side hustle update


I’ve posted before on the need for side hustles, even offering 6 Legitimate Side Hustle Ideas in a previous post, but I haven’t quite broken down what I make on my little side hustles. I figured it was about time to do just that so this post will serve as a little side hustle update of sorts.

*This page contains affiliate links. At no cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking my links.*


It cost about $80 to set the blog up last June and I was able to completely pay our savings back in mid-September solely through side-hustle income. I had earned some blog income at this point but had not yet cashed out. This was paid mostly through babysitting. I may have thrown some birthday money at it as well. But, one thing is for sure – from September on this little blog has financed itself! That feels good to be able to say!


I earned about $75 last year in babysitting. Again, that mostly went to pay us back for blog hosting expenses. It was a small, occasional hustle, but a fun one that also kept my kids entertained. This was most handy in the summer months.


I try to sell perfectly good items around the house we no longer need before donating them. I also try to trade in clothing and supplies the kids outgrow that is in good condition. I’m not going to lie; I had very little luck with either this year. I made about $20 selling a playpen with sunbrella on Craigslist last year and probably got about $30 total in trade-in value on stuff from the kids at Once Upon a Child. It’s not exactly hustling income for me, but it does help lower some of the expense of keeping the kids clothed.

cashback and survey app income update

Admittedly I am not consistent with this one. Every two weeks I scan all my receipts into Fetch Rewards and try to find deals on what I’ve bought on Ibotta. I am a bit too frugal for Ibotta, but I hold out for the “any item” deals and that occasional offer on an item I had already planned to purchase.

Admittedly I am not a heavy couponer and I do not plan my shopping around what has a cashback offer. I simply buy generic with a few exceptions and prefer to save my money rather than get some back. Most apps require $20 to cash out with the exception of Fetch; points add up to redeem gift cards. It really just depends on what gift card you want.

I have not participated in many surveys the last month or so, but plan to pick that back up now that the oldest is back in school since I am fairly close to cashing out. Here are my running totals for each app.

Ibotta – I have earned a whopping $8.60 so far.

Fetch Rewards – I have the most luck “earning” with this app even though it adds up differently. I have a total of 8,900 points, which is enough to redeem $8 in gift cards.

Inbox Surveys – I am so close to cashing out! I am currently at $16.72.


Looking back through Instagram posts I added up about $130 in gift cards from taste testing last year. Not bad! Especially considering I wasn’t chosen for any for three months after canceling last minute the day of our son’s orthopedic surgery.

Quite a bit of this side hustle money was used buying kid essentials as well as upgrading a few things to stainless steel in the kitchen. Things tapered off closer to the end of the fall semester. I hope they pick back up again once this semester is in full swing. It is a fun and easy little hustle that also allows me a little break from the kiddos.


I recently took on a new side hustle; I am reconciling 2019 bank statements for a family friend’s small business. This is fun to put on my old Accounting hat again and brush off some old skills I hadn’t used in a while (apart from managing our household finances and balancing our budget).

It is enjoyable and I make a reasonable hourly rate. This is also something I can do from the comfort of my own home thanks to Quickbooks being online. It is also something I am open to taking on for other small businesses should the opportunity arise this year.

So far this is my favorite side hustle as it actually earns a steadier income (for the moment while this project lasts at least) and will work well for me when the time comes to update my resume and apply for a new job. It probably won’t be till our youngest enters kindergarten, but adding experience to fill in the gaps should really help in the long run.


This one isn’t exactly a great source of income – yet. Here is a short, simple breakdown of what the blog has brought in so far.


Last year I made a grand total of $55 for two sponsored posts and one video. More experienced bloggers will probably sigh and roll their eyes at this total, but these were offers I jumped at made to help jump start my affiliate status. The best part? I only did sponsored posts for products/brands I already used and felt confident endorsing. I also got a few greeting cards out of the deal. Recently I made a 20 cent commission on a  sale stemming from one of those posts.

