delivery shops from Target. One of the shops paid $6. The other paid $6.46. Both of these shops were short-distance and importantly, they fit in well with the other delivery gigs that I was doing. You don’t get tips on these prescription shops (or at least I’ve never received a tip), but I find them worth doing since I can complete them so quickly.
If you’re interested, you can sign up to be a Shipt shopper with this link. You can sign up to be an Instacart shopper using this link.
Trash/Flipping Income: $80.91
Flipping income has been a bit up and down lately, but picked back up again last month. I sold 8 items on eBay, including 1 thing I found in the trash and a couple of old shirts that I needed to get rid of.
My interesting sale for the month was a set of books that I had been collecting for the past year. I noticed that people on eBay will pay a premium for complete sets of certain popular series. Harry Potter tends to be the best series to buy and I’m currently working on completing that set.
The other surprisingly popular series is a fantasy novel called Eragon. I managed to snag all four books and sold them on eBay this month for $39. At my Goodwill, every hardcover book costs $2, which means I spent $8 on the books. I shipped them via media mail for about $10, so I made a solid $20 or so in profit. It’s not a lot of money by any means, but I find it fun to keep an eye out for these books.
TaskRabbit Income: $17
I don’t do a ton of TaskRabbit gigs, but I had a good one at the beginning of May. Regular readers have probably noticed that I make a decent amount from an app called ProductTube (detailed in the next section). Every once in a while, I’ll get a request to make the same video from someone on TaskRabbit. It allows me to essentially double-dip the same assignment.
In this case, I completed the task after I had gotten my second Covid vaccine shot. The grocery store was right next to the vaccination site. What made this work out really well was that it was a store that I wouldn’t otherwise be around at all.
I ended up getting paid $17 for this gig that only took me about 5 minutes to complete. And I used the same video with ProductTube, which paid me an additional $25. Even better, I also got vaccinated!
ProductTube Income: $115
ProductTube was lucrative in the month of May. As I’ve mentioned in past side hustle reports, ProductTube is a market research app that pays you to film short videos while you’re at the store. My videos are rarely longer than 4 or 5 minutes and the app typically pays me $10 to $25 per video. From an hourly wage standpoint, I’m able to make a ton from this app. Of all the lesser-known apps out there, this is one I think most people should download.
Note that payment is made via Amazon gift cards, which could be a problem for some people. For me, Amazon gift cards are basically as good as cash, so I have no problem with that.
Gigwalk/EasyShift/Field Agent/Merchandiser/Observa/IVueIt/Pickl Income: $35
The Field Agent gigs were both “try and buy” shops, which means I purchase a specific item, write a review for it, and get reimbursed. The best version of these shops is the beer purchase shops, which is exactly as it sounds. You buy a specific type of beer at the liquor store, take some photos of your purchase, and get reimbursed and paid for it at the same time. I did one of these for $10 plus reimbursement and another for $5 plus reimbursement. Getting paid and getting free beer is a good deal to me.
The IVueIt gig involved taking photos of the exterior of a coffee shop. This one paid $20 and took me about 10 minutes to complete. I did it while I was doing deliveries, so it was a nice way for me to generate some extra income while I was already out and about.
Google Opinion Rewards/Surveys On The Go/1Q Income: $31.99
The short survey apps paid well this month, mainly because of Surveys On The Go. Here’s the breakdown:
I was able to make so much from Surveys On The Go because some of it was a carry-over from last month. You need to earn $10 to cash out and I was just under $10 the previous month.
This month, I had a few high-paying surveys that worked out well. The key is to cherry-pick the right surveys. Some of them are clearly not worth doing, so your goal for those surveys is to disqualify yourself as fast as possible. Interestingly, Surveys On The Go pays you 10 cents for surveys that you don’t qualify for, so if you disqualify yourself quickly, you’ll earn 10 cents for a few seconds of work. There are enough surveys that these small amounts add up.
