The Diplomats’ November Side Hustle Report

Another month is in the books and we are closing in on 2018!  What does that mean?  Another 30 days where we were able to earn extra money in order to pursue financial freedom.  Were we able to bounce back in November from the lower October month where we fell just $.03 short of reaching $100??  Given there was a holiday plus some extra time off – it could go either way!  You will simply have to check out the report below.  Always remember, every dollar counts in the pursuit.  Grab that cup of coffee and check out our November 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.  With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday shopping in full swing right now, the Ebates cash back bonuses have been great!  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.  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 November summary for cash back earned from Ebates:

  • Lanny – $9.11 – Still waiting on more hotel stays to settle in wonderful cash back, but earned almost $9 this past month, half of last month.  Most of my activity was from hotels and rentals cars (small benefit of traveling for work).  In total, I have received over $376, as $2 posted this December already, see below’s snip from their website:
  • Bert – $0.96 – Even with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it was a relatively quiet month for me.  We did not purchase a lot of products this holiday season and the products we did purchase (a couch and a TV), we purchased in store rather than online.  Trust me, purchasing in store  provided significantly greater discounts than shopping online through Ebates.  Otherwise, this amount would have been much greater!

Swagbucks –  One of our longest tenured side hustles. For those of you that are not familiar with Swagbucks, it 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 – > 3,020 Swagbucks or $30.20 – I was excited to know I kept the trend of over $30 per month alive through this side hustle.  This marks my 5th month in a row over $30, finishing at $30.20.  Further, due to swagbuck carry over last month, two cash outs occurred, see snip below.  Due to work constraints, was not able to spend as much time on here.   The way I was able to monitor this 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).
  • Bert –  3,066 Swagbucks or $30.66- This is a personal record here and I am so excited with my results.  I was able to cash out once and receive a $25 PayPal credit and I was only a few Swagbucks short of cashing out again at the tail end of November.  What’s exciting is that I am setting myself up for a double cash out in December!  Receiving $50 next month rather than $25 would go a long way towards helping me hit my goal of paying off $4,000 of my wife’s student loans in the fourth quarter.  I’ve been great about earning Swagbucks over the last few months and now I MUST keep the momentum rolling.  One more thing.  For the first time….I RECEIVED MORE SWAGBUCKS THAN LANNY!  Let the games begin my friend.

Ibotta – Ibotta is one of our favorite apps because it is so easy to use.  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, $2-$3 back for purchasing beer or wine, or our favorite, $5 off of a plant-based protein shake powder!

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 – $3.25 – 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 $186.00 in cash back from the website.  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 – $18.50 –  Much like Lanny, I was on the road a lot for work.  So I was saving more since my company was paying for my meals.  Further, when my wife and I did grocery shop, we just weren’t finding that many products we needed on Ibotta.   Sometimes, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.  So rather than paying extra for a good for the sake of receiving the discount, we opted to only purchase the goods we need.  Sure we didn’t receive the cash back.  But at least we saved by not spending.  I’ll take that trade-off every time.
  • Selling Household Items
    • Lanny – $58.84  – Made a MASSIVE move in this category and up from $0 made in the previous month.  I sold the following items on eBay: 4 dress shirts/button-downs, 1 nice dressy sport coat/blazer, 3 polos and a hooded sweatshirt.  I will go on record that all but 1 item was even used in over 2-3+ years, some even weren’t used for longer!  Nothing better than clearing space, adding value to someone else and bringing home some greenbacks for it.  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 – $6.18 – FINALLY!  I’m back on the board in November.  We sold two items on Ebay this last month: a pair of jeans ($7.99) and a really old scientific calculator ($.99).   Total selling fees for the two items were $2.80, so I was able to realize a net profit of  $6.18.  Sure this may not seem like a lot of extra money, but we received over $6 to de-clutter our house.  Heck, it is better than the value we would have received by just throwing out the items or just seeing the items sit around and collect dust!

Total Side Hustle Income in November: 

Lanny: $101.40, total of $527.01 since tracking on the blog!

Bert: $38.30, total of $309.33 since tracking on the blog!

Diplomats Side Hustle Total: $139.70, Cumulative Total of $836.34 since tracking on the blog!

18 thoughts on “The Diplomats’ November Side Hustle Report

    • Thanks Harry! Good point reaching out. I actually had the buyer pay shipping. So the shipping costs and the fees I received for the shipping costs from the borrower were excluded from my side hustle income. Hopefully that helps answer your question!


