It’s time for the September 2018 edition of the Financial Panther side hustle report! If you’re new here, welcome!
September was another big month on the side hustle front, with me bringing in over $2,000 from various sharing economy and gig economy side hustles. That’s pretty remarkable in my book. Most importantly, all of the side hustles I did in September are ones that pretty much anyone can do.
As a quick recap, for the past two years, I’ve been tracking every dollar I make doing various side hustles, primarily through sharing economy and gig economy apps. I have two main goals with these reports:
- To show you exactly what someone can make side hustling while also working full-time; and
- To inspire you and give you ideas so that you can do the same thing.
I really like sharing economy and gig economy apps because of how flexible they are and how well they incorporate into my day-to-day life. I’m the type of person that likes to optimize each part of my day, and these sharing and gig economy apps let you do just that. At least if you know how to use them.
So what did I make in September 2018? Let’s take a look.
Side Hustle Income for September 2018
- Airbnb: $787.64
- Rover: $361.25
- Postmates/DoorDash/Uber Eats: $364.64
- Wag: $206.60
- Bird/Lime: $442.87
- Selling Trash Finds: $25
- Job Spotter: $22.46
- WeGoLook: $19
- Marketforce: $5 (plus free food)
- Google Opinion Rewards/Dabbl/1Q: $2.77
Total Side Hustle Income for September 2018 = $2,237.23
In September, I made a little over $2,200 from 10 different income sources. That doesn’t include the income from my day job, as well as the income I make on this blog (which right now all goes back into the blog). Nick Loper over at Side Hustle Nation has talked about his concept of the Side Hustle Snowball – that is, working side hustles to the point where they cover all of your expenses. I feel like I’m getting close.
When I look at my general expenses, I really only need about $2,000 per month to live, which makes me think that if I did nothing but side hustling, I’d probably make enough to survive (and maybe get more of my time back to work on other projects). It’s pretty crazy to think that side hustles alone could maybe cover my expenses. And it gives me some comfort to know that if something were to happen with my day job, I’d probably still be in good shape.
What I really like about these side hustles is how evenly split they seem to be. Airbnb still leads the pack for my side hustle income, but the other major income sources – Rover, food deliveries, Wag, and Bird – are pretty evenly split.
Charging up Bird scooters is the big, new side hustle that I’ve been doing. I’ve got a perfect system set up right now where I’m able to collect them during the day, then ride them into work in the morning. I’m literally monetizing my commute! I’ll explain in more detail later in this post.
Here’s a more in-depth look at how I earned my side hustle income this past month.
Airbnb Income: $787.64
September was a pretty average Airbnb month. I ended up with 15 nights booked, which comes out to an average nightly rate of about $52 per night. Our total mortgage (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) costs about $43 per day when you do the math, which means that every night we rent our a room on Airbnb basically pays for the mortgage for that day, and then some. That’s pretty interesting to think about.
Our guests for the month were a mix of people from all over the place. Some were just passing through on the way to other places. Others were in town for conferences or classes. We had our second guest ever who was in town for a coffee roasting class at a coffee roasting place that’s only about a 15-minute walk from our house. We never knew that this place existed, but apparently, it’s one of the premier coffee roasting companies in the country and people come to it from around the country. That’s one of the interesting things about doing Airbnb – you learn a little more about the neighborhood you live in. I might reach out to this coffee place and tell them to let students know about my Airbnb, as that could be a nice source of good guests.
Airbnb is definitely one of the easiest ways to get started with house hacking. Just by utilizing space that we aren’t using, we’re able to heavily subsidize our mortgage or, in many months, completely cover our mortgage costs. It might seem weird to let strangers into your house, but it’s really not, especially when you realize that most people who rent out a room in a house on Airbnb don’t hang out in your house. Rather, they just come to your house to sleep. I’ll never live with a roommate again, but I’ll probably keep doing Airbnb for quite some time.
If you want to give Airbnb hosting a try, feel free to sign up to be an Airbnb host using my referral link. It helps support this site if you sign up to be a host and host a guest.
Rover Income: $361.25
Rover did pretty well in September. We only had one pup for the entire month, – a Miniature Pinscher that we’ve watched several times. It was a long stay – close to two weeks – so it kept things pretty easy and predictable for the entire month.
