side hustle tips

10 Ways You Can Increase Monthly Income by Several Hundred Dollars

Almost everyone could use a few hundred dollars more per month to pay bills, save for vacation or to stash away for a special purchase. If you already have a job, most income increase options will require time beyond your regular work hours. However, there are a variety of enjoyable options to achieve a little extra cash and which require little upfront investment.

1.         Be a pet sitter or walk the dog.

If you are a pet lover, this is a fun and easy way to earn $35-50 a day. Pet owners going on vacation often need responsible adults to watch their cats, dogs and other family pets. Kennels charge $25-35 a day to board animals plus extra costs for playtime, food, giving meds, walking the pet and more. The growing trend is to leave animals in their familiar surroundings at home and a have a paid pet care provider visit the animal once or twice a day to provide personalized service and attention. This also allows the home to appear inhabited while owners are away. Pet sitting and dog walking jobs can be found on internet job sites such as Indeed and Glassdoor, or you can market your services in nearby neighborhoods.

2.         Become a part-time nanny.

If you enjoy children and have experience with them, there are many opportunities to spend a few hours helping a busy parent. Even work-at-home parents often need extra help to watch the kids early morning or after school. A typical morning nanny job may involve working three days a week from 5 a.m.-9 p.m. with responsibilities to get the kids up for school, make breakfast, help make lunches and ensure they get to the bus stop on time. Night nannies and after-school supervisors are also frequently sought after.

3.         Sell household goods on eBay.

Most people don’t even realize they are sitting on a small treasure chest of unused or unneeded household goods. Gather things you no longer need, such as books, records, DVDs, clothing, kitchen items, old toys and games. Take digital photos with your phone and list the items for sale in eBay. Small volume sellers can list for free. Boxes and packing supplies can often be found for free or low cost on Craigslist.

After you develop a system, offer to sell items for relatives and friends for a percentage of the final cost. If you have a little up-front cash, scour thrift stores and yard sales for items you can turnover for a quick profit. It’s often very easy to obtain a return four to six times greater than you paid for the item.

4.         Sell artwork and craft items on Etsy.

If your hobbies tend toward arts and crafts, list your items for sale on Etsy, a site similar to eBay but which focuses primarily on handmade and vintage items. This popular site is like selling at a neighborhood craft fair, but the neighborhood here is the whole world. If you love to knit, embroider, crochet, quilt, make clothes or small toys, Etsy is a great outlet with low listing fees.

5.         Drive for Uber and Lyft or become a courier.

If you have a newer vehicle and a good driving record, this is a great way to earn a few bucks on your own schedule. Uber and Lyft are always looking for drivers, especially for the busier evening and weekend runs. If you prefer not to carry passengers, there are dozens of job opportunities to deliver food, merchandise, groceries, medical supplies, newspapers and more. Search job websites using the term “driver” and you will discover that they are in high demand.

6.         Tutor a student or an adult.

You don’t need special teaching credentials to help someone else learn. Parents frequently seek tutors to help a child with math, science, music, reading, writing and other subjects. If you speak a foreign language, you will find opportunities to help an adult learn English as a second language. Seniors may need someone to teach them basic computer skills to send e-mail or use the internet. If you play an instrument, consider music instruction for aspiring musicians of all ages. You can tutor a few hours a week or more depending on how many students you want to take on. Schedules can be as flexible as needed.  Tutoring can often be done online making this even more convenient for all involved.

7.         Use your skills to start a freelance business.

If you have skills in writing, illustrating, graphic or website design, cooking, computer programming, personal training or other areas, then put those talents to work. Create a simple website, write an introductory letter and print up business cards on the home computer. Before long you are ready to go into business doing something you really enjoy. You can charge by the hour or the project. Find job opportunities on Craigslist and employment websites or market your services via websites such as Fiverr. Eventually your part-time effort may develop into an enjoyable full-time vocation.

8.         Take paid online surveys.

If you love sharing your opinion and, even better, getting paid for it, this is a perfect side gig. Sites such as Survey Junkie and Vindale Research will pay you via Paypal or with e-gift cards for completing surveys in your areas of interest. A website called Inbox Dollars will pay you to watch videos, play games and read e-mail in addition to taking surveys, and you’ll get a $5 bonus just for signing up. Activities can be completed anytime, so you just work them around your schedule.

