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How I made $33,277.57 on the side!

How I made $33,277.57 on the side!

14 Ways I Made Money and Generated $33,277.57 on the Side in 12 Months!

Originally posted in January 2019

In 2018 I changed what I was doing and focused less on side hustles but if an opportunity came up, I went with it. In 2017, I had focused on buying things to resell and managed to generate $10,000 in a month

2018 was more about my business, passive and sustainable income. My main income comes from my business, however, a variety of side gigs generated $33,277.57 in 12 months.

I share all those details and more in The Ultimate Guide to Make and Save Money at Home. Plus there are 99 side hustle ideas, including how to get started and marketing them in this eBook.

Note there are affiliate links to the products and services I made money from in this post. Read my full disclosure here. I only recommend things I use or have used.

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    Image of rose quartz, coins and a phone. Text reads how I made $33,277.57 on the side in 12 months.

    Monthly Updates

    Each month I shared how much I made and how I made it so you could do it as well. In January I made $3,200.17, February I forgot to do a post but made $3,833.37 and in March I made $4,005.

    April saw me make $1,600.70 (then spend it all), May I chose to focus on my business and managed to double my income and add another income stream. June was slower at only $851.15. July was $1,881.96 and August was $6,862.62.

    September was a wipeout and I didn’t realise there was no update. I had custody issues happening that month plus we went to the Great Barrier Reef so I wasn’t focused on making money. $3,062.40 was made in October and $6,413.40 made in November.

    Lastly, December I made $1,566.80 plus was away for half the month in the Solomon Islands and Canberra.

    How I Made Money on the Side

    It is amazing how many ways there are to make money now. When I first started making money online and on the side, blogging was my first idea (read how I make money blogging and how to set one up here).

    Followed by online surveys (these ones are the best), freelance writing and everything else went from there. Here are all the things I did on the side for 2018.

    Airbnb/Renting out a Room

    When I lived in the city I rented out my entire apartment when we went away. Now I live in a house in the suburbs and have others living with us. This is a super simple way to make extra cash if you have space. With my apartment, I made $1,300 in 5 days at Christmas 2017 alone! In 2018 I moved house and didn’t do it as much but still made $2,263.47. 

    Sign up free as a host here or try it first as a traveller and this post with tips for making money with Airbnb and this post for tips on renting a room to a boarder. I’ve done both, they each have their pros and cons.

    Medical Testing

    At the end of 2017, the opportunity came up to test some medicine for a medical condition I have and get paid for it. They have medical trials all the time and I wanted to check this out as an option for you as well. I wrote about it here. The trial I did started in 2017 and finished in 2018 but was paid in instalments. So the 2018 part was $3,550.

    Image of yellow notebook with black pen. Text reads how I made $33,277.57 on the side in 12 months.

    Bank and Referral Bonuses Plus Loyalty Programs

    Bank bonuses including ING and Westpac, referral bonuses through Car Next Door and other programs plus loyalty programs cashed out (find a full list I use here) made me a decent amount of money in 2018.

    Referral and affiliate income from The Thrifty Issue is separate to this. The amount here is just from people I know personally.

    Selling Things

    In 2017 I focused on selling things and made almost $3,000 in my first month then over $8,000 in my third and over $10,000 by my fourth. I knew in 2018 I was going to be travelling more, moving house and it wasn’t practical to do a lot of buying/selling. Yet I still managed to make over $5,000 doing it!

    Online Surveys

    I don’t do online surveys much but I do test them regularly to make sure the ones I recommend here do pay, are accurate regarding how long they take etc. Most people who do these ones that I know personally make $2,000 to $5,000 a year with them.

    Here is the list of ones I recommend and how much you can make. Swagbucks and Octopus Group have been the best for me but there are more in that link.


    Random little cash was included in my tally. Last year I lived near Woolworths and trolleys were regularly dumped near us. I’d take them back when I was going to Woolworths sometimes if they had money in them as I was going that way anyway.

    Image of plant, coffee and planner on a wooden desk. Text reads how I made $33,277.57 on the side in 12 months.

    Market Research

    You can easily make $100+ an hour with market research. I only did a few this year but I get regular emails for them. Find out more about market research here.


    Have you consolidated your superannuation, checked for lost money and filed all paperwork correctly? I had a few I was putting off and when I finally got around to it, I had a lot of money I was unaware of. It was a nice surprise.

    Money Found

    Without actively looking for lost money we happen to find coins here and there in the street. Whenever we find a wallet or similar we hand it straight into the police as I want to instil honesty into my children.

    One wallet we found wasn’t claimed and my daughter got it (it had no id or money) after a few months. The police were amazing, gave my girls Freddo’s for being honest some police badges. They were so excited and it helped reinforce the honesty I am teaching them.

    Gift Cards

    Not including presents, these gift cards were from other sources and pleasant surprises. You can get gift cards for doing a variety of things including online surveys.


    Renting out my garage worked well in the city. I didn’t use it as I didn’t have a car and this was money I didn’t think about. A man stored his car there, Spacer collected the money and it rolled over from month to month. The only reason it stopped was because I moved. I’ve got a few friends who are now renting out their garages too.

    Cash Back

    Admittedly, I bought new beds and mattresses for my kids so the cash back was slightly higher than most might get. However, ensuring I use the app or the Chrome tab with all purchases meant I got over $600 back from things I had to buy anyway. You can sign up free here.

    Bonus freelance writing

    I do freelance writing regularly but these articles were separate to that and done differently. Not for regular clients and not through my business. You can find out more about freelance writing here.


    There are so many ways to make money and towards the end of last year, I made an extra $968 in random ways. Check out 43 ways to make money as a single mum for ideas.

    Grab your copy of 99 Side Hustles now for only $9.95AUD.

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      Thursday 23rd of January 2020

      That is an awesome amount of money to make with your side hustles, great work! I'm working my side hustles as well and hope to get to those sort of numbers.

      Louise Byrne

      Tuesday 5th of November 2019

      Hi, Can you give me any more ideas for market research that pay good cash? I love your article! Thanks :)

      The Thrifty Issue

      Tuesday 5th of November 2019

      Hi Louise, the link to market research in the article has more information. It's this one Thanks!

      Prairie Fire

      Thursday 10th of January 2019

      Wow! You are killing it with the side hustling. Well done. Our family hosts students, so totally agree with renting out unused space. Going to check out those online surveys. Thanks for posting!

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