side hustles for teachers

Side Hustles For Teachers :: Summer Jobs For Teachers

Teachers have some unique advantages when it comes to creating side hustles. The best side hustles for teachers could simply be summer jobs for teachers! There are a few smart ways to approach it. 

The best side hustles for teachers make use of their advantages, namely their time and their areas of expertise. The school years are BUSY for teachers, but a little focus and planning can turn the breaks in the school year into profitable periods of time.

And if you’re lucky enough to work in a school that still has a summer break, bonus points for you. Some of the best side hustles for teachers only take a month or two of concentrated effort to get off the ground and then they’ll provide income all year.

Summer jobs for teachers don’t have to be minimum wage!

Online courses

Teachers are the best-equipped people in the world to create online courses. OBVIOUSLY. Creating lesson plans and understanding the learning process are huge advantages when creating content that will be taught online. 

Online courses don’t need to be university-level classes on a certain topic. There are plenty of people in the world who would love to know what you know and they simply have no background or context. There’s the opportunity! 

If you don’t believe me, check out the success of the “…For Dummies” books. The publisher (Wiley) knows their audience for these books very well. The people who buy them are educated and intelligent people who want to learn about a specific topic. They do not consider themselves “dummies” in general, just uneducated on that topic. Wiley has sold millions of those books. 

How do you create an online course? Heck, you may already have an online course ready to go! If you have a course outline (aka lesson plan for the semester), you’ve already done all the heavy lifting.

My favorite platform for creating online courses to make money is Teachable. Teachable has been around for a few years and in the world of online learning platforms, they have the best options for anyone who wants to create an online course. They have over seven million students, over 34,000 active courses and they have paid over $100M to teachers so far. The setup is easy and you don’t need any technical skills to get started. You can register for free to check it out, so there’s no risk to you.  

Real estate

Getting a real estate license and becoming a real estate agent is a fairly popular side hustle for teachers. In fact, many teachers retire from teaching and become full-time real estate agents once they see how much money they can make! 

The first step to becoming a real estate agent is to get a license. Every state has a different licensing authority, so the rules and process are slightly different in each state. The good news is the pre-licensing courses can be completed online and at your own pace in most states. This is a great list of recommended real estate licensing schools

Kindle books

Kindle books are a fabulous way to make some extra money. Again, teachers have an advantage here because they may already have a few books worth of material in their lesson plans and class notes. 

It’s relatively easy to publish a Kindle book. The books don’t need to be full-length novels. For example, I published a “book” that is essentially a list of 101 items with a little description underneath each one. It achieve #1 ranking in several different categories. I was very upfront about the fact that the book was not going to win any Pulitzers, and that sort of honesty was well-received. You can see that one here.

I have a few more books in the Kindle store and they provide some nice extra income. They are all very niche titles, so they don’t sell a ton of copies. I don’t mind because I did the work one time and now I can get paid forever. 

Also, the Kindle store is nice because you don’t even need to own a Kindle to make use of it. Both iPhone and Android offer free Kindle apps for their devices. 


Tutoring is an obvious side hustle for teachers. You can do this during the school year, over the summer break, or both! My mother was a math teacher before she retired and she would regularly tutor students who needed a little extra help or wanted to get ahead. 

Lyft and Uber

Driving for Lyft and Uber when you’re not teaching is a great way to create some extra income. People like me have no interest in owning cars or driving ever again. Uber and Lyft make it easy by having a massive network of people who can get me from point A to point B. 

This is a good side hustle for teachers because the times of day when people want rides (rush hour and evenings to and from the bars) are outside of the normal teaching hours. Teachers are typically done with official work at the schools in the mid-afternoons and nights and weekends are fair game. Uber and Lyft can be great sources of extra income for any teacher who is interested in pursuing this route. 

Do you have any side hustles for teachers we should add to this list? If so, please leave them in the comments below. 

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65 Side Hustle Ideas: Make Money In Your Spare Time
Airbnb Income: Real Numbers From Airbnb Hosts
Sell Your Car: Take Uber And Lyft Everywhere

how do real estate agent get paid

How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?


It’s a question with big financial implications for you: How do real estate agents get paid?

Real estate agents are some of the last highly-paid professionals in the US that haven’t had their industry turned upside-down by technology. There are some hints at disruption in the real estate industry, but it’s mostly business as usual for now. 

As with any industry that has a low barrier to entry and no real “moat” besides the licensing process, the way real estate agents get paid will likely experience some big changes in the near future. In the meantime, it pays to understand the transaction and all the moving parts so you can protect your money.

