Author Topic: Talk to me about side hustles  (Read 9308 times)

Lentils4Lunch

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Talk to me about side hustles
« on: January 07, 2017, 01:07:44 PM »
Lately, the concept of "side hustling" or having another source of income in addition to your job, seems to be getting a lot of traction in the personal finance sphere.

Is it really necessary to have a side hustle? How many people on this forum have legitimate side hustles?

The blog Side Hustle Nation has a lot of suggestions for starting a side hustle from home. Most of these involve internet/blogging type things like SEO and affiliate linking or writing content for other people's blogs. There are all kinds of examples of people who have taken a few classes on these skills and started pulling in a grand or two a month right away. Honestly, I read this accounts with a lot of skepticism, thinking these cases are more the exception than the norm. However, I'd be curious to hear the other mustachians' thoughts...

Do you have a side hustle? If so, what kind? Would love to hear about it. How important is it to have multiple income streams as part of your FIRE plan?

startingsmall

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 01:17:24 PM »
I have a side hustle - freelance writing/editing. I'll also be adjunct-teaching a lab at a local college next semester so I guess that's a second side hustle.

I like it for several reasons.
1) I'm burned out on my FT job. It's high-urgency but not at all mentally stimulating. Having a side hustle provides me with some of the fulfillment that I'm missing in my FT job.
2) I like the extra income. It all goes to savings, accelerating our progress. In a pinch, though, it would cover a good chunk of our expenses if I lost my job (doesn't meet all of our expenses, but my husband's income + my side hustle could easily support us if my job went away), or an emergency arose, or something like that.
3) I doubt I'll work FT 'til FI. I'm currently pregnant with kiddo #2 and considering a more gradual downshift once the second child arrives. I'd like to cut my FT job to PT and then continue the side work. Yes, I'd still probably be working 30-40 hrs/wk, but only 15-20 of those hours would be scheduled/inflexible... the freelance writing/editing work can be done anytime that I want, making it far more family friendly.
4) My writing side work pays approximately 3x/hr what I make at my FT job. I like that. On the downside, it makes it even harder to take the FT job seriously.

Just a few of my reasons.
FWIW, my side hustle income last year was $20,756.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 01:21:44 PM by startingsmall »

Lentils4Lunch

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 01:21:53 PM »
startingsmall, your situation sounds pretty awesome.  I'm jealous.
 

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2017, 01:34:32 PM »
startingsmall, how did you get into that?  how did you get clients? 
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SwordGuy

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2017, 02:12:50 PM »
We've had several side hustles over the years.

I did yard work to raise money for college.

We researched, wrote and published our own how-to quarterly magazine for 8 years.

We started a software development company.

Taught software classes on the side.

Taught jewelry making classes on the side.

I wrote articles and we wrote a book each.  Damn do I miss the .com boom days where I was getting $250 a page for an article.   I have a truly sweet woodshop that was funded by that side hustle.

I did software consulting on the side.   Got free travel to Idaho, Oregon, Vancouver Island, Washington State, Washington, DC, and Georgia.

We started a rental property business.   We have 4 houses, 2 ready to rent, and 2 we've been slacking off on fixing up.

We started a house flipping business.  We have 1 house to flip.

After I quit my day job we'll have a side business of making art for sale, both jewelry and house/yard installations.
And I'll probably teach home-schooled kids useful shop skills - wood, glass and metal.   

I'm glad we did all of them.   Learned valuable new skills, had fun, met interesting people, got to see parts of the world we would never have seen for free, and made some money, too.


startingsmall

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2017, 03:41:41 PM »
startingsmall, how did you get into that?  how did you get clients?

As a veterinarian, I really wanted to focus on medical writing. The first thing I did was join the American Medical Writers Association. Learned a good bit from their message boards and through conversations with a few other veterinarians that either did medical writing on the side or had made the leap to FT medical writing.

Next, I started out by doing some freelance editing for this company: edanzediting.com  Pay is decent-ish (pay by the page, I usually made around $20/hr to start but typically ~$40/hr now that I'm more efficient) and they have no problem hiring newbies as long as you have a doctoral-level degree.

