Author Topic: Talk to me about side hustles  (Read 10205 times)

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #50 on: February 07, 2017, 04:26:11 AM »
I just started being an officiant/celebrant for weddings and vow renewals. Apparently my joke ordination in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a novelty that excites people. Pretty low stress gig as most couples tell me what they want me to say. The ones who don't are usually indecisive enough that the "script" doesn't take more than a couple tweaks. I don't advertise but I get plenty of business just from word of mouth.

How much do you get paid, if you don't mind me asking?
"Take this job and shove it" - David Allan Coe

HipGnosis

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #51 on: February 10, 2017, 05:24:44 PM »
I have a side gig warning.
I read some good things about TaskRabbit, so I went to sign up (register as a 'tasker').
It asked me what
After picking an account name and providing my cell #, it asked me what city I'm in.  My city was in the drop down list to pick from.
After providing a face picture, I picked what tasks I would do, what rate I wanted for each (within a range given) and gave some information about my experience doing each task.
Then, it asked for a credit card # for the $20 nonrefundable fee...  I wasn't expecting that, so I closed the browser window.
I googled 'Taskrabbit tasker fee' and found out it's a fairly new thing, and that it started at $5.  I read that it's for a background check (but I'm not sure if that was on a taskrabbit page or a 3rd party forum or blog).
Since I was out of the registration site, I thought I'd see what current taskers were asking/getting for the tasks I said I would do, and what they had for their experience.  So I went to taskrabbit and went to the customer/client part.  I clicked that I wanted some handyman work done and it asked for my address.  I put that in and taskrabbit said "Sorry, that's outside of our coverage area"   WTF?!?!?
I poked around Taskrabbit to find what cities there covered... my city is NOT covered.
That means... they would have charged me $20 for becoming a tasker when NO ONE can submit tasks to be done or paid for!!
Glad my spidy sense warned me about it, because that's not right, much less MMM.

TomTX

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #52 on: February 10, 2017, 06:22:47 PM »
If your curious about current bank bonus offers, a poster in this thread was kind enough to summarize a few of the best available.

If you take the top two in that list, it gives you $400 in straight cash, if you are a couple, that gives you $800. It's decent money

Remember that you will likely get a 1099 for that at the end of the year and need to pay taxes - unlike CC signup bonuses.
Credit card signup bonuses:

$150 bonus on $500 spend for Chase Freedom:
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/2/MU4TDQ1N3K

$50 bonus (no min spend, just use it once) plus double all cash back at the end of 1 year for Discover, including the initial $50:
https://refer.discover.com/s/37e3u

$500 bonus on $4,000 spend for Chase Sapphire Preferred:
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/6/Z8JIP66H7G

TomTX

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #53 on: February 10, 2017, 06:27:49 PM »

For another reference, we currently have points/miles that we have the option of redeeming directly for cash, in the form of cashback or statement credits, that would give us ~$4500 in cash. We don't turn it into cash, because we believe we'd get more than $4500 in value out of it like in the above example. Do you value that at $4500, or the cash price of the travel redemption?

So it's up to you how you value it. It's a subjective call, I tried to be as upfront and honest about it as I could with the number, still saying you should take it with a grain of salt.

I started on the signup bonus thing about 6 months ago and decided that I will be "valuing" my points at either cashout value, or for non-cashable ones a suitably conservative value. Hilton points are worth 0.5cpp, for example.
Credit card signup bonuses:

$150 bonus on $500 spend for Chase Freedom:
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/2/MU4TDQ1N3K

$50 bonus (no min spend, just use it once) plus double all cash back at the end of 1 year for Discover, including the initial $50:
https://refer.discover.com/s/37e3u

$500 bonus on $4,000 spend for Chase Sapphire Preferred:
https://www.referyourchasecard.com/6/Z8JIP66H7G

rachael talcott

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #54 on: February 10, 2017, 07:53:49 PM »
This has probably been discussed elsewhere on these fora, but this website has side hustle ideas, interviews, etc.

http://www.sidehustlenation.com/

aschmidt2930

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #55 on: February 10, 2017, 08:08:19 PM »
My advice is to ignore the Uber's and Task Rabbits.

