The Diplomats’ June Side Hustle Report

Side Hustles, ah yes, the sides hustles.  A topic we, and so many others in the early retirement community, discuss constantly.  In our journey to retire early and spend the rest of our lives pursuing our dreams or living life ON OUR TERMS, we look to scrape together every dollar.  Why?  Every dollar, every hustle, puts us one step closer to the end of the journey.  For the first time ever, the two of us decided to hold ourselves accountable and publish our own “side hustle” report to provide some additional disclosure about the products, apps, and methods we use to earn an extra dollar or cut down our expenses.   Time to check out our June Side Hustle Report from the double D, Dividend Diplomats.

Just a quick note, this side hustle report will contain some affiliate links to the products we use.  It is important for us to note this and mention that we are only including links for services or products that help us out on a day to day basis and truly adds value to our lives.  We would not do that in any other way, so please I hope you guys all know that!  These sites/apps have helped us tremendously and we hope that you do sign up to try them out and let us know what you think, as well as – share the wealth with others around you.  We Now let’s see how well we performed during the month!

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 retails, travel sites and the like, click that blue hyperlink, yes the first one haha.  You also can receive a free $10 gift card upon sign up, yes affiliate plug, but always nice to try something out!  We don’t ever purchase a good online without first stopping by Ebates to see if we can earn cash back by visiting the website through Ebates.  It is easy money for a simple additional step in the online shopping experience, one that maybe adds 10 seconds to your transaction.

  • Lanny – $1.06 – Love rental cars, but man, that doesn’t give me too much bang back for my buck!  This was fine, as every dollar counts and it was a one day rental.  However, similar to Bert below, I have a TON in pending.  However, in total I have received over $297, see below:
  • Bert – $3.22 –  It should have been higher, but a lot of my Ebates credits are still pending.  For some reason, it takes forever for a credit to post to your account if you book a hotel or car reservation through Ebates.   Oh well, I guess the rewards will be captured in my July passive income report!

Swagbucks – Ah, 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, such as using their search engine, answering surveys, answering polls, watching videos, etc.  Here is our referral link if you would like to give it a try as well!

  • Lanny – > 2,595 swagbucks, $25.95 – THERE WE GO!  Getting the cash out of $25.00 to Paypal baby!!  Proof of the cash out:

  • Bert – 0 Swagbucks, $0.  Okay, I like using Swagbucks, but I’m not the ultra user that Lanny is.  Typically, in a busy month, this is usually the first activity that falls by the wayside.  In June, I spent a lot of time on the road.  Plus, on the weekends, I have been focusing on housing items and clearing out my apartment’s clutter when I’m not on the blog, so there hasn’t been a ton of excess time to spread around to Swagbucks.  Maybe I’ll start to pick it up again in July.

Ibotta – Ibotta is one of our favorite apps because it is so easy to use, first you can get $5.00 to sign up!  Before shopping, you scan the available rebates on Ibotta.  Some example of rebates that may be available any given week are $0.25 for purchasing bananas, $0.25 for any milk brand, $1.00 for purchasing a certain type of coffee, or $3.00 for purchasing Bud Light (Bert’s go-to, so nasty, but glad he is sitting next to me drinking a better beer, cheers Bert!).   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.  Hell, even a $1.00 back on your Uber trips are in there and who doesn’t use that every now and again?  Then, after your trip, you simply scan the receipt and 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.

  • Lanny – $4.50 – C’Mon Bert!  Well, not a big banger here for me and I’ve earned over $123.00 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.  My best month, though, was in April at $16.25.
  • Bert – $2.00  – Well, I have earned over $80 lifetime (less than a year) using Ibotta.  But June was a pretty slow month for me since I traveled a ton for work.  I didn’t buy as many groceries on the app and even the groceries my wife purchased were not eligible for that many rebates.  Oh well, I should be home more in July, so I expect this amount to climb a lot more in the month to come.  But I’m jealous of Lanny’s success here.

