Side Hustle – the why

As you know, we are great fans of the side hustle here at Two Teacher Trek.  If you want to increase your savings (and who wouldn’t??) you have two options:

  1. Cut back on spending
  2. Increase your income

While we advocate doing both, the side hustle focuses on increasing your income.  This is especially important if you are currently in a median-paying job (cough, teaching, cough)

We choose side hustles that are related to teaching.  More specifically, since we are both teachers of the International Baccalaureate program, there are numerous opportunities for us to make supplemental income related to this specific program.

Other teachers can make a lucrative side hustle in tutoring.  You can also tutor online English.  Read our blog post about it here!


The Side Hustle numbers

Here is a breakdown of the side hustles that we did in 2018.  Most of these were mine. (I like to do this far more than Lindsey!)

In April, I led an IB Workshop in Vienna.  I wrote about my weekend in this blog postI made $1225 plus expenses (flight, hotel, etc)

May is the big testing season for the IB.  Students take a number of tests and write essays in 7 different subjects total (including TOK). These exams are the culmination of two years of study.  I mark (grade) in two different subjects.  Throughout April I read Theory of Knowledge essays, and in May and June, I grade History essays.  I am also a team leader so I get paid to help other people who grade, and I also grade papers that students ask to get re-graded.  In total, I made $8333.40 for this exam session.

Lindsey also grades Biology papers in this session.  She made $856.20.

In June, I facilitated an online workshop for IB for 4 weeks.  Basically, teachers work there way through a number of activities and I help guide them (look at unit plans, comment in an online forum, etc). For doing this, I made $1375.

From February-August, I worked with a company called Kognity.  They produce online textbooks for IB subjects.  They are producing a new History series, and I worked as a quality controller, making sure that the text fits with the curriculum.  I was paid €2500 for this. (That is equivalent to about $2830)

Because I am a team leader in May, I get to grade the November IB exams for schools in the southern hemisphere.  For that, I got $701.90.

I did another online facilitation for the IB in November.  In addition, that month, I read a few course outlines from new schools looking to become IB schools.  That got me another $1500

TOTAL: $16,821.50

Woah! That’s more than I thought

The point of this post is not to brag.  For us, it is more for reflection and accountability. 

The key takeaway is that we need to do a better job of keeping tabs on our side hustles.  Until writing it all down for this post, we had no idea exactly how much it was.  This has nasty tax implications since most of this work (at least with IB) counts as 1099-MISC income.  I usually just pay the penalty instead of going down the estimated taxes route.  Moreover, now that we are abroad, we have very little taxable income.  Need to look into the tax implications more.

A big question, for us, is:


That is actually a good question.

The money from Kognity went into my bank account in the UK. We will use some of that for our trip to Scotland in the next few weeks.  That money will also continue paying for my voluntary National Insurance contributions.

With about $2300, I opened up an account with M1 Finance.  M1 is a great way to invest in individual stocks.  Read our review about it here.  The rest went somewhere else.  It helped pay for our summer back in the US where we spent way too much money.  The rest went into our brokerage account.

I think maybe we will set up a separate fund to house the side hustle money.  There is no real reason for it other than psychological.  It is nice to see your added hard work pay off!

Implications for the future

It is hard to think about our side hustle future because the work is so variable. 

The Kognity gig was a one-off and not likely to be repeatable. 

The grading work is variable as well.  In order to grade, you have to pass a relatively stringent qualification each year.  While we have been successful in qualifying every year, you never know!

I think that next year, we could see a dramatic decline in our side hustle income. But that’s ok too!

What is your side hustle? Do you have a side business to promote? Leave a comment below!



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