Figure out what you're better at than a majority of the population, and find people who need that skill.  Don't let somebody take 20% off the top. 

Also:  Most people that look for help on sites that connect businesses and freelancers are cheap.

Connect with your target buyer on LinkedIn.  Publish content that improves their lives.  Pitch down the road.

The instant gratification mindset is what sentences us to failure.  Play the long game.




hypocrispy

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #56 on: February 27, 2017, 08:16:15 AM »
I just started being an officiant/celebrant for weddings and vow renewals. Apparently my joke ordination in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a novelty that excites people. Pretty low stress gig as most couples tell me what they want me to say. The ones who don't are usually indecisive enough that the "script" doesn't take more than a couple tweaks. I don't advertise but I get plenty of business just from word of mouth.

How much do you get paid, if you don't mind me asking?

Straight $100 with one free meal. One couple asked me to travel out of state; so I asked them to compensate travel.

I think I get business because there's more than one pastor in my area charging $1,000 as a base charge which seems unreal to me.

Fishindude

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #57 on: February 27, 2017, 08:19:37 AM »
Between cash renting farm ground and renting a commercial building, we pull in about $5-6,000 per month with very little work required.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #58 on: February 28, 2017, 04:32:38 AM »
I just started being an officiant/celebrant for weddings and vow renewals. Apparently my joke ordination in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a novelty that excites people. Pretty low stress gig as most couples tell me what they want me to say. The ones who don't are usually indecisive enough that the "script" doesn't take more than a couple tweaks. I don't advertise but I get plenty of business just from word of mouth.

How much do you get paid, if you don't mind me asking?

Straight $100 with one free meal. One couple asked me to travel out of state; so I asked them to compensate travel.

I think I get business because there's more than one pastor in my area charging $1,000 as a base charge which seems unreal to me.

Sounds like a pretty cool gig.

I got my son the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster book for his birthday one year.  That's the kind of religion I can get behind.
"Take this job and shove it" - David Allan Coe

Well Respected Man

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #59 on: February 28, 2017, 04:48:17 AM »
I just started being an officiant/celebrant for weddings and vow renewals. Apparently my joke ordination in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a novelty that excites people. Pretty low stress gig as most couples tell me what they want me to say. The ones who don't are usually indecisive enough that the "script" doesn't take more than a couple tweaks. I don't advertise but I get plenty of business just from word of mouth.

How much do you get paid, if you don't mind me asking?

Straight $100 with one free meal. One couple asked me to travel out of state; so I asked them to compensate travel.

I think I get business because there's more than one pastor in my area charging $1,000 as a base charge which seems unreal to me.

Sounds like a pretty cool gig.

I got my son the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster book for his birthday one year.  That's the kind of religion I can get behind.

PSA: Anyone over 18 can get a one-day license to be an officiant; my 18-year-old son got a license from the town to officiate at my sister's wedding. I think there was a small charge for the license; I don't think it was as much as $100.

AMandM

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #60 on: February 28, 2017, 01:12:38 PM »
PSA: Anyone over 18 can get a one-day license to be an officiant; my 18-year-old son got a license from the town to officiate at my sister's wedding. I think there was a small charge for the license; I don't think it was as much as $100.

This is not universally true.  Each state, and sometimes each county within a state, has its own laws and regulations concerning authorized officiants.  In Maine, for instance, notaries public can officiate at a wedding, in Maryland they can't.

zinethstache

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #61 on: February 28, 2017, 01:39:32 PM »
Great thread! Makes my side gigs seem boring.

I've done side gig work forever, they have always allowed me to have hobbies I could never afford.

It all started with the purchase of a horse right after I got married and I promised to pay for it via side hustles, so that's what I did.