  1. Lanny and Bert, Traveling for work can be tiring, but I always found it reduced my expenses. Paid meals, no commuting costs, less water and energy consumption at home etc. etc. I don’t travel for work anymore, but I always thought of those savings as a nice perk. A side hustle of its own sorts. It may cut into your side hustle earnings a bit, but it’s still money in the bank in my book. Keep up the hustling. Tom

    • Tom,

      Yes it can be. Having reduced expenses and earning hotel, rental, and airline perks is great in the short term and is a benefit of the travel. However, I’m starting to get close to the point where I would give that all up just to be home on a regular basis and have more free time. But I guess I will enjoy it in the short-term and will not complain when I am able to take a “points” vacation at some point next year.

      Take care,


  2. Nice results – I’m thinking of getting back into some side hustles especially now that work has gotten a bit less busy. I was thinking of starting with adding an ad to my blog and see how that does now that I’ve hit a decent view count and also starting another blog that’s more lifestyle driven as well as getting back to my writing.

    • TITM,

      Thanks! Interesting idea with starting the other website. Have you considered adding some lifestyle articles to your website and seeing if diversification of articles further increases your views? Just a thought before you spend your time on two separate blogs! Regardless, looking forward to seeing whatever you have up your sleeve!


  3. Keep pushing on the side hustles guys! Will you ever post a report about the income from reader sign ups? And perhaps about the blog? I can imagine that those totals are becoming more significant than the side hustles you mention here. No worries if you don’t want too. Just curious!

    Good work fellas


    • ADD –

      Always appreciate the comment. Every dollar counts in this game and the grind is REAL. We do want to do the blog income article, but trying to structure that in a way that helps the readers and hopefully shows a path to earn revenue from a site. Income from reader sign ups would be interesting, as it relates to the programs above – we’ve had a few sign ups, I would say in the eBates and Swagbucks categories for sure. We can probably run an analysis when we started running these posts and to see what activity was like from a referral stand point. Appreciate the suggestion ADD.


  4. Nice summary and ideas!

    We use eBates, but I haven’t tried Swagbucks yet. I also haven’t heard of Ibotta yet, so we’ll check that out –
    thanks for sharing.

    I also recently came across TestBirds, where users perform end-user / UAT for different projects, etc. Still checking it out further.

    • Mike –

      Nice name, balanced dividends – I dig it!! And eBates is awesome, especially around this holiday time. Definitely need to check out iBotta when you have a chance, especially if you are in the States. TestBirds… hmm what’s that about, then? Keep me posted!


  5. Hi Bert & Lenny!

    It’s cool how you guys are keeping track of this. Keep it up with your side cash! 🙂

    I personally use Ebates and I love it, but I noticed that I don’t stack up as much cash rewards compared to before. But that’s likely because I don’t spend as much now. I guess that’s a good thing? lol! That means less “spavings” (spending just to save) for me me haha.

    And I love Swagbucks because I feel like it pays me to drink Starbucks! But I guess I only feel that way because it’s usually my fiance who does the searching and surveys under my account while he’s doing his as well…… :/ Either way, it’s nice to have those $50 SBUX gift cards come in.

    Also, I’m not aware if you’ve heard of the app called Slide Joy? It’s not your roads to riches, but since you blogged about cash-back programs, I thought I’d mention it. I hear that this app is pretty passive if you don’t mind seeing an ad on your phone’s lock screen.

    At the end, you get rewarded with gift cards (like swagbucks) if you don’t mind seeing this ad when you unlock your phone (which you have the option to discard if you are not interested in that particular ad).

    I never had the chance to use it because I switched from Android to Apple, and I believe they don’t support this app under Apple. But overall, I thought I’d mention it to you!

    Anyway, keep it up with your side hustles! You guys are doing great!!

    • Hello hello! Hey, earning less from Ebates because you are spending less is a GREAT thing. I view it as more of a side benefit to spending, but I”m definitely not spending just to earn Ebates. I’m glad you are a fellow Swag-bucker as well. It is always fun and exciting to meet another person who loves the app we do.

      I have not heard about SlideJoy, but I’ll have to check it out. Personally, I cannot have too many apps or I will drive myself insane. I’ve tried others and it just became too much.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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