The commissions in a real estate transaction are almost always paid by the seller. There are some exceptions to this, but the sellers are paying the commission in most deals. The listing agent (who represents the seller) offers to split that commission with the buyers agents (the one representing the buyer). It’s usually a 50/50 split. 

Here’s an example:

Real estate agent sells one of her listings for $400,000.
Commission earned is 6% of the sale price (a total of $24,000).
Half of that goes to the agent who represented the seller and the other half goes to the agent who represented the buyer. That’s $12,000 each.
(Please keep in mind the agents have to split that commission with their brokerages, they have to cover all their expenses AND they have to pay income tax on it, so that $12,000 can quickly turn into $4000-$5000 in net income)

Why should you care how real estate agents get paid?

There are a few reasons this should matter to you. Buying a house is the largest financial transaction most people make in their lifetimes and it pays dividends to protect your assets during the process.

First of all, using an agent to buy a property should be free to you because the seller is paying all the commission. Take advantage of this and find an agent that works with a lot of buyers who will represent your interests.

One of the biggest mistakes first-time homebuyers make is using the listing agent as their buyers agent on the same property. That’s idiotic. 

Think of it this way: Would you hire a lawyer to represent both the prosecution and the defense in the same trial? Of course not. Then why would you think that’s a good idea in a real estate transaction?

The dirty truth is that many listing agents will try to sell you on the idea of letting them represent you on one of their listings. They do this because they want to keep all of the commission instead of splitting it with another agent. This situation is commonly called “dual agency” and has been declared illegal in some states, but there are loopholes that let agents legally accomplish the same thing (which doesn’t serve you at all). 

The second reason you should care how real estate agents get paid has to do with the selling side of the transaction. When you are selling a property, you are expected to pay a commission to the listing agent. 

The commission is ALWAYS negotiable. In the US, we don’t usually negotiate things (as a culture). There is no such thing as a “standard” commission rate in real estate. 

Real estate commission rates

The past few decades in real estate have shown that the average commission rate for a home sale in the US has been between 5% and 6% of the sale price. Interestingly, that number increases when the market is tough (like after the financial crisis) and decreases when the market is hot (like now, spring 2018).

It makes sense if you think about it. When there are ten houses for sale in the market for every one buyer, it is going to take more effort, marketing dollars, time etc. in order to get a home sold. When the opposite is true and there are ten buyers for every one house that’s for sale, it takes much less effort to sell a house and it’s harder for an agent to justify a higher commission rate. 

The tricky part is that even though commissions are negotiable, you will probably find that most of the top agents in your area charge roughly the same commission rate. 

A note about discount brokerages

In every major market in the US, there are real estate brokerages that are commonly known as “discount” brokerages or “flat fee” brokerages. Their main pitch is that they will sell your house for a discounted commission. Their rates vary, but they usually charge 1-2% less than the big players in town who are charging full commission rates, or a flat fee for basic services, like putting your property in the MLS.

Great idea, right? Not so fast. In exchange for a lower commission rate, they aren’t able to provide as many services. They don’t make as much from each transaction, so their marketing options are limited. Marketing is expensive and it will suffer if you don’t have enough margin to cover the costs of doing it properly.

The real estate market goes through cycles. When the market is hot and it doesn’t take as much effort to sell a house, discount brokerages seem to be popping up everywhere. When the market gets tough, they are nowhere to be found. 

Furthermore, when people are dealing with the biggest financial transaction of their lives, do you think they are looking to cut corners? Nope. They want the best representation and they are willing to pay for it. The stakes are too high to be taking risks with a cheap option. If real estate agents get paid big commissions in order to deliver big sales prices, so be it. 

The math is fairly simple. It sometimes takes some wrangling, but when sellers understand they should be focused on NET DOLLARS instead of COMMISSION RATES, everything makes sense. Smart people understand that they may be paying a 6% or 7% commission, but the sale price will be high enough to justify that fee because the property was aggressively marketed and they reached all the potential buyers in the market. That nets them the largest check at the closing table and that’s what matters. 

It always pays to shop around when you’re considering a big transaction. Cars, boats, houses…you should know your options and be aware of the costs involved. Real estate commissions are large and you should know if your potential agent is charging at the high-end, low-end or somewhere in the middle. You should also ask some pointed questions about what they DO with those commission dollars to make sure you get the highest price for your home. Knowing how real estate agents get paid can make a big difference in your financial life.