Selling Household Items

  • Lanny – $19.66, net of fees and shipping – I have sold 2 items, so far, on eBay, trying to get rid of “stuff”, we’ll come out with more on getting rid of stuff later, but I know I own too much crap in my life that is consuming space, time and resources.  The two items I sold on eBay were a pair of Skeletoes Fila shoes I never worn, talk about a trend and the last item was my 1997 Toyota Celica owner’s manual.  Why did I hold on to that?  Nostalgia and memories more than likely.  Well… she gone, I made money and I have a few less items.  Further – more things are on eBay this month and OfferUp, very excited to shed more “things”…
  • Bert – $44.75– As I started packing up my apartment, I started to find all kind of things that I could potentially sell or trade in for cash.   Well, one of the things I found was an old Apple Store gift card that I received when I redeemed credit card points.  At the time, I was hoping to purchase a Macbook.   However, I eventually decided to not purchase a Mac and instead try to stretch a few more years out of my brick (aka Asus).  I’m looking to buy a laptop, but it won’t be a Macbook.  So I checked about 10 gift card exchange websites, along with Ebay, and ultimately decided that the best offer was to trade in my $50 gift card for cash deposited to my Paypal account.  I could have had a few dollars more for an Amazon gift card, but with this transaction, I was looking to receive cold, hard, cash to use on other purchases.

Donations – Okay, so donations do not produce cash flow immediately.  But it serves two HUGE purposes.  First, now that we are both homeowners and itemize our deductions come tax time (Damn you Uncle Sam), we will be able to receive the maximum benefit from donations on our tax returns.  Second, heck, we received some a ton of motivation from attending The Minimalists show in Cleveland a week ago at the end of June.  We are also receiving the benefit of purely getting rid of stuff that adds no value, but hopefully can add values to others in hopes that they may appreciate them more than we do.  That being said, here is an inventory of the goods we donated this month.

  • Lanny – In June, I donated over 11 pieces of clothing, but not including the others earlier in the year.  I believe last year I easily clipsed the 100 pieces of clothing.  Think about that, holy crap – I actually owned over 100 pieces of clothing and in fact – I know I still have more than that.  More work to be done here.  I have a rule of thumb, as well.  If I know I shouldn’t sell it, goes right to donation.  If I think I should sell it, then it goes to eBay for a month.  If it doesn’t sell, donate.  Easy as cake.  The 11 pieces were 4 polos, a sweater worn, pajama pants never worn, a long sleeve shirt, an unused warm track jacet and a few other items.  I do think there are quite a few people that will benefit from these items!
  • Bert – 30 articles of clothing and 20 books.  Not a ton, but should produce a pretty decent dollar value.  Plus, I’m excited to get those books off of my shelf so they can stop collecting dust and hopefully end up in an interested reader’s hands.

What’s crazy….theses are just a few of the many, many different ways that anyone can side hustle and cleaning our hands of “stuff”.  Side hustles can come in all shapes and sizes.  The important thing is that you put in the hard work, keep fighting, keep scraping, and turn your words/thoughts into ACTION.  If you want extra income, it is at your finger tips.  Guess what, the two of us have a TON of room for improvement and will look to continue adding more to our side hustle reports.  We are excited to begin sharing our side hustle stories with you and holding ourselves accountable.  So now, let’s get back to work.  It is time to JUST GO FOR IT!

*Note, you’ll notice one item missing from our side hustle report.  That is our Dividend Diplomats blog-related income.  I believe that is going to be time for a real screamer of an article to write for everyone, to provide the real insight to see if these two 20 something guys are even receiving a coinage of Abraham Lincoln.  More to come soon!

What do you think of our side hustles?  What are your monthly side hustles?  Are they producing the results that you want?  If not, whats your plan of attack?  Are you selling your items online or do you do other things, such as Facebook, Craigslist or OfferUp?  Very curious here.  What other side hustles would you recommend?  Thanks everyone, get after it and pursue your passions!