After doing that for a few months, I started advertising myself on Elance, which then changed over to Upwork. Found a few jobs on there - writing continuing education courses for veterinarians, providing content for an online class for middle/high-school students on vet med, writing some advertising stuff for pet treats and nutraceuticals.

My biggest project right now is working for a company that designs client education handouts and reference material for veterinarians. They happened to advertise in the veterinary professional journal and I applied. They're the company through which I earned $4000 last month and I LOVE working for them. So, at this point, I'm only working for them and Edanz (on a limited basis). I don't really have the free time to seek out any more freelance work unless I go PT and we aren't quite ready for that yet.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 06:10:02 PM by startingsmall »

bballfreakunc

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2017, 07:54:46 PM »
Check out Moonlighting. It's an exchange where people post jobs to get done as well as skills that they as freelancers have for sale. I'm generally the latter. Personally I've found a bunch of data science/analytics gigs on there as well as some HTML work.

Note I get a couple bucks if you signup with my link below.
http://www.gomnlt.com/mnlt/sign_up/?SubAff=1061

CanuckExpat

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2017, 08:25:30 PM »
Depends on what you define as a side hustle. My wife and I have never worked any other paid jobs other than our W2 gigs (ok once I did some light consulting/contracting, but it almost fell into my lap). We also had very steep salary increases along the way .. I think that has more to do with luck than anything, but if your main job is lucrative, just invest in that, and keep changing jobs to get salary bumps.

That being said, it all depends on what you mean by a side hustle. In the last year, we made roughly $3,000 for example just from opening bank accounts for bonuses. It's more like a hobby, but that's not bad money, and takes little time and work (some mental overhead I suppose, and free capital to meet minimum funding requirements). My wife does a lot of credit card churning, and we get a fair bit of non monetary value out of that, once we calculated it out and estimated $14,000 in redemption value for a year.. but that's an inflated number, since it's sucker sticker price :)


P.S. startingsmall thanks for the heads up about the company you use. I'd been curious about academic editing for a while, but never got around to doing it. Just sent an application, though my CV is horribly out of date and even has the wrong address. Let me know if you'd like me to say that you referred me.
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texastumbleweed

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2017, 10:11:14 PM »
Dang $14,000 from credit card churning?!? how much do you have to spend to get those rewards? 


I do ebay as my side hustle.  I love it and is fun.  I'd say $300 to $2000 a month, could do more, but you get out what you put in....

big_slacker

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 07:22:35 AM »
You don't need a side hustle, but it doesn't hurt to make extra $$ right?

You absolutely don't just need to do affiliate marketing stuff. Lots of folks have a skill they use for work and can just do off work hours versions of that. If you're an IT guy set up a servers or networks for small/medium businesses in the area. If you're a carpenter maybe build picnic tables, chairs and sell on offerup, CL, etc. There are sites that cater specifically to small contracts or you can market yourself, it really depends on what you want to do.

I think the #1 thing to remember about a side gig is to start small and be realistic about how much you can afford to do.

In terms of our own:

I do small IT consulting projects at $125-$150/hr, although less now with kids and a wife in school. I only did maybe $1k worth this year.
My wife does in house facials and waxing for some friends and associates much cheaper than you get done at a spa.
We also review items online. After a fair review we sometimes keep the items if it makes sense or sell them online if we don't use them that much.

pudding

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2017, 03:56:55 PM »
I once put together a business selling a product online.
I imported the stuff from China and it sold well. But the quality of the stuff was absolute crap so i gave it up.

I have a handyman business in and I'm in a city where most people are busy working and don't have time or often no skills to do things to their house.  It's not hard to offer a service to them and get customers, and it can be something as simple as having a truck and taking garbage to the dump. Or cleaning the leaves out of gutters and washing windows.

All you have to do is present yourself in a professional way and price it reasonably.

tensile

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2017, 04:08:02 PM »
Wetblanket - there's no mystery to making a side hustling writing for other people's blogs. You don't need to take a class - just write in a normal, literate way and take on board feedback. I'm always looking for people who can string a few sentences together...

The thing about the side hustle is that the first year of FIRE you're trying to cut costs and then the only way to go is increasing your income.
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Lentils4Lunch

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2017, 06:10:20 PM »
Wetblanket - there's no mystery to making a side hustling writing for other people's blogs. You don't need to take a class - just write in a normal, literate way and take on board feedback. I'm always looking for people who can string a few sentences together...