9.         Conduct Marriages.

While state laws may vary as to who can perform a marriage ceremony, almost all allow an ordained minister to do so. You can become a legally ordained non-denominational minister online in a matter of minutes and at very little cost. This often allows a favorite family member to conduct a ceremony, but there is no reason to limit this to family. Market your services as a marriage officiant via Craigslist and offer low cost, simple ceremonies. You can conduct the ceremony in your home or at a location of the happy couple’s choosing. Make your service convenient and friendly and you will quickly attract customers. You can easily make $75-100 for a simple ceremony and more if a rehearsal is involved. This is a job where everyone walks away happy.

10.       Ask for a raise at work.

This is the one option that will probably not add to your work hours as the previous items will do. Before you go into the boss’s office to pop the question, outline a plan in your mind. Have a valid reason to ask. If it has been a long time since your last pay bump or you just completed a particularly involved task with good success, point that out. If you have been putting in extra hours to get the job done or receiving great reviews from customers, now may be the time to cash in on those efforts. The worst that can happen is the boss will say no. At least it will put the boss on notice you are looking for more which may help you ultimately achieve that raise sooner than later.

The ability to increase income is limited only by your time availability and creativity. Visit a well-known job website and do a random search on topics mentioned in this article. You may be surprised at the variety of interesting opportunities out there.


Rover vs. Wag!

Rover vs. Wag!: Pros & Cons of Working for Each Service

If you love dogs and you’ve got experience dog walking or pet sitting, then working on Rover or Wag! as a side gig is a great way to make some extra cash. Though both apps are similar in the services they offer and how they operate, there are some nuances you’ll need to get to know before you choose which service is right for you.

Working for Rover

Founded in 2011, Rover has become one of the largest networks of quality pet sitters in the United States. The company currently operates in over 14,000 cities and has more than 200,000 vetted pet sitters working on the app.

Rover aims to provide the best in pet care and accepts less than 20% of applicants, all of which have to pass background or identity checks before they begin as a Rover sitter.

In addition to both scheduled and on demand dog walking services, Rover also offers dog boarding, pet sitting, doggy day care, drop-in visits, and house sitting services.

Pet owners use the site to search through dog sitter profiles to find the right sitter in their area. Each profile gives some information about who the sitter is and their dog sitting preferences as well as reviews from former clients.

Pros and Cons

There are a few benefits that Rover has over Wag! for sitters. For one, you have the ability to set your own rates. That means you have control over your income potential. Whether you want to set your rates lower than average to get an initial client base built up or set higher rates to maximize income, this is entirely under your control.

rover vs wag sitter


Another pro of working as a Rover sitter is that the platform is designed to promote repeat business. Instead of constantly searching for new clients, you can easily rebook with past clients with the click of the button. This makes it easy to build a sustainable side gig income source, as you can set up a regular walk schedule or make yourself available to clients who go out of town often.

One downside to Rover is that their on demand walking service is rather new. For this reason, you may find it difficult to get a high volume of on demand walks, which can really help boost your income when you don’t have as many scheduled walks, boarding, and sitting clients.

How to Get Started

To get started on Rover, you create a profile that helps showcase information about you that pet owners want to know. This profile includes details like your experience and background with animals as well as your preferences for dog sitting and walking. For instance, if you are open to caring for dogs of any size, but only want to board smaller dogs, you can make these preferences known in your profile.

You will also create your schedule and set your pay rates. If you can’t work on Tuesdays or only want to take dog boarding customers on the weekends, you can set these preferences on your calendar so that pet owners will know if you’re available. Once your profile is approved, you can start accepting requests from owners in the area. Payment is available for withdrawal to your PayPal account two days after you’ve completed the service.

Working for Wag!

Wag! co-founder, Joshua Viner, started the company because he wanted to make it easy and convenient for busy people like him to care for their pets while they are away. The app first started as an Uber for dog walking, through which pet owners could find nearby walkers and walkers could accept jobs when they wanted to. This on demand service made it easy for pet owners to not only schedule walks ahead of time but also find a walker at the last minute if necessary.

Today, the app offers additional services including dog sitting and dog boarding so that pet owners can make sure their pets are cared for when they’re away for longer periods of time.

