Ahh, the side hustle. The doted upon darling of the personal finance sphere.
The income diversifier.
The de-risking maneuver.
The debt payer.
The dream achiever.
The stay at home parent budget balancer.
What would you call your side hustle? For me, it’s a way to build skills, connect with others, and pick up a few bucks instead of watching TV.
At this point in my life, there are not a lot of side hustles that I actively seek out. I get paid a solid amount from my day job, and I highly value my free time (though the fact I blog means I don’t really value my time all that highly.)
I remember sitting in a classroom in elementary school, while our teacher drew on the board. This was one of those fun times in class, where the teacher had veered completely off course, but we were all fascinated and paying as much attention as a grade 3 classroom can muster.
Now, I don’t actually remember what he was drawing on the board. I don’t even remember if his drawing skills were all that good (even through my grade 3 lens). What I remember is wondering how on earth one person could have so many different stories, amassed from so many different jobs!
Fast forward a decade and a bit, and I am pretty sure that I have the answer. I too have become a fount of stories, amassed from many different jobs. For the past few years, I have worked for one employer. Despite that, I have done quite a few different side hustles.
I will venture a guess that you haven’t heard of some of my side hustles before!
My condo building has a pool and a hot tub on the list of amenities. These fun and convenient water bodies have a controlling overlord, the regional Health Authority. At one point in time, the Health Authority decided the chemicals needed to be tested not once, but twice a day. The cost to have the pool services company come out and do so was prohibitive, so the condo board asked if there were any residents willing to do so.
Yes, it was a bit of a pain to have to do something almost every single day. But, it was highly convenient and fairly well paid. My spouse and I split the job for the eight week trial period. I think we earned $15 per test date and it took perhaps 15 minutes to do. I generally did it on my way in the door from work. All we had to do was take the pool test kit and run a test on the pool and the hot tub, then record the results in a log book and lock everything up again.,
It’s not every day an opportunity like that falls out of the sky, but it was a solid bit of extra income.
As I mentioned before, blogging is an awful time for money investment. Pretty darn awful. Eventually, it can pay off, but it takes a lot of hours of work my friends. You can follow along with the blogging stats and earnings reports for Money Propeller.
I started blogging a few months after I got married. Wedding planning can also take up a lot of time, and I felt like I had a ton of time on my hands. I got hooked, what can I say!
Curling Club Bartending
Yes, curling on ice. The sport that Scottish people invented and Canadians adore. I live in a small town and as they say, “when in Rome.” Our curling club gets rented out for all sorts of occasions. Should you ever be in need of a venue, two awesome reasons to rent your local curling club are that 1) the drink prices are usually competing with the Legion to be the lowest in town and 2) the rental fee is usually low enough you can swing it with a few buddies.
For the past few years, our club has had a policy of paying club members (with their Serving It Right licence of course) $50 plus the tips to bartend for private parties. For some lucky folks, the party does not last even close to five hours, and the tips flow in like candy. You might even get some food from the catering. Pretty solid for a night you were going to sit at home and watch TV anyway.
This one is going back a few years, to a university summer. A family friend was planning to put his boat up for sale. This is the kind of boat that despite being quite a few years old, was going to sell for more than a lot of people pay for a house. He needed some elbow grease to get things ship-shape and offered me the job for a long weekend.
I don’t remember everything that I did, but I definitely scrubbed decks and polished brass. I also made substantially more than minimum wage and it was right after I got home for the summer and I hadn’t yet landed a summer job. It was an interesting experience, to say the least, and I am glad that I had the chance. Previously, I had no idea what vast sums of money went into boats!
Making Images for a Web Property
One of my more recent forays into earning some coin has been a temporary gig making featured images for a website. It was quite fun, flexing my creative muscles. I was chomping at the bit to include this side hustle in the list, because the only reason I had the skills to do it was thanks to my blogging time. It is amazing the number of skills you can develop, sometimes without even realizing you are doing so, when you work on hobbies.
If you are interested in the power of images, take a look at my case study that was recently posted on For Profit Blogging, about How to Use Pinterest to Double Your Traffic.
Yet another side hustle that grew out of my blogging! I tell you, the networking and skills development that you can develop through blogging is impressive. I have ghost written for corporate blogs and websites, written about travel for other bloggers and worked on inbound marketing projects.
Some subsets of writing are much more suited to my style, of course, than others. That said many, many people can earn some extra income thanks to freelance writing. There are so many topics to write about, and I am majorly tipping my hat to Michelle for her home run swing niche. Many side hustlers even take the leap all the way to full time freelancing.
Christmas Party Work Coverage
I have worked at two different hotels. One was massive, aging, and a story all unto itself. The next one is a smaller, franchise hotel in my small town. I worked there for a few months until I was offered a part time, very lucrative gig from a major employer. After I quit, I got a very welcome phone call, “would I like to work the night of the staff Christmas party? We can pay you a bit extra for your trouble, and I’ll do as much as possible before I leave.”
I did a very cruisey front desk shift, was rewarded with some amazing dinner leftovers, and brought in some money on a Friday evening. Even better? They called me again next year!
I spent some fairly long stretches with part-time employment. During one of those spells, I took to entering a lot of giveaways and looking for easy ways to make some money online. I did a bunch of surveys, and used a few different search engines. One of those was Swagbucks. I would try to get all of the bonus points every day, or watch videos to get a few points here and there. The best part about Swagbucks was how quickly you could reach a redemption level, and redeem for something actually useful. In my case, that was Amazon.com gift cards.
They have a referral program, too, and if you are looking for something completely mindless to do, that earns a few cents, check them out.
Amazon is my biggest source of online revenues at this point in time. Their affiliate program is awesome! I don’t know if you have ever noticed, but they sell darn near everything on Amazon (of course, this is an affiliate link). Sure, not quite everything, but darn near!
I really, really, really appreciate it whenever you choose to purchase something through my links. It ups my hourly blogging rate from $0.02 to $0.03, and covers the costs of hosting, and some wine.
I think there are very few people who haven’t done any babysitting, at one time or another. I wasn’t a regular, though of course I was jealous of the business savvy of the Babysitter’s Club girls. I did, on occasion, still do a bit of babysitting though.
Well, those are ten of the side hustles I’ve had, have you done any of the ones that I’ve mentioned?