Teaching · Trading

The Best (and Worst) Side Hustles

I’ve always found traditional employment to be wildly frustrating. Never enough money, never enough free time, terrible bosses, petty co-workers (with a few exceptions- you know who you are!), and just a constant feeling of being trapped. Some people do just fine finding a career and sticking with it, but I am not one of those people. Here’s everything I’ve tried to keep from having to work a “regular” job.

Teachers Pay Teachers

This site allows teachers to upload lessons and resources to sell to other teachers. Granted, this side hustle only really works if you are (or were) a teacher, but if you know how to create great content for the classroom, this is actually a pretty great way to make a few extra bucks. I’ve spent a few hours here and there over the last few years polishing and uploading activities, quizzes, and essays to TPT. My page can be found here if you’re interested. My favorite part of this side hustle is that I don’t have to tend to it all the time. I have a few products available and I get paid monthly. It’s turned into passive income now, but I generally add one or two additional products every year. Passive income is THE BEST INCOME, by the way.

Freelancing

Freelance writing and transcription are difficult ways to make money. I’ve tried WriterAccess and TextBrokers as writing platforms. It’s a lot of work for very little pay. TextBrokers pays so little but jobs are always available. WriterAccess pays much better (and I prefer the platform) but days will go by where nothing is available. I tried freelance writing for a few months after I quit my job at mortgage bank, and I could scrape together about $150 on a good week. I think this is better for someone in college who has minimal expenses and loves to write. Otherwise, I don’t recommend it. I’ve also tried online transcription at Rev.com and this is the most tedious work I’ve ever done. Audio files can be really tough to decipher making projects take more time than they are worth. In general, I don’t like this kind of freelance work because it doesn’t yield passive income, doesn’t pay enough for the time spent, and it’s not scalable. These are three major complaints I have of real jobs, so I don’t maintain freelancing as a form of income anymore.

High-Interest Crypto Wallets

As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies gain traction with the general population, several crypto wallets are competing for your business by offering some pretty stellar interest rates on crypto balances which includes Stablecoins. Stablecoins are simply cryptocurrencies that mirror the value of the US dollar. My favorite wallet for Stablecoins is Abra. As of this writing, they offer a 10.5% APY on several different Stablecoins pegged to the USD. You will never find a traditional savings account with an interest rate like this. Abra pays out interest weekly, which is another reason why it’s my favorite. I love compounding interest. Seriously, it’s the best. You do need to have a chunk of savings laying around that you’re willing to convert to a Stablecoin for this to work. Abra is available as an app and I find it fairly easy to use.

I also use BlockFi for my other crypto balances. I hold Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin in my BlockFi interest earning account. Interest is paid monthly and it comes in the form of crypto, not dollars. These cryptocurrencies are very volatile and therefore risky so make sure you understand those risks before buying crypto. If you’re interested in opening a BlockFi account to buy crypto and earn interest, ask your friends for a referral. There are bonuses for signing up with someone’s referral link. If you don’t have any friends with a BlockFi account, you can use my referral link to sign up for a bonus when you fund your account.

While I’m not a huge fan of CoinBase, they do offer opportunities to earn free crypto from time to time if you’re willing to watch some informational videos on whatever new coin is debuting. I’ve earned about $45 worth of random cryptocurrencies on CoinBase which I always trade for either a Stablecoin or another crypto I prefer and then send it to either Abra or BlockFi.

I like investing in crypto and earning interest on Stablecoin as a side hustle because it requires no work from me. Just set up your wallets, fund them, and earn interest! Just be mindful that cryptos that are not Stablecoins pegged to USD can fluctuate wildly in price.

DoorDash

This is a very accessible and easy way to make some money, but it does have major drawbacks. It’s not passive, it’s not scalable, and it requires you use your own car and pay for gas. What does make it a decent side hustle is the fact that you can actually easily make around $20 an hour if you Dash during the right times and if you live in an area that has a high volume of orders. I am able to incorporate Dashing into my normal driving routine so I can offset the gas expense a bit. I also use it as a way to get the kids out of the house when they are driving me crazy. My husband and I will load up the kids and go do one or two deliveries just to get the kids to take a quick nap. So, for me, it serves two purposes. I like making $20 while occupying the kids. Sometimes, DoorDash offers incentives like bonuses for completing a certain numbers of orders during a specific timeframe or “peak pay” bonuses during very busy times. I only accept deliveries when there are extra pay bonuses because it isn’t the best pay otherwise. Under $20 for an hour of work isn’t worth it to me. If you can incorporate into a route you’re already driving, I think it’s a decent side hustle. Make the most of DoorDash by signing up only with a referral from a friend. You can earn an extra couple hundred bucks if you sign up with a referral. My DoorDash referral link is here in case you need one, and as of today, May 1st, 2021, they are offering a $500 bonus for using my link if you complete enough deliveries in the first 60 days of signing up.

Podcasting and Blogging

This isn’t a particularly lucrative side hustle, but I really enjoy doing it so I’m including on my list. I only make a few bucks a month from my podcast, but I just like talking about the stock market so much that it’s just sort of a bonus to get a coffee or two paid for. Like blogging, there isn’t really isn’t a ton of money to be made from podcasting unless you really dedicate yourself full time to it. I’m not willing to blog or podcast full time, so my income from those two ventures is pretty much negligible. It can be passive to a degree after some time though. I have a couple old blog posts on HubPages that pay me about $25 a year. I still get paid even though I haven’t touched that blog in years. I’d rather have $25 than not, but I’m not retiring early on any of my blog or podcast “income.”

Publishing on Amazon

Self-publishing is a neat concept, but it’s a tough way to make money unless you’re an excellent and dedicated writer. I enjoy writing from time to time, but writing books isn’t something I can do frequently enough to make a decent income. I had fun writing my book, Fencing with Chopsticks and I do get paid royalties each month, but they amount to less than $1 most months. I don’t find it worthwhile to publish more on Amazon, but if you can crank out books that people will read, this could be a way to build decent passive income.

My Favorite- Trading Stocks

All the aforementioned side hustles (with the exception of my crypto investments) don’t a hold a candle to trading stocks. This is the only way I’ve found to make real money that’s completely scalable. It isn’t passive, but it can become a replacement for income from a regular job. It is not easy to learn to trade profitably. It can take years of studying and practice and even then, there will be still be losing trades. I actually like to pair my other side hustles with trading to offset a down month or week, because they DO happen. If I have a bad day of trading, I can go DoorDash my loss away. I know that I’m getting a monthly interest payment and, if it isn’t summer, a monthly payment from Teachers Pay Teachers. In fact, I think if you’re going to attempt to day trade stocks, it’s wise to set up some other avenues of income first just because of the risky nature of trading. I had a tough time adapting to the change in the market this year, so I’m happy I had other ways to bring in some money during that time.

Needless to say, I think it’s unlikely I’ll ever go back to working for someone else full time.

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