Author Topic: Side Work Ideas?  (Read 9534 times)

MoonPilgrim

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Side Work Ideas?
« on: September 20, 2012, 02:48:17 PM »
I'm curious about other people's side work/freelance projects.  Do you have one?  How easy/hard was it to get started? 

I have a few:

Music gigs.  I play keys and sing with a couple of bands.  I was a music major and someone else has always taken the lead on booking gigs so it was pretty easy to pick up.  The money varies from free beer to fifty bucks.  We play originals, so if we switched gears to be a cover band, we'd make more money but it wouldn't be as fun.

Cat boarding.  I love cats, and I offer crate-free boarding on the second floor of my house.  Pretty easy, and beats having a roommate.  I have three cats of my own, so what's a few more more mouths to feed and litter boxes to clean?

Landlording.  I just rented out my old house last month.  This wasn't particularly easy and requires much more of an investment than gigging or cat boarding.  But it does pay better.

Jams/Jellies/Hot Sauce. (Future) We have quite a bit of land, so Mr. MP and I talk about actually harvesting something unique, making something with it, and selling the products at local markets.  This is probably a few years down the road, but we'll need to plant soon if we're looking at tree-things.

Anyone else?

*OP changed from "side hustle"
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 10:47:45 AM by MoonPilgrim »

Sparafusile

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 03:56:34 PM »
Wood working. I build beds, shelves, animal cages, closets and refinish antiques on the side. Don't make much money, but it's fun and a good skill to have.

Programming. I started a business back in July that will hopefully get off the ground starting next year. I also do contract work from time to time. This is also my day job.

Writing. I just finished my fourth book (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009BSC0VE) of which I've sold a whopping one copy.

Reading. This doesn't directly make me money, but it does give me a lot of ideas and I "earn" new knowledge while doing it.

Use it up, wear it out...

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012, 04:21:08 PM »
For awhile, I wrote marketing copy and did some editing. Too busy now with 2 kids, though... I want to spend my time outside of work with them, rather than earning more.

maryofdoom

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2012, 04:47:36 PM »
I used to buy used books at thrift stores and sell them on Amazon. Mostly it was best-sellers and other books that occupy the sweet spot between sales rank and price, but sometimes I'd get really lucky and find something great. One time I bought a brand-new calculus book for $2 and sold it for $65 the next day. I stopped doing it, though, because I got less and less able to find good books to sell. Maybe I'll start it back up again at some point.

Additionally, since I work as a professional editor, I do freelance editing jobs. I don't love doing it, but I do love the money it brings in. I also recently joined a blogger friend's team of editors - blogger friend will focus on finding clients, while me and the other editors do the work - which will really help. (I'm bad at finding new clients for whom to edit.)

Donovan

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 05:58:51 PM »
Bike Maintenance. Mostly small stuff right now for friends and family.  I live in a college town full of bikes so it's a good learning experience, even if I don't really work for pay most of the time.  I may be moving out to Seattle in a little over a year though, so this could pay off very well down the road.

Music. I've had a beautiful summer side gig in Indianapolis as a singing gondolier for the last 4 years. I also play guitar, so I may try to start up a side gig working weddings and the like someday.

For now, this is mostly side-gig training as most of my time goes towards my CS degree and interview preparation.

Zaga

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2012, 08:08:10 PM »
I have a future plan, I'm getting certified as a CPA then will do taxes on the side at first then as a career.  And work is paying for the classes, so it's costing me mostly time and effort.

Prof Penny Pincher

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2012, 04:04:50 AM »
I will probably get slammed as a terrible human being but....

Fostering.

If you find yourself in the situation where you are unable to have children, Fostering can be a better option both socially and financially.

As well as providing a home for a child that needs one (rather than adoption, where there tend to be more parents than children) there are significant financial remunerations. In the UK this is equivalent to about $200 a week or more. Obviously I wouldn't say feed a child just rice, and dress them in rags, but I do know of a few couples who choose to foster as a career. Some foster agencies even pay a retainer to keep you on the books regardless if you actually have any children in your care.

Lars

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2012, 07:54:16 AM »
I will probably get slammed as a terrible human being but....

Fostering.

If you find yourself in the situation where you are unable to have children, Fostering can be a better option both socially and financially.

As well as providing a home for a child that needs one (rather than adoption, where there tend to be more parents than children) there are significant financial remunerations. In the UK this is equivalent to about $200 a week or more. Obviously I wouldn't say feed a child just rice, and dress them in rags, but I do know of a few couples who choose to foster as a career. Some foster agencies even pay a retainer to keep you on the books regardless if you actually have any children in your care.

