The Diplomats’ September Side Hustle Report

Side Hustles.  Ah side hustles.  The two of us, along with all of you, are relentlessly pursuing financial freedom to break the shackles and take back control of our lives.  Sure we have our dividend income streams and we work to live frugally to help us get there.   However, we also are aggressively side-hustling, in our limited free time, to bring us even an inch closer to our final goal.  Each month, we report the side hustle income so you can see the method to our madness.  Here is the next installment of the Dividend Diplomats’ Side Hustle Report.

Just a quick note, this side hustle report will contain the occasional affiliate link to the service(s) we use.  It is important for us to mention that we are only including links for services that truly add value to our lives.  We would not throw in an affiliate link to a product we do not use and we hope you know that!  These sites/apps have helped us tremendously, so we hope that you do sign up to try them out and let us know what you think.  Additionally, if you like them….then share the wealth with others.  Now, let’s see how well we performed during the month!

The side hustle

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.  If you aren’t familiar or do not have an account, click that blue hyperlink, (yes the first one haha) to see what this easy to earn cash back website is all about.  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 September summary for cash back earned from Ebates:

  • Lanny – $27.16 – Glad some of my pending items have recently settled and this amount was 26% higher than August’s total of $21.56.  Most of my activity was from hotels and rentals cars (small benefit of traveling for work).  In total, I have received over $347, see below’s snip from their website:
  • Bert – $16.17 – Similar to Lanny, my activity for the month was predominately due to pending items settling.  These were all from work trips and included pending items related to hotel stays and rental cars.  Heck, if work is making me travel, I might as well benefit, right?

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 – > 4,019 Swagbucks or $40.19 – I was only able to cash out once, but this grew by 9.4%, very lucky here, compared to last month.  Receiving cash of $25.00 is very exciting, all for searching the web online, more than likely, for dividend articles and frugal living.  The way I was able to monitor this was take my end of July lifetime amount and subtract out my lifetime amount at end of September (found in the activity section of your account).  Here is the proof of the cash outs and I have to say one thing, the side hustle here is real.

  • Bert – $21.12 –  My August totals were down because I was so busy preparing our new house prior to moving in at the end of the month.  Well, I came roaring back in September after a new-found focus on Swag-bucking (yes, I made it a verb).  Each day I strive to hit my daily goal and earn the bonus.  It has become a challenge, which pushes me even harder to knock the goal out.  While I didn’t have a 100% success rate each day, the impact was definitely felt this month.  I earned over $21 on the website and was able to cash out as well and had $25 cold hard dollars transferred to my Paypal account.

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 a growing list of online retailers (such as,, and so on).   Before shopping, you scan the available rebates on Ibotta and see which items you are planning on buying.  Some example of rebates that may be available any given week are $0.25 for purchasing bananas, $1-$2 off of a certain body wash or shampoo, $1.00 for purchasing a certain type of coffee, $2-$3 back for purchasing a delicious craft beer, or  our favorite, $5 off of a plant-based protein shake powder!   What we love 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.  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 – $13.25 – This is almost a $13 drop from August, due to less shopping primarily.  In total, I’ve earned over $178.00 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.  This is by far my best month in rebates and I was able to cash out during the month of July, I believe I cashed out around the $22.50 mark.  Here is the table for my last 3 months, and like the other hustles above, this one is trending up.
  • Bert – $1.00 – September was an interesting month.  Typically, my wife and I go grocery shopping together and I have a chance to submit everything I can for Ibotta.  For whatever reason, I was not able to shop with her this month.  So obviously my Ibotta amounts decreased as a result of fewer trips with my wife to the store.  However, that doesn’t mean as a family we didn’t earn.  In July I shared the app with my wife and her usage really took off in September!  While I was only able to earn $1 this month, she was able to earn over $10 (in addition to what she already had built up) and cashed out.  Man it was sweet seeing those $20 hit our bank account.
  • Selling Household Items
    • Lanny – $76.73, net of fees and shipping (I sky rocketed upwards past August and now have earned $131.16 in total)  – I have sold 10 more items on eBay & Facebook market place, trying to get rid of “stuff”, 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.  The ten items I sold were one toy, broken bluetooth headphones, smoothie blender, one book, two dress shirts, one pair of jeans, one DVD and an old/not used entertainment center.  In the end, hopefully all of the items will add value to someone else’s life, as that’s the purpose of owning something, to add value.  However, from a side hustle perspective, the extra $77 was welcomed, that’s for damn sure!
    • Bert – $4.87 – Alright, so I couldn’t match Lanny’s volume this month.  While I listed about five items during the month, only one sold.   Although I must say that my inventory is starting to build up as we continue to unpack and figure out which items we want to keep and which items we want to donate or sell.  Right now, my free time on the weekends is committed to getting our house finished.  Once that slows down, I am going to have a listing party and see how much I can list on Ebay each month.   For now, I’ll settle for listing a few small items here or there and take my $4.87 victories when I can get them.

Total Side Hustle Income in September: 

Lanny: $157.33, total of $371.79 since tracking on the blog!

Bert: $43.16, total of $224.88 since tracking on the blog!

Diplomats Total: $200.49, total of $596.67 since tracking on the blog!

