Personal Finance 
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Side Gig Thursdays: Krystal Barber, Amazon Mechanical Turk

I remember a few years ago with Amazon Mechanical Turk first appeared. The basic idea was that you created individual tasks, called Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs), put them in the system, and people would go and do these tasks for you. A lot of HITs would be information gathering and you can see them by searching the site. I took a look last week and saw jobs like “find legal categories of law firms” and “finding keywords on Google.” The pay for these jobs is not much but the jobs are short, you do them at your own pace, and a little extra cash in your pocket is nice. Until I talked to Krystal, I’d never met anyone who was a “mechanical turk.”

Here’s her describing her side gig in her own words:

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 Personal Finance 
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Side Gig Thursdays: Teresa Keel, Dog Walker & Sitter

One of my favorite shows, that unfortunately was cancelled, was called How to Make it in America and one of the side characters had a job walking dogs. I always wondered if it was something that could really sustain someone (it took place in New York City and I’m sure dog walkers are well compensated in NYC) and was happy to get to ask Teresa Keel about her side gig as a dog walker and sitter.

By day, she’s an executive assistant. By night, she’s a dog walker for about five and a half hours a week including dog sitting, and she banks nearly $500 a month caring for basically two dogs a month. Now, after hearing this, I remembered a story about my friend who was paying close to $40 a day for a dog walker (it was a puppy and the little guy needed to go out often in the beginning) and I remembered how lucrative a side gig that could be.

Anyway, enough about me, let’s hear a little about dog walking as a side gig.

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 Personal Finance 
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Side Gig Thurdays: Gene & Wife: Limousine Services

One of the fun things about doing these Side Gig Thursdays is that you meet a lot of interesting people who have such surprising side gigs. We learned about how Michael runs a small vending machine empire, how Mary helps people prepare their resumes, and how Danny supplements his income as a magician and balloon twister. Today, we get a chance to learn about Gene and his wife’s limousine business that he started on the side while managing an A&W restaurant full time.

If you’ve ever rented a limousine for a prom or a wedding, you probably thought the owner was making bank. While he or she probably was, there’s a tremendous amount of overhead involved too. Today we can learn a little more about what’s involved in a business like that.

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 Personal Finance 
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Side Gig Thursdays: Grace Wilson, Treasures of the Tea

Grace Wilson, Treasures of the TeaIn the mornings, I start my day off with a cup of coffee. After that initial cup, I generally move onto water or tea, usually dependent on the temperature of the world outside. With it being cold, I find myself drinking tea a lot more often than I used to so today’s Side Gig Thursdays is quite appropriate.

We get a chance to chat with Grace Wilson about her transition from being a server at a restaurant to a purveyor of teas.

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 Personal Finance 
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Side Gig Thursdays: Steve Chou, Bumble Bee Linens

Steve & JenThis week’s Side Gig Thursday is a bit of a unique one because it’s someone that I met at FINCON, a financial blogging conference, and the first case where a side gig became a full time gig for someone in the interviewee’s family. I met Steve Chou at the conference last year in Denver and I’ve since gotten to know him a lot better than I did before. I’d always been aware of his blog, MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, but I didn’t know as much about the side gig that give his wife the opportunity to quit her job.

That business was Bumblebee Linens and it sells exactly what you think it does – linens. Let’s find out more about how Steve started the business and how it does.

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 Personal Finance 
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Side Gig Thursdays: Aprille Cole, Cups ‘N’ Cakes

Aprille Cole, Cups N CakesCupcakes are all the rage these days and it’s not surprising that more and more people are taking advantage of that craze by opening up bakeries as a side gig. Today’s Side Gig Thursday is with Aprille Cole, owner and proprietor of Cups ‘N’ Cakes, a bakery in Collegeville, PA that grew out of her “small domestic bakery.” With the help of her husband and three children, her side gig grew to the point where she was able to open a storefront.

Not everyone is able to turn a hobby into a business but Aprille has and we discuss with her what she did to make it happen.

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 Personal Finance 
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Side Gig Thursdays: Jennifer LeBlanc, Property Management Company

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start your property management company? Reader Jennifer LeBlanc is a realtor by day and manages property by night (and sometimes during the day). What started off as a side gig watching absentee owner’s homes in her area in Florida has grown into a management company that handles vacation and annual rentals. Learn how she took a side gig, that remains a side gig, and has turned it into a $3,000 a month business.

As an added bonus, you can hear some of her crazy rental stories too. (one about a Russian crime ring who would break into homes to “show” them and then steal the prospective renters’ deposits!)

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 Personal Finance 
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Side Gig Thursdays: Lauren Arce, Custom Tooling for BMWs

What does a system engineer, happy with a successful full time job, do as a side gig? How about custom tooling for cars? That’s today’s Side Gig Thursdays piece and it’s with Lauren Arce, a systems engineer who, with his dad, sell custom BMW tools on the web.

Oftentimes you hear of how a company was started because the founder had a problem he or she wanted to solve. Well, not all problems are enormous ones and so not all problem solving products becomes mega-companies. Today’s story is a brief one about how one man, with the help of his father, makes a few bucks off selling tools they built to solve their own problems.

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