Not from me, at least. In the US (at least my state), rates aren't quite that generous. They are designed to cover the cost of caring for the child but not allow you to make any extra money. However, as a mustachian with below average costs, you would probably clear one or two hundred a month. (So socially a great option but not as much financially.)

If you are very good and have the inclination, children with serious social and behavior disorders typically get a higher per day reimbursement but, of course, require more time, supervision, and travel. If you are exceptional, the state may contract with you to set up a home based residential care facility in your home but then neither of you, I believe, are allowed to have outside jobs (so it is not exactly a side job anymore).


SJ

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2012, 08:12:40 AM »
I will probably get slammed as a terrible human being but....

Fostering.

If you find yourself in the situation where you are unable to have children, Fostering can be a better option both socially and financially.

As well as providing a home for a child that needs one (rather than adoption, where there tend to be more parents than children) there are significant financial remunerations. In the UK this is equivalent to about $200 a week or more. Obviously I wouldn't say feed a child just rice, and dress them in rags, but I do know of a few couples who choose to foster as a career. Some foster agencies even pay a retainer to keep you on the books regardless if you actually have any children in your care.

Not from me, at least. In the US (at least my state), rates aren't quite that generous. They are designed to cover the cost of caring for the child but not allow you to make any extra money. However, as a mustachian with below average costs, you would probably clear one or two hundred a month. (So socially a great option but not as much financially.)

If you are very good and have the inclination, children with serious social and behavior disorders typically get a higher per day reimbursement but, of course, require more time, supervision, and travel. If you are exceptional, the state may contract with you to set up a home based residential care facility in your home but then neither of you, I believe, are allowed to have outside jobs (so it is not exactly a side job anymore).

I personally provide care for a developmentally disabled adult in my home (live-in) and it pays decent, plus your income is non-taxable by Fed or State.  Also, you can do this work AND do anything else you want - second job, small business, whatever - as long as you're able to meet the conditions of your contract with the agency you contract with.  To top it off, you're an independent contractor, so mileage and other costs directly related to providing care are all tax deductible and can be used to offset other taxable income you or your spouse may have.  Very mustachian and a wonderful social service at the same time! 

Masha

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2012, 08:24:59 AM »
In my house, we do specialized sewing, research, sell stuff on Ebay, and do occasional movie extra work. I suppose the hard part of getting started was learning how to do all this, but since it mostly revolves around our hobbies and careers, we didn't decide at one point to start a side hustle- it just happened, and has grown over time. For that matter, we've always hustled...

Its not a reliable source of income, but we always have something in the works.

arebelspy

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2012, 08:34:20 AM »
Am I the only one that hates the term "side hustle"?

Hustle, to me, has a very negative connotation.

Sure, to hustle means to move quickly as a verb, but when used as a noun (as in "a side hustle") it means "to earn one's living by illicit or unethical means" -- hustling someone is not a good thing.

Side job, extra work, whatever.. but the phrase "side hustle" I can't stand.
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sideways8

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2012, 08:46:37 AM »
I've used the term side hustle only here. I would never use it anywhere else and I hate when people say that what I do is my "hobby." I teach piano in the evenings. That is what I really want to do. I've been studying for almost 20 years, have a music degree, am a member of the Music Teacher's National Association, and am dedicated to continuing my education. Given the amount of my time, energy, and money that I have already invested and continue to invest in this, it is hard not to be offended when someone thinks that it's "cute" that I have such a nice "hobby."


totoro

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2012, 08:54:28 AM »
I have a vacation rental and a two rental properties.  It honestly does not take all that much time to manage if you have them in good repair at the start and know good tradespeople and cleaners.

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2012, 09:00:11 AM »
In the past we had homestay students - we had fun with this but in the end our schedule did not match it well and you lose some privacy.  I find I was more motivated to do additional jobs when we earned much less and were in school still.  Now that I have a good job and high hourly wage I'm more focussed on passive income options that will pay off each month in retirement without much effort on my part.

freelancerNfulltimer

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2012, 10:13:44 AM »
I work full time as a web designer and do a ton of freelance on the side. It was easy to get started because I used to work full time as a freelancer before I got hired by an agency. I just never told my existing clients that I now had a full time job too. Because I'm always busy with more freelance work than I can feasibly handle so I have one part-time sub-contractor. I also trade a lot for things I'd buy anyways. For example I'm supposed to start soon on a trade of a website in exchange for a backyard remodel with a landscape company.

I also started a fashion horse tack business but it's not made any money yet because my sewers aren't reliable and I don't have the time to really force it to work. This one has been hard to get going because I don't know how to sew and I'm relying on contract sewers that are themselves very busy with their main business.  I sell about one item a month with zero advertising through the incomplete website I set up. I think the products are very good, it's just a lack of follow through on my part that's holding me back from getting my sunk costs out and making a profit.