1. Cleaned an office once a week for $125/mo (1990-1993)
2. Desktop publishing with my shiny new 386 computer! made $30/hour (1991-present) - I've always done this side gig, though now its computer graphics and websites and I charge $100/hour. I only do very little of this since it was my day job for 20 years.
3. Building PCs and selling computer training services with them (1993-2001). - this was great fun, through word of mouth I would be paid to build a custom PC and sit and train the person on how to use it. I would even teach them custom apps that I did not know, I would help them figure it out.
4. Wrote a training module for my senior project (1999) - then started charging them, make 5k off it.
5. Mobile vendor at horse shows where I competed with my horses (2006-2013)-carried other manufacturer products as well as my own. - lots of fun while I owned and showed horses, it fizzled out after my back injury and sold my horse and equipment.
6. Real estate investor (2012-present) - this side gig is the BOMB - (DH hated his day job so we turned this into his day job first THEN it became enough passive income for me to FIRE, we've turned it over to a PM while we slow travel).
7. Web site passive income (2015-present)- all I have to do is my new hobby and post about that hobby including a list of affiliate links to supplies I used. If someone clicks a link and buys that product I get commission. My site states that it is monetized. This is a new side gig, and I am just starting to earn income from it. I enjoy it alot, but then I've enjoyed all of my side gigs!


Note: one week after I FIRE'd I was emailed a request to do some simple edits for side gig #2. Some side gigs never go away. Im ok with that!

Bicycle_B

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #62 on: February 28, 2017, 02:53:33 PM »
I've been thinking on this topic a lot lately because it offers a unique advantage to my situation.

In my employment, I have a pension and access to a 457(b) plan which I have now maxed out.  It has come to my attention that it is possible to max out tax deferred investments in BOTH a 457(b) and a 401(k) at $18000 in each for a total of $36000 per year. But I don't have access to a 401k. But I would have access to a solo 401K if I had my own business. So I am tossing around a lot of ideas in my head for a sole proprietor business to build, just to make that $18000 in profit that could be invested tax free, no more.

My ideas so far:

High school/junior college tutor - I am very strong in math and sciences and passable in history and english. I have done tutoring in the past and have done well with it. My fiance would be a brilliant tutor for english (MA in creative writing, now in nursing school) and has experience at both the tutoring and adjunct professor levels so perhaps we could start a joint company.

Certified Tax Preparer - As I learn more about personal finance, I find that I have more and more conversations with people about how to use the tax code to their advantage. Might as well get paid for it. This carries the initial investment of a $5000 bond but I think it could be well worth it, especially since it is a topic which I would love to learn more about but I will never go through the investment to take it all the way to the CPA level, that would just be ridiculous.

Yard Work - I've got all the tools and knowhow, but in my area there is a ton of competition so not likely to take this route

Wedding DJ - I have got all the stuff, mixer, bumping soundsystem, software. I know how to DJ for raves but not for weddings so it might take a bit of getting used to, plus building a library of music that I am not super into but that people are going to want to hear. I think it could be super fun and might work really well if I were working graveyards at work and DJing one or two nights on my days off.

One question that I have is this: If you build a business with the intention of being the sole proprietor in order to set up your solo 401(k) - does the business have to specialize in one thing? Or could it be a combination? Like "Headwinds Math and Science Tutoring, Tax Preparation, and Wedding DJ" sort of thing? Sorry if this is a thread hijack, I may start another thread with exactly this question.

Headwinds, I believe you can invest more than 18k in your solo 401k, even while you max out your other plan.  As I understand them (not an expert, just was reading to hatch my own schemes), the rules are:

1. The amounts contributed to 401k plans are separate from other types of accounts, including 457b accounts.  Yay!
2. You can do solo 401k for more than one business, so it doesn't matter whether you have one business or several.  The limit simply applies to total of your 401k contributions from the businesses.
3. $18,000 is not the limit for solo 401k.  The limit is $18,000 PLUS 20% of the ordinary income you earn from the business! 

http://www.irafinancialgroup.com/solo401kcontributionlimits.php

The 20% is basically the amount of employer matching that you can provide as your own employer.  So you would want to earn more than $18k.  I think the right number would be $27,820 after accounting for self-employment tax, which is 15.3%.
a. 27,820 x .153 = 4256 in tax.
b. 27,820 x .2 = 5564
c. 18,000 + 5564 = 23,564 in contributions to solo 401k.
d. 23,564 + 4,256 = 27,820.
(edited to add link and correct my math)

Sorry about thread hijacking.  On topic:

OP, one surprising side hustle with outdoor work is rodent extermination.  I hired a person to do this at a rental property I own, because initially I failed at the task myself.  After watching him and talking to him, he appears to be making out like a bandit...and the majority of his work is actually outside.

