Side hustle week continues here at Financial Uproar (where sexy times JUST DON’T QUIT). On Monday I looked at some side hustles you can totally do, and on Friday I’ll dig a little deeper into two I think are particularly attractive. And then I’ll grow tired of the subject and we won’t talk about it for the next 4.5 years.
For the most part, the side hustles I mentioned on Monday are things you can leverage into better things. If you’re a sports ref, you can leverage that into higher levels which pay more. If you’re a bartender, you might end up in charge of the other bartenders. The potential of blogging is pretty clear, and doing someone’s taxes could grow into giving them all sorts of financial advice for an hourly fee.
These next side hustles seem like good ideas, but in reality you’re just temporarily getting yourself a new job, and a crappy one at that. Don’t do them unless you’re desperate for cash. If you can, sell your body first.
1. Cashier at Wal-Mart
I think that more people should consider retail as a career. I’m convinced the sector has potential, but you gotta work hard at it. It probably doesn’t beat engineering, but it sure does beat a lot of other jobs that college dropouts have.
But let me tell you a little secret. Store managers secretly hate people who decide they’re going to work at a store on the evenings and weekends. Between an adult who is already working full-time and a high school student, most would take the high school student any day of the week.
After a few weeks or months of it, the ambitious adult isn’t so vigorous anymore. Suddenly they start calling in sick and asking to go home early. It’s not so much their fault, it’s just that they’ve bit off more than they can chew.
Plus, the pay is garbage. After a while, it’s hard to get motivated for 50¢ above minimum wage.
If you’re a mom who just had a kid and you’re looking to run a little business taking care of people’s kids while they’re at work, that’s one thing. It’s not really a scalable business, but it works. Plus, you can write off most of your housing expenses.
No, I’m talking about the traditional setup of going to the kid’s house and tucking him into bed at 9. Although I’m no one’s parent (at least until she makes me take the paternity test… I’ve said too much), there’s no way I’m hiring a 25-year old over a 13-year old. First off, the 25-year old is going to charge more. And secondly, I like the idea of giving some kid money for candy. A $2 tip is thrilling for a 13-year old. An adult is jaded enough to expect it.
3. A life coach
- In the top 1% of your field
- A millionaire
- Have more to offer than “inspiration”
You have no business giving people tips on how to be successful or live their lives. Even worse is trying to do it as a half-assed side hustle. I’m at the point where I want to pay a couple of life coaches I know an hourly rate to just shut the hell up. Work harder at making your own life successful, and then we’ll talk.
4. A beauty consultant
For some reason, every woman’s fantasy is to tell other people how to do their makeup or what clothes to wear. This leads to approximately 97% of women who either a) seriously contemplate starting a fashion blog or b) post outfit selfies on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.
I’m okay with the latter, because it amuses me how 97% of the women reading those updates are convinced the original woman can’t dress worth a crap, but will still leave supportive comments anyway. But the former? Nope. You’re not going to find anyone who gives you money for fashion tips.
It’s the same thing with working at the Gap. The only people looking for your opinion on clothes are guys who want to sleep with you. Have fun folding.
5. Making food in your house
It’s all fun and games when you and your BFFs are making cupcakes, but it all comes crashing down when your baking gives someone the runs and they call the health inspector. Hell, someone can call the health inspector just because you look at them wrong. Don’t give random soccer moms that power.
Oh, and spoiler alert: your cupcakes aren’t nearly as good as you think.
You know those muscles you haven’t discovered yet? Yeah, they’re gonna hurt in the morning.
Lots of people will hire guys off Kijiji when they need help moving, because they have friends that are smart enough to know free pizza isn’t nearly enough compensation for moving Bob’s 1,400 pound piano. But you’ll always be undercut by guys looking for beer money, and Bob is going to lose his mind if you put a nick in the wall of his new place.
7. Paper boy
You’re taking some 12-year old’s milk money and you have to get up early every day. I’d rather be poor. What a terrible job.
8. Collecting cans/cardboard/newspaper
Apparently not content to advise competing with children, side hustlers think you should lock horns with the homeless, the craziest members of society. In what world is this a good idea?
From The Simpsons, here’s recycling in a nutshell:
Principal Skinner: A half-ton of newspaper and all we get is 75 cents? That won’t even cover the gas I used to go to the store to buy the twine to tie up the bundles.
Hippie: It sounds like you’re working for your car-r-r. Simplify-y, ma-an!
9. Stupid jobs online for pennies
Yeah, pretty sure you’re not getting rich exchanging minutes of your time for 15¢. There’s a whole world of opportunity online. There’s also a lot of crap and a lot of people who get away with paying wages that would make a sweatshop owner in Cambodia blush. I don’t care how easy the job is, you’re better off holding out for something that takes a little skill.
10. Lemonade stand
Why don’t you just kick a 6-year old in the junk and take his money instead?