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Pop Culture

People share 'weird' ways they make extra money that are surprisingly easy and lucrative

Some side hustles make an extra $400 to $500 a pop.

side hustles, side gigs, easy ways to make money, money
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We could all use a little extra cash.

Living is expensive, as we are all very, very aware. And for many of us, one job's wages aren't going to cut it, forcing us to get creative when it comes to making a little extra money.

In some ways, necessity really is the mother of invention. Nearly every niche talent, interest and/or skill set can be turned into a profitable business. Have a knack for finding cool, unique things at Goodwill? Sell them online. Willing to do simple chores that others can't be bothered to complete? Offer those services. The world is your capitalist oyster.

In other ways, society is a serpent eating its own tail. When people are all but forced to squeeze a penny out of every moment just to make ends meet or dare to try to make life better for themselves, then suddenly the only value registered is monetary value. That causes potential soul-nourishing hobbies to be drained of their magic by constantly trying to turn them into a "brand," never pursuing certain hobbies in the first place for fear that they won't make money, chasing get-rich-quick schemes out of desperation, following less-than-virtuous business practices…the list goes on.

But let's focus on the former for today.

Recently, u/bigdope-smallgirl asked folks on Reddit to share the 'weirdest' ways they make money. In a world where it seemed like we've seen every side hustle in existence, the answers were quite unexpected, not to mention lucrative, with some gigs raking in an extra $400 to $500+ a month. Perhaps most surprising of all—only one person seemed to mention selling pictures of their feet.

Here's what they had to say:



"I had a plumbing backup and needed someone with a snake to clear the line. I looked on Craigslist, and everyone was charging $99 for the snaking. This one guy advertised for $69. I called him, he came, and he had my line clear in 20 minutes. We got to talking. He and his family had just come in from Ohio a couple of weeks before because their 8-year-old daughter needed medical treatment that was only available in Tampa. Before he left Ohio, he had bought a used electrical plumbing snake for $400. Upon arrival, he was instantly busy with snake jobs because his price was the lowest on all of Craigslist. According to him, he was making about $400 per day, and he was working it seven days a week. Good money in it once the initial investment is made, but of course, it is not a glamorous job."

via GIPHY

u/georgepana

"I host trivia. It’s a few nights a week for two and a half hours a night. It’s $50 each night plus the different venues hook you up with deals on food and drinks. Like, one place you get a free meal, which you can use for these giant pizzas that are normally $25. Or at another place, I get free drinks. It’s pretty chill, and I make about $500 a month. It helps." —u/hothouseflowers


"Once a month, on a Friday night, I host a parents' night out and babysit overnight. I still have a swing set, a tree swing, and such so kids come to my home. I charge around $50 a child and I serve dinner and dessert, we play outside until dusk, come in and get cleaned up/put pjs on, and then watch a movie. Depending on weather and age of kids, we may use our blowup movie screen and projector and watch the movie outside along with popcorn and juice boxes. Afterwards, it’s brushing teeth and getting settled down in sleeping bags. We set up camp in the family room, and kids fall asleep quickly. I’m up by 8 a.m. making breakfast to feed the little people, and parents pick up around 9:15. I usually watch 8 to 10 kids, and it’s an easy $500. Kids LOVE the night, and I have more demand than space available."

u/furryfreeloader

"I bake fruitcakes from scratch, using pecans instead of walnuts, and cream sherry in lieu of harsher liquors. I use 1/2 pound loaf pans, so no one is stuck with a lot of leftovers. Baking begins in September, through October, so the cakes have time to soak up the sherry. Business is pretty good, I can do a few hundred dollars or more easily, and still have folks clamoring for more."

via GIPHY

u/Cuyler_32087

"I do clinical studies. I was on an antibody one where the total pay is like $6k. I got $300-700 a month for the first few months for a blood draw and 1 infusion. And once I complete it next month I get a $1,500 “bonus” for completing the whole thing."

u/mystictofuoctopi

"I have a flea market booth. The most lucrative part about it is freeze dried candy I buy from a local business. I buy in bulk and have 100% markup and still sell a crapload of candy! It helps that the local mall has pretty much the same stuff for three times the price. People want to try it but don't want to pay those prices, so they get excited when they see mine and buy three for the price of one mall candy. It's silly, but I'm happy with it."

