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December Side Hustles


I feel like I’ve been hammering on the frugal topics a lot lately so let’s take a look at the other side of the coin today. Being frugal is good, but you also need to make more money to be able to save more. December is a tough month with Christmas shopping, winter break, and holiday parties. Most of us probably are going to spend a bit more than usual. It’s a good idea to hustle on the side and bring in some extra income to help out. Here are my side hustles this month.

IPO stocks via Loyal3 – $30

Loyal3 is a new stock broker. They operate quite a bit differently than traditional stock brokers. They target beginner investors and make it very easy to start investing. You can pick from 64 (currently) well know companies such as Target, Apple, and Coca Cola. You don’t have to pay a transaction fee, but the trade is not real time. They bundle all their trades together and execute the order once per day. The good thing is that you can start with as little as $10. It’s a great way to start investing in stock if you don’t have much money.

They also occasionally offer a chance to invest in an IPO (initial public offering.) I signed up for this and was able to invest in STOR (STORE Capital) when they had their IPO. You can invest from $100 up to $10,000. I requested $2,000, but only was allocated $336 worth of stocks. I flipped the stocks a few days later for a quick 8% gain. The profit is only about $30. It would be nice if I could get more shares. I think they offer IPO once every few months or so.

You can sign up with Loyal3 through the affiliate banner below if you’re interested. It’s pretty easy to get started. You just need your routing and checking account numbers. They used to let you buy stocks with a credit card, but that’s been discontinued.


Disclaimer as suggested by a reader –  The sinful, casino-gambling, lotto-ticket-buying hobbies are better to be avoided, rather than emulated, as a “side hustle”.

Buying IPO stocks is risky and you could easily lose your investment. Most people would be better off sticking with solid low cost funds and ETFs.

Craigslist – $180

side hustle Craigslist

$95 for this uke

Mrs. RB40 is getting mad at the Craigslist no shows. She listed a bunch of stuff and only sold an old monitor ($10) and printer ($10) so far. Things like these are taking up a lot of space at home and we need to get rid of them.

I’m paring down my ukulele collection. I have 7 ukes and I don’t play them much anymore. I’m listing 4 on Craigslist and only keeping my 3 favorite ones. Hooray! I got lucky and sold my cedar top uke ($160) on first day. The guy must have been looking for a tenor uke with a pickup – serendipity! The other ones probably will be on Craigslist for a while.

Lunch Bunch – $42

At the co-op preschool, you can volunteer to help out at lunch and get credit for 3 sessions. Each lunch bunch cost $7 so that’s $21 each time you volunteer for lunch. In December, we’ll be the parent helper for 2 days so we signed up to do lunch bunch as well. The kid would throw a fit if I’m helping in class and then leave during lunch. He is still pretty attached to us. Anyway, this will save us $42 so that’s not bad for two hours of hanging out with the kids.

Dumpster Diving – $15

side hustle dumpster diving

We have ourselves a big laugh every time we step out because this wreath looks ridiculously huge on our door.

We live in a tower and our dumpster is in the garage. One day, on the way back from preschool there was a humongous wreath right next to the dumpster. (I guess it’s not really dumpster diving unless you get in there). Just the other day, Mrs. RB40 mentioned that she wanted to get a wreath so I was contemplating picking it up. It was so big, though. I was about to pass it up, but RB40 junior insisted that we bring it up. It barely fit on our door, but Mrs. RB40 seems to like it. She thinks it’s probably from a department store or something like that. Anyway, that saved us around $10.

We also grabbed a reading light from the dumpster another day. This one is perfect for bedtime stories. It’s not too bright and you can focus it on the book. I’ll call it $5.

December Side Hustle

$267 is pretty good for not a lot of effort. Well, Craigslist is a bit of a pain. We’ll take more photos this weekend and list more stuff. We don’t have a lot of time so this is pretty much all we can do for side hustle. I’m sure you can make much more money picking up a holiday shift or something like that.

What’s your side hustle for December?

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, the job became too stressful and Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help DIY investors analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.

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{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Brian December 23, 2014, 12:24 pm

    Have never personally dumpster-dived, but finds like this make me want to give it a shot.

  • Pennypincher December 14, 2014, 8:35 am

    Bingo on the wreath find. It’s really classy looking. Cost: 0
    Joe, impressive about you playing the ukulele! You could play in the park or downtown for extra $$.
    Helpful comments from your readers/fans about Craigslist and Ebay. Thanks!

    • retirebyforty December 15, 2014, 10:06 am

      It’s way too big for our door. 🙂 The ukulele is my last resort. If I really need money, I could try it.

  • AlphaOne December 14, 2014, 8:07 am

    Warren Buffett likes ukulele. Just a thought….

  • Christian December 12, 2014, 9:00 pm

    I did the Loyal3 STORE IPO. Asked for $10,000 X 2 (wife!) but only got $1330 x 2. I still hold it. Why not keep it for a least a year to avoid short term taxes and keep the great potential upside? Yeah, it could go down, but it could go up, plus there is the estimated 5.6% dividends to further help with risk. Doesn’t seem like a really risky stock to me.

    On another note, I was also able to get 6k of the lendingclub IPO…sweet! 60% jump day one….I plan on keeping that for at least a year too.

    Larger/bigger named IPO’s seem to be a great way to go if you have the access to them.