Over the past fifteen years, I have built an international network of agents and brokerages who can be trusted. (I also have a list of agents and brokerages who can’t be trusted!) If you are considering buying or selling real estate this year, I’d be happy to help you find an agent in your area who does good work. Hit me up here if you’d like some help! 

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Sell Your Car: Take Uber And Lyft Everywhere

medical tourism safe

Is Medical Tourism Safe?


Is medical tourism safe? This morning, I went for a regular dental cleaning and checkup. This was a new dentist for me. I hadn’t visited this dentist’s office before today, but it was a modern facility with cutting-edge equipment and an attentive staff. The dentist who owns the operation went to a top dental school and was very personable.

It was a normal cleaning and checkup, including the usual advice that I shouldn’t drink so much coffee. There was one small twist to this visit, though. I’m in Medellín, Colombia.*

Medical tourism has been around for years and traveling to different geographic locations in order to save some money is quite common.

On one end of the spectrum, you have people who embrace medical tourism to save a few bucks. For example, it’s a common occurrence in south Texas, New Mexico and Arizona for people to cross the border into Mexico for dental work. Most of the dentists there went to US dental schools and are bilingual English/Spanish. You get the same quality work and the costs savings are significant. 

In the middle of the spectrum, you have people like me who love to travel and have arranged their lives so they are not tied to one particular geographic location. 

I didn’t come to Colombia to get my teeth cleaned, but it was time to get my teeth cleaned when I happened to be in Colombia for an extended stay. Instead of neglecting my teeth until I was back in the US, I decided to get them cleaned on-time like a good boy scout. 

On the other end of the spectrum, you have people who embrace medical tourism for cosmetic surgery or elective surgery. If you’re on “vacation” in a tropical location while you recover from a facelift or tummy-tuck, no one in your hometown will be the wiser when you return fully-healed a few weeks later.

Elective surgeries can create a wide range of headaches and crippling medical expenses if they aren’t covered by your insurance company in the US. You bypass both the headaches and the ridiculous US medical costs by getting those surgeries abroad. For example, replacing a heart valve in the US costs about $150,000 and getting that same heart valve replaced in India costs about $15,000. 

Oh, and those foreign doctors are frequently trained at better medical schools than your US doctor.


An added bonus with my lifestyle is that I have visited doctors on three different continents (so far). You’d be AMAZED at the different attitudes and philosophies around healthcare you find in advanced countries around the world. The pill-pushing medical approach is specific to the US, and the rest of the world is horrified at the advertising and political lobbying we allow from pharmaceutical companies in the US. NO OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD allow that sort of influence from pharmaceutical companies, and for good reason.

You may also be surprised to learn that the United States ranks #37 in the world for their healthcare system. That means there are 36 countries that do a better job of keeping their people healthy than the United States. The World Health Organization published a report on this (skip to page 18 for the rankings). So, spare me the lectures when I don’t blindly take my US doctor’s advice to medicate myself for every stupid little thing. There’s a place for medication, but it shouldn’t be the knee-jerk response to every ailment.

Lastly, I found this article rather amusing. Sad and a little scary, but amusing. “Not only is there no harm to patients when doctors strike, there nearly always seems to be a decrease in patient deaths.” 


What is medical tourism?

Simply put, medical tourism is the act of traveling to a location outside of your home country to get medical care. Alternatively, some people travel back to their home countries from their lives abroad in order to get medical care. It is estimated that the medical tourism industry is worth $30-$40 billion.

What are best countries for medical tourism?

The best countries for medical tourism are the countries that have modern facilities and doctors trained at top medical schools. This is our list of the top countries for medical tourism:

  1. Malaysia
  2. India
  3. Thailand
  4. Poland
  5. Turkey
  6. Mexico
  7. Colombia
  8. Jordan
  9. Brazil
  10. Panama
  11. Costa Rica
  12. Belize
  13. Chechia
  14. Singapore
  15. Germany


How can I know the quality of the doctors and hospitals abroad?

There is no “standard” international accreditation for doctors or hospitals. There has been an increasing interest in creating an international accreditation standard over the past few years, but it’s very political and moving slowly.

The best advice is to do your homework. Research the hospital and the doctor(s) before you commit to anything. It’s also advisable to make a trip to the location where you will be receiving medical care ahead of time to meet the doctor, talk to the staff and discuss any potential issues that may be unique to you, both as a patient and as a person who doesn’t have a local address. 