$ - he charges $125/hour.  I think he makes over six figures working about 40 hours.  A determined person could probably net $40 or $50 an hour part time in the right area.  I am thinking about this myself, though probably will not due to other ideas I am pursuing.

Outdoors - The key is to find and seal the indoor/outdoor access routes the rodents use.  So most of the work in the estimating stage involves a thorough examination of the home or building's exterior.  Then you estimate hours to repair, multiply by 100 or 125.  If the customer says no, charge 125 for the visit; if yes, spend x hours sealing the holes with steel mesh and maybe some foam.  Then lay some traps in the attic along the edges where rodent routes are and reset the traps every couple days until they're all dead.  Over half the time is just outdoor repair work.  Another 20% is just driving around to customers.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 03:32:57 PM by Bicycle_B »

SJS

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #63 on: February 28, 2017, 05:50:19 PM »
I sold on  Ebay for 10 years - making $10K/year.  Did it when I felt like it.  Bought items at thrift stores & resold.  It was crazy before the economy crashed in 2008 - people were spending like crazy!   A good way to bring  in some xtra $ if you have things people want (electronics, clothing, etc.).  I'm not doing it any more - we're retired & I don't have time!!  :-)

Erica

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #64 on: February 28, 2017, 06:21:02 PM »
For Those who need to work out-

My husband has a few side hustles instead of going to a gym.


1. He picks up firewood about 4-5 times a month for local tree guys. After they trim a tree, he shows up and loads the firewood they cut into the van. He also bought a broken wood splitter on Craigslist, fixed it, and cuts the logs down to size. Sells the Cords on Craigslist

2. He works for a friend cleaning parking lots at night for $14 per hr. Anywhere from 4-6 hrs a night home by 3am. He's lost alot of weight due to that, or he appears he has. He used to do this some years ago 2-3 days a week with his business but he's old now, 55 yrs old so staying up late alot screws him up.

3. We are keeping our minds open at Retirement to opening up a Security Business just so we can get paid to cycle from 9-Midnight a few nights a week...at a local Country Club. That's what the local security company's hours are for this block of homes. Beautiful homes and barely any cars yet a TON of huge hills. We could really stay in shape. They offered me a job leading a cycling class once a week on Saturday mornings but I sometimes have to work weekends. But that is also a possibility.

4. Any business/side hustle which requires staying in shape by working 2-4 hour stints 2-3 days per week. Not all the time. Makes for a better quality of life, imho. Gyms are boring :)

 5. I also sell on Ebay. I've been getting so much overtime at my regular job and not wanting to sell clothes or collectibles, got in a slump the last 4 months. Been selling clothes since last week, it's going well. Sold twice what I used to, so see an average of $300 a month coming on if my estimates are correct.

WARNING TO EBAY SELLERS-Ebay just sent a new seller update today saying they increased their final value fees for all Sellers, including those with stores. So I started another Ebay selling account though I was considering opening a store prior. ebay is also increasing the tracking requirement to 95% for Top Rated SELLER KNOWING not all Post Offices will scan all of the packages so it's out of our hands. So now it's waiting in line to ensure the Postmaster scans it right in front of me. Urrrggg...
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 06:27:56 PM by Erica »

Erica

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #65 on: February 28, 2017, 06:30:36 PM »
I sold on  Ebay for 10 years - making $10K/year.  Did it when I felt like it.  Bought items at thrift stores & resold.  It was crazy before the economy crashed in 2008 - people were spending like crazy!   A good way to bring  in some xtra $ if you have things people want (electronics, clothing, etc.).  I'm not doing it any more - we're retired & I don't have time!!  :-)
Good for you. It's not as good as it was prior anyhow so you aren't missing anything imho. The highest I ever got was about $450-$500 a month on average.

 I just got into selling clothes and am actually enjoying it. So far only buying items with tags but the people here are wealthy so there should be plenty. I promised myself to never sell Clothes on Ebay, people want you to measure these and it drives me nuts but not anymore.




tyrannostache

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #66 on: March 01, 2017, 04:19:30 PM »
I'm catching up on this thread with interest, as I'm contemplating a new side hustle. It's exciting to hear about all of these different experiences. I've had a variety of freelance gigs in the past--transcription, ghostwriting, editing, etc.