Do I have to have my own blog to write content for other people's? I've had ideas for blog posts before, but the idea of starting my own blog is just intimidating.

chemistk

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2017, 07:09:03 PM »
I dnot do this, since we currently have a toddler and anot her one on the way, but it's worth a mention.

My parents go to estate sales, garage sales, and auctions and buy old stuff (Think American Pickers type) and then sell it on eBay. No specifics, but in the last couple years they have averaged 5 figure profits doing this. They have 99% positive ratings and ship a few dozens of items a week. They're basically empty nesters so the house is also an inventory storage space but a spare bedroom is enough to hold $1,500 worth of inventory if you're looking to get into this sort of thing. Specific example, my dad bought a box of old LP's for $40 (about 200 records total) and has been selling them individually for an average of $2.50 each.

The spend about 1 or 2 hours a day on this plus a few on the weekends going to auctions but it's been huge for their cash flow. What's hilarious is they're not really that frugal/great with their savings but that's a different story.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2017, 07:24:33 PM »
Dang $14,000 from credit card churning?!? how much do you have to spend to get those rewards? 

Again, that's $14,000 in "value" of travel redemption at sticker price, not $14,000 in hard cash, so take that number with a grain of salt.
That year, we incurred about $500 in costs related directly to churning: credit card annual fees, and expenses related to manufactured spending.

We don't spend anymore than we would normally (or I hope not), but use manufactured spending when possible to meet the spending requirements, which sometimes has a cost like I said above. Our average annual spending was around $40,000-$50,000 and most of that was stuff like mortgage and childcare which can't easily be paid by credit card.

For more information regarding the valuation, a big chunk of that $14,000 in value came from redeeming for free hotel nights when we were visiting Tahiti and Bora Bora. We stayed over a week, and the cash price of the hotels ranges from $500 - $1000 / night. We wouldn't pay that in cash, but that is the price people pay without exaggeration.

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.
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tensile

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2017, 05:13:29 AM »
Do I have to have my own blog to write content for other people's? I've had ideas for blog posts before, but the idea of starting my own blog is just intimidating.

No, not at all. There are platforms like Textbroker where someone with a website can go and say 'I need a 500 word article about the history of tennis racquets' and you go 'oh I can do that'.

Or there's a place on Reddit called 'forhire' and you can start a thread offering your services. Basically millions of places like that.

By the way, if you want a blog set up, I'll do it in exchange for an article or two. Write me a private message.
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Turnbull

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2017, 11:15:39 PM »
My life is built around the side hustle. I just turned 40 and have only worked a full time job a total of 6 years since I graduated from college at 22.

Here are my current side hustles/part time jobs/income sources, etc.:

1. High school cross country/track coach (don't teach; just coach)
2. Small grass cutting service
3. Two duplexes
4. Race timing business (my wife and I both ran in college; distance running has been a big part of our life so we have been timing road races for about 15 years.)
5. Honey sales (3rd generation beekeeper)
6. Part time work for an abatement business (I'm a falconer and we use hawks to remove nuisance birds)
7. Just starting to certify road race courses - haven't done one yet but have two lined up and I'm getting everything going now to be able to do this.

My wife is the same way:

1. Works with me in the race timing business
2. Piano teacher
3. Freelance writer

Lentils4Lunch

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2017, 06:15:36 AM »
I'm jealous of everyone's side hustles.

I still don't really know what I'd do for side hustling... Maybe teach a few economics classes at the local community college (I have my master's in econ, though I wouldn't say I have a particular passion for the subject). The idea of walking dogs really appeals to me because it's a job that requires you to get outside and exercise. On the other hand, I'm not what you would call a "dog lover". I've never owned a dog myself, but I like other people's dogs well enough.

My ideal side hustle would be an active one that requires some fresh air and movement. Maybe I could clean up dog poop in people's yards?

goalphish2002

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2017, 06:53:42 AM »
I'm jealous of everyone's side hustles.

I still don't really know what I'd do for side hustling... Maybe teach a few economics classes at the local community college (I have my master's in econ, though I wouldn't say I have a particular passion for the subject). The idea of walking dogs really appeals to me because it's a job that requires you to get outside and exercise. On the other hand, I'm not what you would call a "dog lover". I've never owned a dog myself, but I like other people's dogs well enough.

