As a young homeowner and recent college graduate up to my ears in debt, I perk up whenever someone mentions a way to make extra money. I’ve seen countless blog posts and articles that read: “How I made $100,000 as a freelance writer”, “How to make $1 million on your first blog post”, and “How I donated my eggs for $829,351”. Okay, so I’m slightly exaggerating, but you get my point. Then I found this article from The Penny Hoarder and tried SEVERAL of the alternatives. Here are my top three favorites that worked.
I listed my house on Airbnb.
I live it a little Tudor-style in a small town (population 4,000). Honestly, I thought no one would come to visit our little neck of the woods… but the very first weekend our listing was up, we had a guest! We offered up our loft/guest bedroom with the promise of hot water, an available washer and dryer, and free reign over whatever was in the fridge and cabinets.
We did the bare minimum to prepare for our guests (and I don’t mean that in a we-don’t-care-about-them kind of way but in a it-really-isn’t-that-hard-if-you’re-the-hospitable-type of way). I made sure shared areas (kitchen and bathroom) were super clean, the living room was picked up (aka no puppy toys strewn about), and didn’t touch our room at all. I washed our favorite guest sheets, turned on a wax diffuser, and laid out a clean towel.
If you’ve never traveled Airbnb, use this link to get $35 towards your first stay! So far we’ve had two guests who each left a 5 star review. Now we’re hooked and can’t wait to get more guests/save money to update our basement to an Airbnb home. In the meantime, I’ve tried to make the loft cozier as I go and added a “welcome packet” with some of our favorite places to shop, eat, and see while they’re in town.
I sold other people’s stuff.
We’ve all seen the Facebook Marketplace and heard people talking about something they put on/bought off “the swap”. There are hundreds, if not thousands of buy, sell, trade and swap groups. My swap selling days began with a friend who approached me about selling stuff for her since she didn’t have the time and her kids didn’t want to do it. The deal was that I got to keep half of whatever they sold for. She wasn’t in it for the money; she just needed to clear some space. I thought it sounded like an easy enough job so I posted pictures and had the first round of things sold within a week. Then she started bringing over smaller things that I’ve stored while I’ve waited for them to sell. After that, I had a friend who was selling his home and was looking to purge. He also said I could keep half of what I made. Now, over half his stuff is gone!
How did I make this work? I took good, clear photos. If there was something to point out (scuff, stain, missing, etc) I made sure to get a close up of it. I was very descriptive and made each post sound like something people would need. I always priced a little higher than what I would be willing to take (people on the internet almost ALWAYS ask if you’ll go any lower). I gave sizes, dimensions, and clear instructions on where to pick up.
Yes, I still experienced many ignorant questions (i.e.: where are you located, where is pickup, how big, is it wood, is it study, anything wrong with it, etc.) but the easy money made it worth the slight hassle and I didn’t have to leave the house.
I started freelance “writing”.
I don’t know if I’ve really found my niche in writing but I love to do it. When I found out about freelance writing, editing, and transcribing, my eyes nearly popped out of my head. I instantly signed up as a freelance writer and browsed through the thousand of jobs available (everything from graphic design to virtual assistants to cold calling marketing to social media managers). My first job was to find a busy client a Valentine’s day for their significant other. TOO. EASY. They told me about what their partner liked and I made a list with pictures, links, and a price. They loved it and even sent me a bonus! That client must have thought I did okay because I’m now working on a second project for them. Best part about this job is that I don’t even have to put pants on.
I know I have been very fortunate lately and can’t wait to see what I can accomplish with my side hustle projects. What different side hustles worked for you?