Have you heard of side hustles or gigs?? In this day and age of rapidly expanding technology, the gig economy is the fastest growing job segment.
Basically, these are different ways to make some extra money or make a part time living with many of these opportunities being short term job opportunities. You are basically working for yourself with the freedom to do what you want, when you want. The list of these contract or freelance type opportunities are endless! It could be anything from web developer, translator, social media host to on demand jobs like UBER driver, personal shopper, auto inspector, virtual test juror, mystery shopper to app based activities.
As we get closer and closer to taking this show on the road, I started to think about how we could make additional side money to fund this journey. In fact, I started thinking about this before I even retired from my full time job last June. That is when I stumbled on the intriguing idea of side hustles. I cannot tell you how exciting and flexible I have found gig jobs to be! You could certainly make a full time job of this, but I am looking to just do this part time. We also want to explore some of the "traditional" type of full time RV'er work camping jobs and these side hustles will allow us to do both! So for those family and friends who are not full time RV'ers, you will find that you too can benefit from this article.
In this post I am going to focus on those that I have personally done or researched at length and plan to do. If I did not narrow it down, this post could turn into a book! I am going to group these into categories: on demand jobs, mystery shopping, app based activities.
On Demand Jobs
The picture above only captures a small portion of what is available out there for on demand jobs and they are growing by the day. Below are some that I have personally signed up for.
SHIPT This is the one that started it all for me. On Demand Grocery Delivery. I cannot tell you how much I love this and how wonderful this company is! SHIPT is all over the US, partnering with many different grocery stores and now is expanding into Target stores, Costco and liquor stores. SHIPT was recently acquired by Target which will allow them to scale quicker and allow Target to get into the delivery service to compete with Walmart and Amazon. As a shopper, I make my own schedule, down to the hour, and can take off for any amount of time without having to get it ok'd by the boss. Awesome, huh? Plus, this gig is totally portable since SHIPT is all over the US. As we travel to new locations, I can go into the app and change my metro location and start shopping. It is just that easy! As a shopper, I go into the app and put myself on the schedule for any amount of time I want that day, by hour increments. Shoppers then place orders online and choose a time to have their groceries delivered. You shop the order with the app and check out with a SHIPT funded credit card and then deliver the order to the customer. For those looking for a job that will offer those feel good moments and a sense of helping the community, imagine delivering to an elderly, wheelchair bound customer, who is unable to shop for themselves or a new mom with a colicky baby who ran out of diapers and you come in to save the day. Pretty cool! The pay for this can be pretty good as tips are appreciated and accepted in cash or on the app. It is not unheard of to make up to $25 an hour, but know that it is on demand, so it is dependent on customer demand as are most all of these jobs. For more information, follow this link. Also, you can enter my referral code (referral code: 33323) on the application and I will get a couple bucks. Appreciate it!! If you do decide to sign up to be a shopper, you also are a customer and get deliveries yourself without paying the annual fee. However, if you think this would be a great option for you to get your groceries delivered, follow this link and you will get a discount on your first order.
WE GO LOOK This and the next gig are two that are on demand "Lookers" if you will. Think of it as someone, such as an insurance company or potential buyer, wanting to see a vehicle or property. They would contact one of these third party companies and they would dispatch one of their Lookers to go out and take app based pictures. The app is so easy that it is hard to screw it up. You can accept or decline the requests as your schedule dictates. You can also change your location so they keep up with your travels. You are paid via direct deposit in a couple weeks. Check it out here.
ONSOURCE This is another "Looker" type gig. Similar to We Go Look, you use an app to capture pictures. You also get paid via Direct Deposit. Check it out here.
The differences between these two? I would say I get more offers through We Go Look and they are pushed out via an app alert whereas Onsource calls you. Onsource pays a bit better and the pay is usually in my account in a week, where We Go Look is there in about 2 weeks.
Roadie This is a delivery service and could be local or if you are traveling, you can make some money taking something along and delivering to another city or state.
Postmates Their Fleet app lets you deliver food delivery from restaurants and stores.
Shiftgig This app is more of a way to find some short term work such as picking up a catering shift or working at a special event like a concert. Once you sign up, you are able to search the app for available gigs.
TaskRabbit This is an app that allows you to search for tasks. Things like, moving furniture for someone, yard work, personal assistant or helping with other projects.
Mystery Shops/App based company & product reviews
Mystery shopper/app based review type gigs are unbelievably abundant! This includes observing everything and anything. It could be anything from making a call to a university to review their customer service capabilities to reviewing the cleanliness and customer service of a restaurant, oil change shop or Walmart to conducting a mystery shop on apartment sales staff or window sales people. The great thing about these are that you are reimbursed for purchases or services. For instance, I rated a carpet cleaning business and got paid for my review and received $225 worth of free carpet cleaning. I also have received many free meals for rating restaurants service and cleanliness. I have done movie trailer checks to record movie goers response to the trailers shown before a movie. I also got paid for putting coupons on spaghetti jars and taking a picture of my work, which took me all of 10 minutes to do. Plus you choose which ones you want to do, when you want to do them. One word of caution, you must follow directions for each shop. You will be financially penalized or even perhaps not paid for a shop if you do not follow directions. It happened to me once and that is all it took! Newbie mistake! I now make sure to read the directions very carefully and make sure I get all the requirements.
Here is a list of those apps that I actively use with links for you to sign up for:
MarketSource There are two divisions of this company. One is the mystery shopper component and the movie theater component. You will need to sign up for each separately.
Presto InstaShops Some of these are quick ones were you take a couple pictures and you submit. They also have others that are more involved.