My ideal side hustle would be an active one that requires some fresh air and movement. Maybe I could clean up dog poop in people's yards?

People that have lots of disposable income pay high dollar for this... 

rachael talcott

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2017, 05:40:23 PM »
I renovate distressed houses as a side hustle, and love it, but not everyone would.  I also made a few thousand doing retail arbitrage awhile back.  It basically involves shopping for stuff on sale and selling it full-price on Amazon.  But I don't really enjoy shopping, so I quit.

Many people have successfully retired early without a side hustle.  It helps a lot if you have a lower income, or if you are already retired and are looking for a bit of additional income. 

CanuckExpat

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2017, 06:29:16 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
Was targetting Freedom35 but ended up retiring a couple years early. Currently Based in Buffalo for the summer.

gliderpilot567

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2017, 11:10:08 PM »
I do tutoring, primarily high school AP calculus and AP physics. Demand is pretty good especially if you are near a "not great" school district. I really enjoy doing it, but I don't have a ton of time available to do it so I mostly just earn beer money.

Hoping to pretty soon get into being an Airplane instructor. Getting my CFI rating in the next few weeks. Would be nice to essentially get to fly for free... or even make a little bit of money doing it. Same free time problem though.

SOMEDAY I am gonna write a book and get an effortless royalty stream. Someday. Just gotta get started.


Monkey Uncle

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2017, 04:39:00 AM »
6. Part time work for an abatement business (I'm a falconer and we use hawks to remove nuisance birds)

Now THAT is a fucking cool-ass job!
"Take this job and shove it" - David Allan Coe

Polish_Hammer

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2017, 08:43:11 AM »
6. Part time work for an abatement business (I'm a falconer and we use hawks to remove nuisance birds)

Now THAT is a fucking cool-ass job!
I second that. Best side-hustle I have heard to date

Turnbull

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2017, 06:19:55 PM »
6. Part time work for an abatement business (I'm a falconer and we use hawks to remove nuisance birds)

Now THAT is a fucking cool-ass job!
I second that. Best side-hustle I have heard to date

Thanks; it's pretty fun.

I help them at Lowe's stores (we fly an Aplomado falcon if there are birds in the stores) and downtown Nashville (we fly Harris hawks there to chase the starlings out from roosting in the trees). They also have a contract with the Nashville airport (Aplomado and kestrels to catch sparrows that get inside the airport) and just got a job with the Nissan plant here in town (Harris hawks to catch pigeons that get in the factory).

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2017, 04:38:38 AM »
6. Part time work for an abatement business (I'm a falconer and we use hawks to remove nuisance birds)

Now THAT is a fucking cool-ass job!
I second that. Best side-hustle I have heard to date

Thanks; it's pretty fun.

I help them at Lowe's stores (we fly an Aplomado falcon if there are birds in the stores) and downtown Nashville (we fly Harris hawks there to chase the starlings out from roosting in the trees). They also have a contract with the Nashville airport (Aplomado and kestrels to catch sparrows that get inside the airport) and just got a job with the Nissan plant here in town (Harris hawks to catch pigeons that get in the factory).

Awesome.  I've never heard of using Harris hawks in falconry, but it makes total sense given that they hunt in groups.  I presume the social organization impulse makes them easier to train - sort of like dogs?  And I'm surprised at using kestrels for birds, since in the wild they mostly focus on small mammals and insects.

Seriously, how does one get into this line of work?  I've never tried falconry, although I have a background in wildlife biology, and a small amount of experience handling birds of prey from an internship I did at a raptor rehab center when I was in college.  That was a long time ago, but I do remember what it's like to have a hawk on my arm. 
"Take this job and shove it" - David Allan Coe

rachael talcott

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2017, 04:50:31 PM »
6. Part time work for an abatement business (I'm a falconer and we use hawks to remove nuisance birds)

Now THAT is a fucking cool-ass job!
I second that. Best side-hustle I have heard to date

Thanks; it's pretty fun.