-Lanny & Bert, The Dividend Diplomats

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35 thoughts on “The Diplomats’ June Side Hustle Report

    • Thanks PID! You’ll have to let us know about the various side hustles that you do as well and provide us with some tips. Would love to try any future hustles out to see if it works for us!

      Bert

  1. Diplomats,
    Got a few side hustles myself. I work as a bartender / a few other things at a local microbrewery – made me about $4k last year, and should be around $3.5+k this year. I do Inboxdollars, getting cheap emails, probably $30 a year, so not much. I am also contemplating joining a service to act as a part time consultant in my field via Clarity.fm. You two are accountants, might want to look into that – good way to earn some extra coin.
    – Gremlin

    • Gremlin,

      Thank you so much for the listing. How much fun is it to be a bartender at the brewery? Must make it fun being in that environment, trying great beer from a local person, and getting to talk to a lot of people. that’s a nice haul and it has to be a great time. Once I’m done traveling for work, I’ve thought about umpiring or doing something else on the side. And trust me, I’ve considered using my accounting knowledge to help out on small jobs here and there once I change careers and have more times at home. I’ll definitely check out the website!

      Bert

  2. Everyone loves a good side hustle. Especially when every dollar counts! Little bit here and there adds up over time. Just hard to find one that fits your needs/ personality. Nice seeing what is out there and what others are or aren’t having success with. Keep the side hustles up so we can see more buys!

    • Daze,

      You’re darn right that everyone loves a good side hustle. Who wouldn’t like an extra income source to supplement and enhance an already kick ass savings rate? That’s whats fun and I hope is shown in the article. Not all side hustles even work between the two of us and it really does depend on our personalities. There are some people that refuse to do survey websites because they don’t think it is worth their time. I get that mindset completely. You need to focus on doing what makes you happy. That’s what will make a great side hustle.

      Bert

  3. I tried that Ibotta app, it was too cubersome so I quit after earning a couple of dollars or so. I think that’s what they try to get you. 🙂 Same goes with Ebates. LOL 🙂 But I like the big stuff like travel hacking – hacking credit card points, EAch time it’d be equivalent to $650 or so, so that makes more sense for me. As I’m not a very good seller. But I’m glad it’s working out for you guys.

    • haha hey, it is all about finding what side hustle works best and interests you. Why waste your time hustling for a few extra dollars if it is going to make you miserable? If travel hacking is your think and that’s what you find the most enjoyment/value out of, then keep on hacking away!

      Bert

  4. My favorite side hustle is helping friends clean their houses. I’m an amazing house cleaner and I love to do it… as long as it’s not my own house 😉 I give them “mate’s rates” on my time, they’re relieved to have someone help them clear that huge pile of dishes/laundry, and it’s fun to spend time with them, even if we are on our knees wiping baseboards.

    Freelance bookkeeping and house/pet sitting are other things I like to do. I used to use swagbucks, but decided that spending 30 minutes taking a survey to earn two or three cents wasn’t really worthwhile, and I don’t buy enough consumer products to make the points-back worth it. I do, however, love my cash back credit card… using it for work reimbursables feels like double dipping in the best way possible!

    • Meow – I really like that idea. It is a great way to make some extra money, hang out with friends, and provide a benefit to them. A great way to blend social time with making some extra change. I’ll definitely help out with bookkeeping once I free up some time and travel less with my job. I love that suggestion and it will be a great way to use the skills I am learning in public accounting.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

      Bert

      • Oh yeah, with an accounting background you can definitely rake it in with freelance bookkeeping. 28-33/hr is the going rate here in NYC. I keep having to turn down work and bounce it over to my friends there’s so much demand for it at the moment. Just make sure you inflate your rate properly to absorb self-employment taxes…..

  5. Nice guys. Side hustles would be survey sites although I’m not as active at the moment. Sometimes I do the odd landscaping side job but time is precious . So tend to not do them at the moment.
    Cheers keep it up

    • PCI –

      Nice work on the landscaping jobs – at least you are outside and you can control when you want to/by throwing your hat out there to see who is interesting. Following something your passionate about is always a plus, haha.

