“Is it really worth giving up my Saturday to try to make some extra money?”
Someone asked me this about Uber and it got me thinking about the questions that I get about making more money. I often get asked about making extra money with Uber, flipping stuff, and blogging. I figured that it was time to find some answers for you guys.
I wanted to look at these three popular ways to make money to see if they’re worth it because I don’t want you wasting your limited free time for chump change…
The reality is that saving money can only get you so far. There’s only so much money that you can save if your income sucks or if your expenses are high.
You’re going to have to put in some extra hours to make more money. More money means something different for everyone reading this. For me it brings me closer to my next trip. For some, it’s putting their kid into an after school program, paying down debt, moving out, or just saving up in general.
In the perfect world, your full-time job would fulfill you creatively and leave you with enough money to pay the bills and travel often without stressing about going out on the weekends. In reality, you’re going to have to work a second gig to build up your savings and to have more fun.
You likely already know that you need to be making more money. You just don’t know where to start.
You don’t have that much spare time. You don’t want to spend your one free Saturday on something that might not even be worth it. I’m not some delusional blogger who wants you to dedicate your limited free time to some worthless cause.
I wanted to break down the three most popular extra income strategies to see if they’re worth it and to help you determine which one to follow up on.
1. Driving for Uber/a ridesharing company.
There are a few ridesharing companies out there. I drove for Uber in 2015 when it first came to Toronto. I wanted to try this because I wanted to be at the forefront of this new technology. I ended up writing a huge article on the topic. I inspired many of my friends and readers to give driving a try.
If you’re reading this then I don’t have to explain what Uber is to you. Chances are that you’ve used this service to get home many times after a few drinks. Uber has bailed out each of us at some point.
How do you drive for Uber?
You apply online or in person. You fill out a few forms and scan your important documents (proof of car ownership and insurance). You wait a few days to see if you qualify. I attended a session in person because I had a few questions that I had on my mind. I attended the session on Tuesday and was on the road that Friday.
All you need is a smart phone with data and the right vehicle. You then go over the material to ensure that you know what you’re doing. It also helps to know the roads.
When does it make sense to drive for Uber?
I was speaking to my buddy Peter at the gym and he mentioned that he made some decent money by driving on the side. He drives at night time on the weekends and during evenings all week. If you’re looking to make some money on the side you can test out Uber to see if it works for you where you live.
What are the issues?
- There could be too many drivers.
- You may have to work weekends.
- You won’t always be busy.
How do you make it work?
This is the only gig that you can turn on and off as you please. This isn’t for everyone, but if you have a car that can get accepted and spare time, then you can make some money.
You make this work by driving in your spare time to see if you can make decent money at it.
Check out my experience as an Uber driver.
2. Flipping stuff.
This has become big in many entrepreneurship circles. The goal is to buy an item at a low price and then flip it somewhere else at a higher price. The goal is to buy something for a steal at a yard sale and then sell it to someone on eBay who for some reason might be willing to pay an astronomically marked up price for it.
How do you do this?
Here’s a general idea of how to go about selling stuff for a profit:
- You go to a yard sale, thrift shop, eBay and look for deals on products or random items that you think are more valuable. This could be anything from a painting to hockey cards.
- You can test your luck with buying random goods or you can scope out eBay in advance to see what’s in demand.
- You buy something and the resell it on eBay or somewhere else online or where you can sell stuff (Kijiji comes to mind). You can also host your own yard sale, sell stuff on Facebook, or think of some other creative way to unload this item at a higher price.
Gary Vee and other entrepreneurs discuss this in social media rants.
The only time I did this was when money was tight in college. I tried to sell household items on eBay. I sold a wrestling chair that I got from a show that I attended. A fan in Germany bought this chair off me and in the end I pretty much attended that event at a profit.
I’ve also sold stuff through a yard sale. I’ve had a few yard sales where I just wanted to get rid of old stuff. I was happy with just throwing this stuff out but I figured that I would get the entire family involved and try to get people to pick up our junk. I believe the one time I made just under $100 and treated my brother and I to some steak.