Secret Shopping Income: $39 (plus free food)
I keep doing a little bit of secret shopping and collecting myself some free food. Marketforce is the one that tends to be the busiest at the moment. There are so many secret shops in my area that I’m able to eat for free a few times per week. The shops also pay $5 to $9, so not only do I eat for free, I get a bit of money too. I also got some free food from Intellishop, SeeLevel, and Second-To-None.
You can read more about my secret shopping strategies in this post: Restaurant Secret Shopper Jobs – A Strategy To Eat For Free And Hack Your Food Expenses. Secret shopping is a bit convoluted, so I highly recommend reading that post to help you get started.
ProductLab Income: $15
Not to be confused with ProductTube, ProductLab is an app that allows DoorDash and Lyft drivers to earn a few extra dollars each week. All you have to do is upload a screenshot of your earnings from each app into the ProductLab app. I only do DoorDash, so each week, I get paid $3. In a 4 week month, I make $12. In a 5 week month, I make $15. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s basically free money that I’ll take.
ReceiptPal/Receipt Hog/Fetch/CoinOut/Amazon Shopper Panel/NCP ReCap Income: $61.85
Receipt apps are apps that pay you to take pictures of your receipts. These apps are a bit different from apps like Ibotta because you can earn small amounts for every receipt you take, not just receipts with specific items. These aren’t huge income generators by any means and depending on your situation, they might not be worth dealing with. Personally, I find them worthwhile. I make a few hundred dollars each year and it only takes me a minute to take a photo of each receipt with all of these apps.
This month, I cashed out $50 worth of Amazon gift cards with Fetch. It takes a while to hit that mark, but again, it only takes me a few seconds to snap a photo of my receipts before tossing them.
Amazon Shopper Panel is the best receipt app right now. You get $10 each month if you snap a photo of 10 receipts. I also earned an extra 50 cents by answering a few 1 question surveys. If you only download one of these receipt apps, be sure to download Amazon Shopper Panel.
Finally, CoinOut is earning me a steady $1 or so per month. I’m not going to get rich from it, but it’s money for a piece of paper I was going to throw away.
Medium Income: $28.93
My Medium income took a dip last month because I didn’t write as many posts. Like most creative ventures, Medium is a volume game. You need to pump out a lot of content to make a significant amount from it. If you love writing, then pumping out content shouldn’t be a problem.
The only problem for me is that I only have so much bandwidth. When given the choice between writing on this blog vs. writing on Medium, it’s always better for me to pick this blog. I’m simply able to earn more from my writing from this blog compared to what I’m able to make on Medium.
For now, I expect that I’ll publish somewhere between 5-10 posts per month on Medium and I’ll probably make between $25 to $50 per month. I’m recycling my old posts from here, so it’s a decent way to generate a little bit of extra income from my old posts that otherwise aren’t doing anything anymore. If I were to devote more time to Medium, I’m confident I could get myself to 1,000 followers and probably make over $100 each month. It’s just about whether it’s worth it for me to spend my time there when I could be spending it here.
Freelance Writing Income: $250
I haven’t done any freelance writing before, but last month an opportunity came up that I thought was worth pursuing. I got the opportunity from my blog, which served as a sort of portfolio for work.
Freelance writing is interesting and I can see why it can be an appealing source of income. If I were to pursue this full-time, I bet I could create a decent lifestyle business just by writing freelance blog posts. There are a lot of websites out there that have marketing budgets and need content.
I’m going to keep seeing if I can do regular bits of freelance writing – not a ton so that it overtakes this blog, but enough so that I can consider it a side hustle.
And that concludes the May 2021 Side Hustle Report!
May was another good month of side hustle income, although whether you can really call it side hustle income anymore given my current self-employed life is another thing worth talking about. I’ll probably write about it in a future post.
To check out what I’ve done in previous months, check out my past side hustle reports. I also have a massive post titled The Ultimate List of Gig Economy Apps that has almost every gig economy app I’ve ever used or heard about.
That’s all I have for this month’s report. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below.