      -Lanny

  6. Nice jobs guys, sounds like added up all of those side incomes sum up to a very respectable amount. No side hustles here, used to do iPhone development on the side and could get a few thousand $$ per month extra sometimes, but it eats up way too much free time. Haven’t done it in years.

  7. My blog is generating dollars a day now 🙂 So hopefully it will continue to gain some steam and make it worth while in the end. Even if it doesn’t I’m having fun and enjoying the experience that I’m learning 🙂

    • You bet it will gain steam. Keep pumping the great content like you are and the income will surely follow. It will be worth it regardless, because of the relationships you have built and the knowledge you’ve gained while blogging. Thanks for the comment!

      Bert

  8. Thanks for the list of side hustles you guys are involved in. Actually, I was not familiar with any of the ones you’ve cited. I’m so behind the times. I was going to say I don’t have a side hustle but from reading the comments above, I think the fact that I make money on the side teaching salsa dancing counts as a side hustle. It’s not much but as you’ve said, every dollar counts.

    Looking forward to more of these reports.

    • Heck yeah making income from teaching salsa dancing counts. Not only is that a great side hustle, but that has to be a great workout as well. If I had even an ounce of rhythm, I would sign up for one of the classes haha

      Thanks for the comment and keep on hustling!

      Bert

  9. Nice post! I use Ibotta, too, and have already transferred $60.00 into my PayPal account (took me a little over a year, but that’s because minimalist me doesn’t spend a lot of money!). I also use Receipt Hog, and have earned $30.00 – also transferred into my PayPal account. I sell some stuff I’m not using,too,using the Letgo app, and Craigslist (never caught the eBay bug as I don’t like to have to ship things). Letgo and Craigslist are limited to my local area so people can pick up (or we meet in a public place), but it has been pretty successful. Regrettably, the only thing I haven’t done is….wait for it…. monetize my blog!! I don’t have enough content yet, but am working on that. I need to find out how get into using affiliate links, etc. I am really enjoying your blog; keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Am I Making Cents! Love the name, and I believe this is your first time commenting. Thanks for stopping by and hopefully we will hear more from you. Glad that you are also a fellow Ibotta user. I’ve never tried out Receipt Hog before, is it a similar premise to Ibotta and some of the other apps?

      If you want my opinion you are doing it perfectly with the blog. Focus on creating great content before monetizing. Don’t make the mistake of trying to monetize too quickly. I don’t think we turned on the “monetizing” switch for almost a year and we were on the free wordpress site for a while, and we couldn’t have been happier with the decision.

      Cheers,

      Bert

      • Thank you, Bert. Receipt Hog is easier to use than Ibotta, but the rewards accumulate more slowly. So, it’s kind of a wash. I’ll continue to use both, and will probably try EBates and Swagbucks as you mentioned. Thanks again.

        AIMC (Linda)

        • AIMC –

          Similar to what Bert said – focus on delivering value to the readers! Your experiences are completely different than others and we can all continue to learn on your journey, your decisions & what you go through with actions being made! Write consistently genuine content, and the monetization can follow later on : ) Let us know if you want to chat further!!

          -Lanny

  10. I earned a record $242.17 from Swagbucks in June, as the new “All You Can Eat” video feature really upped my earnings. I run that continuously on my 2nd computer. Eventually it crashes but it has run passively for a whole day before.

  11. Interesting never have heard of ibotta before. It is cool to have side hustles, but sometimes I wonder if it is worth it. We used to be into coupon savings. It was cool, but it took a lot of time.

    • John –

      Thanks for the comment. Definitely recommend ibotta due to how easy it is to do i.e. no printing coupons or clipping, simply plan in advance if needed or after you go grocery shopping – see if there happen to be rebates on the things you bought, easy as that. Yesterday I bought a protein plant powder supplement and there happen to be $5.00 cash back – I was very excited about that one. Let us know if you do it!

      -Lanny

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