As some of you know, my main side hustle is being a brand ambassador. It’s flexible, easy and pays fairly well. I had no work scheduled this past weekend, but I told myself I was going to make it happen somehow.  As soon as Friday night hit, I got two gigs confirmed for Saturday!  One I found on Craigslist and the other on Taskrabbit. Both were not Brand Ambassador gigs, but just as fun and easy!

The Craigslist gig was so easy and awesome! I worked an event called Urban Dare (have you heard of it?) that is sort of like a one-day Amazing Race. My only job was to sign people in and time-stamp their cards when they got back. It was stupidly easy and the guy paid for our lunches! I got to see people in crazy costumes, look at their clues for the scavenger hunt and generally just see some interesting things.

The second gig I got was from Taskrabbit and it was a Star Trek themed surprise birthday party for this woman’s husband. Essentially, I just made sure the food was out, things were clean and helped put everything away. Taking out garbage, cleaning, etc wasn’t so fun, but most of the gig was really easy—and I got free dinner and wine! Overall, I made an additional $180 in one day of work and got two free meals. The benefits are obvious, but I’d like to share why I love side-hustling!

It gets you out of your comfort zone

Meeting strangers from the Internet is still weird, but oddly thrilling, especially when things work out well.  Working a job that isn’t your “job” is like stepping into a different life, even just for a day or a few hours.

Meeting other people you wouldn’t normally meet

As we grow older, we usually hang out in circles that affirm our own interests, which can make it hard to meet new people who you can learn and grow from. I always make it a point to network and have fun when I am doing these gigs. I’ve met some great friends through gigs I’ve gotten off Craigslist. More over, I’ve gotten recurring gigs and referrals for more work.

Be a Fly on the Wall

Before this weekend, I had never heard of Urban Dare in my life. I don’t own a TV, so am only vaguely familiar with Amazing Race and Star Trek (sci-fi really isn’t my thing.) It was really fascinating to be in a new environment around people with different interests. I overheard different conversations, had a great time people watching (favorite hobby ever), and observed two activities I never get to take part in. Working in environments that get you out of your comfort zone, that allow you to quietly observe a situation is a great way to expand your knowledge and make yourself aware of other things going on in the world.

Pay off Debt

My #1 reason I love side-hustling? Paying off debt! (You didn’t see that coming, did you?) This month I’ve put 86% of my day job income towards my debt (or $1600). If I didn’t side-hustle there is no way I’d be able to do that. I only have a little money left over after paying that much, but side-hustle income helps me cover all my bills and still have a good time!  For the rest of the year and into 2014, my goal is to ramp up my side-hustle income while still having fun, hanging out with friends and being sane 🙂

What’s your favorite thing about side-hustling? What would you add the to the list?


Melanie is a freelance writer currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy, and empowering people to take control of their finances. She writes about breaking up with debt, freelancing, and side hustle adventures at

Currently she puts more than 50% of her income towards debt, while living a frugal, fun life. In addition to her love of personal finance, art and music, she is also a karaoke master. Follow the adventure @DearDebtBlog.

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21 responses to “Side-Hustling: Not just a hobby, but a lifestyle”

  1. Michelle says:

    Without side hustles, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to pay off my debt so quickly. That’s a huge plus!
    Michelle recently posted…Fall Finance Tip: Improve Yourself!My Profile

  2. anna says:

    I love your motivation for all of your side hustles – 80% of your normal income towards your debt is so amazing!! Did people dress like Trekkies at the party? 🙂 You’re doing an awesome job, M, so proud of you!! xo
    anna recently posted…Wedding Update – Love Me Some Food Tasting and Star Wars Cake ToppersMy Profile

  3. Without side hustles, I’d be completely freaking out over the lack of video work that is happening right now. It’s been a life saver this year!
    Budget and the Beach recently posted…Tiny ObstaclesMy Profile

  4. So far my only side hustle is my blog and that alone is a lifestyle change haha. Congrats on putting 86% of your income towards debt this month. You are killing it M!
    Girl Meets Debt recently posted…99 Days Left in 2013 to Achieve My Goals!My Profile

  5. I’ve done an amazing race before in the city. It was called city chase. The one thing I like about side-hustling is that it keeps me busy. I think I would be really bored if I didn’t have my part-time job.
    MakintheBacon recently posted…It’s a Party and You’re Invited (And Bring You Wallet)My Profile

  6. That’s freaking awesome! Way to work the side hustles :).

    I really need to break out of my comfort zone a bit. Virtual side hustling is no problem, but I think I’d be really shy as a brand ambassador.
    Erin @ My Alternate Life recently posted…Christmas is ComingMy Profile

  7. Isabella says:

    Wow! That is hardcore debt payment! I think your side hustles sound really fun, but I would be such a chicken!

  8. Wow, that is great work for one weekend! I’m really inspired by your side hustling!
    Hayley @ A Disease Called Debt recently posted…I will not give in: the cycle of debt has been broken!My Profile

  9. […] from Dear Debt talks about Side-Hustling: Not just a hobby, but a lifestyle. It’s becoming more and more of a lifestyle for me that’s for […]

  10. […] Debt motivated me with her post on Side-Hustling: Not just a hobby but a lifestyle. I love how she’s making some good cash on the side and I want to do the same! I keep […]

  11. This is great that you enjoy side hustling and find it so much fun! I know I will love teaching English which is my “potential” side hustle. Keep up the great work, $1600 towards debt in a month is no joke! Well done, lady!
    Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…3 Things I am not Willing to Give Up or Save Money OnMy Profile

  12. dojo says:

    I always tell people around me to find something they like to do and go for it. You might not get rich from these or not even get a proper ‘job’, but still the money and the experience you gain are worth it.
    dojo recently posted…How to Save Money: Start Your Christmas Shopping in TimeMy Profile

  13. hear, hear! I’m an advocate of side hustling! It keeps me up on my feet and I earn extra money to pay off debt and save for my emergency fund too! Side hustling can be a real life saver!
    Marissa@Thirtysixmonths recently posted…Why I Spent Twice My Budget on My CarMy Profile

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