I now have a doctorate in the humanities (I know! I know! I thought I wanted to be a professor) and a full-time job that I really enjoy. However, due to spending many years pursuing that degree and not optimizing my income, I'm feeling the need to ramp up income right now. Husband and I have a modest stash and 0 non-mortgage debt, but we aren't where we want to be.

Since I already have a full-time job, a kid, and another kid on the way, time is my most precious resource. A side gig for me needs to be flexible and have a solid return on time spent. I'm not interested in endlessly trawling elance for $15/hour gigs.

So here's what I'm considering:

College application essay coach. I enjoy teaching writing, and I'm good at it. I think this gig could provide decent compensation for the amount of time required if I could offer both structured online coaching and last-minute review/advice. I plan to target high-COL areas where my rates would be competitive. I'm sure there will be some up-front time spent building a web presence and marketing services, but I could keep it simple for this year (see above--baby on the way) and reevaluate next spring.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? Any suggestions?

Lentils4Lunch

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #67 on: March 01, 2017, 05:19:58 PM »

College application essay coach. I enjoy teaching writing, and I'm good at it. I think this gig could provide decent compensation for the amount of time required if I could offer both structured online coaching and last-minute review/advice. I plan to target high-COL areas where my rates would be competitive. I'm sure there will be some up-front time spent building a web presence and marketing services, but I could keep it simple for this year (see above--baby on the way) and reevaluate next spring.


This is a good idea. Do you have a special angle you could use to give you a competitive edge? Have you ever worked in an admissions office, for example?

tyrannostache

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #68 on: March 01, 2017, 05:28:52 PM »
No work in an admissions, but I taught writing at a major university for 8 years.

Metalsatsuma1212

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #69 on: March 01, 2017, 06:08:36 PM »
Our side hustle is awesome and really easy. We sit dogs through a website called Rover (there are many like it such as Dogvacay, etc.). They do all the advertising and clients text or email me and I invite them to see my home. Rover also has insurance so I don't have to worry if a pup is hurt or becomes sick. I cannot recommend it enough and we make (after tax and fees) about 4k a year. We have a lot of repeat clients and we hand pick the ones that lazy easy dogs.

http://refer.rover.com/v2/share/6392701418052498165

rachellynn99

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #70 on: March 01, 2017, 06:18:40 PM »
Not exactly a side hustle, but I'm a faculty member with a 9 month contract. Right now I teach an extra class each Fall and Spring and get paid for one overload class each semester. Then this summer I'm teaching two May term classes, two summer 1 term classes and then one class in Summer 2 term. Beginning in the Fall I won't teach an overload, but will try to pick up one more summer class. That's an extra $25 or so grand a year. I get that summer professors like the break during the summer, but I actually really enjoy the classes I teach in the summer.

Smokystache

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #71 on: March 01, 2017, 06:41:16 PM »

I now have a doctorate in the humanities (I know! I know! I thought I wanted to be a professor) and a full-time job that I really enjoy. However, due to spending many years pursuing that degree and not optimizing my income, I'm feeling the need to ramp up income right now....

Since I already have a full-time job, a kid, and another kid on the way, time is my most precious resource. A side gig for me needs to be flexible and have a solid return on time spent. I'm not interested in endlessly trawling elance for $15/hour gigs.

So here's what I'm considering:  College application essay coach. ...

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? Any suggestions?

I'm in higher ed and also needed some extra income. I did OK on the GRE (at least on the math section =)   ) and I saw that many of my good college students were doing terribly on the GRE .... mostly because they were afraid of it and didn't study. So I developed my own GRE Prep class. It is really easy to price it below what the national testing companies charge (Kaplan is $1300+ for a 20/hour course). My institution lets me use a classroom and I teach a one weekend, intensive course. I provide a free "information session" to the whole campus and the college is ok with me promoting my fee-based prep class. It took me about 40-60 hours to put together a good PPT with example problems and some practice worksheets cribbed together from various resources, etc and made enough to cover those lean years when I didn't get a raise from my institution =(.

