You're probably familiar with popular side hustles like driving with Uber or delivering groceries. We love that kind of side gig, but here at FinanceBuzz, we also like to offer some more unique (and fun!) side hustle opportunities.
When inspiration strikes, we share new creative side hustles that our talented readers can apply for. In the past, we've had people taste a new flavor of ice cream every week for a year, watch horror movies while measuring their heart rate, and listen to breakup songs for 24 hours — all for a paycheck.
Take a closer look at these FinanceBuzz-exclusive side hustles.
Buc-ees Bud-ee Taste Tester
To close out summer, we’re looking for one hungry traveler to taste-test 25 popular foods from America's most beloved roadside stop: Buc-ee’s.
From jerky to breakfast tacos, we want someone to try all of Buc-ee’s favorites (and a few off-the-beaten-path selections) to guide our readers on the best road trip snacks for their next adventure.
If selected as our Buc-ee’s Bud-ee, you’ll get paid $1,000 to complete our taste test, plus $250 to cover the cost of food, gas, and some very-necessary Beaver-themed merchandise. Applications are being accepted through September 11.
Fast & Furious Claims Adjuster
The side hustle: In anticipation of the release of Fast X, we hired someone to watch all 10 Fast & Furious movies and itemize every car crash in the saga. We wanted to use our Fast Claims Adjuster’s 20+ hours of analysis to estimate the insurance impact of the franchise’s reckless driving. In exchange, we paid them $1,000, plus costs for snacks, streaming, and tickets to the new movie.
The result: We selected Patrick S., an actual claims adjuster, for the task. Patrick painstakingly watched each film and tracked the drivers, cars involved, and timestamps of every crash in the franchise.
But that’s not all - after we selected our Claims Adjuster, AI researchers from Stanford University did their own analysis to compare against Patrick’s results. Simultaneously, Barstool Sports’ John Feitelberg, a Fast Superfan, completed a 24-hour livestream where he completed the task in one sitting as a charity fundraiser.
Find out whether man or AI is better at spotting car crashes and what it would actually take to insure the Toretto family.
IKEA DIY Duo
The side hustle: We wanted a couple to buy and build IKEA furniture together in order to find out if it's worth it to splurge on IKEA delivery and assembly. We asked our DIY Duo to put their relationship to the test by building an entire IKEA bedroom set together. In return, we paid them $1,000, plus a gift card for the furniture.
The result: We selected Seth W. and Christine Z. for the task. Did they find it's worth it to self-assemble IKEA furniture? And how did their relationship stand the test of doing so much DIY with so few instructions?
Pumpkin Spice Pundit
The side hustle: We wanted someone who could help us taste and evaluate all of the fall-inspired Pumpkin Palooza foods at Trader Joe's. We used their market research to help shoppers decide which fall foods to buy and which to skip. We paid our selected Pumpkin Spice Pundit $1,000 for their work, plus a $500 Trader Joe's gift card to cover the cost of the food.
The result: We selected Lara K. of Sacramento, CA — the illustrious founder of the Pumpkin Everything Facebook group — to be our Pumpkin Spice Pundit. With more than 140,000 followers and a life devoted to pumpkins (seriously, even her hair is orange), we knew Lara would be the perfect choice to guide our readers on the fall season’s best picks at Trader Joe’s.
Read her list of 30 Trader Joe’s Fall Foods, Ranked and Reviewed by a Pumpkin Expert.
DJ of Heartache
The side hustle: We wanted someone who had recently gotten out of a relationship to listen to heartbreak-inspired songs for 24 hours. Breakups are never easy, and they can be expensive! We paid our hired DJ of Heartache $1,100 to listen to some of the most cathartic heartbreak hits, then categorize them into five new playlists to become the soundtrack of every breakup phase.
The result: We hired Cristin S. to be our DJ of Heartache. Cristin is a psychotherapist and a musician, so we knew she’d be the perfect fit to explore the emotional relief rating of music made about heartache.
See the ultimate breakup playlists that Cristin put together after her research.
Horror Movie Heart Rate Analyst
The side hustle: We wanted someone to record their heart rate while watching 13 of the scariest movies ever made. We paid the hired Horror Movie Heart Rate Analyst $1,300 and sent them a Fitbit to record their heart rate. We wanted to learn whether or not a movie’s budget impacts how horrifying it feels to watch.
The result: There are a lot of scary movie fans out there — we received over 500,000 applications for this side hustle. We ultimately selected Maddi K. of Blacksburg, Virginia to brave 13 of the scariest movies ever made to help us analyze whether or not low-budget horror films deliver the same scream-worthy scares as their high-budget horror counterparts.
See the results of Maddi's scarefest and whether high-budget or low-budget horror movies are scarier.
Ice Cream Flavor Evaluation Specialist
The side hustle: FinanceBuzz wanted an Ice Cream Flavor Evaluation Specialist for a year-long study. The perfect candidate was tasked with eating ice cream for a year and rating flavors for us. We not only paid someone $1,000 to do this, but we also paid for the ice cream.
The result: We found the perfect person for this side hustle. Amy D., an ice-cream-obsessed realtor from Westborough, Massachusetts, was hired as our Ice Cream Flavor Evaluation Specialist. With more than a decade of ice cream taste-testing experience, Amy was tasked with hunting down more than 50 flavors of Ben & Jerry’s at supermarkets and scoop shops over the course of a year.
See which Ben & Jerry's flavor came out on top.
Looking for a side hustle of your own?
Our exclusive side hustle opportunities are fun, but they’re not the only way to make some extra cash in your spare time. Here are a few other ways to bring home the bacon beyond your day job:
- Work over the weekend. If you’re ready to sacrifice some free time for the sake of cold hard cash, then there are plenty of side hustles you can do over the weekend.
- Use an app. The best side hustle apps make it easy to pick up some extra work when you have time. Choose from gigs like rideshare, food delivery and petsitting through apps that do some of the work for you.
- Establish passive income. You don’t always have to work harder to make money. Some of the best passive income side hustles let you collect extra income with minimal effort.