Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Seasonal Side Hustles

Recently, I've been meeting a lot of people who hustle.  It's not uncommon to find them in the personal finance community online, but these are people I've been meeting in real life.  And they're making their side hustles work in a big way.

Not only are they side-hustling, but they're unique in that they only do it for a season.  Some of them even go as far as to cut hours at their regular job at times of the year when other people are trying to pick them up.  They aren't cutting them because they don't need the money; they're cutting them because they've found a way to be lucrative independent of a boss.

The Christmas Cookie Shed

In particular, there is one woman I've met who works two jobs to stay afloat.  During most of the year things are a struggle, but during the Christmas season, when most are trying hard to keep their bank accounts in the positive, she's having her best time of year financially.

She cuts her hours at the grocery store and bakes up some of the best Christmas cookies you've ever tasted.  And then she sells them.  And makes a lot of money. Business has been so good that in recent years she's bought a decked-out shed to sell her product out of.  It's on the back of her lot, which abuts an alleyway, and everyone  in the neighborhood comes to savor her version of holiday cheer.

The Sporting Events Vendor

My city is a huge sports city.  We have die-hard fans for hockey, baseball, and American football.  We're also a city of bridges thanks to the three rivers that form our geography.  During sports events, some bridges will be shut down to allow for the flood of pedestrian traffic that overwhelms our walkways as devout fans make their way to the game.

Recently I met one man who has a permit to sit near the bridge.  There, he sells the perfect foods for drunken passerbys.  He sells it at quite the mark-up, but it's still a ton cheaper than anything you could buy inside the stadium.  His profits more than cover the cost of the permit, and even compensate him quite well for his time.  Many of the games are either on the weekend or after business hours are over, so he doesn't have to give up his 9-5 to cash in on this opportunity.

The Additional Storefront That Makes Them Wealthy

In one of the city neighborhoods that we frequent, there is a coffee shop close to tourist attractions.  Next to that coffee shop is an ice cream shop.  They are both owned by the same family, and the ice cream shop is only open during summer months.

I can't lie; the ice cream is priced kind of high.  But the tourists and lack of other cold treats in the area make this shop quite profitable.  The coffee shop is how they pay their rent, but the ice cream shop is what makes them wealthy, even if it is only open for a season.  

If you're sick of hustling, look at seasonal options.  While they may not last twelve months, the opportunity for profit may just outpace the hustles that you're working so hard at year round.


  1. My boss always takes Valentines day off and goes to work as a delivery guy for his sister the florist. He makes a nice extra chunk of change for one days work :)

  2. I've heard that that is a great way to make some cash fast! It's always amazing to me that the money made compensates for the day off work, but I've heard it too many times to doubt!


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