I help them at Lowe's stores (we fly an Aplomado falcon if there are birds in the stores) and downtown Nashville (we fly Harris hawks there to chase the starlings out from roosting in the trees). They also have a contract with the Nashville airport (Aplomado and kestrels to catch sparrows that get inside the airport) and just got a job with the Nissan plant here in town (Harris hawks to catch pigeons that get in the factory).

A few days ago I was in the Nashville airport, and heard a raptor screech and thought of this post.  Sadly the raptor was not chasing sparrows.  It was a Bald Eagle mascot that was being transported somewhere. 

effigy98

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2017, 07:37:00 PM »
Website maintenance, couple hundred an hour. No formal training just learned on my own by doing (it was hard at first). I find it is very important to my FI plans as it makes me feel like I have more control over my FI date vs waiting for my day job salary to trickle in and if I should ever get laid off from primary job I always have a decent income stream coming in.

I do work a lot more then I like, as in, I rarely get a weekend or vacation where I am not spending time on it. Sometimes I want to quit as it can get stressful, but the money is too good and I feel like I may never get the opportunity again to get paid so much for doing something that I kind of like doing.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 07:39:19 PM by effigy98 »

Turnbull

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2017, 09:26:53 PM »
6. Part time work for an abatement business (I'm a falconer and we use hawks to remove nuisance birds)

Now THAT is a fucking cool-ass job!
I second that. Best side-hustle I have heard to date

Thanks; it's pretty fun.

I help them at Lowe's stores (we fly an Aplomado falcon if there are birds in the stores) and downtown Nashville (we fly Harris hawks there to chase the starlings out from roosting in the trees). They also have a contract with the Nashville airport (Aplomado and kestrels to catch sparrows that get inside the airport) and just got a job with the Nissan plant here in town (Harris hawks to catch pigeons that get in the factory).

Awesome.  I've never heard of using Harris hawks in falconry, but it makes total sense given that they hunt in groups.  I presume the social organization impulse makes them easier to train - sort of like dogs?  And I'm surprised at using kestrels for birds, since in the wild they mostly focus on small mammals and insects.

Seriously, how does one get into this line of work?  I've never tried falconry, although I have a background in wildlife biology, and a small amount of experience handling birds of prey from an internship I did at a raptor rehab center when I was in college.  That was a long time ago, but I do remember what it's like to have a hawk on my arm.


Harris hawks are great falconry birds. They're just big enough to catch squirrels and fast enough to be deadly on rabbits. The fact that they will hunt together makes them even better. The kestrels are great for catching the sparrows in a big building. Sparrows are so small and quick not many things can catch them so the kestrel is the answer there. The aplomado could catch them but cost as much as ten kestrels which is why they are making the switch that way.

I totally lucked into this gig. My falconry sponsor has had the business for a while. We live ten minutes from each other and his partner in the business is in his 60s and lives about two hours from us so I get to fill in for him on some jobs. I have a flexible schedule due to not having a normal 9 to5 job so it works out nicely. I ride with my sponsor to the jobs so I don't even have any gas expense. It's great.

Turnbull

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2017, 09:27:48 PM »
6. Part time work for an abatement business (I'm a falconer and we use hawks to remove nuisance birds)

Now THAT is a fucking cool-ass job!
I second that. Best side-hustle I have heard to date

Thanks; it's pretty fun.

I help them at Lowe's stores (we fly an Aplomado falcon if there are birds in the stores) and downtown Nashville (we fly Harris hawks there to chase the starlings out from roosting in the trees). They also have a contract with the Nashville airport (Aplomado and kestrels to catch sparrows that get inside the airport) and just got a job with the Nissan plant here in town (Harris hawks to catch pigeons that get in the factory).

A few days ago I was in the Nashville airport, and heard a raptor screech and thought of this post.  Sadly the raptor was not chasing sparrows.  It was a Bald Eagle mascot that was being transported somewhere.

Haha sorry you missed a chance to see some action!

ruraljuror

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2017, 08:43:04 PM »
Not to side track the conversation, but I'd appreciate thoughts on the appropriateness of a side hustle for a local govt. executive. I'm under contract and my professional work is to be focused on the agency. Joshua Sheets (radical personal finance podcast) has me interested in doing an industry specific podcast and an industry specific blog is a possibility but I'm no great writer. Having 3 kids 10 and under doesn't leave much time for a side hustle on weekends. And it seems that investing in industry knowledge to increase pay would be more productive. With all the focus on side hustles, as mentioned by the OP, I'm interested to explore what might be appropriate for my situation.

headwinds

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2017, 12:44:55 AM »
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.