Secret Shopper This company has a variety of shops from evaluating YMCA tours to cable company customer service reviews. They list them by city or by map location.
IPSOS Mystery Shopping This group does alot of mystery shops for the postal service, which means you get reimbursed for sending packages and get paid. WIN!!
Gigwalk This is one of those apps you can check and do shops on the fly. Not alot of preparation necessary and you can pick these up and do them when you are out and about.
MaritzCX This company does alot of gas station audits. I have done several of these lately as they pay pretty good and once you get the flow down of what a brand (i.e. Mobil, Shell) is looking for, it gets pretty easy to get the evaluation done quickly.
Field Agent If you want to just get a feel for the review process with some quick shops, this is the one of the apps I would recommend to start with. They are on the fly gigs but do have a 2 hour completion time frame from the time from the time you accept the shop. If you shop Target and Walmart, this is the gig for you!
Survey.com This company offers a wide range of gigs such as standard mystery shops, merchandise resets, product demos, stock products or promotional displays. I am currently doing a gig for them where I stick some coupons on a product. This is another great one to earn some big money for some of these gigs!
iSecretShop This company has gigs anywhere from mystery phone shop, web evaluations, to checking out certain fitness programs, hardware store and restaurants.
EasyShift Just as the name suggests, this is another one that is a quick grab and go mystery shop app. Easy quick shops.
GigSpot This group has a wide variety of mystery shops. I have done several phone shops for them as well as an in home window replacement mystery shop. They have several groups underneath them that they organize mystery shops for so there is always a wide variety of gigs.
JobSpotter Finally, these last two are a bit different than the others. This gig is actually run by Indeed, the online job board. Everyone has seen local businesses hiring for help these days. This gig would be to take a picture of the help wanted sign and upload the picture on the app. This activity earns you wallet points to purchase gift cards.
eJury This is an interesting concept of having virtual jurors to prepare for trial. I am signed up but have yet to get a virtual assignment. It just goes to show, you could do just about anything virtually!
Again, these are the gigs that I personally signed up for. A couple reminders ... these are 1099 jobs so you do not get a W-2 for so if you plan on making a full time job out of these, you may want to look into the tax planning portion. You also need to make sure you pay attention to detail and instructions. Most all of these rate their shoppers and better ratings mean more shops!
These gigs are plentiful and completely flexible, so why not get started and dabble in some today! They are fun and fit any lifestyle! Who couldn't use a couple more bucks in their wallet!
Even though it is the dead of winter here in WI with more snow coming this weekend, we are busy starting to map out our local camping trips as well as the beginning of our full time RV journey.
We got together with the camping family a couple weekends ago and started mapping out our last camping trips together. A bit sad knowing we will most likely miss out on many of these awesome trips in the future, but excited because our house has wheels and we can meet up with them as schedules allow and perhaps get them to take some longer trips to visit us.
We are looking forward to our camping excursions this year. We mixed it up a bit on when we go places and some different ones as this year our (yet to be named) RV cannot fit into some of the old haunts. We are starting out early and looking forward to a crisp mid-April camp at Ottowa Lake in the Southern Kettle Moraine. We love this campground, and going in spring will allow us to get some hiking in without the bugs!
In May we are heading to one of our favorite County Parks- Astico, in Dodge County. This is where we took our new RV for its maiden voyage. Hopefully this time it will be a bit warmer and sunny.
June is when it starts to get busy! We have a trip to Harrington Beach State park planned for a little boondocking, non-electric camping with family and then we are off to Mill Creek COE park near Branson, MO for 10 days. We are set to meet up with Rick's old Army buddies from Germany for a mini-reunion there.
We then come back to WI, probably via a leisurely route, and camp with family again at Yellowstone State Park (in WI not out west). Then from there we head up to Door County (also in WI) for our first workamping experience from the middle of July to middle of August. This will be a great way to get our feet wet being camp hosts at one of the campgrounds (Welker's Point) in Peninsula State Park. We love Door County and everything there is to do. I am especially looking forward to taking the ferry over to Washington Island to see the lavender fields in bloom. Once we finish up our campground host duties, we will move over to the "quiet side" of Door County to spend a week recouping from a month of working (whew!!! LOL) and being tourists. Needless to say we will stock up on our favorite wines and cherry bitters for our old-fashioneds. When that week is up, we will head back to Peninsula Park-South Nicolet campground to spend time with family before we officially shove off on our grand journey!
Plans at this time are to hit the Grand Design Owners Rally in Elkhart, IN which is held at the fairgrounds because it is soo big! Looking forward to meeting other Grand Design RV owners, having any repairs or upgrades done to the RV and just having a great time meeting new RV friends.
From there the plans are still a bit jello, subject to change, but the overall goal is to head to FL to establish residency and enjoy the winter months with a definite stop over in NC to visit my dear friend, Vicki Richmond, :-) We might sign up for another workcamping stint on the way or in FL over the winter. We might stay at Wickham Park in Melbourne, FL for a bit; which would be nice around the holidays since I hear they have a cool light display. Watch out Catarozzoli sisters!! Perhaps we will visit the Disney Fort Wilderness Campground again. We had a great time there soo many years ago when we lived in GA. Would be great to go back! Then there is the Keys...oh, the Keys, can you say sandy beaches with a drink in hand while it snows in WI??? Ummm, yeah!!!!
So as you can see, we have some solid plans and then some that are in the planning stages. But with all this camping, we throw in some other activities, such as: listing and selling the house, selling most of our belongings, our youngest son's high school graduation, our oldest turns 21, Rick retires and getting the boys settled in their new digs. Yes these next 6 months are going to be very busy and literally fly by! We will provide updates of what I am sure will be quite a roller coaster ride!
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