Wag! services are available in many cities across the United States, allowing owners to search for the right sitter using their database. And like most side gig apps, it allows you to be your own boss and work as much or as little as you want, whenever your schedule allows.

Pros and Cons

One of the major pros of working with Wag! is that you are able to accept on demand dog walks. Though Rover has recently added their RoverGo service, which also provides on demand services, it’s relatively new and most pet owners are already familiar with Wag! as an on demand provider. This means that if you use Rover instead of Wag!, you will not have as many options to take on demand walks during flexible times.

Wag! dog walker


Another benefit is that Wag! provides owners with the option to add a tip right in the app, while Rover does not. Though customers can always tip you in cash, many owners are not present when you walk their dogs, so they will be much more inclined to tip you if the option is available conveniently within the app.

That being said, Wag! also has some major cons that might be a deal-breaker for prospective pet sitters and walkers. For one, Wag! sets your rates for you, so you have less control over your income potential. Wag! also takes a 40% commission rate (as opposed to Rover’s 20%), which means your monthly income will be lower for the same amount of work.

With Wag! it’s also harder to get repeat business. When owners use the on demand walking feature, they are not able to communicate with those who have walked their dogs before to see when they may be free. Though they have the option to send the walk request to walkers they have worked with before, there is no guarantee you would get the walk over another Wag! walker.

How to Get Started

Getting started with Wag! is easy. Anyone who is at least 18-years-old, legally allowed to work in the U.S., and physically about to walk for at least 20 minutes can apply. First, you fill out an application with some basic details about yourself. On the application, you will be asked about your experience walking and watching dogs. You will also be asked to complete a quiz on dog care and safety. This helps Wag! determine whether or not you will be a good fit for the job.

After you’ve filled out the application and taken the quiz, you’ll be asked to complete a collar and harness test to show you understand the different types of dog collars and harnesses. You’ll also need to complete a situational assessment where you will prove you can handle different unpredictable situations involving dogs. These assessments help show Wag! that you have experience when it comes to handling dogs and you can be responsible and professional about caring for pets.

Why Not Try Both?

While there are pros and cons to working for each service, there’s also no stipulation that says you can’t work for both. Using both Wag! and Rover to find dog walking and pet sitting gigs allows you to open yourself up to new opportunities as most pet owners in your city will be using one app or the other. So if you’re serious about making some extra cash watching and walking dogs, then you may want to use both apps to maximize your opportunities.


Join Wag!


Join Rover


Wag Report Card

How Does Wag! Work – Getting Started Guide

Wag! is a popular on demand dog walking app that pairs dog walkers with local pet owners who need care for their dogs.

Known to some as “the Uber of dog walking,” Wag! makes it quick and convenient for dog owners to find walkers when and where they need them. While Wag! provides similar services to competitors like Rover, it does have some distinct features and benefits for those who work as walkers on its app.

How Wag! Works

The Wag! app makes it easy for dog owners across the United States to get the pet care they need at any time of the day, while providing dog walkers with the opportunity to work a flexible schedule doing something they love. Below, we’ll discuss how the app works for both dog owners and dog walkers.

Wag! for Dog Owners

Using the Wag! app, dog owners can request a dog walker as soon as possible. The app then notifies the owner when the walker has confirmed their availability. Most walks are fulfilled within 30 minutes of the request.

Wag! offers three different types of walks – ASAP, one-time, and recurring. ASAP is for pet owners who need an on-demand walk as soon as possible. One-time is for pet owners that would like to request a walk in the future at a specific time. Recurring walks are for owners who want to set up a recurring schedule with a walker on a weekly basis.

When pet owners use Wag!, they receive a free lockbox so the owner can provide access to their house key for the walker when they are not home. The dog owner can leave instructions for the walker on the app on how to access the key. Owners can also leave notes or instructions for the walker about their dog’s needs and tendencies. The cost for walks is determined based on location and walk length, but in general, a 30-minute walk on Wag! costs pet owners $20.

During the dog walk, pet owners can follow along on the app with GPS tracking, receiving notifications when the dog goes to the bathroom.

When the walk is complete, the owner will then receive a report that includes a photo and the dog walker’s notes from the walk as well as confirmation that the home has been locked. The owner can then leave a tip for the walker as well as a review.