As you can all see, the income from our side hustling is really starting to add up.  Combined, we have earned nearly $600 of additional income, how awesome is that?  In just a few short months, we are stacking up dollars for future investment or in Bert’s case – potential debt paydown.  We think our favorite saying is the best way to end this article.  EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS everyone and this is why we are going to keep on pushing ourselves to earn as much additional income as possible!

What are your favorite side hustles?  Do you use any of the four methods/services that we do?  If so, what are your thoughts about them?   How much side hustle income were you able to earn this month?

-Lanny and Bert, The Dividend Diplomats


22 thoughts on “The Diplomats’ September Side Hustle Report

  1. Keep doing it guys,i have mentioned few times before ,i use swagbucks combined with credit card offers it works out well.Right now if you have a regions bank,there is$15 hulu offer and another $25 swagbucks offer for live tv.

  2. Hello Bert and Lanny,
    This is very interesting. I’ve never been much of a side hustler (except for the last category of selling household items) so I’m learning here. I’m a little old school (a.k.a – older 🙂 and have never been shy about clipping a coupon when appropriate. Ebates and swagbucks seem to have the most appeal to me personally so I will check them out through your links. On a side note, I added Dividend Diplomats to the “good reads” list on my blog. Check it out if you have a chance. If you feel it appropriate and the blog worthy, Dividends Diversify would love to be added to your blogroll. If not, no problem. Have a great weekend and keep hustling. Tom

    • Tom,

      First – thank you for stopping by and checking out some easy/cool ways to bring in extra money. Secondly – thank you for adding us to your blogroll, we will surely check your site out and will probably add yours to ours as well!!! Make that money Tom!!


  3. I hope I see $40 next month for test driving a Hyundai! 😀
    I LOVE side-hustles – they allow me to go and do different things and get paid. It is great to know that I can earn a decent amount without my main job. Plus, it develops your money mindset – that money can be had nearly anywhere.
    In September I earned a total of $1,020.14. In August it was $694.28.

  4. Nice work guys. My side hustles usually involve some sort of consulting. For instance, this morning I took the Little Man to the park…..then met with a property owner who wanted my opinions/experience with some potential changes to his property. While the consulting usually averages $85-$90 per hour, today was less involved than I was expecting…..and therefore worked out to $250 for the two hours of work. Score!

    Since we embarked flexible independence 19 months ago, we have found that side hustles work well with our flexible lifestyles. We just schedule in the work when we are available. The downside of course is that it would take forever to scale these individual assignments in to full time work. The upside, we don’t want full time work……and these hustles let us keep the flexible lifestyle.

    • Bryan,

      That is a very cool idea. Turning your expertise into a consulting. I think that is something Lanny and I could easily do given our backgrounds in accounting and experiences gather over our years in public accounting. Like yours, there would be a great market for that.

      I think the scale-ability of side hustling is one of the greatest pros. Especially in a side hustle where you select the hours you want to work, charge an hourly rate, and can be selective of the appointments. You can take on as much or as little as you want to based on your flexibility that week. The downside is almost a moot point since it sounds like you are loving our flexible independence and have an amazing arrangement set up. You also know that you could turn it into a full time job if that’s what you were to choose to do one day in the future. Amazing job capitalizing on your expertise.

      Thanks for the comment!


  5. Every dollar counts boys! Awesome work this month. I’m impressed how well you use those apps, programs etc. I signed up to do paid survey’s and soon realised it was hardly worth it after spending a few hours glued to a screen. I try an pick up a little extra work now and then (this month I’m doing a few guest lectures at a local University) and am starting to get a little blog income…maybe, we will see!

    • Thanks! The apps may seem insignificant but together they can add up to make quite the difference. I love it and it is now a part of my shopping habits. That’s awesome you are doing guest lectures. What type of classes do you teach?


  6. Those side hustles are definitely starting to add up. The methods you’re using are easy to use and are just woven into your daily lives. So, kudos.

    I don’t do any side hustles at the moment. It would sure be nice to have the extra cash coming in. I’ll eventually find something that suits me though. In any case, keep going guys, and keep increasing that cash flow.

    • Yes they are Dividend Portfolio. The hardest part is getting them to be a part of your regular habit and day to day routine. Now, it is a challenge and we are motivated to hit our goals each day/month to keep the side hustle income alive. Have you thought about what potential side hustles you would like? As you said, they are easy to use and don’t add that much more time to your daily routine.


  7. Awesome job guys! I’m going to look into some of those apps that you posted. I’ve had extra motivation for savings and side hustles lately from fellow bloggers. Glad we can promote these kinds of things instead of the usual materialistic nonsense that gets thrown up on Instagram and such. A new revolution perhaps of leaving within our means! Take care guys.

    • Thanks Mr. Defined Sight. Please let us know what you think, how they are working for you, and if you think they will become staples in your daily routine. Cannot wait to see the possible income you will make! Your last couple of sentences hit why I love this community. Take care.


  8. The only one on this list that I do is Swagbucks. I have been running the account for several years so it has generated a little extra income for me.

    Something else that I enjoy doing to earn some extra income is building or refinishing furniture.

    It was great reading your report. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Loving the Side Hustles guys!

    Ebates, Ibotta and Swagbucks are great little programs that help earn cashback either through their app or affiliate programs. This is a great start guys!


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