When does it make sense?
Flipping stuff the easiest way to get started with a side hustle. You don’t actually need to have something. You can start with a few bucks. You can then go hunting for deals. You can look for deals online and in person.
I’ve seen case studies of people doing this. I know one person in real life who tries to flip stuff. He looks through garbages and goes to yard sales every weekend in hopes of discovering a treasure. He really enjoys the whole idea of bartering and trying to uncover some lost ancient artifact.
What are the issues with flipping stuff?
- It’s annoying. I don’t want to look through the trash nor do I want to spend my Saturday mornings at yard sales.
- It’s time-consuming. This will take up some time from trying to buy hidden gems to trying to land a buyer.
- You won’t always make money. There’s no guarantee that anyone will want to buy this painting.
- Some people hate stuff. Okay, I hate stuff.
- You could end up with a home full of junk. I want less stuff in my place.
How do you make it work?
When you have no other skills and free time, this is the best way to try to generate some cash. I would suggest that you start slow to see if you have the patience to find deals and then post the sales page.
I personally don’t have the patience for this. I’m not one to go yard sale shopping on a Saturday morning. I would rather throw everything out. I hate most things.
3. Blogging/self-employment/chasing your passions.
You see the ads all over social media.
“Be your own boss and work from home by starting your own million dollar blog.”
Blogging is a huge business in the self-help community. These ads get you because most people scroll through social media while miserable at work.
On a random note, working from home is actually extremely challenging. I’m typing this article up at a coffee shop.
How do you do this?
Blogging has the most potential of all of the aforementioned ideas. However, this ultimately comes with the biggest risk and the least guarantees of future income.
Here are my best articles on the topic to get started:
- The only six steps you need to start a blog.
- How you can actually get paid to write.
- The article about starting a business that I wish I had a decade ago.
- Freelancing vs blogging.
When does it make sense?
I firmly believe that everyone should have a blog. This could be a static resume or a page where you share your best ideas.
The good thing about blogging is that it opens you up to a whole new world of possibilities. Matt ended up making tables for a living.
Blogging makes the most sense when you have a unique idea where you can help others with something real. Don’t just go starting another self-help blog.
What are the issues with trying to blog for money?
- It could take a while to see results.
- There’s plenty of competition.
- There are too many systems.
- Most new bloggers give up because it actually takes work.
How do you make it work?
You have to commit to this. You need a unique idea because every blog idea has been covered. You then have to figure out how you’re going to make money (selling products, promoting products, selling ad space, writing books, consulting, etc).
Long story short: you’re going to have to put some work in here. It could end up being the best thing that you ever do.
Which of these side hustles should you focus on?
The easiest = Flipping stuff.
You don’t actually need to own anything or have any skills. You have to look out for deals. You then have to find a buyer for your goods.
The toughest = Blogging.
It could take you up to a year to even make a few bucks from blogging. This one is definitely a long game. You won’t see a profit on the same day like you would from driving for Uber or trying to flip something from a garage sale.
The most rewarding = Blogging.
Blogging can allow you to quit your job one day. There are limits with driving people around and trying to sell some art that you found in the trash.
It really depends on how much free time you’re willing to dedicate to this.
I can’t run the numbers for you.
I don’t know what your skills are or how valuable your free time is.
If you just scroll through social media like me or play video games on the weekends, then why not try to make some more money?
Here are a few questions to think about:
- How much free time are you willing to commit to making more money?
- How badly do you need the extra money?
- Can you wait to make some money or do you need the cash right away?
As I make more money, my time becomes more valuable. At 16, I was happy to work for $6.40/hour (blogging pays less sometimes). I try to think about how much effort the extra money requires and how much it could do for me.
If you need to make money because you hate your job or are drowning in debt then you need try one of these popular sources for making extra money right away. You could even want some more money for that next trip or to order a round of drinks for everyone. It’s always worth trying to make more money.