7 easy side hustles to help pay the bills
It's no exaggeration that my entire adult life I've had a side hustle or two. I was a professional student for many, many years which meant that I didn't always have the time for a full time job. Yet, my bills did not really care if I had reliable income-they still wanted to be paid (rude, if you ask me.) Over the years I have attempted many side hustles-here are the most successful ones.
Taking Notes during College
For several semesters I was a note taker in a few of my college classes. This is a wonderful gig if you can get it. You need to be organized, have readable handwriting and have perfect or near perfect attendance, though. The college paid me $8.25 an hour to do something that I was already doing anyway. Each day I would take detailed notes. Then, after class was over I would take it to the Office of Student Affairs (at least that is what it was called at my community college) and they would make a copy of my notes. I would then fill out my timesheet based on how long class lasted. It was the only time I didn't want to get out of class early, or have class canceled! It also paid off for me the time I left my notebook on the bus and it was never returned. The office already had copies of my notes and made a new copy for me!
This is not an option available in all states. In California, we did not have curbside recycling. We could throw out all our recyclables. Or, we could save them and transport them ourselves to the recycling company and have them pay us out the CRV (California Retail Value.) It never added up to much, but it put $20 in my pocket every couple of months.
Selling Books Online
This has been an ongoing pursuit of mine. It started when I realized that I could sell my textbooks for some extra money to use to buy the next semester's textbooks. It quickly became a hobby. I scouted out used books everywhere I went to see if they would be ideal to sell online. I will devote an entire post about how to sell books online soon, but there are two main ways to do it. Sell through Amazon.com or Half.com for a higher price (generally) or use a website like Bookscouter.com to see who will buy the book immediately. If you are looking for top dollar and don't mind the risk that your book might not sell, then Amazon.com and half.com are the way to go. If you're look for quick cash or a way to declutter quickly, then Bookscouter is better.
I have made thousands over the years selling books I find at thrift stores, garage sales, library sales and even gifts that I am done with.
Swagbucks will never make you rich, but I am able to earn a $25 giftcard every month with only a little effort. You earn Swagbucks by watching videos, taking surveys, searching online, "exploring content," signing up for free deals and shopping online. I have never used Swagbucks to shop, but if you shop online regularly then you could probably earn a lot more bucks than I normally do. Swagbucks will also give you a daily goal and if you hit it you will get a bonus. If you hit it for a week, two weeks, three weeks and a month you will get even bigger bonuses.
Normally, in the morning I will try to get all the "easy" points- searches, running SwagTV on my phone, and easy sign ups. If I can't reach my goal that way, then I will answer surveys. It can be hit or miss. I usually only take 30 minutes in the morning, then will try again in the evening to get to the bonus.
The first $25 gift card you redeem each month can be redeemed at a discount- 2,200 swagbucks instead of 2,500. There are lower denominations as well-as low as $5. This is a great way to prepare for Christmas during the year.
Selling Coupons on eBay
As far as a side hustle goes, this one is hit or miss. My biggest success happened when I received a 20% coupon for any purchase at Pottery Barn in the mail. I don't know why it came to me because I never shop there. I was about to throw it out when I thought to look at ebay to see if I could sell it. Five days later I ended up with $22 in my pocket. I couldn't believe it. Now I always check ebay when I get coupons I know I will never use.
CVS Extreme Couponing
I did this several years ago and then stopped. Using a combination of coupons from the Sunday paper and CVS deals, I would do all the deals that would get me free products and Extra Care Bucks (CVS "cash" to use on future purchases). I used giftcards from Swagbucks to pay for my purchases (if necessary) and tried to keep my out of pocket as close to zero by paying with the Extra Care Bucks. If there was a deal for products I didn't normally use, then I would try to sell them on Ebay or Craigslist. Overall, it was time consuming, but I didn't pay for toothpaste, shampoo or deodorant for over 3 years and even made some money off of it.
I talk about mystery shopping all the time, but that is for good reason. This year alone I have made almost $2,000 mystery shopping. Two of my favorite companies are BestMark and Marketforce Shopper.
The one thing I am looking for in a side hustle is for the payoff to be worth the time investment. What side hustles have been successful for you?
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