Anyway, I would encourage you to read a few test prep manuals and then market yourself as someone who could tutor the GRE Essay and Verbal Reasoning sections (and Quant sections, if you're good at that too). You don't have to have scored in the 90th percentile+ to tutor people who are trying to go from a 30th to a 50th percentile (which is the majority of students). If you could create a special niche for international students, that would be even better. You could look at ACT prep, but I suspect there is much more competition. But students who want to go to grad school (and have gotten rocked by the GRE once already) are very motivated. I charge about $450 for a weekend prep class (and try to get 8-10 students each year). When I feel I have the time, I tutor individual students and generally charge $75/hour (and I am in a relatively rural, low cost of living area of the country).


tyrannostache

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #72 on: March 01, 2017, 10:19:39 PM »

I now have a doctorate in the humanities (I know! I know! I thought I wanted to be a professor) and a full-time job that I really enjoy. However, due to spending many years pursuing that degree and not optimizing my income, I'm feeling the need to ramp up income right now....

Since I already have a full-time job, a kid, and another kid on the way, time is my most precious resource. A side gig for me needs to be flexible and have a solid return on time spent. I'm not interested in endlessly trawling elance for $15/hour gigs.

So here's what I'm considering:  College application essay coach. ...

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? Any suggestions?

I'm in higher ed and also needed some extra income. I did OK on the GRE (at least on the math section =)   ) and I saw that many of my good college students were doing terribly on the GRE .... mostly because they were afraid of it and didn't study. So I developed my own GRE Prep class. It is really easy to price it below what the national testing companies charge (Kaplan is $1300+ for a 20/hour course). My institution lets me use a classroom and I teach a one weekend, intensive course. I provide a free "information session" to the whole campus and the college is ok with me promoting my fee-based prep class. It took me about 40-60 hours to put together a good PPT with example problems and some practice worksheets cribbed together from various resources, etc and made enough to cover those lean years when I didn't get a raise from my institution =(.

Anyway, I would encourage you to read a few test prep manuals and then market yourself as someone who could tutor the GRE Essay and Verbal Reasoning sections (and Quant sections, if you're good at that too). You don't have to have scored in the 90th percentile+ to tutor people who are trying to go from a 30th to a 50th percentile (which is the majority of students). If you could create a special niche for international students, that would be even better. You could look at ACT prep, but I suspect there is much more competition. But students who want to go to grad school (and have gotten rocked by the GRE once already) are very motivated. I charge about $450 for a weekend prep class (and try to get 8-10 students each year). When I feel I have the time, I tutor individual students and generally charge $75/hour (and I am in a relatively rural, low cost of living area of the country).

Wow, thanks smokystache. That's a great idea. I hadn't thought about offering independent GRE courses/tutoring. I figured Kaplan had a lock on it. I did great on the GRE, but it was a long time ago. I live in a small town in a very rural area with one tiny college (approx 1400 students), though there are larger state universities within a couple hour's drive. Maybe worth a test-run here at tiny college with an eye toward developing something at State U...

Bryan M

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #73 on: March 02, 2017, 11:00:17 AM »
I did automotive work for a while.  My specialty was rebuilding/re-gearing axles.  The pay was pretty good.

RedwoodDreams

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #74 on: March 06, 2017, 01:11:44 AM »
I do side work walking people's dogs while they're at work. I live near a forest and would take my dog for an hour long walk every day, so on a lark one day I put an ad on craiglist: "I'll take your dog with us at lunchtime." Found someone looking for a dog walker right away who lives fairly close by, so every weekday I'd go get the other dog and take the same walk I'd be taking with my dog anyway.

Only I get $300/month for exercising. For one dog.

I love it. I love dogs, we have a fun routine, and I can't ever punk out of walking because people rely on me.

Since then I've gotten a reputation with my neighbors and have gotten other requests. If I had more energy, I'd do more of it. I've also put an ad on craigslist to pet sit in my home and found one reliable client fairly easily.

I see younger people out walking 5-6 dogs at once--raking it in! If I were younger, I'd probably start a small business doing this.