Save money by earning money with these four best side hustles!
It may not seem like a lot, but a few hundred dollars here or there can really add up. I wish I knew about these activities back in Sacramento, because I would have been able to do so many more things. I don’t know how many times I turned down a movie, or a dinner, or even just a trip around town, because I didn’t have the money to do it… but it was a lot. I could do one $30 activity each month, and the rest of my spare change went to bicycle repairs, birthday presents, and the occasional treat cup of coffee.
I had heard about Lyft and Uber, but I did and still do not own a car. I remember listening to one uber driver say she was earning brunch with friends, and got immediately jealous. Were there any side hustles out there that I could do without a car? And was the small amount of pay worth the time spent?
Currently, as I am being flexible for traveling purposes until graduate school starts, side hustles are the only thing I can do. With a combination of these four side hustles, I am able to earn upwards of $1500 a month working 5-8 hour days M-Friday, and the occasional Saturday gig. Even once I start school, Jesse and I are super excited about my side hustle ability. If I can just earn an extra $50 a week, hello budget worry free date night!
So whether you are looking for a date night, groceries, or help paying off a loan, here is what I do, and how you can do it too!
1. Wag (The one a day)
If you live in a central area, wag is the app for you. Wag is a dog walking app, that let’s owners request a walk in reoccurring intervals, or that same day. It also does dog boarding, but Rover is more dominant for that. Wag pays $8.40 for a 20 minute walk, $12 for a 30 minute walk, or $18 for an hour walk. If you can get the walks closest to you, even on a bike, you can hit up to one walk an hour for average pay of $12 an hour. If you wear wag swag during each walk, you make an extra $1 per walk, and tips are fairly common. 3 30 minute walks for me typically pays out $45. If I sync that right, I can get that $45 in just 3 hours. The key is, for us bike people, having the patience to wait for the walks that are within a 3-4 mile radius.
This may not seem like a lot, but think about it. If you are a grocery budget person like me, 3 hours of a work a week pays for my food. 3 hours of work a week would save you almost $200 a month, or $2400 a year. That’s a lot of debt repayment, or (hello!) an entire cruise!
Each wag city will be a bit different in terms of how you can maximize your time and money. My biggest suggestion is, that if you can be consistent, book a reoccurring walk that is within 1.5 miles from you. Don’t worry too much about having to cancel every once and awhile! If you cancel in advance, say like a 2-7 days, I have found 3 covers a month does not hurt my wag walking ability. More than that though, and my ability to accept walks goes down. There is some algorithm that puts wag walkers in order of preference, so if someone clicks on that highly desirable walk the same time as you, you might not get it if you have requested too many covers recently.
Rover is perhaps my favorite side hustle. It is basically passive income. All you need to do, is board a dog at your place, and you get about $20 per day. Two dogs are the money makers, and you get $40 per day. Typical boarding are from Thursday night until Monday, bringing in $80 to $160. Once you get a few good reviews, you can pretty much book every weekend you want. A lot of dogs are friendly with others, and with appropriate coordination, you can double book your weekends. With double booking, that is $640 per month!
Where rover gets to be more trouble than it is worth, is with high maintenance dogs. If said dog requires more than 1 hour of walking a day than you are essentially loosing money. This is especially true if taking care of said dogs means that you are not accepting as many Wag’s as you normally would. This is something that I have only recently discovered, and I do not plan on booking any high maintenance dogs in the future.
Now rover does have a dog walking function, but it pays $15 minus the 20% rover takes out. That is $12, but tips do not happen and there is no $1 bonus for advertising. Thus, you lose about $3 a walk. It’s good for when wag is slow, or for having consistent clients you can actually meet, but I try to only do one rover walk (or less) a day.
3. Craigslist gigs
Oh my gosh, this page is the absolute best! If you want $100 fast, Craigslist is where to go. A quick google search for Craigslist gigs (not Craigslist labor gigs) in your city will reveal tons of one day work opportunities. Craigslist gigs is how I got on the bang list for a company here in Portland called Total Success, which does catering events on the weekends. One event pays $12 per hour and typically runs 6-8 hours with all the leftovers you can package home. Jesse and I got 5 pounds of vegan cookies from my last gig! Yes, and they were gone in four days.
Other examples of gigs include helping someone with yard work or moving.
4. Sitter City
Following up on a suggestion from a friend, I discovered just how few good babysitters there are out there. Sitter City is a website designed to hook up babysitters with parents, and making a profile is easy. There is both consistent work (think full time nanny) and occasional work available. Pay ranges between $10 and $20 an hour. If you have any sort of first aid experience, don’t drink on the job, and our decently reliable, there is A TON or work out there. Best of all, you can search via distance from your home, ideal for us bike people. If I get my wag’s down for a day, and then hit up a 5 hour babysitting gig, I can make $120 just for that day. Not too shabby!
This Week in Updates: Getting Ready for Vacation Time
So here Jesse and I were, just getting into our grove! He’s been traveling a lot, and I’ve been working a lot, but we were starting to at least financially figure things out. Enter the family cruise! Booking our travel to said cruise with points was easy, but we got our sample itinerary and…. gosh, how expensive are cruise outings? Add that to time we want me to take off, on both the cruise and to spend time with family (3 weeks) and that means I have to make up 3 weeks of minimum pay ($600) plus some recreational cruise money ($200) in the next two weeks. This means as opposed to making a relaxed $200-$300 a week, I am kicking it into overdrive and have myself set up to make $600 over the next two weeks. I am lucky to have such a supportive future hubby! He certainly knows how to cheer me up, whether that is through vegan cookies, a massage, a quick call from him at camp, or a hug.
In awesome news, I discovered that nada moo ice cream has a coffee caramel cookie flavor. That’s something I would do! And I did. Ate the whole pint along with a bowl of popcorn. That was totally worth the extra wag required to pay for it. 🙂
The Recipe: The Easiest Chili You will Ever Make
When life is busy, you can always make chili. I love chili, because it is probably one of the easiest and most delicious vegan things you can make on a budget, and there are so many ways you can eat it! Hot in a bowl, on toast, on potatoes, mixed up cold in a chopped great salad... the opportunities are endless. My current favorite is on a piece of toast with some sliced avocado.
- Chili Beans (a mix of whatever beans you have laying around)
- Tomato paste to taste
- Chili powder to taste
- Optional: liquid smoke, fried or raw peppers and onions, garlic, shallots, fresh/canned sliced tomatoes
- Cook beans.
- While beans are still warm, mix in tomato paste, chili powder, and some water until everything is the consistency you like and the flavor you like.
- Enjoy and marvel at how easy this all was!