Watching a dog for over a week can sometimes be a pain if it’s a bad dog, but when you get a good dog that you’ve watched before, it’s pretty sweet. This little pup is just a funny one because she comes with a ton of stuff. Her owner brings five blankets, a bed, a small set of stairs so that she can get up on the bed, and bags of fruit for her dog to eat as treats. This dog eats better than I do!
My Rover records show that we’ve made over $2,800 this year on Rover, which is definitely my highest earning year so far. The bulk of that has been built on repeat guest pups. This is the reason hosting on Rover is a long-term play. You need to get those repeat dogs locked down because once you do that, things get much easier.
If you like dogs and want to try your hand at starting your own dog sitting business, sign up to be a host with my Rover link. It helps support this site.
Postmates/DoorDash/Uber Eats Income: $364.64
I’ve been working on doing one delivery on my way home from work each day. Most of the time, I can make about $8 to $10 doing a single delivery on my way home from work. This adds up over the course of the week, and you can see that when you look at these numbers.
While I typically do deliveries on my bike, I’ve also been cheating a little bit and have been doing deliveries using electric scooters from Bird and Lime. One perk of being an electric scooter charger is that you can basically grab scooters, charge them up, then ride them around for free all day until you have to drop them off the next morning.
Here’s the breakdown of my earnings by platform:
I continue to do DoorDash the most these days because they always seem to have really big delivery bonuses during the dinner hours. When the delivery bonuses are in effect, I can basically do a delivery that takes me 15 or 20 minutes to complete, and make $12 or more. That’s between $36 and $48 an hour if you think about it.
Obviously, you can’t make that much if you do deliveries all day, but if you cherry pick the deliveries the way I do it, then you’re actually making really good money doing deliveries. That’s one of the benefits of doing deliveries as a side hustle – you can just work when the numbers make sense.
These platforms typically offer some sort of bonus if you sign up to deliver, so consider signing up using my referral links if you think these make sense for your life. I’m thinking I’m going to do a more in-depth post about doing deliveries soon, because this is, in my opinion, an underrated side hustle that’s worth a lot more than most people think.
Wag Income: $206.60
I continue to make really good money on Wag, although I think things might be slowing down for me in the coming months. I had one really good stretch where I had a walk every single day with this one dog that lives across the street from my office. That worked out really well since I made $16 for a 30-minute walk, basically every single day. It adds up, and especially so when you’re doing it during your work day.
For whatever reason, a lot of my old Wag clients seem to have disappeared. It seems like a lot of people use Wag a ton for a stretch, then stop. Either they moved, or they just no longer need the dog walking. I’m not really sure, but it means that I just have to hope that Wag continues to advertise and expand itself to more users. Otherwise, I might need to start thinking about advertising myself as a dog walker on my own in order to get some steady clients.
Be sure to read more about Wag here, if you’re looking for more information about how it works.
Bird/Lime Income: $442.87
Charging up Bird scooters is killing it for me, as I made close to $450 this month just charging up scooters. In prior months, Bird didn’t work out very well for me because all of the Bird Nests (the drop off spots where you have to put the Birds in the morning) were located downtown, and I don’t work or live downtown. However, Bird added a bunch of Nests near my house, right on my route to work. I basically have things set up now where I’m able to collect Birds during the day or on my way home from work, charge them up overnight, then ride them into work in the morning. I’m literally monetizing my commute.
This scooter charging money adds up too. Depending on where you live, it’s not hard to average between $10 and $15 per day charging up scooters. Over the course of a month, that’s an extra $300 to $450 per month. Given that I do this while I’m going to work, it basically takes me no time.
I’ve gotten really good at stacking scooters as well, so most mornings, I’ll ride into work with as many as four scooters stacked on one scooter. I still haven’t been able to get anyone to film me riding a 5-stack, but here’s a video I tried to take of myself riding a 5-stack last month. Hopefully, it gives you an idea of what the stack looks like while I’m reading. It takes some skill, but once you figure it out, this is the only way to charge and drop off scooters.
The annoying thing with Bird is that they lock up if you don’t get them out by 7 am. This gives me a little incentive to start my day earlier (the whole Miracle Morning thing). If I do wake up late though, I have some strategies that I do also to get the scooters to the Nest.
If I only have one or two scooters, I’ll stick them on a bike and just ride them to the drop off location. It looks like this:
Another strategy I have if I don’t get them out early enough, is to just cancel the task on my cheapest Bird, then pay to ride it as a normal rider. If I have enough Birds, it makes sense to do this. I basically pay $3 to ride into work, but I make $10 or $15 to drop off the Birds I already have. Even though it costs me some money, I still profit, and I get a free ride into work.
