Welcome to an exciting and fun new series entitled Side Hustle True Story. In this series, I am going to go into detail about some of the more interesting side hustle jobs I have done in the past. Some of these jobs were well worth it and a lot of fun. Other side hustle jobs were a total failure!
When I compiled a list of 25 ways to earn extra income, I chose not to include every side hustle job I had ever done because some of the jobs were a little odd.
This week's post is no different. I used to donate plasma to earn extra money. This is a pretty extreme side hustle as it involves using your body to (legally) make money. This is a useful article if you are considering donating plasma or wondering how the process really works.
Related post: Side Hustle True Story: I Delivered Drugs
What is plasma?
Plasma is the liquid portion of blood and is made up of proteins. These proteins help fight off infections! Plasma also regenerates quickly, which is why people can donate often.
The initial appointment
If you are unsure if there is a plasma center near you, do a quick google search or check out CSL Plasma. Call and make an appointment over the phone. Most plasma centers are open 6 days a week. My center was open from 6am to 8pm during the work week and half a day on Saturdays.
Your first appointment will seriously take 2-3 hours. You have to get a physical and do a ton of paperwork. Once this is done, you can finally donate plasma. It's extremely tedious and really weeds out the people who are serious about donating.
Scheduling future appointments
Once you have completed your 1st donation, you are now able to schedule all your future appointments! This means you can donate two times a week with a 48 hour resting period between appointments. This resting period is important because you're body needs time to recover!
Most centers book appointments via telephone or online. I found it easier to book online. I was able to log on and view the calendar, which listed all the available appointments. I could even book my appointments up to one month in advance.
Most appointments took me 45 minutes to 1 hour. I liked to book mine first thing in the morning or at the end of day, as these were the slower times.
Donating plasma is a lot like donating blood
Before donating, a nurse will check your blood pressure, your temperature and prick your finger to make sure everything looks normal. Once everything is clear, the nurse will start the process.
The actual donation time depended on how fast your body produced the plasma. If you drink a ton of water, you were much more likely to finish faster than someone who came in hungover and dehydrated.
What happens after donating?
After you finish donating, it's recommended to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. The nurses also advised against lifting anything heavy for the remainder of the day. Your sugar level might be low as well, so many facilities will provide juice and cookies to get your levels back to normal.
What kind of people donate plasma?
All kinds of people! The plasma center I went to was in a really nice area . There was a mix of professionals, students, retirees and just regular people.
I will say that there was another plasma center I look into and it attracted a really rough crowd. I felt extremely out of place and very uncomfortable. I also didn't like the facility itself. Make sure you do your homework first and are comfortable with your environment.
How much money can I make donating plasma?
Most centers advertise a person can earn $200 or more a month. This was correct! My pay schedule rotated, with one visit earning $35 and the next visit earning $20.
This is a side hustle! How do I get paid?
Different plasma centers pay differently. Some facilities pay in cash. The facility I went to gave each person a prepaid Visa card on the 1st visit. After each donation, a technician loaded payment onto the card, with the funds available immediately.
Why did I stop donating plasma?
This was a tough side hustle for me! I donated plasma off and on for a couple months. I was never able to go twice a week, because my body had a hard time recovering afterwards and I was tired for most of the day. The main reason I stopped donating plasma was because I fainted on 2 separate occasions. This was just too extreme for me and not worth the money!
*If you have a side hustle story you would like to share on this blog, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ebates is my absolute favorite company to use when I’m shopping online. Hello, it’s free money!
Every time I shop online, I always start at Ebates. They have a list of all the places you normally shop at and you just click on the store you want to visit online.
After you make a purchase, you earn a percentage of the sale! They literally give you cash back on every purchase you make. The cash back ranges from 1% to 14%. The money is then deposited into your PayPal account.
I’ve made over $700 from shopping online and earning cash back. Join Ebates here!
This cell phone app helps you make money off your grocery receipts. Yup, for real! You use it after you go grocery shopping and use your receipt. It’s basically a rebate app, so you can earn anywhere from 50 cents to $5 off everything you buy.
My favorite part about Ibotta is that it’s not always brand specific, like a lot of coupons are. So you’ll be able to scan “any brand of bread” for 50 cents off, etc. If you do coupon – you can STILL use Ibotta and get a rebate.
For the diehard couponers out there, this will often result in getting an item for FREE. When you sign up, you will receive a $10 cash bonus when you make your first scan. Join Ibotta here!
I have made thousands of dollars over the past few years from taking surveys online!
There are a handful of companies that I love to use and earn cash back into my PayPal account, as well as reward points that I can use at places like Target, Walmart and Macy's.
Start a blog
I went from making $40/month to over $4,000/month in the span of six months. That’s crazy! Here is a tutorial that walks you through how to start a blog.
Blogging has totally changed my life. I even share my online income reports so other people can see how I got started and how I am growing.
Become an Uber or Lyft driver
Work your own schedule and make mad cash! I know plenty of drivers that work all kinds of different time shifts, whether it's working during rush hour, happy hour or in the evenings. Uber even offers bonuses and extra incentives all the time.
Start saving, even if it’s only a few dollars a week
Whether you want to start an emergency fund or a vacation fund, you have to start setting some money aside. If you’re like most people and struggle with saving, you should consider using Digit or Qapital.
Qapital is a totally free app that let's you decide how much money you want to save every time you make a purchase. You can pick from $1 all the way up to $5.
So let's say I spend $24.05 at the grocery store. Qapital will then transfer $1 to my savings account.
You can link as many debit cards or credit cards as you want to Qapital. So even if you use a credit card to make a purchase, you can pick one bank account to transfer the $1 to your Qapital saving account. Click here to learn more about Qapital.
Digit lets you save money each week from your checking account. What I really like about Digit is that it analyzes my bank account and determines how much I can really save per week.
Some weeks it might be $5 and other times it might be $20. You don’t have to worry about overdraft and can contribute less or more if you need to. You can learn more about Digit here.
The only downside to Digit is they charge $2.99 per month to use their service. I don’t mind the fee though since it’s helping me save money every week. If the fee stressed you out, use Qapital!
Rent out your space on AirBnB
Over the past couple of years, I have stayed at a handful of AirBnB's and saved a ton of money. I've been able to rent an entire house, condo and apartment instead of a room at a hotel. Have you ever thought about renting out your home for a weekend?
You can learn more about how to use AirBnB here. Using the link, you will also get a coupon for $40 off your first stay anywhere!
Have you ever side hustled?
Kristin, is the creator behind Believe In A Budget. She teaches others how to start a blog and how to side hustle. Her course, Pinterest Presence, helps bloggers + businesses drive traffic to increase their website's profitability. Click here to learn more!