—u/greenonioncrusader

"I watch for class action lawsuits and join when I qualify. I’ve made a few hundred the past couple of years, but my main motivation is how tickled my husband gets when a random check arrives. Am always looking for ways to impress him, LOL."

u/vavamama

"I 'teach English' online, basically just chat with people. One of them is a kid where we do a 50/50 reading and watching Pokémon or Godzilla. So I get paid minimum wage to watch Pokémon and old Godzilla movies."

u/the_polar_bear__

"I crochet and sell dolls."

side jobs

Aren't these adorable?

preview.redd.it

u/blackcatspat

"I had an Etsy shop reselling vintage and antique cast iron cookware that I would find in rusty condition and restore to be collected or used again. Just recently shut the shop down due to time constraints, but it was a great little side gig at the time, and I enjoyed it."

u/tannergd1

"I DJ weddings and provide light shows for bands coming through town. It started off just as a hobby, and it spread through word of mouth. People pay so much money for DJs and bands for weddings that it makes my charge of $100 an hour look really cheap."

—u/hottytoddypotty

"I watch local Facebook groups and find odd jobs there quite a bit. People are always looking for random help. Last weekend, I made $25 by going to a lady's house and clipping her cat's toenails!"

u/prinessbeca

"One thing I did was a mock jury I found on Craigslist. Went to a law firm where they catered food, drinks, and snacks. We got to listen to a case and deliberate like an actual jury would, and the whole thing was recorded. Got paid $200 plus travel fees for about three and a half hours worth of work."

u/caughtyoulookinn

"I worked as a victim for a military training drill. It was $100 per day, paid in cash. If you did all three days of this exercise, you got an extra $25. They are coming back to my area in two months."

—u/wagonhitchiker

"I met a dude once who sold feeder roaches to Petco, PetSmart, etc. He was making, like, $200k off his garage."

via GIPHY

u/the_dumb_engineer

"Back in college, I put together furniture — 80% of the time for older folks who ordered flat pack furniture and couldn’t put it together themselves. I enjoyed the puzzle of putting together IKEA furniture, and I usually had an interesting conversation or two with the older generation."

—u/selkie_queen

"I sharpen knives and tools to supplement my income. Startup costs are pretty low, and if you go to a farmers market in a wealthier part of town, you can usually get a decent amount of business. Kitchen and pocket knives are usually the standard, but if you can sharpen tools like lawn mower blades, shears, chisels, etc., you can get a decent amount of consistent return business. Anywhere from a couple hundred to about $1k a month depending on how much I am working at it."

u/os_jytz

"Not that weird, but I model for art classes. I have a full-time job, but I usually do classes a month and get paid in cash, which is nice."

—u/7hecavalry

"I sell plant cuttings and seedlings! Spring time I just sell my extra peppers and tomatoes, and then have some well-loved houseplants that need a haircut every so often. I just root the cuttings in water and eventually pot and sell. It's not a ton of cash or anything, but it's a nice way for my hobby to pay for itself over time. Also, I've been growing pomegranates from seed because where I live, they are an uncommon houseplant. The local garden center sold small trees for $129+! I had no problem growing the little guys for a few months and selling for $20; whereas, the seed packs were $5 for a bunch."

via GIPHY

—u/induceddaftfan

And last but not least…

"Not a job or a real way to make money but, in Washington State, every time at the grocery store I would snag the tossed losing lottery tickets in the lotto garbage cans. Scan them into the 360 app and get points, 1700 points was equal to $25 on gift cards. I made about $825 in one year just by doing that, $125 of that $825 was from winning thrown away lottery tickets. People just tossing winners in the garbage can. Once I found a completely unused scratched ticket, also got a few free tickets in bonus rounds that people just tossed."

u/runninginpollution

A woman is shocked to learn that her name means something totally different in Australia.

Devyn Hales, 22, from California, recently moved to Sydney, Australia, on a one-year working visa and quickly learned that her name wouldn’t work Down Under. It all started when a group of men made fun of her on St. Patrick’s Day.

After she introduced herself as Devyn, the men laughed at her. "They burst out laughing, and when I asked them why, they told me devon is processed lunch meat,” she told The Daily Mail. It's similar to baloney, so I introduce myself as Dev now,” she said in a viral TikTok video with over 1.7 million views.