I would like to note that in making the blog pay for itself I used the money from the sponsored posts to pay for six months’ use of a PO box, enabling me to start my weekly newsletter! If you’re wondering why I needed the PO box in order to do this, anti-spam laws provide you provide an address in emails. I would rather pay $20 for six months’ use of a PO box than a monthly subscription of almost $20 to use a service that provides a PO box number for my emails. Obviously sending my home address out isn’t an option for privacy reasons.

I also used blog income to purchase a tripod with ring light for my smartphone. It has come in handy for my YouTube videos and was money well spent. I am still working out the best angles and how to get my phone to sync with the remote, but the whole thing is a learning curve when it comes to this blog and now the channel.


I’ve made almost $14 total from Amazon commissions. I can’t really complain there. I don’t promote products in every post and don’t qualify to be an Influencer with my own storefront. I’m not really sure if that’s an eventual goal or not at this point.


I was gifted $100 in free merchandise that I got to pick out as an affiliate to review on the blog. I also did a YouTube video. And I absolutely love what I picked out and will put my planner to good use. One lucky subscriber will also benefit from this in the January 15 giveaway.


While it seems none of my side hustles make much money, they are still important to me. Babysitting helped break up the monotony of the summer break and taste testing offers me a little time away from kids (as they’re not allowed in the testing center if they’re not old enough to wait in the lobby unattended) and provides a little spending money outside the budget for household or kid essentials.

Bookkeeping enables me to keep my brain and skills sharp and provides good resume experience during these “gap years” I am home with the kids. It also keeps me up to date with the software. It’s nice to utilize my training again.

Blogging, while it is for the moment a self-sustaining hustle, I hope will become more than that. I shared my five-year plan back in October in the post Life Goals: My Before 40 Bucket List and one of the items on my bucket list to do before the age of 40 is to become a certified financial coach of some sort. This blog is a great precursor to that and gives me a new skill set that could potentially open up doors in a different career field.

I also really enjoy the blog and the relationships I’ve forged with other content creators. it fulfills a creative outlet for this creative mind that can’t draw well and enables me to write often, which I have always loved to do. It also helps this introverted heart of mine be more social and come out of my shell some.

So while I’m not exactly rolling in the dough with my little side hustles I do enjoy keeping up with them. I plan to work on building them up this year to increase my income. What about you? Do you hustle? What are your favorite side hustles to bring in a little or a lot of additional income?


  1. Jenni @ I on Image says:

    Nice work! It’s good to keep many sources of income. I hear so often that one client quit and they had nothing to fall back on. Next step: increase the income of each source a bit without having to do significantly more work 😉

  2. Mint Miller says:

    It’s great to see actual numbers on these side hustles! So many people are undervaluing their time, and many people aren’t transparent about their earnings, making it harder for people considering making the leap themselves.

  3. Ineya Hsu says:

    There is a great variety of side hustles you have. I’ve just started my blog as a side hustle, no income yet though…

    • alifeonadime says:

      I highly recommend getting on with something like Share a Sale so you can get on as an affiliate with multiple brands through one hub. Most of my blog $ has come from new affiliate sponsorship posts. It doesn’t pay a lot but a few can pay your hosting fees. Good luck! What’s your site? I’ll check it out!

  4. goatdogsimple says:

    You have some great side hustles! The little money here and there adds up. I’ve been fortunate selling items on Craigslist. I wouldn’t mind refinishing furniture as a side job. I’d also like to grow my blog– still so much to learn. Thanks for the insight.

    • alifeonadime says:

      Thanks Ana! We were fortunate before moving, but so fed up with stuff we donated items we could’ve made $$$ on, but didnt want it in our house any longer! Now it’s mostly outgrown kid equipment and clothes. We’ve hit a stage where they trash everything by the time they’re done with it, so not much worth saving to pass on at the moment!

  5. Debi England says:

    I am do Young Living and am looking at VIPKid bc the hours fit into my regular work schedule!

    I love the variety you have! There are things I didn’t know you could do and make money! I also appreciate the transparency about how well they work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.