How do the costs compare to the US when you add it all up?

The answer is almost always, “Much cheaper.”

You won’t be able to use your US insurance for most procedures abroad, but that doesn’t matter much. The out-of-pocket costs are still likely to be much lower than what you pay in the US. Also, many doctors and dentists give significant discounts if you pay cash, so plan for that as well. 

Is there a tax advantage to getting work done outside of the US?

Yes. The IRS allows deductions for certain medical care and the related expenses paid out-of-pocket. Check with your tax professional for details on how that applies to your tax situation. The IRS website is also a great resource for answers on this topic. This page is good.

One last thing…

*I HIGHLY recommend my dentist in Medellín. The name of the dentist is Clinica Artica and you can visit their website to learn more. They didn’t ask for this endorsement nor are they compensating me for it. I have been very pleased with their work and I plan to use them for my dental needs in the future.

You might also enjoy:
65 Side Hustle Ideas: Make Money In Your Spare Time
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Sell Your Car: Take Uber And Lyft Everywhere

cheap travel

Cheap Travel :: Tips, Tricks and Cheap Destinations

Cheap travel is more accessible than you might think.

For most of my career, I’ve been in a position where I interview and hire people for our company. I’ve interviewed thousands of candidates and hired hundreds of them. You learn a few things when you have that many conversations focused on the same topics.

I like to make my interviews feel like conversations instead of inquisitions. It’s more comfortable for the candidates and I learn more about them when they are put at ease.

One of my standard interview questions:

“If you awoke tomorrow morning and you had all the money you would need for the rest of your life, what would you do with your time?”

What do you think is the answer 90%+ of the time?


I’m being a little sneaky when I ask that question. Because I already KNOW most people are going to say “travel,” I’m ready with a follow-up question. The answer to the follow-up question is what I’m after.

After the candidate answers, “Travel,” I respond with, “That’s great! Where would you go first?”

I get all sorts of answers to the follow-up question, but every answer falls into one of two categories. Either the candidate is very specific and starts rattling off places they have clearly researched OR the candidate speaks in vague terms and doesn’t have any specific destination or reasoning behind the idea of “travel.”

The idea that traveling is reserved for wealthy people is a myth. Cheap travel is easier than ever thanks to the internet. You can research destinations and book travel accommodations on your iPhone in-between bites of sandwich during your lunch break.

In fact, there are plenty of destinations that will cost far less than you’re paying to live in a typical US city.

That’s right, you can SAVE money by going on vacation.

For a recent example of some cheap travel, I took a trip to Colombia (the country) from San Francisco (where I live). To be fair, San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the US, but bear with me.

A one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco costs about $3200 a month right now. That’s for roughly 550 square feet and doesn’t include parking. Some of the added benefits (haha) of living in San Francisco are a hefty sales tax (8.5%), the highest state income tax rate in the US (up to 13%) and the fact that you pay a premium for things like groceries (priced 20-30% higher than anywhere else in the US).

But the weather! Lol

To get to Colombia, I bought a round-trip plane ticket for ~$500 and booked an Airbnb in a nice part of Medellín. The Airbnb was a one-bedroom apartment that cost me $24 a night. It was a lovely place and very comfortable.

So, a month of living in an apartment in Medellín would cost me $744 plus a $500 plane ticket while a month of living in an apartment in San Francisco would cost me $3200 (plus utilities and parking, so another $200-$400 a month).

Things that make you go hmmmmm.

Uber has a presence in Medellín and it cost me $3-5 per ride to Uber just about anywhere I needed to go. There’s also a train system that is far superior to the public transportation options in San Francisco and that cost me $.90 per ride.

The costs of housing and transportation were wonderful, and everything else in Medellín is inexpensive as well. I tried my hardest to break the $20 barrier for a nice dinner in Medellín and I couldn’t do it. I would get the most expensive steak on the menu, wine, etc. and I couldn’t spend more than $20. It was glorious.

Update: My new expat friends in Colombia have informed me of a few restaurants where I can definitely spend more than $20 on dinner. I’ll give those a try on my next trip and report back.

Cheap travel is here to stay. The world is rapidly adapting to the idea of a distributed workforce as it becomes easier to do many jobs from anywhere that has wifi.