For those who have never been to Australia, Devon is a processed meat product usually cut into slices and served on sandwiches. It is usually made up of pork, basic spices and a binder. Devon is affordable because people buy it in bulk and it’s often fed to children. Australians also enjoy eating it fried, like spam. It is also known by other names such as fritz, circle meat, Berlina and polony, depending on where one lives on the continent. It's like in America, where people refer to cola as pop, soda, or Coke, depending on where they live in the country.


So, one can easily see why a young woman wouldn’t want to refer to herself as a processed meat product that can be likened to boloney or spam. "Wow, love that for us," another woman named Devyn wrote in the comments. “Tell me the name thing isn't true,” a woman called Devon added.

@dhalesss

#fypシ #australia #americaninaustralia #sydney #aussie

Besides changing her name, Dev shared some other differences between living in Australia and her home country.

“So everyone wears slides. I feel like I'm the only one with 'thongs'—flip-flops—that have the little thing in the middle of your big toe. Everyone wears slides,” she said. Everyone wears shorts that go down to your knees and that's a big thing here.”

Dev also noted that there are a lot of guys in Australia named Lachlan, Felix and Jack.

She was also thrown off by the sound of the plentiful magpies in Australia. According to Dev, they sound a lot like crying children with throat infections. “The birds threw me off,” she said before making an impression that many people in the comments thought was close to perfect. "The birds is so spot on," Jess wrote. "The birds, I will truly never get used to it," Marissa added.

One issue that many Americans face when moving to Australia is that it is more expensive than the United States. However, many Americans who move to Australia love the work-life balance. Brooke Laven, a brand strategist in the fitness industry who moved there from the U.S., says that Aussies have the “perfect work-life balance” and that they are “hard-working” but “know where to draw the line.”

Despite the initial cultural shocks, Devyn is embracing her new life in Australia with a positive outlook. “The coffee is a lot better in Australia, too,” she added with a smile, inspiring others to see the bright side of cultural differences.

Photo from Pixaba7

Having the courage to report to the police when things appear off.

When you see or hear an Amber Alert, what do you usually do?

Sometimes it's the middle of the night, and the buzz of your cell phone stirs you out of a deep sleep before you can silence it. Other times, the alert interrupts your favorite song on the radio. Maybe you wait patiently for it to end. Maybe you change the station.


After all, who hasn't wondered, "What are the odds?"

Sure, the alerts are heartbreaking, but what are the odds you'll bump into the missing kid? What are the odds you'll see the getaway car? What are the odds you'll be able to do anything about it? Turns out, better than you think.

Here are five stories of people who suddenly found themselves face to face with a kidnapped child ... and rose to the occasion.

High intensity situations require calm nerves and quick thinking. Kudos to these people for noticing the Amber Alerts at the right time and, in some cases, for having the courage to act right then and there.

1) 2-year-old Ronnie Tran was found when his baby sitter, John Tuong, saw an Amber Alert ... for Ronnie.

John Tuong had no idea he was baby-sitting a missing kid.

Ronnie was kidnapped by his 65-year-old maternal grandmother, who, along with an accomplice, had attacked and restrained his mother. She left Ronnie with a family friend, John Tuong, who merely thought he was baby-sitting his sister's boyfriend's son.

Tuong saw an Amber Alert on his phone the next morning and realized the kid in the alert was actually asleep in the next room. John called the police immediately and Ronnie made it home safe.

2) 6-year-old Kloe was taken from her bed on February 21, 2015. Thanks to a gas station employee, she was back home on February 22.

Kloe was abducted in the middle of the night by a family friend. After she was reported missing, an Amber Alert went out, which, luckily, was seen by a clerk at a local gas station. The clerk recognized Kloe from the alert and tipped off police that he had seen the girl, the man who had taken her, and the van he was driving.

The clerk's account helped police narrow their search, and Carlin was eventually stopped on the interstate by a trooper, some 300 miles from Kloe's home, and taken into custody.

Kloe made it home to her family safe and sound the next day.

3) Leah and Jordan's kidnappers' RV broke down. The cops that pulled over to help had just seen the Amber Alert.

Amber Alerts aren't just for bystanders, they're for law enforcement too.