Though dog walking is the most popular service offered by Wag!, the company also provides dog sitting and dog boarding services. Dog owners use the app or the website to find a sitter in their neighborhood who is available during the dates over which they need care for their pet. The owner arranges a meet and greet so they can make sure it’s a good fit. If that goes well, the owner can then book a dog sitting or boarding service with the sitter. During their service visit, the pet sitter will provide daily photos and video updates for the owner.

Interested in Wag?

Be sure to check out the Wag! FAQ.


Wag! for Dog Walkers

Wag! allows dog walkers to make their own schedule, walking as little or as much as they’d like, making it a great side gig option for those who want to make a little cash in their spare time. The app offers a flat rate for walks, so walkers don’t have to negotiate pricing with dog owners. However, as an independent contractor, those working for Wag! will need to manage their own taxes each year.

Using the Wag! app, dog walkers can connect with pet owners in their area that need on-demand walks. On the Wag! walker app, dog walkers will be able to view all of the available walk requests in their local area. The request states what time the walk is requested, how long it is, how far away it is, and the type of dog. Walkers can then choose which walks they would like to take on with the option to serve one-time walks, recurring walks, or both.

Walkers should arrive at the owner’s home on time and prepared in comfortable clothes and walking shoes. Wag! recommends that walkers also bring poop bags just in case the owner has forgotten to provide them. Dog walkers can use different app features to provide the best possible walk experience for owners. This includes live pee and poop notifications as well as the option to include video and/or photos during the walk.

After the walk is complete, the walker will fill out a detailed report card with notes on how the walk went. Dog owners will have the option to tip the walker and leave a review after the walk is complete. Using these features to let the owner know how the walk went is important, especially because in most cases the owner may never meet the walker face-to-face. Dog walkers also have the option to contact owners through the app during the walk in case they have any questions.

Walkers are paid for their services through Payable, an online payment platform. This system is connected to the walker’s bank account through the Wag! walker app. Payments are automatically deposited into the bank account each week for completed walks.

How to Sign Up

Getting started as a walker with Wag! is simple. Wag! requires its walkers to be at least 18 years old, legally allowed to work in the United States, and physically able to walk for at least 20 minutes. Given the nature of the business, Wag! encourages those who have experience walking dogs, are dog owners themselves and are responsible, professional, and trustworthy to apply.

Application Process

Wag! developed its application process to ensure that those who become walkers are a good fit for the position. The application begins with an opportunity for the applicant to tell Wag! about their experience with dogs, including any former dog walking or pet sitting experience. Then, the applicant will be asked to take a quiz on dog care and safety.

Once you’ve taken the quiz and provided some background information on your experience, you’ll need to take a collar and harness test. This assessment tests applicants on their knowledge of different types of dog collars and harnesses that they may encounter in their Wag! walks as well as proper walking techniques. After this test is a situational assessment, which tests the applicant’s ability to handle varied and unpredictable situations involving dogs such as recognizing and dealing with aggression.

After you’ve completed the required assessments, you’ll fill in your information to complete a background check, which costs $25. Then, it’s time to set up your Wag! profile. You’ll want to upload a clear and professional photo and write a short bio. The bio should contain basic information about yourself that will help dog owners get to know you and see that you’re trustworthy.

Earning Potential

With Wag!, there is a set price for each walk, which means you don’t get to set your own rates. The owner is charged a bit more, and a percentage (about 40%) of the fee goes back to Wag!. Here is the breakdown of earnings that dog walkers get for each walk on Wag!:

  • $9 for a 20-minute walk
  • $12 for a 30-minute walk
  • $18 for a 60-minute walk

In addition to this flat rate, you also get to keep 100% of the tips that you earn. Your total earning potential will depend on how many walks you give each day and how much you earn in tips. Though there is no way for owners to request a specific walker, they can add you to their favorites list so that you will get a notification when their dog needs another walk. Building up repeat clients is a great way to maximize your earning potential.

Wag! also offers referral bonuses for walkers who refer new customers to the app. When you sign up for Wag!, you’ll be given a referral code. For each new customer that signs up to use Wag! with your referral code, you earn $25. The customer who uses your referral code will also get $20 toward their first walk.

Does walking dogs sound like the perfect side gig for you? Getting started with Wag! is easy and can be a great way to make some extra cash in your spare time.


