Hey guys! I just added it up and realized I’ve earned $9,114 in extra money this year, on top of my regular salary. Woohoo, gig economy!
This isn’t a huge amount of extra cash, but it’s pretty dang good considering I haven’t been “hustling” that much this year. It’s been more of a collection of random gigs I’ve found or stumbled across in my spare time.
Here’s a breakdown of earnings from side jobs, and more importantly how I came across these opportunities in the first place.
$130 <—- buying and selling stuff online
$419 <—- selling *my friend’s* stuff online
$150 <—- “consulting”
$400 <—- modeling
$1,000 <—- new bank account bonuses
$1,100 <—- new credit card bonuses
$5,925 <—- extra SEO work for my employer
Make Extra Money by Asking for More Work From Your employer
By far my biggest extra bucks have come from additional contract work at my employer.
Technically, I’m a freelance writing contractor, so I can work for multiple companies at the same time. But I’ve only ever had 1 client — and I’d prefer to keep it this way.
In late December last year, I emailed my boss’s boss out of the blue and requested a 15-minute “catch up call.” It had been a while since we had spoken so I thought I’d say happy holidays and do a quick self-performance review.
**BTW – I encourage everyone to reach out to your senior management and request 15-minute calls once and a while. As long as you don’t waste their time, it helps you stay connected, front of mind, and it’s a great opportunity to share information with each other up and down the company food chain. This kind of initiative can boost your earning potential, too.**
Anyway, right at the end of my call, I dropped this simple line: “Hey, by the way, I have some spare time up my sleeve and have an interest in SEO work. If there are any teams you know of that could use my help, I’m available — and keen.”
Lo and behold, 2 weeks later another team manager reached out to me requesting some help with random SEO (search engine optimization) tasks in addition to my “day job.” Although I don’t really have any experience with SEO as a technical skill, I’m an excellent out-of-the-box thinker and have unmatched enthusiasm for new challenges. They offered me a whopping $75 per hour, and so far this year I’ve worked 79 hours on this freelance job.
The best part is that I can manage my own schedule, working a few hours here and there when I’m free. Since I get up at 5am every day, I can knock out a couple hours in the morning on Saturdays or Sundays without interfering much with my daily life.
I definitely realize how lucky I am and that these types of high-paying hourly jobs don’t grow on trees. But whenever friends ask me how I found work like this, I tell them → because I asked for it.
Get Supplemental Income From Credit Card and Bank Account Bonuses
My wife and I have signed up for 3 new bank accounts and 4 new credit cards so far in 2021. Here are the bonuses we’ve received:
$200 — PNC Bank checking account bonus
$400 (x2) — Capital One 360 Checking account (me and wife)
$300 (x2) — AMEX Blue (me and wife)
$200 — BOA Cash back credit card
$300 — Capital One SAVOR credit card
I typically only recommend bank account churning or opening new credit cards if you are extremely detail oriented, are good at taking notes, and can handle credit responsibly!
Most of these accounts take less than 15 minutes to set up, a little coordination to make sure you are hitting criteria to qualify for the bonus, then less than 15 minutes to shut down the account afterwards. Over the past 3-4 years my wife and I have opened 30+ accounts, and probably have earned close to $10k in extra cash. It’s not a huge amount, but for the time trade off, we think it’s always worth it!
Earn Extra Income With Consulting
Late last year, I met a guy while surfing.
It was a calm day, we were both just sitting there on our boards – so I smiled, said hello, and struck up a random conversation. He worked at a bank, and I told him I write about finance. We exchanged emails in the water.
A few months went by, then I received an email from him. He wanted to learn more about the FIRE movement, and get some feedback on a financial app he’s building… He asked for a phone call, and offered to pay me $150 for 30 minutes of my time. Whoa! 😳
I’ve never been a “consultant” before. But just by striking up random conversations, weird opportunities have started landing in my lap.
Get Additional Income by Modeling
For the $400 my wife and I made modeling, we landed this by just staying in contact with old friends. About 10 years ago we did some small photo shoots for a gal here in LA, and she reached out to see if we were interested in a quick private gig. It took about an hour to shoot, and they came to our house so there was no traveling time.
Sadly, the shoot was private so the photos will never be seen publicly. But, here’s an old one of me and my wife back in 2013 — someone spotted us on a marketing billboard at a real estate conference…
We were posing as a new couple buying a house.
Make Extra Money Buying and Selling Stuff Online
Finding and selling stuff online is probably my lowest pay per hour hobby. But I love it! I don’t care if I only profit a few dollars… It amazes me that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, and the lucky middleman can make a profit just by connecting people and negotiating.
Earlier this year I found a free surfboard, a compost tumbler, and an antique pocket watch at an estate sale nearby. I made a little over $100 from selling these on Craigslist and OfferUp.
One of my neighbors down the street caught wind that I liked selling stuff and asked me to help clear out some of his storage locker. He gave me a few boxes of stuff (mostly old Lladro figurines) and offered to split the profits with me if I sold them.
So far this year I’ve made $549 selling stuff online. Not a huge amount, but it pays for a month’s worth of groceries for us. 🙂
Work That I *didn’t* take = $4,000+?
Here’s a fun email I got from a buddy a few months ago…
(If you can’t read it, the offer was to get paid to go buy buckets of pool chlorine at Costcos.)
As much as I’d love to make quick cash for a few days, I cannot think of a more horrible second job than shopping at Costco. I turned this down and referred some other friends to help out.
Another opportunity I got was to work as a personal assistant (PA) on some photo shoots for a production company here in Los Angeles. I used to work odd jobs for a friend a few years ago and the pay was quite good! $350 per day, and the job of a PA is to just drive people around, get coffees on set, order lunches and run general errands. I really liked being a PA, but the timing didn’t work out for this particular gig.
Well, there you have it. That’s how I made an extra $9,114 with side jobs so far this year … by asking for work, striking up conversations with strangers, keeping up with old friends, taking advantage of bonuses and just generally keeping my eyes open for opportunities.
More Ways to Make Extra Cash
Budgets Are Sexy has a mega list of side hustle ideas for your inspiration. Also Millennial Money keeps an updated list of the best online jobs that pay well here, as well as best online jobs for teens! Are you a budding pet sitter, dog walker, freelance writer, social media manager, or even mystery shopper? There are so many creative ways to make money outside your main job!
You guys doing any lucrative/fun/quirky freelance gigs these days?
Have a good one,