After 3-year-old Leah and 4-year-old Jordan were taken by relatives of their mother, the kidnapper's RV broke down on the side of the highway. Two deputies stopped by the vehicle to try to help them get back on the road. Luckily, the deputies had seen the Amber Alert and recognized the kids inside the vehicle.

Both made it back home safely the next day, but who knows what might have happened had the RV not broken down or if the cops weren't on the lookout for the missing kids.

4) A stranger stole a car with 3-year-old Bella inside. Later, a quick-thinking bystander physically pulled her to safety.

Leslie and Bella pose inside her bakery, Mini Cupcakes. Photo courtesy of Leslie Fiet, used with permission.

A strange woman asked to bum a cigarette from Bella's father as he walked into the 7-Eleven convenience store. He gave it to her. Then, the woman jumped in the car, with Bella still inside, and drove off.

Later on, the owner of a local cupcake bakery, Leslie Fiet, spotted the car after seeing the Amber Alert and she heroically pulled Bella from the backseat.

"My initial thought was to call 911 (when I discovered the car) but then I looked closer and saw Bella was in a tremendous amount of stress, hyperventilating and crying," Fiet told ABC News. "I just dropped my phone and ran out the door."

She locked Bella, and herself, inside the bakery until Bella's parents and police could arrive.

5) A pizza shop employee on her break spotted 7-year-old Nicolas and followed his kidnapper until police could arrive.

Courtney was brave to follow the kidnapper; and it paid off. Photo courtesy of KRIS TV.

Courtney Best, who was working at a small pizza shop in Corpus Christi, Texas, saw an Amber Alert on her phone while on her smoke break. She looked up and just happened to see the vehicle in question, a white Dodge Avenger, sitting in the parking lot in front of her with a child inside.

She followed the car, while on the phone with police, as it drove away.

"Cause, what are the odds? What are the odds of me looking at my phone?" Courtney told KrisTV. "And I usually don't even look at Amber Alerts, as bad as that sounds. I look at them and I don't really pay attention."

Thanks to her quick thinking, the police were able to recover Nicolas and return him safely to his family.

According to Robert Hoever of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, about 95% of Amber Alerts are resolved within 72 hours.

Robert, who is Director of Special Programs at the NCEMC, told Upworthy, "You can definitely see a huge change in how fast children are recovered today. The technology out there today helps."

In addition to wireless alerts, his organization also partners to issue alerts via Internet service providers, search engines, Internet ad exchanges, and even digital billboards.

And, Robert adds, if you ever find yourself in a situation like this, with any sort of information about a missing child, call 911 before you do anything. Emergency personnel will be able to help you navigate the situation.

We see a lot of Amber Alerts go viral, which is great, but we don't often get to see the happy endings.

Sadly, not every Amber Alert ends with a reunion. But the more we share these alerts with our networks, the more people they reach and the more likely they are to be seen by the right people.

In the meantime, it's comforting to know that most of these kids eventually make it home safely.


This article originally appeared on 08.10.15

Pop Culture

SNL sketch about George Washington's dream for America hailed an 'instant classic'

"People will be referencing it as one of the all time best SNL skits for years.”

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

Seriously, what were our forefathers thinking with our measuring system?

Ever stop to think how bizarre it is that the United States is one of the only countries to not use the metric system? Or how it uses the word “football” to describe a sport that, unlike fútbol, barely uses the feet at all?

What must our forefathers have been thinking as they were creating this brave new world?

Wonder no further. All this and more is explored in a recent Saturday Night Live sketch that folks are hailing as an “instant classic.”

The hilarious clip takes place during the American Revolution, where George Washington rallies his troops with an impassioned speech about his future hopes for their fledgling country…all the while poking fun at America’s nonsensical measurements and language rules.

Like seriously, liters and milliliters for soda, wine and alcohol but gallons, pints, and quarters for milk and paint? And no “u” after “o” in words like “armor” and “color” but “glamour” is okay?

The inherent humor in the scene is only amplified by comedian and host Nate Bargatze’s understated, deadpan delivery of Washington. Bargatze had quite a few hits during his hosting stint—including an opening monologue that acted as a mini comedy set—but this performance takes the cake.

Watch:

All in all, people have been applauding the sketch, noting that it harkened back to what “SNL” does best, having fun with the simple things.

