Confessions of a Side Hustler
Supplemental income ideas I’ve utilized to make ends meet, that almost anyone willing enough could start doing today
No matter who you are or what your salary is, you could probably use some extra money. The means of income below are ones I use or have used myself, to help support myself as a freelance writer doing his best to make it in an oversaturated field.
Not only do they work but when combined, they’ve paid the bills for me, more than once. Granted, some people aren’t in my financially tight spot and therefore won’t be willing to either put the work in or put their pride aside and “lower themselves” to such means of making money. Okay, your loss not mine. It just means less competition for people like me who are.
To everyone else, please do more than just read what I write and tell me they’re great ideas. If you are just starting a business that isn’t quite paying the bills or find yourself coming up a bit short every month for any reason, utilize the means I’ll describe below to help change that. Pick one of them, or use all of them, it’s completely up to you. Either way, I’m happy to share them with anyone in need of a few extra dollars.
Facebook Marketplace and Flipping for Cash
While most people mindlessly scroll Facebook hate-reading statuses written by people they hardly know or don’t even like, they could be browsing it’s marketplace section, as I do regularly.
When I do so, I am looking for items that are being sold for a price less than they’re genuinely worth. This is very basic economics at work — buy low and sell high. Except for practicality's sake, I’m more of a “buy moderately low and sell somewhat higher than I paid” kind of guy but hey, to each their own.
If you have better salesmanship than I do and can afford to hold out for a higher offer on a particular item, by all means, do so.
My primary point is, there are a ton of valuable items being undersold on the Facebook marketplace, for what I imagine to be a wide variety of reasons. Plenty of folks in this country are struggling and therefore selling their unwanted and unused stuff, which I’ll also discuss below.
Get Rid of It and Get Paid For It
Many have more stuff than they do space or just more stuff than they want or need altogether, and rather than wastefully throwing it out, they sell it for cheap on one of the biggest digital free marketplaces out there, which is Facebook’s.
Let’s face it, most of us have things we don’t want, need or use. How many articles of clothing that you never wear and never will do you honestly own? Well, people just like me are freeing up their closet space and tightening up their pockets by selling such items on Facebook Marketplace.
And it doesn’t stop at unwanted or unused clothes either.
Last month, I paid my cell phone bill by selling a shoebox full of my old cellphones I forgot I even still had. There were five phones in the box altogether, I sold each of them for between five and ten dollars, based on their condition and how old they were. Plus I wanted and needed them to sell quick — and that they did. I was bombarded by messages inquiring about them within fifteen minutes of posting and had the entire box sold within an hour or so from the time I put them up for sale.
Selling on FB Marketplace is easy and anyone with a Facebook account, stuff they don’t want, use or need and a bit of willingness can do it.
Even if you don’t have things you want to sell, you can find items being sold for cheap and turn around and sell them for a profit.
People face all sorts of different financial difficulties and sell perfectly good things for low prices in order to make some much needed money. I’ve been that person. But I’ve also been the person, capitalizing off of those items.
There is no shame in playing both roles at different times. It’s the give and the take.
To take this a step further, I’ve seen my neighbors throw out perfectly good computer desks, TV stands and such, before grabbing them, putting them in my garage, cleaning them up and selling them for a profit.
Admittedly, this one takes a bit more willingness but you’d be shocked at how often people throw out things there is absolutely nothing wrong with. Why not capitalize?
If you’re that embarrassed about having others see you haul away things being thrown out, wake up before the sun even rises on trash day and grab it. Nothing is humiliating about making money.
Besides, who cares what your neighbor you don’t even like or talk to thinks?
Lastly, as Gary Vaynerchuk has mentioned, there are sites like Craigslist with entire sections dedicated to stuff people are giving away for free.
These make for the perfect items to turn around and sell for a profit, being you are getting them for the cost of the time it takes to go pick them up and the gas it may take to get you there and back. Search locally, minimize your costs. When you think creatively and practically about it, the system works.
The More Obvious and Commonly Used Side Hustles
Anyone with the ability to or a passion for writing, could and should be writing for Medium’s Paid Partner Program. It may not amount to a whole lot, especially at first, but it sure beats nothing. Especially if it’s something you’d be doing anyway, as is the case with me. There’s simply no reason for any writer not to be trying their hand at the Paid Partner Program, you never know what it could potentially turn into for you in due time.
The highest-paid here make over $10,000 a month and quite frankly if it’s possible for them, it’s possible for you too.
Furthermore, I have done editing and ghostwriting work for four different people in the last four months. Maybe editing and proofreading aren’t in your wheelhouse, my point is there are opportunities out there if you are willing to look and work hard enough.
Anyone with a driver’s license and a decent enough car can make extra income driving for ridesharing apps Lyft and Uber. I talk to drivers on a very regular basis who do so for supplemental income. Some do it full-time even. Though, I believe it’s perfect for any creative who is seriously pursuing whatever their thing is as a career, but isn’t quite making enough from it to make ends meet.
Don’t have a car or driver’s license? No problem. There are also dog walking apps where you can find people willing to pay you to walk and sit their pets.
For anyone who loves animals or even just walks in nature, this is a no-brainer. Again, all it takes is an internet connection and a bit of humility and effort.
We truly live in the greatest time to be alive, as far as opportunities go. None of this was available to the generations that came before us. Anyone with the internet and namely a smartphone has the potential to make extra money.
I didn’t invent any of the above ways to make money, I just had the willingness to put them in practice once I discovered them and so can you.