How'd You Make Your Very First Money?


For some reason, my very first hustle come to mind this morning. I shouted out to J. Money, sharing:

“I’m curious: Do you remember your first hustle? Mine was selling unwanted toys out of my little red wagon, pre-1968.”

J. thought it would make a good blog post and suggested I shout out on the forum, so . . .

“Do you remember your first hustle? If so, what was it?”


I also made a post out of my first hustle, and I won a contest here on Rockstar for ‘Craziest side jobs’


That’s awesome! Congrats on the contest. I like the idea of your T-shirt. Your story is awesome!


Hahaha nice! @OthalaFehu asked that question here on the forums before:

So I’ll just copy and paste my original answer from that thread, if you don’t mind :smiley:

I started my own newspaper when I was six years old: the Kids Gazette. I typed it up in a super-old version of Microsoft Publisher (Windows 3.1, baby!) and I sold it on the counter tops of local businesses in my hometown (grocery store, pizza place, etc.) by asking if I could put a few copies out with a coin jar for payment. I also sold ads to local businesses in the paper.

I worked on the Kids Gazette on and off from the time I was six until I was thirteen, eventually hiring “reporters” from my classmates, and paid them 10% of the revenues from the issue they contributed to. Generally, the paper made about $30 an issue, and costs were low because my mother worked at a copy shop and subsidized the printing for me!

I stopped when we hit middle school and the paper’s tagline (“By kids, for kids!”) no longer felt true. Plus, at that point my always-entrepreneurial parents had started their hot dog cart business, and it was a lot more lucrative for me to put in some hours working for them than to slave away on a paper that would only make about $30/issue. :smile:


My dad would pay me to do things around the house like clean windows and then I did some babysitting, but my first ‘real’ job was at a Chinese takeout restaurant. I was 14 and a freshman in high school and some seniors were looking for their replacement. I remember I had to beg my parents to let me take the job. I had fun and worked there with my friends all through high school. In addition to that job though, I also became a certified life guard and swim instructor, but I had to wait until I was 16 to be legally allowed to take the test and work.


Hummm… my first job was my internship, boring.
I am going to chuck it up to culture differences. Interesting how different things are here vs my home country. Back home children, teenagers, even young adults are not expected to work until they finish college. Yeap - you heard that right - college! - I mean, yes i was expected to help to the dishes and wash the bathrooms and that sort of thing around the house but i wasn’t expected to earn an income. At all. My parents provided money for parties, movies, or whatever i needed money for. In their minds, they kids’ job was to go to school and do well in school, that was it, that was my job. I have to say I was pretty good at it too…but often wonder how different my life would now be if i had grown up in this country were kids start hustling at a very young age and it is encouraged by parents. At least now i have the opportunity to work on this with my kids, perhaps they will have a more interesting story to share for what their first hustle was in the future! ha! :wink:


My first hustle was selling wrapping paper door to door…I was 4. Granted it wasn’t for money, but it was for something I valued very much at that age - crappy toys from a catalog. I got the hustle bug and continued my ventures first by painting faces on rocks to sell alongside the lemonade stand, participating in moms garage sales, and then to more lucrative gigs like babysitting. I wonder what one of my painted rocks would go for these days?? I’ll have to ask my Aunt, she is the only one who bought them!


I worked at a Boy Scout summer camp being a life guard, swim instructer, waiter, and generally anything else they needed. I had to live on site all but one day a week and food was provided. Pay kind of sucked though, paid by the summer instead of by the hour.


I wrote a post along these lines too: My Make-Money List

I started my first side hustle as a 3-yr-old.

I picked blueberries in the woods around our house and tried to sell them to my mom for 5 cents a pop.

Clearly my calculations didn’t work out because the customer base was too small.


Tried to sell them to you mom, that’s awesome! At least you tried something early. Nice list of your money making ventures. I need to sit down and compile mine. Some memories started coming back when reading your post. :slight_smile:


Interesting gig. At that age, I could see how the pay would suck.


Oh, forgot to mention. I’m compiling the responses into a blog post and will include links to contributors’ websites. I can’t locate one for you.



My first gig was farm work. My mom’s cousin had a horse boarding farm, and I would bale hay, clean chicken coups, split wood, mow fields, mend fences, etc. I was a farm hand. And it paid well… $5 a hour. I still can’t believe it. But yeah, that was it. I shortly realized how nice it would be to be old enough to actually work for real bagging groceries at the grocery store.


My first job was as a freshman in high school. I used to buy large bulk packages of sour candy strings, which had about 100 strings per box. I would take them home and re-package them in bunches of 10 using plastic wrap. Even got my family to help out.

Each box was $20, and I would sell the bunches for $5 each, for a $30 net profit. I would usually sell out by my first class, and my locker would smell like strawberry candy. The teachers must have thought I was some kind of dealer.

I could only keep it up for a few months. I was getting too much attention from classmates, and the pressure was getting to me :wink:


It’s Edited my profile as well so thanks for the heads up.


Helping out on my Aunt & Uncle’s farm when I was 8 or so. Gather eggs, milk cows, churn butter, feed chickens, and pick vegetables. Don’t remember the pay, I’m sure it wasn’t much, but cookies were always included :slight_smile:


Awesome! I’ll add a link in the post. Cool on the profile!


Well my first job was a paper route, my first hustle was selling Batman toys when the first movie came out in 89.


Hey Brian! I was looking for first hustles, but have learned of a number of first jobs. Mine was dish washer at a local cafeteria. I had a few hustles before that first job. :slight_smile:


My earliest hustle was probably hustling my Dad to bring me back presents when he travelled for work…I had him wrapped around my little finger and he couldn’t resist my pouty face when he left.
Really though it would have been babysitting. As soon as I completed my babysitting course I made sure every single person knew I was available.