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Any hobbies that generate some bonus income?
Old 05-18-2021, 09:28 PM   #1
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Any hobbies that generate some bonus income?

Back in grad school in the Pacific Northwest, where red cedar was plentiful, I more or less funded a year by making Adirondack furniture and selling it in front of my house. I enjoyed making it on my own schedule, selling it and delivering it.

Flash forward to having FIREd last year and I have gravitated to a similar commercial hobby that I thoroughly enjoy, which is finding free or almost free old furniture, repainting it to look more contemporary, and selling it to neighbors online. After a few pieces under my belt, Iím getting the hang of it, and thereís enough interest that I need to raise prices.

I also plan to build some more outdoor furniture from scratch, though, yeesh, lumber prices right now!

Do others stack some Benjamins through something fun that in no way resembles being accountable to anyone else?

The first two pics are my first attempt at ďDistressed Farmhouse.Ē Sold for $100 but failed to count the money, and only got paid $70! LOL. I decided it was a cheap lesson.
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I found the little table in the alley and refinished it with paint I already had. $30
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Lastly, another free dresser from an alley, which Iíve put the first two coats of primer on. Having had 6 people interested in a similar piece at $120, I think Iíll ask $140.
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Old 05-18-2021, 10:58 PM   #2
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Nice recycling! I've watched the show Flea Market Flip and would like to do something similar - make a little money and keep furniture out of the landfills.
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Old 05-18-2021, 11:08 PM   #3
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I've been supporting that for years now.

Put it out on the curb and it's gone the next (sometimes same) day
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Old 05-18-2021, 11:15 PM   #4
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Great idea for a thread!

Registered at eBay in 2002, & since I'm a lifelong resident of Minnesota,
(huge Vikings fan) I started buying 'graded' Randy Moss rookie cards & serial numbered insert cards.

Bought 2 of the following in the link shown below for $87 in 2003.
Working on a deal to sell one of them privately next week.

It's crazy what these cards are going for right now, so I'm going to make hay while the sun's shining.
*have to scroll down the page halfway*
https://www.ebay.com/itm/29415771458...p2047675.l2557
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Old 05-19-2021, 04:57 AM   #5
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I've dipped my toe into the wacky world of Helium mining.
https://www.early-retirement.org/for...in-109151.html

It's keeping my mind active, and I have learned about areas never explored, like RF.

It cost less than $300 at the time I purchased, and I have 1.91 HNT in my account. That's minimal earnings (long tech story of course), or about $25.00.
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Old 05-19-2021, 03:22 PM   #6
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A few years ago, I got the idea to build a barn door for our wet bar. I had never done any real wood working, but after a couple of YouTube videos I went to work and came up with this. It was cheap to make and pretty easy, too. Word got out about my new found "ability" and a few folks asked if I could make them one, too. I made about 6 for a decent profit but got tired of the commitment.
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Old 05-19-2021, 03:41 PM   #7
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Extra income was minimal, but there were perks to my retirement hobby that I considered nothing short of outstanding. I was a "beer writer" and I reviewed beers for publication in newspapers and magazines (this was a long time ago and such reviews are all too common online today). I did it simply because I enjoyed it, and I also enjoyed explaining the finer points of craft beer to others.

One day I got a phone call asking if I would like to go to Oktoberfest in Munich. I figured it was some sort of scam, so I decided to play along and said "Sure, if I can take my wife." The response floored me when the caller said "We can do that."

Long story short, it was the PR agent for a major importer of European beers, and they gave me and DW a pair of RT business class tickets to Munich, a week in a 3 star hotel, VIP tickets to Oktoberfest, and a side trip to Salzburg. Total cost to us was zero.

Another time I got another truly remarkable phone call. "I've been reading your columns and you have finally made it to the top of my list. We would like to bring you to Europe for a tour of Germany and Belgium to visit some breweries."

Again, long story short, I got RT business class tickets on Lufthansa, and along with a few other beer writers I was taken in a minibus through most of western Germany and most of eastern Belgium. We were put up in mostly 4 star hotels, taken to various cultural events, and visited a LOT of breweries. Total cost was again zero.

I have had a great many brewery visits, trips, special events, etc. over the years but those two trips were by far the most memorable. I gave up that activity a long time ago but I can still occasionally stop in at a brewery or brewpub and recognize an owner. That invariably leads to a wonderful conversation and great memories.
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Old 05-19-2021, 03:57 PM   #8
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I do some wood carving and have sold them all over the US. I didn't do it for that purpose but ended up people wanted them. I only do about 4 to 5 a year and haven't finished one now since last fall. I do have one started but I haven't been inspired enough to finish it. Not something I do to make extra money it just kind of happened. I have a store that has repeatedly wanting me to bring more of my work in but I haven't. I never want it to be a job.
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Any hobbies that generate some bonus income?
Old 05-19-2021, 04:51 PM   #9
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Any hobbies that generate some bonus income?

