Don't forget family can be your first customers. For Emilie of Burke Does, her first customer was her mother: “My mom was not born in this country, and neither were most of her friends. I proofread and typed their documents in English.”

Looking for some outdoor work? Mr. FWP of Finances With Purpose out-hustled the lawn competition by telling people: “I will mow local lawns cheaper than the competition.” Effective!

Christopher at CODE Internet Media Company first started side hustling as a DJ – and has expanded that to a full-time gig! He says, “[my] love for music started with raising and lowering the volume at older cousins birthday party and turned into desire to DJ for real. Made first 300 dollars check at 13 years old for a friends birthday party. Now have an entertainment company that houses podcasts, photography, videography, DJing, and music production.”

Martin Dasko from Studenomics is a man of many talents, but he took one of his many skills (driving) to the next level with his first side hustle as an Uber driver.

Would World of Warcraft be considered part of the gig economy? If you're hustling as hard as Sean from 2 Frugal Dudes, maybe! Sean's hustle? “[I] sold virtual game money (WoW Gold) for money on eBay” – that's right, Sean was a gold farmer!

This side hustle might have some negative side effects, but it sounds delicious – Dan Wesley, founder of‘s first side hustle was working for Papa John's (he also legitimately gained 20 pounds during his time there!)

Talk about getting paid to exercise! Abdo Riani's first side hustle was offering tennis lessons!

First Side Hustle: Kid Edition

Hey, kids aren't too young to get in on side hustling! Have to start them early, right? These bloggers certainly got started hustling (their parents and neighbors) early with these side hustles.

Jim from Planet BoomerVille had one of those first side hustles that you only hear romanticized about anymore: a newspaper delivery kid! Jim delivered newspapers in the afternoon, rain, shine, or snow in Massachusetts. He said during the winter when it got dark at 4:30 pm, he would walk along the roadside next to snowbanks taller than he was!

Jessi from Real Life on a Budget picked up pinecones for money as a kid. As she tells it, “over the summer the neighbors would pay my brother and me a nickel for every pinecone we picked up in their yard. This made it easier for them to cut the grass without damaging their lawnmowers and it made us some extra pocket money to buy all those new fancy CDs we wanted.” No shame in getting paid to do something your neighbors didn't want to do!

Not all kids are going to be successful at their first side hustle, but it pays to get started early. While Jason from My Money Chronicles didn't sell a lot, it clearly piqued his interest in side hustling! Jason got started selling calendars in middle school: “My first side hustle was selling calendars in middle school. I sold 5 or 6 of them.” 

Speaking of middle school hustles, Miss Thrifty learned a great lesson when she started writing a newspaper in grade school: “I launched a school magazine when I was 10, having secured free use of the school's photocopier. A girl in another form launched a rival magazine at the same time: the competition was on! I laboured on wonderful content, drawing cartoon strips and writing up school events. I undercut the other magazine's cover price and sold more copies.

However the victory was hollow: my undercutting was too enthusiastic and, once the paper was paid for, I didn't make any profit. Rookie error. Now I am (much) older and (a little) wiser, I look back and realise we should have joined forces and established a lucrative monopoly.” Excellent lesson learned, Miss Thrifty!

Nick from Mapped Out Money came from a family of hustlers, as his Mom showed him the way to financial prosperity: “Baked bread with my mom in elementary school and sold it to neighbors and family. My mom showed me how to account for expenses and she let me keep the profit.” Delicious first side hustle, family bonding and you got to keep the profit? Sounds like a win-win-win!

Speaking of family, Steve from My Family On a Budget began his first side hustle – and then “employed” his brother! “I started getting paid to mow my lawn and decided to start asking around the neighborhood. I ended up taking care of 12 lawns that summer and had my brother and a friend come work “for” me.”

In fact, family may pay you to stop bothering them! Melissa from Sunburnt Saver (that's my amazing assistant who helped build this post!) took a budding advice-giving passion and “helped” her family with their problems: “I was a know-it-all kid, so I decided I would play “Dear Abby” for my family and give them (mostly unsolicited) advice. I charged them 5 cents for it back then, and most people gave me 25 cents to go away. It started my life-long love affair with side hustling!”

Anthony from Fiscally Sound sold door-to-door, which seems practically unheard of nowadays with helicopter parenting, but it taught him a valuable lesson. As Anthony recounts, “When I was young, there was a company that helped kids earn money by selling greeting cards. I sold to family members and even went door to door in my neighborhood. Little did I know I would use these sales skills later in life 🙂 If I recall, the customer would place their order after perusing a print catalog (I know, I am dating myself), then I would send the money in and they would send me a check.”
Cora of The Mini Millionaire had a brilliant idea at a young age and capitalized on a hot trend: selling designer batch end wallpaper. As she explains it, “I was around 16 when the idea of ‘feature walls' took off in the UK. I decided to pick up ‘batch ends' (the rolls with odd batch numbers that would make multiple rolls of wallpapers pattern uneven) from a designer store at a discount of around 90% and sell them online at a discount of around 40% compared to RRP.”
Adam from Minafi may have learned some questionable business practices during his delicious first side hustle: “Me and 3 friends started selling candy in high school. Before the school shut us down, we recruited other people to sell candy for us – eventually getting to ~10 others selling and netting more than $1k a week (but only $50/each profit). I made a bunch of friends through this experience, and learned the value of bribing teachers with the occasional candy bar.”

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