May 2012: How I make extra money

by Erika Torres

Every month, I keep track of how much extra money I made through what I affectionately call “The Side Hustle.” I already met my 2012 goal by making $2,500 in side hustle income this year. I hope to double my goal, or make $5,000, by the end of the year.

The side hustle income has been earmarked for vacations. Most importantly, I’m looking forward to one day taking a honeymoon, even though we’ve been married two years! At this point, it’s more of a scheduling issue than a finance issue.

In January 2012, I made $515.41
In February 2012, I made $891.34
In March 2012, I made $636.26
In April 2012, I made $740.76
In May 2012, I made $1156.66

How I made extra money:

Blog advertising: $605.59
Staff writing for other blogs: $340
Mystery shopping: $205.49
Work Mileage: $92.5
Surveys: $6

TOTAL: $1249.58
Minus Mystery Shop Fees: $92.92
NET TOTAL: $ 1156.66

Again, simply astounded. I don’t know how a simple little hobby turned into such a lucrative side hustle. I’m not sure where to go from here. A part of me wants to cut back on some things, the other part of me wants to work even harder.

Some other options I’ve explored for making extra money include: or odesk

I’ve gone so far as to creating a profile, but I always get too lazy to actually bid for projects and search for work. I feel like I’m pretty busy as it is with other things, I don’t know how much I’ll be able to contribute to actual freelance work. Has anyone had any positive experiences with either of these?

Website building

I’ve heard of a few people who’ve used a create your own website service to sell items online, or even market their own product. I’m not sure I’m ready to take that step, but I’d consider it for the future.


I will definitely not be supplying any services on Fiverr. I wonder if anyone actually makes any money from this site? Essentially, people offer any type of service, from proofreading to singing a song for you–all for $5.

What are some of the crazy things you’ve done to make money?

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A blog about newlyweds managing finances in relationships. | Newlyweds on a Budget June 29, 2012 - 11:05 am

[…] In February 2012, I made $891.34 In March 2012, I made $636.26 In April 2012, I made $740.76 In May 2012, I made $1,156.66 In June 2012, I made […]

Arielle S. June 25, 2012 - 3:25 pm

Hi there, really interesting post~ It’s really awesome that you’re making this kind of extra money. A big congrats on that! I’ve tried a couple of methods you have mentioned in your article. Fiverr is actually a pretty good site to make money from. I use it to make extra money, though I haven’t been very active on it lately. But yeah, If you have certain hobby(s) you like you could probably turn them into a source of income on Fiverr. Other ways I make extra money online is online surveys and blogging. As for advertising.. I never thought to put that into my blog. Seeing how much you’re earning from it, I’m seriously considering trying it out. 🙂

RJ June 21, 2012 - 11:53 am

I’m wondering what survey sites you use and which ones actually pay you. I’ve been tempted to do it but wasn’t sure if they were legit.

Thanks for your help.


Reply June 7, 2012 - 7:18 pm

I’ve been on fiverr since the first few months it started. At first I made around $150 a month doing writing jobs. Now, as fiverr has grown, so have my ratings. Last month I made over $500 with it. I’m actually buying a new macbook pro on tax free day in August solely with funds I’ve made from fiverr. I’d say it’s worth it but I owe my success to the fact that I got in very early. I think it’s harder now to get your gigs to a higher ranking. Hope it helps!

SavvyFinancialLatina June 4, 2012 - 10:05 pm

Wow that’s awesome!!! I want to be like you 🙂

Canadianbudgetbinder June 3, 2012 - 11:10 am

Wow, good for you! I’ve made the precise amount of $0 since starting my blog however I don’t advertise nor do I write for money. Maybe you can teach me a few things about how to turn my hobby into a side hustle. Good for you! Keep up the good work… just wanted to pop in to say hi, it’s been a while.

Teacher Girl June 2, 2012 - 8:07 am

I keep being so amazed at how much money you are making on the side with the blog! I definitely need to make this a priority once school ends in 4 days. Congrats!

Housewife Empire June 1, 2012 - 7:49 pm

Wow! Congrats. I do some of this stuff myself, but I should definitely look into mystery shopping. I’m with the other comments, though – inspired by your blog revenue. Keep up the good work!

Kylie Ofiu June 1, 2012 - 5:42 pm

Side hustles are great. Congrats on doing so well! I do freelance writing, have blog advertising but I also sell a lot of books which has been great. I often pick them up for under $5 and sell them for $10 – $30 (books are expensive here.) Buying stuff to resell has helped us a lot.

Kathleen @ Frugal Portland June 1, 2012 - 1:32 pm

Blog advertising revenue! Oh how I long for that category. 🙂 Good work!

shopping2saving June 1, 2012 - 9:40 am

Erika, this is incredible. I need your advice as to how to do the same! I read all of your posts, and I’m signed up for Social Spark but how do you get so much in advertising? Were these from advertisers contacting you? Please share! Or email me 🙂

Glad you had a great May. At this rate, you will be killing it with June!

Lisa June 1, 2012 - 8:51 am

Wow, congrats! I hope to one day make a few small bucks off my blog. I have a question since I’m just getting started in that category: I just clicked over to your linked post about blog advertising and in that post you mentioned you only made 34 cents through Google Adsense at that point in time. How were you able to increase your earnings through ads so much since then?

newlywedsonabudget June 1, 2012 - 9:18 am

Please feel free to email me! I love sharing the ways I make money off the blog.

Adrienne June 1, 2012 - 8:51 am

This is so cool! I don’t feel like I have enough followers/traffic to make money advertising, but you’re doing awesomely! Love hearing that good news!

I want to start mystery shopping when I have a little more free time, I feel like I would be really good at that.

newlywedsonabudget June 1, 2012 - 9:18 am

You definitely don’t need a large following or a lot of traffic to make money! I am just one small little blog : )

Jai Catalano June 1, 2012 - 8:23 am

I love your side hustle. We should go into legal hustling together. Open a website and all. 🙂

Michelle June 1, 2012 - 5:13 am

Wow you’re doing so good! I’m extremely jealous.


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