I am a beekeeper with about 20 colonies. I was in red (like any hobby) for 2-3 year while I built up the apiary. Now it throws few grands every year. Not that I am counting on this income but it is a cherry on top to get paid for a hobby! Eventually I want to go into queen rearing which might add to the income.
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Old 05-19-2021, 05:52 PM   #10
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I have home based business related to my old car hobby. Started when working full time, and continuing in retirement. Have been going for 13 years now. Mainly tax write off benefits, but does provide some car money. Sell all over the world, but mostly USA.
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Old 05-19-2021, 06:19 PM   #11
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I have had a little collectibles business since the mid 80s. I don't really do much with it currently but may get back to it in retirement. My main focus is Disney collectibles. Back in my heyday (late 90s, early 2000s) I was bringing in a couple thousand a month on ebay sales.


My wife has a little sewing business - bags, quilts, etc.
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Old 05-19-2021, 09:08 PM   #12
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Whoa, Iím floored by folksí hobbies! Everyone one of them is inspiring.
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Old 05-20-2021, 01:18 AM   #13
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I do some wood carving and have sold them all over the US. I didn't do it for that purpose but ended up people wanted them. I only do about 4 to 5 a year and haven't finished one now since last fall. I do have one started but I haven't been inspired enough to finish it. Not something I do to make extra money it just kind of happened. I have a store that has repeatedly wanting me to bring more of my work in but I haven't. I never want it to be a job.
Wow. These wood carvings are awesome! You have quite a talent!
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Old 05-20-2021, 05:09 AM   #14
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There is guy in my former Mega Corp that was laid off. His side gig was detailing cars. He has so much business he is busy for the next few months.
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Old 05-20-2021, 05:15 AM   #15
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I've done some woodworking pieces and photography gigs for $. But not in a while. I turn down a lot of requests, but I would do some woodworking or photo shoots for $ again if they looked interesting and fun.
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Old 05-20-2021, 08:05 AM   #16
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I earn (well, used to earn before Covid) money from gigging in a couple bands.

I've done a few DIY projects for money such as building a deck or fence, or installing a window or door, but I don't bother any more except for a few exceptions. Basically someone has to be in a jamb with no other options.

One of my friends will pay me as a handyman if a problem at one of his rentals comes up that is beyond his expertise level.
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Old 05-20-2021, 08:24 AM   #17
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I've done a few DIY projects for money such as building a deck or fence, or installing a window or door, but I don't bother any more except for a few exceptions. Basically someone has to be in a jamb with no other options.
I see what you did there!
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Old 05-20-2021, 09:07 AM   #18
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I've only done this for pay once, but I'm certainly open to doing it again if the opportunity arises. A friend of ours was writing her second book (non-fiction, medical topic). She happened to mention to my wife that she needed an editor and asked who our daughter had used for her novel (our daughter published a novel when she was 18). My wife responded that I had been the editor. Our friend was surprised but asked if I would edit her book. I did. She was very pleased, much more so than she had been with the professional editor she used for her first book. When it was all done, she and her husband took us out to a nice dinner and gave me a nice check as well.
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Old 05-20-2021, 09:18 AM   #19
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I have a small computer software business. It was my full time job for 20+ years, but these days it's more of a hobby income. I don't have much time to devote to it anymore, but it mostly runs unattended anyway. It should last until retirement, and maybe a bit longer if I still feel like continuing with it.

I also started a DIY YouTube channel a couple years ago. I don't upload videos that often, but it currently generates about $50 a month from the ad revenue. It's essentially free money for something I do for fun anyway.
https://www.youtube.com/c/AnthonyWatsonDIY/videos
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Old 05-20-2021, 09:29 AM   #20
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Without being too much of a wet blanket, as soon as you set a price on a thing, and that thing is purchased by someone who isn't family or a close friend, you're out of hobby land and into business. That's ok! But that does come with a whole lot of other considerations.

When I knew I would be retiring in my 40's, I kinda said well...what would 7-year old me have wanted to do when she grew up? So I did that.
I started a hobby business with the intent of it being a real business, and now it is. (LLC, tax forms, wholesale licenses and accounts with suppliers, web sites, visiting trade shows, etc.) It's still small, and I don't do it full time, it never interrupts travel, and would drop it if I didn't enjoy it. But, yes the extra income and tax benefits are nice, as well as the virtual community with other makers.
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