The Diplomats’ January Side Hustle Report

Wow. January went by like a flash.   Since we are both public accountants in the middle of our busy season, you sort of lose track of the hours and even days for that matter as you are glued to excel spreadsheets from dusk to dawn.  But you know what.  Despite the long hours, we still managed to find time for some Side Hustles!   The results weren’t as strong as December, that’s for sure. But as we always like to say, every extra dollar counts and makes a difference (especially in this current red market!).  Here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for, time to check out our January Side Hustle Report!

The side hustles

Ebates – We’re pretty sure most people are familiar with Ebates, the website that offers cash back and coupon codes for nearly all major online retailers and travel sites.  In addition,  each new user also can receive a free $10 gift card upon sign up (yes an affiliate plug), which is an added bonus.  The two of us always visit Ebates prior to making an online purchase to see if we can earn cash back by visiting the website through Ebates or using one of the listed coupon codes.  Heck, even when we travel for work, we will access the hotel’s website through Ebates first to earn a few extra dollars on the business trip. We really mean it…it is EASY money for a simple additional step in the online shopping experience that maybe adds 10 seconds to your transaction.  Here is our January summary for cash back earned from Ebates:

Lanny – $10.85 – Still churning out dollars, but not as much as last month..  I wasn’t able to screen shot my “profile” on 2/1, but here it is as of 2/11.  Most of my activity was from hotels and rentals cars (small benefit of traveling for work).  In total, I have received over $400, with the $10.85 posted last month and activity this month.  See below’s snip from their website:

Bert – $0 – I started the year off with a big dud.  A goose-egg.  Yes, I was shut-out.  Okay, I’m out of really bad sayings and analogies here.  But this month, with traveling nearly every week for busy season, there really wasn’t that much time to shop or think about purchasing anything I may need for a house.  It is okay though since I actually don’t mind a $0 month since it means I didn’t spend anything though!

Swagbucks –  One of our longest tenured side hustles.  Swagbucks is a website the provides gift card or cash rewards for performing activities on the website.  The activities include using their search engine, answering surveys, answering polls, watching videos, printing off coupons, shopping (similar to Ebates above), signing up for different offers, etc. Bottom line is that there are a ton of different ways for people to earn!   Here is our referral link if you would like to give it a try as well!  Here is how much each of us earned from Swagbucks:

Lanny – > 2,951 Swagbucks or $29.51 – The streak over $30 for the month ends at six in a row, as I was 49 swagbucks short, that’s what busy season does to you I guess.  I was only able to do one cash out during the month and I am almost cashed out in February.  The way I was able to monitor the total amount earned was take my end of previous month lifetime amount and subtract out my lifetime amount at end of month (found in the activity section of your account).  I am expecting February to be in the mid $20’s, given this is the busiest time for us public accountants.

Bert –  1,486 Swagbucks or $14.86 –  This amount fell off a cliff compared to the last two months.  Similarly though, with my busy season, I just haven’t had enough time to accumulate Swagbucks.  The one thing I like about their website is that you can earn rewards in the background throughout the day and the program is not too intrusive; But this month, as the madness began, I spent less time on the website.  Oh well, luckily, I was still able to cash out rewards and receive a $25 Paypal credit based on my remaining balance at the end of December.  I’ll take it as a small victory!

Ibotta – Ibotta is one of our favorite apps because it is so easy to use and barely adds any time to your routine shopping experience.  It is so easy to earn money that they even give you $5.00 just to sign up!  The app allows you to earn cash back from nearly every grocery store and an expanding list of online retailers (such as,, and so on).   Before shopping, you scan the available rebates on thee app and see which items you are planning on buying.  Some example of rebates that may be available any given week are $0.25 for different fruits/vegetables, $1-$2 off of a certain body wash or shampoo, $1.00 for purchasing a certain type of coffee,  or $2-$3 back for purchasing beer or wine!

One of our favorite things about Ibotta is that the discounts don’t just apply to goods that are impossible to find or are very expensive.  There are always a few name brands to choose from! Ibotta makes it easy to redeem cash as well and the process takes less than a minute after you complete your purchase.  You simply scan the receipt, select the rebates that were purchased during that shopping trip, and then receive the credit within 24 hours.   If you would like to try the app, we included a referral link in the banner below our monthly summary and at the beginning of the paragraph.

Lanny – $2.75 – Sadly I am starting to realize, which may be a good thing, with travel for work – this reduces my iBotta (hopefully this means my groceries are reduces as well though!).  In total, I’ve earned over $190.00 in cash back from the app.  However, I highly URGE you to sign up. Yes, sadly we do get a referral kick back, but this is by far the EASIEST way to get cash back.  Further, the beer, wine categories make it fairly simply to rack up (usually $1.00 – $3.00 for a 6-pack and/or bottle of wine, eh, I’m Italian and Irish).  Additionally – supplements like vitamins are a bigger cash back piece as well.

Bert – $7.25 –  If it weren’t for my wife, I would not have earned a thing from Ibotta during the month.  I’m fortunate that she enjoys using this app, along with Cartwheel, while shopping for groceries so she can try and save as much money as possible.  It brings a smile to my face every time I get a notification from the app letting me know that my wife save X dollar shopping at X store.

Selling Household Items

Lanny – $0.00  – I have sold nothing, again, for the second month.  I plan on selling more after busy season.  Further, one should see 5 benefits of getting rid of “stuff”, I know I own too much crap in my life that is consuming space, time and resources.  In the end, the idea is that the items sold or donated will add value to someone else’s life, as that’s the purpose of owning something, to add value.

Bert – $12.00 –  At the end of December, as my wife and I were scouring out attic for donations to make before the end of the year, we decided to try out luck and list a few items on Facebook Marketplace.  Last month that netted us $36 in cold hard cash.  In January, we were able to finalize the sale of our old Crockpot for $12!  We received a new one as a wedding gift, and you don’t need two of them.  So we decided to list the other one, roll the dice, and see if someone was interested.  Luckily for us, some lady wanted to buy used rather than new.  Boom, $12 were in our pockets. Just like that!

Total Side Hustle Income in January: 

Lanny: $43.11, total of $633.69 since tracking on the blog!

Bert: $34.11, total of $456.00 since tracking on the blog!

Diplomats Side Hustle Total: $77.22, Cumulative Total of $1,089.69 since tracking on the blog!

14 thoughts on “The Diplomats’ January Side Hustle Report

    • Mike –

      Thank you for the comment. It’s really cool how you start tracking something, how real the dollars actually get. We push every day to get an extra cent on top of the normal day jobs. Yeah… that would be cool – what was invested, what they turned into and where they are at, each and every month. Hmm…


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