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Pandemic Finance Diaries, Part 7: A Short-Lived Return to Normalcy

Welcome to Part 7 of the Pandemic Finance Diaries! Part 7 will review my gig job income from September 1, 2021 to November 30, 2021. If you missed Parts 1-6 or are wondering why I’m tallying my gig economy income during the pandemic, I suggest starting at Part 1 of the series.

The highlight of this quarter was a (short-lived) return to normalcy. We met up with my partner’s family in Greensboro, NC and stayed in an adorable guest house on Airbnb. It was lovely to see them after not having visited with them for several months, as well as be able to celebrate a momentous birthday occasion! We also visited with my family and I had the chance to see my sister pregnant for the first time. She’s due to give birth to the first grandchild on both our side and her husband’s side of the family any day now, so it’s a much-anticipated event.

We returned to the movie theater for the first time during the pandemic to see a screening of the documentary Fauci. As the sign indicates, proof of vaccination, as well as masking, was required. We pre-booked seats and there were only about 20 other people in the theater with us.

To celebrate the holidays even further, my partner and I spent Thanksgiving with our friends who live in town. This was the first holiday since the pandemic began in March 2020 that we had spent with anyone, as well as the first time merging bubbles since our semi-fail earlier in 2021. After my partner and I each took three COVID-19 tests – and receiving a negative result to accompany each of those tests – we were able to sit indoors around the dining room table with close friends and enjoy ourselves. The ability to do so was an incredible experience and made us both realize how much we’ve missed the simple things in life like eating with friends.

Pet Sitting

This quarter brought some new clients (some of whom have already re-booked me) and some repeat clients. I was sent a number of requests for the Thanksgiving holiday, but due to four trips to see family in a short period of time around the holidays I decided against working on Thanksgiving or Christmas. I also travelled with my partner on Labor Day, which also would have been a prime pet-sit weekend. However, I don’t regret it a bit as we very much enjoyed our trip. While I am getting better at knowing this to be true, every so often I have to remind myself that the point of life is not to maximize my monetary earnings, but rather to enjoy myself and make an impact on this earth while I’m here.

Income: $683.11*

Survey Phone Apps (Surveys on the Go/1Q)

Usually 1Q sends a singular 25¢ question at a time, but I lucked out this quarter and got some back-to-back questions that totalled around $2 each. I also cashed out on Surveys On The Go for $10.10.

Income: $14.10

Secret Shopper Phone Apps (Field Agent/Easy Shift/Merchandiser/Observa)

This quarter was an interesting and busy quarter on Field Agent; the app had a number of tasks I was able to complete, many of them tasks I had never previously completed. These included an eye spy task (ie. find the product in the store), a buy-and-try from the grocery store, a number of display audits, placing a grocery store delivery order, and some female bathroom audits. I was able to complete the majority of these tasks during my lunch breaks from work across the three month period – which got me outside and earning money, a win-win!

I found the female bathroom audits to be the most unusual. I selected three and successfully completed two, although there were sufficient tasks available for me to have done more if I had wanted. For each of the two locations where I was able to “complete” the task I visited the given address and snapped a few photos of the building exterior and answered a few questions. Neither had a public bathroom, and one of the locations wasn’t even located at the given address. Either way, I was paid for both!

Income: $56.30


Total income from September 1 to November 30: $753.51


*One of my jobs does not withhold taxes from payments. What that currently means is I wait until I file my taxes the subsequent year to report my earnings and am then taxed.

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