Once I get my current freelance workload completed I'm going to take some time off to focus on some website business ideas I have had for a while. Hopefully they will generate some passive income. My main obstacle here is time.

I'm really interested in opening a store of some type or buying investment properties. My mother is a property manager so I get discounted on property management services and will help me pick properties that have the potential for good rents.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 10:16:57 AM by freelancerNfulltimer »

Lars

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2012, 10:20:09 AM »
I will probably get slammed as a terrible human being but....

Fostering.

If you find yourself in the situation where you are unable to have children, Fostering can be a better option both socially and financially.

As well as providing a home for a child that needs one (rather than adoption, where there tend to be more parents than children) there are significant financial remunerations. In the UK this is equivalent to about $200 a week or more. Obviously I wouldn't say feed a child just rice, and dress them in rags, but I do know of a few couples who choose to foster as a career. Some foster agencies even pay a retainer to keep you on the books regardless if you actually have any children in your care.

Not from me, at least. In the US (at least my state), rates aren't quite that generous. They are designed to cover the cost of caring for the child but not allow you to make any extra money. However, as a mustachian with below average costs, you would probably clear one or two hundred a month. (So socially a great option but not as much financially.)

If you are very good and have the inclination, children with serious social and behavior disorders typically get a higher per day reimbursement but, of course, require more time, supervision, and travel. If you are exceptional, the state may contract with you to set up a home based residential care facility in your home but then neither of you, I believe, are allowed to have outside jobs (so it is not exactly a side job anymore).

I personally provide care for a developmentally disabled adult in my home (live-in) and it pays decent, plus your income is non-taxable by Fed or State.  Also, you can do this work AND do anything else you want - second job, small business, whatever - as long as you're able to meet the conditions of your contract with the agency you contract with.  To top it off, you're an independent contractor, so mileage and other costs directly related to providing care are all tax deductible and can be used to offset other taxable income you or your spouse may have.  Very mustachian and a wonderful social service at the same time!

Crazy how much variety there is in these setups. Sounds like a cool gig. (And one I didn't know existed.) Also, assuming they don't really pay you enough, thanks for doing it. How did you get connected? - via experience in a residential or assisted living facility? I'm curious as I've done a lot on the children side of things but not on the adult side (although friends and family have worked in residential and assisted living facilities).

MoonPilgrim

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Re: Side Work Ideas?
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2012, 10:52:08 AM »
Noted, Arebelspy. 

I didn't register that "side hustle" could have a negative connotation until you pointed it out--I always just thought of "hustle" as being something coaches and parents screamed at us while we played field hockey.

I changed the title so you wouldn't have to see it a bunch of times, though.  :)

arebelspy

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Re: Side Work Ideas?
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2012, 11:40:31 AM »
Noted, Arebelspy. 

I didn't register that "side hustle" could have a negative connotation until you pointed it out--I always just thought of "hustle" as being something coaches and parents screamed at us while we played field hockey.

I changed the title so you wouldn't have to see it a bunch of times, though.  :)

Hah, no worries.  It's just something that's bugged me ever since it became a popular term a few years back (replacing "passive income," another equally ridiculous term), so I had to rant for a minute.  ;)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

SJ

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Re: Side Hustle Ideas?
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2012, 02:18:56 PM »
I will probably get slammed as a terrible human being but....

Fostering.

If you find yourself in the situation where you are unable to have children, Fostering can be a better option both socially and financially.

As well as providing a home for a child that needs one (rather than adoption, where there tend to be more parents than children) there are significant financial remunerations. In the UK this is equivalent to about $200 a week or more. Obviously I wouldn't say feed a child just rice, and dress them in rags, but I do know of a few couples who choose to foster as a career. Some foster agencies even pay a retainer to keep you on the books regardless if you actually have any children in your care.

Not from me, at least. In the US (at least my state), rates aren't quite that generous. They are designed to cover the cost of caring for the child but not allow you to make any extra money. However, as a mustachian with below average costs, you would probably clear one or two hundred a month. (So socially a great option but not as much financially.)

If you are very good and have the inclination, children with serious social and behavior disorders typically get a higher per day reimbursement but, of course, require more time, supervision, and travel. If you are exceptional, the state may contract with you to set up a home based residential care facility in your home but then neither of you, I believe, are allowed to have outside jobs (so it is not exactly a side job anymore).

