5 Easy Side Hustles that Really Pay

Angie and I have been side-hustling for years. We’ve done everything from swap out the displays on top of gas pumps all across Colorado to sit on a mock jury to earn a little extra cash. Once we even mystery shopped our meals on vacation. While we love the added income, I sometimes think we do it more for the fun of it than anything else.

Last week, I started playing around with smartphone apps that supposedly pay you to do random tasks. I wanted to see how easy they were to use, how many tasks were available, and how quickly they paid. Here’s what I found:

Field Agent 
field agentBy far, this is my favorite of all the ones we tested. It is very easy to sign up and easy to use. Within an hour, we were off on our first assignment…to test and take pictures of the coin counting machine in a local grocery store. Since we were driving toward Nashville anyway (to pick up a recliner for my mom), we decided to do a few other assignments along the way. With Field Agent, you only have a 2-hour window to complete an assignment once you claim it, so it’s best to search while you’re on the go. So far, we’ve earned $15 (4 assignments) while we were out and about on our regular errands. Field Agent pays quickly, setting your earnings aside in an account that you can cash out at any time.

easy-shift-appEasy Shift
This app runs a close second to Field Agent. It has the same easy to use interface. With Easy Shift though, you have 24 hours to complete accepted assignments. We had a little difficulty with capturing photos in the app but nothing that wasn’t easily fixed with a quick reset of the phone. Easy Shift pays very quickly via PayPal. We completed 3 assignments with Easy Shift while grocery shopping on Saturday, earning $12.25. That money was deposited the next day into our PayPal account.

Surveys on the Go
ongosurveyI’m on the fence with this app. The surveys are easy enough but there are very, very few of them and the earnings are small. When a survey is available in your location, you will receive a push notification; however, you have to be quick to get in on the survey. So far, we’ve only earned $1.10. When I discussed deleting this app with Angie, she waxed philosophical and said, “You wouldn’t step over a dime on the ground, now would you? No. A dime is a dime and ten add up to a dollar.” I couldn’t argue with that logic. So for the time being, we’ll keep this app to see how many dimes we collect.

MSI Mobile
MSIMobileTrendsource is not a standalone mobile app like the others. They are a legitimate merchandising and mystery shopping company and as such, there’s an application process. We’ve been contractors with Trendsource for nearly a decade. They offer easy monthly grocery store audits, restaurant mystery shops, and on-site business inspections that pay between $5-$25 per location, along with reimbursement for your purchase. Though they don’t pay immediately, they do have a set payment schedule and direct deposit options.

Bestmark
BestMark_BlueLogoSquareI couldn’t find an app for Bestmark but I wanted to mention them because, like Trendsource, they are a legitimate mystery shopping company. Both Angie and I are contractors with them. What I like most about Bestmark is that you can find easy internet or phone assignments that don’t require you to go anywhere. These assignments only pay $3-$4 but they also only take 15-20 minutes to do. Bestmark also offers on-site mystery shops, including opportunities for oil changes and other automotive services. Bestmark pays by check on a set monthly schedule. Right now, we have 5 internet shops scheduled with them for this week (total earnings will be $15).

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