    • retirebyforty December 12, 2014, 11:26 pm

      Wow, Lending Club. Score! Which brokerage did you use for that one?
      Thanks for the info on Loyal3 IPO. I guess you get more if you ask for more. I’ll try more next time. I don’t plan to hold onto IPO long. I had previous bad experiences…

      • Christian December 13, 2014, 4:14 pm

        IPO was made available to those who have used Lendingclub.com. It was done through Fidelity. I totally understand the desire to get out of an IPO early. I’m going long on STORE and LC cause I feel the risk/reward ratio is low.

        I plan on using Loyal3 for future IPO offers

  • David D December 12, 2014, 11:56 am

    I sold about $450 on craigslist and ebay a couple of months ago. It went towards my new phone. I love my toys!

    Ebay has the same drawbacks as craigslist in terms of no shows/no payments. I had to relist some items after several non-payments. I now restrict the type of people that can bid on items to help avoid this. For Craigslist, I do not go out of my way to meet people anymore. They can meet me somewhere convenient (and at a time convenient to me) or I’ll wait for the next buyer. Also, I never remove the item from Craigslist until it is truly sold.

    • retirebyforty December 12, 2014, 12:11 pm

      Great job! I don’t go out of my way either. Now I just meet the buyers at the lobby of my condo. If they don’t show, then it’s not a big deal for me. Mrs. RB40 still gets offended when people don’t show up. 🙂

  • Tawcan December 12, 2014, 10:59 am

    Nice wreath! Mrs. T made one herself by finding some fallen pine cones. I kinda don’t like using Craigslist nowadays, too many no shows or people just trying to ask for stuff for free.

    • retirebyforty December 12, 2014, 12:10 pm

      The no show is the biggest problem with CL. I don’t know why people don’t have the courtesy to cancel.

  • Vawt @ Early Retirement Ahead December 12, 2014, 8:09 am

    Mine has been more cleaning up and finding items to donate.

    I do have a nice acoustic guitar I should probably put on Craigslist though. I might have a mattress to sell as well. Sometimes I think it takes more time than its worth and I would rather just call a charity to come pick things up. I guess I am not patient enough.

  • Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom December 12, 2014, 6:41 am

    I don’t know if I should admit this, but I’ve been playing my Mahalo U30 starter uke for 5 years.

    7 ukuleles!

    You’ll make someone very happy by sharing with the ukulele less fortunate, I promise! Plus, you’ll get money too, so I guess that’s a good side benefit too.

    • retirebyforty December 12, 2014, 12:09 pm

      You should get a nicer uke. 🙂 The really nice one can be expensive, but they hold their price pretty well.

  • Justin @ Root of Good December 12, 2014, 6:30 am

    I’m doing craigslist this month too! So far I’m at $270 I think. And we no longer have a baby crib, baby mattress, queen size bed + box springs, king size box springs, table, fondue pot (who buys a $5 fondue pot on craigslist?!), and some other stuff I’m sure I’m forgetting. I still have a lot of stuff left, so hopefully we’ll make some more $ and get rid of even more clutter. I’m tracking my time at this craigslist hustle, and I think I’m at an effective hourly rate of around $20-25 right now.

    • retirebyforty December 12, 2014, 12:08 pm

      Nice job with Craigslist! We gave most of our baby stuff to my younger bro. We don’t need that stuff anymore. 🙂

  • Special Agent Dividend December 12, 2014, 6:24 am

    Nothing like some side games to spruce up some extra income. I’ve been flipping a few things on Craigslist and eBay just to make a little more for the holidays. Thanks for sharing your hustles!

  • Jill December 12, 2014, 6:21 am

    Hi Joe….love your blog! Curious what you think about ebay as a side hustle?

    • retirebyforty December 12, 2014, 12:07 pm

      I think that’s great if you have time. Ebay has a much bigger audience than Craigslist (I think.) I don’t like going down to the post office to ship stuff, though. It always take so much time.

  • Retire Before Dad December 12, 2014, 6:05 am

    I too have flipped a couple of IPOs on Loyal3. STORE and Dave and Buster’s. In the future I’m probably going to be more selective, as I would not have normally invested in either of these companies. I’m keeping a Loyal3 IPO tracking page (under resources tab) on my website if anyone is interested in the performance of previous IPOs there.

    • retirebyforty December 12, 2014, 12:07 pm

      Thanks for the resources. Were you able to get more than $300? That’s pretty insignificant. I wish they’d let me invest more. Maybe I’ll get my families to sign up. 🙂

  • Dave in Sunny FL December 12, 2014, 5:06 am

    For getting started in stocks, I would recommend DRIPs through computershare.com. DRIPs are so much easier and available now than they were when we started investing, but they’ve made a great (positive) impact on our family finances.

  • Mrs. Frugalwoods December 12, 2014, 4:11 am

    Nice wreath! I love a good dumpster dive/trash find. Our city has notoriously excellent trash and we’re looking forward to the post-Christmas deluge of unwanted decorations, gifts, etc (oh man, only frugal people would say that…). I need to start listing things on Craigslist too. I’ve been wondering if there’s value in trying to do it before Christmas or just waiting until the new year.

    • retirebyforty December 12, 2014, 12:05 pm

      That wreath is pretty crazy. 🙂 If you have nice stuff, I would do it before Christmas. You can keep relisting pretty easily to carry over to after New Year.

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