If you’re wondering, I don’t do a ton of Lime because the LimeHubs are still all located downtown, so they’re not very useful for me. Hopefully, they’ll add more hubs later, because that would be nice if I can pick and choose between Bird and Lime.
I’ve got a super in-depth post I’ve written about Bird and Lime here, so be sure to check that out if you want to learn more about how electric scooter charging can work for you.
Trash Income: $25
Trash income continues to be pretty weak, but only because I don’t put a lot of effort into it these days. I’m going to try to pick these numbers up eventually because I actually still have some stuff I need to sell that’s been sitting for a while.
Most of the stuff I sold in September were random things I found when the college kids moved out back in August. Most people think you need to find really fancy stuff to sell, but you can actually sell pretty much anything if you price it right. And if the cost is literally zero, it really doesn’t matter what you price something at – you’ll profit no matter what.
For example, I sold the below chairs for $10. They weren’t fancy looking chairs or anything, but people need chairs, and if they can get them for $10, why not. Since it cost me nothing to acquire them, it was still profitable and didn’t take up much of my time.
I’ve been watching a lot more garage sale flipping videos on YouTube, so I feel like I might try my hand more at doing the flip life thing. For now, though, I’m on a mission to start consistently listing things up for sale more, and hopefully clear out some of the inventory of trash I’ve already accumulated.
Job Spotter Income: $22.46
Same as usual on the Job Spotter front. I’ve consistently made between $10 and $25 each month for almost two years just taking pictures of hiring signs while I’m walking around or doing deliveries.
It seems like Job Spotter got a little bit more press with Fire Drill Podcast recently talking about it on a recent podcast, so maybe some more folks will get in on this app. Most people can basically pay for all of their Christmas gifts just by having this app on their phone and paying attention to the world around them.
Feel free to read my in-depth review on Job Spotter if you’re looking for more info about how Job Spotter works. It’s a really easy side hustle that anyone can add into their life.
WeGoLook Income: $19
I still do the occasional WeGoLook gig whenever I see one near me. This gig involved taking pictures of someone’s damaged car using the WeGoLook app. The gig was near my house, so it was an easy gig to do, and I got to electric scooter over there since I had a scooter sitting in my house. The actual gig itself only took 5 minutes or so to complete, and getting over there and back home tacked on another 20-minutes. Not a bad hourly wage at all when you think about it.
MarketForce Income: $5 (plus free food)
This secret shopper app is pretty easy to do. It doesn’t pay much, but what I really care about is that I can use it to get some free food at places near me. You just follow the directions they give you, answer the questions, and enjoy your food. They take a long time to pay – 60 days I believe – but that’s not too big a deal to me.
I did this shop way back in August at a local chicken finger place near my house. As you can see, my meal was paid for, and I got 5 bucks at the same time. That’s good enough for this app to stay on my phone.
Google Opinion Rewards/Dabbl/1Q Income: $2.77
I still keep doing these quick survey apps because they literally take 5 seconds or less to complete each survey. The Google Opinion Rewards app continues to be an easy $2 or so every single month, and really, I think it’s one that everyone should have on their phone. Obviously, you won’t get rich using these apps, but it’s still money that’s basically being given to you for nothing.
1Q is good for a few quarters each month. That’s not a lot, but this app literally only asks you 1 question at a time that takes 1 second to complete. So, it’s basically like finding a quarter on the ground. Might as well pick it up.
And that concludes the September 2018 Side Hustle Report!
September was yet another good side hustle month. What’s crazy to me is that right now, I could basically survive just on the few hours a week I spend doing these side hustles. I wouldn’t be able to save much, but it would give me a lot more time to work on other projects that I enjoy more. It’s something I’m seriously thinking about as I try to figure out what my future is going to look like.
I hope you enjoyed this month’s side hustle report. As always, feel free to hit me up with any questions if you have them. If you want to see what I’ve done in past months, check out my side hustle report page, where I have links to every side hustle report I’ve written since I started this blog.
And if you want to see all of the sharing and gig economy side hustles I’ve done in one place, check out my Side Hustle List, where I list all of the side hustles I’ve done. It’s pretty snazzy.
Have a profitable month everyone!