ChipmunkSavings

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2017, 07:49:52 AM »
I am doing mystery shopping. I am on track to make 1K this month including reimbursements. It's fun and I've had free gas, groceries, clothing.

Posting to follow other ideas as well :)

alleykat

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2017, 08:05:50 AM »
I am doing mystery shopping. I am on track to make 1K this month including reimbursements. It's fun and I've had free gas, groceries, clothing.

Posting to follow other ideas as well :)


Would you share some of the sites you gave been using?  I am considering doing this and want to be sure of the legit sites.  If not, no worries.

headwinds

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2017, 09:35:29 AM »
What is mystery shopping? Sounds mysterious. No serious question though, I really don't know what it is.

ChipmunkSavings

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2017, 02:12:53 PM »
I could share the websites if you want - send me a PM. I am in Canada, so I researched the companies that have a good presence near me. There are mystery shopping forum boards, and MSPA - North America is a great resource. Most of the reputable companies will be listed on the website.

I am currently listed with about 15 sites. They all operate a bit differently, and the type of assignments vary. For example, here are some mystery shops I have done recently :
- Visiting a ski resort : evaluate the ski monitor (beginner class), registration process, Equipment rental. They paid the rental + course + ticket to ride + 30$ meals for me and my Partner, as well as 40$ salary.
- Gas mystery shops : about 15$ value. You fill up the tank (15$ minimum), take 2 pictures of the outside. You have to assess if the gas station is clean as well as evaluate the cashier.
- Oil change shops : I have to evaluate the service while doing maintenance on my car. I am paid up to 75$ for the maintenance, 50$ for my time.
- Retail assignments : Again, evaluate the Customer service rep, assess their knowledge of the products as well as checking the general store for cleanliness. Often 10$ salary plus 10-20$ reimbursement for items (have to evaluate the cashier). I have done this for home decor stores, liquor stores, and clothing stores.

The process is rather easy :
1- Sign up on the website. Fill up all required info.
2- Look at postings on the job board. Apply to those you like/want.
3- Receive an email from the scheduler to confirm that you got the assignment.
4- Read all instructions properly to ensure that you are doing every the client requests.
5- Do the assignment.
6- Write up the report (varies from 5-30 minutes depending on the assignment) within 12-24 hours of the visit.

headwinds

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2017, 10:02:36 PM »
This sounds great, I will look into it! Thanks you guys

zazpowered

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2017, 02:52:32 AM »
My side hustle right now is a site I started to help people get started with investing: https://senzu.io/investing/guide

I'm not really trying to monetize too much right now but once it grows bigger I might start trying more on that front.
I also have a few mobile apps that generate some income but have slowly dropped off because I stopped updating them.
If anybody wants tips or help building a website or mobile app feel free to reach out because I'm a software engineer.

runewell

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2017, 10:24:56 AM »
On the side I teach a community college math class and tutor students.  In addition to my full-time job.

I get tutoring business thru the Wyzant website.  They take a chunk of your revenue which decreases from 40% to 20% as you gain hours.

I charge $49/hr but after they take their cut and I pay federal, state, and self-employment tax I only net barely half of that.  Most of my tutoring occurs at the local library 1.5 miles from my house, so I deduct 3 miles per round-trip visit. 

This is probably what I will continue to do in my early retirement.  I enjoy teaching and the tutoring is easy work, you get paid to watch/help students do their homework and the time flies.  Money for nothing and your checks for free...


boyerbt

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2017, 10:50:59 AM »
Not sure if this qualifies as a side-hustle as it is through another company but we watch dogs (boarding & daycare) at our house.

We have been doing it for almost two years now and overall it is fantastic. We set the calendar when we want to be available as well as decide if a dog can stay or not. Our pups typically have another pup in the house to play with which is an added bonus. At this point in time we have a solid number of repeat customers who come over quite a bit so we know what to expect and how the dogs will act which is great.

My girlfriend and I both love dogs so it is a great fit as we get paid to have a few extra furballs running around the house.