Here’s what folks are saying:

“This skit is an instant classic. I think people will be referencing it as one of the all time best SNL skits for years.”

“Dear SNL, whoever wrote this sketch, PLEASE let them write many many MANY more!”

“Instantly one of my favorite SNL sketches of all time!!!”

“I’m not lying when I say I have watched this sketch about 10 times and laughed just as hard every time.”

“This may be my favorite sketch ever. This is absolutely brilliant.”


There’s more where that came from. Catch even more of Bargatze’s “SNL” episode here.


This article originally appeared on 10.30.23

Science

A study reveals the cheapest time to buy airfare

The average flyer misses the best deal by 15 days.

Taking a trip on the airline.

Everyone seems to have a theory on the best time to purchase airfare to save the most money. Some say it's right before take-off. Others will swear that prices are lowest six months before the flight. Well, now we have the truth. A scientific study was conducted by Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Commission that found the best times to buy flight tickets to get the best deal possible.

When we actually buy...


DOMESTIC: 32 DAYS IN ADVANCE

INTERNATIONAL: 59 DAYS IN ADVANCE

When we should buy...

cheap deals, Expedia, ticket prices, domestic flights

Get your boarding pass ready.

Photo from Pixabay.

DOMESTIC: 57 DAYS IN ADVANCE

The ideal advance-purchase time for domestic flight to snag the lowest average airfare is 57 with prices climbing most rapidly in the 20 days leading up to the flight. On a flight that averages $496, it will cost $401 57 days before the flight and around $650 the day of departure.

INTERNATIONAL: 171 DAYS IN ADVANCE
For a ticket that averages $1,368, the lowest average of $1,004 happens around 171 days before take-off. On the day of, the price will be around $1875. Ticket prices begin to dramatically escalate 75 days leading up to departure.

(H/T Conde Nast Traveler)


This article originally appeared on 10.14.15

John Arthur Greene (left) and his brother Kevin


A childhood game can go very wrong in the blink of an eye.

"You'll never get me!"

“Freeze! Put your hands up."

If you've ever played cops and robbers, you know how the game goes.


John Arthur Greene was 8 and he was playing that game with his older brother Kevin. Only the two brothers played with real guns. Living on a farm, they were both old hands at handling firearms by their ages.

The blast from the gun must have startled them both.

firearms, family, children

John Arthur Greene (left) and his brother Kevin.

Image from "American Idol"/YouTube.

“We were always extremely safe. They were never loaded," John said.

Except this time it was. And John's brother died in his arms while he watched.

It happens more often than you would ever want to imagine.

In federal data from 2007 to 2011, which is likely under-reported, an average of 62 children were accidentally killed by firearms per year.

Here's a chilling example from Everytown for Gun Safety:

"In Asheboro, North Carolina, a 26-year-old mother was cleaning her home when she heard a gunshot. Rushing into the living room, she discovered that her three-year-old son had accidentally shot her boyfriend's three-year-old daughter with a .22-caliber rifle the parents had left in the room, loaded and unlocked."

And the numbers may actually be getting worse.

With an increase in unfettered access to guns and philosophical opposition to gun regulations, the numbers seem to be on the rise. Here's how many accidental shootings happened at the hands of children in 2015 alone, by age:

gun safety, laws, research data on gun deaths

Unintentional Firearm Injuries & Deaths, 2015.

From January 19-26 of 2016 — just one week — at least seven kids were accidentally shot by another kid.

American Idol, guilt and sorrow, accidental shootings

Accidental shootings of kids in one week, January 2016.

If the pace holds up for the rest of the year, America would be looking at over 300 accidental shootings of children, in many cases by children, for the year. That's far too many cases of children either carrying the guilt and pain of having shot a loved one or hurting or killing themselves by accident.

John Arthur Greene has been able to manage his feelings of guilt and sorrow through music and by sharing his story for others to hear.

He told his story during an audition for the final season of "American Idol." He says music has helped him keep his brother's memory alive:

"Right now I lift him up every day and he holds me up. Music is how I coped with everything."

It's a powerful reminder. No matter how we each feel about gun safety laws, guns should always be locked away unloaded and kept separately from ammunition.

Our babies are too precious to leave it to chance.

Watch John Arthur Greene's audition for "American Idol" here:

This article originally appeared on 03.07.16