I personally provide care for a developmentally disabled adult in my home (live-in) and it pays decent, plus your income is non-taxable by Fed or State.  Also, you can do this work AND do anything else you want - second job, small business, whatever - as long as you're able to meet the conditions of your contract with the agency you contract with.  To top it off, you're an independent contractor, so mileage and other costs directly related to providing care are all tax deductible and can be used to offset other taxable income you or your spouse may have.  Very mustachian and a wonderful social service at the same time!

Crazy how much variety there is in these setups. Sounds like a cool gig. (And one I didn't know existed.) Also, assuming they don't really pay you enough, thanks for doing it. How did you get connected? - via experience in a residential or assisted living facility? I'm curious as I've done a lot on the children side of things but not on the adult side (although friends and family have worked in residential and assisted living facilities).

Indeed, it's a varied field of work and one that is mostly under the radar so most people have no idea it even exists.  You're right that they don't truly pay enough, thanks to low state funding, but it's decent pay for all the side benefits (tax benefits, schedule freedom, etc.).  My wife had been in this line of work for many years, doing work for day programs and now working as a program manager for one of the agencies.  When I got laid off, they just happened to be looking for additional providers so I started training, which took nearly 2 months, and found a great client to work with.  So I had insider info on how to get involved, but I see other agencies advertising on Craigslist every once in a while too, so there is definitely work in the field available to those who are looking.

mcneally

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Re: Side Work Ideas?
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2012, 03:34:54 PM »
This is my idea for my "retirement Job", not a side job since my employer prohibits me from doing this type of work: I want to get a CFP or PFS (I'm already a CPA) and do paid financial planning for others. I don't want to rely on this type of work to be my primary income at this stage of my life though.

cambridgecyclist

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Re: Side Work Ideas?
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2012, 04:36:07 PM »
I run a small web hosting company, do back-end web programming, and fix up broken bikes and sell them on Craigslist. The web hosting is by far the best gig since it involves very little work for a regular income stream. Web programming is lucrative but not something I enjoy doing. Fixing bikes is fun but it doesn't pay much, however, it makes a little money and in the process I'm learning a skill -- I consider this a free education.

Lavender

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Re: Side Work Ideas?
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2012, 04:57:34 PM »
I teach dance, which has grown from a small class an hour or so a week to about 8 hours a week, 50 students, potentially replacing about 40-50% of my current income if I decide to quit. I also freelance as a scientific editor, and the volumes I get have risen to where it can replace about 60-70% of my income from my 'real' job. Needless to say, I'm quitting the full time job in a few months....semi-FI, I call it. I'll get to work from home on the editing, probably about 20 hours a week, then do something I'm passionate about (dance) for a few more hours a week, and be home when my kids come home from school. Win-win!

happy

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Re: Side Work Ideas?
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2012, 07:40:03 PM »
I hate "side- hustle" too....I thought it was coz I'm an Aussie!...some American slang doesn't sit that well sometimes.

c

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Re: Side Work Ideas?
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2012, 07:51:15 PM »
I like "side hustle", there's something a little wild,  romantic and almost pioneer about it to me. "Second job" seems so much more burdensome, something you do out of a need to just keep afloat rather than breaking free and finding your own path.

I first saw it used on ERE and something really struck me about it. I like how it's taking a phrase with a negative connotation and giving it a new spin, much like frugal.


nubbs180

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Re: Side Work Ideas?
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2012, 10:13:44 AM »
I work as a soccer referee for the local youth leagues. It is seasonal (4 months of the year total, though I could get involved in other leagues for the other months), but you can get over $100 on a Saturday for doing 3-4 games. It is also good exercise and you get to have fun interacting with the kids and fellow referees. You just need a thick skin some times for those annoying parents and coaches.

It also makes a great job for teenagers. It makes them think.

kkbmustang

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Re: Side Work Ideas?
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2012, 01:44:44 PM »
Is there a Mustachian Barter Club for services? Writing, editing, legal, accounting....

Matt K

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Re: Side Work Ideas?
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2012, 10:48:32 AM »
I much prefer the term "side gig".

I teach mountain biking and do the odd programming / database job. I really should push to the database work harder, since I could suppliment a fair amount of my regular income if I just got off my butt and found more clients.

fidgiegirl

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Re: Side Work Ideas?
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2012, 05:40:20 PM »
I made some good side cash at dogsitting at one time, but now everyone and their brother does it, so I don't anymore.  Plus I quit spending the night with the pups.  That was where the buck was at.

I am interested in starting up a drop-shipping based e-business, but not sure how to go about it quite yet.

DH does a bit of sideline eBaying of our own old unwanted items and stuff he picks up at garage sales.  He's got about $800 in our car replacement fund from doing it.