If it's free, I'll take three!

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Jlowery28

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #40 on: January 25, 2017, 06:02:47 PM »
I do online personal training. I used to be a manager at a gym, and I had a non-compete clause that kept me from pursuing this earlier. Once I changed jobs, I started up my website. It's quite easy if you know what you're doing and what you're talking about. I've got about 5 clients right now, and I might spend 1-2 hours a month on this. I charge extra for meal plans, and I have an app setup so most of the system is automated once I set everything up. My goal is to get enough clients to cover one or two of my monthly expenses. Right now it covers about 1/2 my grocery bill for my wife and I. Or it covers our cell phone bill and majority of our internet.

pteam

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2017, 09:19:04 PM »
Website maintenance, couple hundred an hour. No formal training just learned on my own by doing (it was hard at first). I find it is very important to my FI plans as it makes me feel like I have more control over my FI date vs waiting for my day job salary to trickle in and if I should ever get laid off from primary job I always have a decent income stream coming in.

I do work a lot more then I like, as in, I rarely get a weekend or vacation where I am not spending time on it. Sometimes I want to quit as it can get stressful, but the money is too good and I feel like I may never get the opportunity again to get paid so much for doing something that I kind of like doing.

What kind of website maintenance do you do and where do you find gigs like this?

effigy98

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2017, 07:09:47 PM »
Website maintenance, couple hundred an hour. No formal training just learned on my own by doing (it was hard at first). I find it is very important to my FI plans as it makes me feel like I have more control over my FI date vs waiting for my day job salary to trickle in and if I should ever get laid off from primary job I always have a decent income stream coming in.

I do work a lot more then I like, as in, I rarely get a weekend or vacation where I am not spending time on it. Sometimes I want to quit as it can get stressful, but the money is too good and I feel like I may never get the opportunity again to get paid so much for doing something that I kind of like doing.

What kind of website maintenance do you do and where do you find gigs like this?

Craigslist, LinkedIn, Recruiters, all those side hustle websites, and referrals. The work can be anything from working with UI, fixing bugs from previous developers, testing, querying data in a database, displaying it, and generating graphs on it. My best clients come from people I have worked on short term contracts from that refer me to their partners or other clients. The trick is to work free or cheap until you are good and have a nice network going, then you can start charging more.

kissthesky

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #43 on: February 05, 2017, 03:13:10 PM »
I convinced my gym to pay for both my certification and ongoing fees as a fitness instructor in exchange for teaching classes for free twice a week. And when I dump my real job they'll also start paying me to teach classes. A little extra income + a lot more calories burned in FIRE = winning.

JustFixIt

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2017, 07:45:10 PM »
This thread has so many ideas, Posting to follow.

EarlyRetirementGuy

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #45 on: February 06, 2017, 07:10:08 AM »
I'm a professional gambler.

Well not really, it's more like financial trading but on football/horses etc. Mathematical advantage play and arb betting.

Been going just over a year now, made about $25k in the first year doing it evenings/weekends. I enjoy it as its like playing a video game to me, except earnign real money instead of pretend points.

goalphish2002

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #46 on: February 06, 2017, 08:04:17 AM »
I'm a professional gambler.

Well not really, it's more like financial trading but on football/horses etc. Mathematical advantage play and arb betting.

Been going just over a year now, made about $25k in the first year doing it evenings/weekends. I enjoy it as its like playing a video game to me, except earnign real money instead of pretend points.

Please teach me.

EarlyRetirementGuy

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #47 on: February 06, 2017, 09:29:54 AM »
I'm a professional gambler.

Well not really, it's more like financial trading but on football/horses etc. Mathematical advantage play and arb betting.

Been going just over a year now, made about $25k in the first year doing it evenings/weekends. I enjoy it as its like playing a video game to me, except earnign real money instead of pretend points.

Please teach me.

You'd need to be in the UK?

hypocrispy

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #48 on: February 06, 2017, 10:06:52 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.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Talk to me about side hustles
« Reply #49 on: February 06, 2017, 03:05:54 PM »
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.

Forget falconry, this person wins the thread.
Was targetting Freedom35 but ended up retiring a couple years early. Currently Based in Buffalo for the summer.