October “Hustle & Save” Monthly Financial Summary

I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about tools, tricks, hacks and gigs to save money, make money and grow money. I decided that it was time to put my money where my mouth is and update you guys with a monthly financial summary showing how this is going for me each month. 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. Let’s kick it off with the October Hustle & Save Summary:


SummaryOctober 2017
Garage Sale$290.55
Amazon Marketplace$31.33
Receipt Hog$5.00
Amazon Mturk$4.10
Lending Club$80.19
Items Removed456

Monthly Earnings

  • Airbnb Earnings: $1,324.00
    • Our guest house was booked 21 days in October, with an average nightly payout of just over $63.00. This was a pretty strong month, with a lot of people visiting our part of the country this time of year.
  • Turo Earnings: $410.25
    • I rented my car out for a total of 8 days in October, for an average of $51.28 per day. This average was a bit higher than normal as one of the renters ended up driving well over the allotted mileage and paying an additional overage fee. Cost-wise, this was fine with me as the car is leased and I am well under my mileage for the year.
  • Garage Sale: $290.55
    • My wife and I decided to have a garage sale with the goal of clearing some items out of our house. We held it all day Saturday and for about two hours on Sunday morning. We priced everything extremely low just to get rid of things and ended up netting $290.55. It was nice to clear out some excess items from our house, but the jury is still out on if having a garage sale is worthwhile. After all of the preparation and holding the actual garage sale itself, my wife and I ended up making about $10 per hour. We may have been better off donating our excess items, taking the tax credit and enjoying our weekend, but it was still nice to pocket some extra cash and clear out our house.
  • Postmates Earnings: $8.54
    • This was my first month as a registered Postmates driver. I only performed one delivery due to having very little extra time. I ended up delivering Chipotle when I was planning to go there for lunch anyway. I got to Chipotle, placed my order, picked up the food for the Postmates user, delivered it, then went home and enjoyed my burrito bowl. I plan on driving a bit more for Postmates in November and December, so stay tuned for another post on my experience.
  • Receipt Hog Payout: $5.00
    • I snap photos of all of my receipts right after receiving them and upload them to Receipt Hog. This typically earns me about $5.00 per month in gift cards.
  • Swagbucks Payout: $25.00
    • In October, I earned 2,500 “Swagbucks” by watching videos and taking surveys. I typically have videos playing in the background on my laptop while I’m browsing the web or writing blog posts. I also took about 20 surveys while watching TV around the house or waiting/standing in line somewhere. Swagbucks probably won’t make anyone rich this way, but for a largely passive activity, I can’t complain about a $25 Paypal deposit each month.
  • Amazon Marketplace Earnings: $31.33
    • When clearing out the garage, I found a few books that I listed on Amazon Marketplace. This was mostly a one-time activity, but a good channel for getting rid of like-new items that still have some value.
  • Amazon MTurk Earnings: $4.10
    • Another activity that I typically do while watching TV or lounging around the house, filling out surveys or entering receipts on Amazon Mechanical Turk paid me just over $4 this month. This is definitely not a high-yielding channel when you look at hourly rate, but I use it as a way of turning my brain off and multi-tasking when relaxing to make a few bucks each month.
  • Foap Payout: $5.00
    • I uploaded a bunch of photos from my iPhone a couple of months ago to see what Foap was all about. I ended up selling one photo this month and receiving a $5 transfer to my Paypal account. Pretty neap app and a cool side gig, but I’m not sure if anyone really has potential to make much money this way.
  • Total:$2,103.77

Automated Saving/Investing

      • Acorns: $63.55 invested
        • Acorns kept plugging along this month, “rounding up” my checking and credit card accounts and stashing away $63.55 in a brokerage account without any thought or effort from me. The account earned an additional $0.95 on top of the deposits this month. Nothing to write home about, but it’s still an easy way for me to save money.
      • Digit: $282.55 saved
        • Digit used its automated savings algorithm to save me $282.55 out of my account this month, bringing my Digit account total up to $2,388.00. I plan on transferring that money soon to an account like Wealthfront or Lending Club that will provide a return as opposed to just sitting there, but I like Digit as a tool for moving my extra dollars out of my checking account.
      • Lending Club: $80.19 increase in value
        • Lending Club is a bit tricky to understand earnings since nearly all of the money that I have in that account is tied up in active loans, but the account grew in total account value by $80.19 in October.
      • Wealthfront: $9.78 decrease in value
        • This is a reflection of the investments going down for the month. I currently only have my original $500 investment sitting in Wealthfront (value at the end of October: $512.86), but plan to boost that in the next couple of months with experiments and a transfer from Digit.
      • Total Automated Savings Growth: $416.51

Experiment Results

  • 2,000 Item Minimalist Challenge
    • In the 10th month of the quest to remove 2,000 items from our house this year, my wife and I removed 456 items to bring the annual total up to 914. Obviously, we have some work to do if we are going to get to the 2k mark. However, it is very nice to be able to say that we now have over 900 fewer items inside our home and we have not yet missed a single one of them.

Overall, I would say that October was a very successful month, with a $416.51 increase in savings and $2,103.77 brought in from side gigs. With the holidays coming up, the plan is to hustle hard and see if I can increase month-over-month to offset any gift and travel expenses. Let me know in the comments if you have any wisdom for me!

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