Lime Rover Week In On Demand

Roving International, Lime Fires, Hyrecar Nabs Park – This Week In On Demand

This Week In On Demand – Nov. 2, 2018

It’s been another big week for the gig economy. From canine-themed acquisitions to rideshare subscription services, here’s what’s happening in on-demand industries this week.

Rover Acquires DogBuddy While Wag! Announces New Hires

The battle of the canines is in full swing. On Wednesday, Rover announced their purchase of DogBuddy, a U.K.-based dog-sitting service available in multiple markets throughout Europe.

It’s the first big purchase the dog-sitting company has made since their latest round of funding, which accumulated a $155 million investment total. The move also comes after Rover announced their expansion to the U.K. By purchasing DogBuddy, the company now has instant access to an already-successful European market.

While Rover expands its empire, their biggest competitor, Wag!, is expanding its team. The U.S.-based dog-walking company announced two new hires late last week.

Formally associated with Highfive, Twitter, and Yahoo!, Cilia Poon takes the role as chief financial officer. For general counsel, Wag! has brought in Craig Gatarz, who previously served as executive vice president at The Honest Company.

In combination with their latest $300 million investment round, these leadership moves are likely a signal of upcoming changes, possibly a service expansion, acquisition, or an IPO target date announcement.

Lime Hires Chief Business Officer, Announces Election Day Initiative, and Pulls Fire-Hazard Scooters

Lime announced early this week that it’s bringing David Richter on board as the company’s first chief business officer. Previously, Richter spent time at Uber as the global head of business and corporate development.

This strategic move comes as the scooter company moves toward broadening their offerings with car-sharing and retail store locations. Along with building an impressive corporate team, Lime is on the hunt for investors to reach a $3 billion funding goal for their upcoming endeavors.

On Tuesday, the company reported they had pulled an undisclosed number of scooters off the streets because of a potential battery-related fire hazard. All of the models were linked to manufacturer Segway Ninebot and only affected three markets — Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles, and San Diego. This statement came just minutes before the scooter company announced their Election Day initiative. Joining rideshare companies Uber and Lyft, Lime is offering free e-scooter, bikes, and e-bike rides on November 6th.

While the news of battery issues are concerning, it’s not likely to cause substantial impact to the Lime brand. The company’s most recent round of funding totaled $335 million, was led by Google Ventures, and valued the company at $1.1 billion.

That’s somewhat smaller than their main competitor Bird, which is valued at $2 billion. However, Lime’s last funding round included an investment and partnership with Uber, which saw Uber branding added to Lime scooters. Uber customers will also be able to rent a Lime scooter from the Uber app, at some point.

Uber Launches Monthly Subscription Service

Tuesday also brought the news of Uber’s latest incarnation of Ride Pass. The monthly subscription service offers riders access to flat-rate rides throughout the service area. Ranging from $14.99 to $24.99 per month, Ride Pass is currently only available in Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, and Orlando. However, it’s likely to expand rapidly over the next year, as they’ve been testing the service in various other markets for some time.

Uber Ride Pass
While the company has offered multiple versions of Ride Pass in the past, this variation of Ride Pass is a direct response to Lyft’s All-Access Plan. These launches serve not only to boost customer satisfaction and grow loyalty, but they’re also a strategic play to increase their valuations ahead of their 2019 IPOs. Both companies are making new announcements on nearly a weekly basis. Expect to see more product offering announcements, and new app features, before each of their market debuts. Lyft is aiming for a Q1 IPO, while Uber is shooting for Q3.

HyreCar Announces Chief Operating Officer

Wag! isn’t the only company making leadership announcements this week. On Tuesday, HyreCar appointed Henry Park to the role of chief operating officer. Previously the head of marketing and chief operating officer at SearchForce, Park also worked at as an executive director of traffic acquisition.

HyreCar has had a tough year. The car-sharing company entered the public market in June, but it’s faced an uphill battle after a continuous drop in share prices. The move to bring Park onboard is one of a series of strategic moves to gain back the momentum lost in the last six months. The company also announced a partnership with Shift Technology last week. Such choices mean that HyreCar isn’t going down without a fight. In fact, we shouldn’t be surprised to witness more drastic evolutions and new partnership announcements over the coming months.

It’s been a whirlwind of a week in the on-demand sectors, but now you’re all caught up. Be sure to check back next week to catch the latest happenings affecting the gig economy.