So let me ask you this: If you awoke tomorrow morning and you had all the money you would need for the rest of your life, what would you do with your time? Leave your answer in the comments.


make money with airbnb

Airbnb Income : Real Numbers From Airbnb Hosts

People all around the world are creating Airbnb income by offering their properties as short-term rentals on Airbnb. (When you sign up with this link, you get some free Airbnb credit and I get some free Airbnb credit. Go do that now. It’s FREE to sign up and this post will make more sense after you’ve had a chance to explore the site a bit.)

Airbnb was created as a way for people to make a some extra money by their renting rooms and couches to visitors. Today, the company is worth many billions of dollars and is competing with the large, established hotel brands all over the world by renting entire houses and apartments in addition to rooms and couches.

I’ve stayed in Airbnbs all over the world and it has been wonderful (almost) every time. There was one weird experience in Brussels, but that’s a story for another time. I prefer to stay in Airbnbs instead of hotels because I prefer to live like a local instead of living like a tourist. I travel quite a bit and I’m comfortable getting outside of the typical tourist zones, but that’s a personal preference.

Airbnb is great as a traveler and it is also great for property owners. Long-term rental income is usually much less than what an owner can earn in Airbnb income by offering short-term rentals.

How much more can an owner make in Airbnb income? That’s a great question! Let’s take a look.

Example 1: Airbnb income from a condo in Denver

A friend of mine owns a condo in a popular neighborhood in Denver. He has owned it for twelve years and it is his primary residence.

Note: The primary residence part is important because of the short-term rental laws in Denver. Like many large US cities, there is an extreme shortage of affordable housing. Regulation has been implemented in Denver to keep property owners from making the affordable housing problem worse by limiting the ability to offer short-term rentals. The only way to (legally) make Airbnb income in Denver is if the property you put on Airbnb is your primary residence.

He sent me this screenshot to show me exactly how much Airbnb income he is able to make by renting his entire condo. Those numbers are sexy!

make money with airbnb

He doesn’t get to keep all of that money, of course. There are taxes to consider (city, state and federal), cleaning costs and the revenue share arrangement he has with his girlfriend so he can stay with her whenever someone is renting his condo. 🙂

Here’s the simple breakdown:

Denver short-term rental tax: 10.75%
Colorado state income tax: 4.63%
Federal income tax: 35%
Cleaning fees: $75-$150 per rental
Girlfriend revenue share: 20%

For the total income he’ll receive from the rentals illustrated on the screenshot, his net income will be $1641.86 ($4136.08 minus taxes, cleaning fees and the girlfriend expense).

There are things he can do to offset some of these taxes and fees, but we’re not going to get into the nitty gritty details of deductions and such. Assume he has no deductions and he’s not charging his guests for cleaning for this illustration. In real life, he’s able to keep more than $1641.

Example 2: Airbnb income from a beach house in California

The math here is much simpler. My friend’s family has a vacation home on the Northern California coast and they have been KILLING IT with their Airbnb income.

For a few years, they had the house and used it about two weeks a year. This is more common than you may think. Many vacation houses and resort houses are used in a similar way.

After a few years of the mostly-vacant house sitting there, my friend went to his parents and proposed a solution: Let him rent it and generate some Airbnb income when they’re not using it. He would manage the entire process and be paid for his work (20% of the gross rental income).

At first, his parents were skeptical. They eventually agreed. They kept the rental rates low for the first few months so they could rack up some good reviews on Airbnb (very important!). They raised the rates to regular market rates after they had a good base of guests who had reported great experiences. Now, they have repeat guests year after year. The guests return for their annual vacations and everyone is happy.

The first year of Airbnb rentals generated just over $30,000 in Airbnb income. His cut was about $6000 and he was thrilled. His parents were thrilled with the $24,000 they made from an asset that was costing them money before they put it on Airbnb. His parents pay the county short-term rental taxes and all the other regular maintenance expenses.

The best part? None of them have visited the house in over a year because it’s always booked! It’s fine, though. They have a trusted cleaner who watches the property for them and can do quick turnovers (like when one guest checks out at 11am and the next one will be there at 3pm).

The property is technically “his,” but not really. He’s essentially operating as the family’s property manager. Many people around the world take this approach when they don’t have the means to buy their own Airbnb rentals. You can make some serious money by managing other people’s vacation rentals if you’re willing to hustle to find the right ones.

Regardless of your opinion on the politics of short-term rentals, they are here to stay. They represent one more way you can get on the path to financial independence with nothing other than your wits and your time. It’s pure HUSTLE. Go get some.

Do you have a success story about generating Airbnb income? Add it to the comments! We’d love to hear about it.