I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about tools, tricks, hacks and gigs to save money, make money and grow money. To show exactly how this is working out for me, I decided to let you in on the details of my side hustling, saving and investing. In the first week of each month, I will publish my “Hustle and Save Summary” detailing how much money my wife and I brought in with side gigs, how much money we saved and grew using tools like Acorns and Lending Club and finally, how each of my weekly and yearly experiments are going. Here is the November Hustle & Save Summary:

Earnings from Side Hustles

Side Gig Earnings November 2017
Airbnb $1,409.00
Turo $781.12
Items sold from garage $100.00
Postmates $51.62
Lyft $39.48
Swagbucks $25.00
Amazon Mturk $6.31
Foap $5.00
Total $2,417.53

 

Monthly Savings Summary

Automated Savings November 2017
Transfer to Brokerage Account $2,000.00
Digit $499.16
Lending Club $113.00
RobinHood $100.00
Acorns $59.75
Wealthfront $4.52
Qapital  $1.01
Total $2,777.44
Items Removed 71

Monthly Earnings

  • Airbnb Earnings: $1,409.00
    • Our guest house was booked 20 days in November, with an average nightly payout of just over $70.45. This was especially positive for us, given that we were out of town a lot and had to pass on a few nights because
  • Turo Earnings: $781.12
    • I rented my car out for a total of 10 days in October, for an average of $78.11 per day. This worked out perfectly as I was out of town for a total of 12 days and actually had my car rented for 9 of those days, so the impact of not having a car was very minimal and the rate that I got back in return through Turo was very solid.
  • Items sold from garage: $100.00
    • This was my first experience using OfferUp. I had some bike wheels in my garage from my old triathlon bike (which was previously stolen out of my garage) that have been sitting against the wall for nearly two years. I listed them on OfferUp and sold them four days later. With about a 25 minute transaction, I was able to clear some space in the garage and earn a Franklin.
  • Postmates Earnings: $51.62
    • Between travel and sickness, I was only able to squeeze in one Postmates driving session this month, but it turned out to be a fairly decent use of my time. I found myself on a weekend afternoon with nothing to do, so I went out and drove for 2 hours and earned $51.62 on six deliveries.
  • Lyft Driving: $39.48
    • I drove Lyft for a couple rides on my way into work in the morning and tallied a few bucks in the process. I am still getting used to the process of driving Lyft as I have traditionally driven for Uber more, but I’m starting to like the app better, even though the volume is much lower.
  • Swagbucks: $25.00
    • I continued to use Swagbucks to take surveys and watch videos this month. I never truly dedicated time to Swagbucks, as I typically play videos in the background on my computer or leave my phone running with videos when connected to wifi. I also take a survey every few days when waiting somewhere or watching TV.
  • Amazon MTurk Earnings: $6.31
    • This is more of a boredom killer than anything for me. If I’m sitting around the house or need to take my mind off of something before going to bed, I’ll open up Mturk and complete a few “human intelligence tasks,” or “HITs.” I don’t see this as something that I’ll ever spend a lot more time on, but it pays the price of a burrito for a few minutes of time.
  • Foap Payout: $5.00
    • Used the Foap app to sell a photo for money again this month. I’ll keep uploading every once in a while, but it’s always a little fun to get a notification that someone has purchased one of my photos, even if it is only $5.
  • Total:$2,417.53

Automated Saving/Investing

  • Brokerage Account: $2,000 invested
    • The biggest transfer this month was moving some savings into my brokerage account and investing that in a Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund. This is my workhorse in terms of investing because it is low effort and does a pretty good job of mirroring general stock market returns.
  • Digit: $499.16
    • I still rely on the Digit automatic savings algorithm as my main way of separating money that I can then transfer to my brokerage account or some of my more experimental channels. Since there is really no return on my investment associated with Digit, I use it to take the guesswork out of saving, then move it when the account gets big enough.
  • Lending Club: $113.00
    • This increase in my Lending Club account was based on an automated transfer of $25.00 each week and an additional increase in account value of $13.00 for the month based on interest paid and expected future interest.
  • RobinHood: $100.00
    • I learned about RobinHood about halfway through the month and signed up as an experiment. I opened up my RobinHood account with $100.00 and invested it the next day. We’ll see how this one does in the future, but it’s definitely at an exploratory state for now.
  • Acorns: $59.75
    • Another fun, simple saving tool kept cranking along in November. The $1 per month fee is probably more than I need to be paying, but the ability to save and invest without thinking about it is worth more than $1 of my time, so I’ll stick with Acorns for the foreseeable future.
  • Wealthfront: $4.52
    • This is still based on my original $500.00 investment growing a bit this month. I have chosen not to contribute to Wealthfront over the past couple of months, but will likely move some of my Digit funds over there at some point soon.
  • Qapital: $1.01
  • Another automated saving tool that I learned about this month and set up. I created it late in the month, so it only took a couple of “round-ups” but I’ll see how I like it over the next couple of months and write a review. I am interested to see how it compares to Acorns in terms of experience and results.
  • Total Investment Growth: $2,777.44

Experiment Results

  • 2,000 Item Minimalist Challenge
    • In the 11th month of the quest to remove 2,000 items from our house this year, my wife and I removed only 71 items to bring the annual total up to 979. The 2,000 item goal is looking tougher and tougher to reach this year, but we can easily ensure that we get over the 1k mark. After the new year, you’ll see a full summary of the experience of removing over 1,000 items from the house, but I’m still hoping to push that number higher before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Overall, November was a very solid month, even with two weeks of sickness and two trips out of town. Obviously, this limited the amount that we were able to bring in from “hourly rate” side gigs like Uber, Lyft, Postmates and Amazon Flex, but Turo and Airbnb filled in as the money makers to keep us moving along. With some holiday gift spending and vacation coming our way, we’ll see if we can close the year out strong.