Everyone wants to make some extra money on the side and I am not an exception. With so many options out there, someone needs a place to start. So welcome to the Side Hustle Series – a periodic review of new side hustle ideas that I have tried out to find out if they are worth the time.
For the first ever Side Hustle Series, I want to talk about Pact (formally GymPact ), an app that “rewards you for living a healthy lifestyle, using money from people who don’t”. I’ve been using the app since December 2013 and so far have made $42.64, all for working out/going to the gym, logging the food that I eat, and for eating fruits and vegetables.
The goal behind Pact is simple, as stated on their website:
Getting fit and staying healthy are hard. Pact uses cash stakes to help you achieve your health goals, week after week.
The premise behind Pact is that you will wager on how many healthy activities you will do in a week. If you succeed, you get a portion of the losses from members who couldn’t complete their pacts. However, if you don’t complete all of yours, you lose the amount you wagered (minimum of $5 per activity).
So how does it work?
Pact currently has three types of pacts that you can take part in: Gym, Food Log, and Veggie. Each pact has specific ways they can be completed.
For the GymPact, there are a few different ways to log an activity. One option is to log in to your gym using GPS and working out for at least 30 minutes. Don’t have a gym membership? Well, you can also link certain apps (like RunKeeper or MapMyRun) or wearable devices (ex. Jawbone Up) to complete your pacts. Each of these options have their own set of criteria to complete an activity so make sure you know what is needed to successfully complete an activity.
Food logging is done through the My Fitness Pal app which links up automatically with Pact. As long as you log 3 meals for a minimum of 1,200 calories in a single day, your food logging will count as complete.
And finally, the Veggie Pact works by taking a picture of the veggie or fruit that you are eating through the Pact app. Once you take the picture, it is uploaded to the Pact review system where it is approved by users of the app. This portion of the Pact is self-regulated by users of the app who will vote yes or no if what you have submitted is a serving of a fruit or vegetable.
One of the big questions I had when I first started using Pact was “What happens if something doesn’t count correctly?” I knew that customer service would become important because no one wants to lose money because the app didn’t read an activity correctly. So far I have had issues with 4 activities and I am happy to say that all of them have been solved quickly after submitting the issue to customer service. The speed at which they corrected any issues has given me confidence in the company and their commitment to providing an incentive to a healthy lifestyle instead of just turning a bigger profit.
The only real issue that I have come across is the fact that if you wager more per activity, you do not receive more payout. If you wager $10 per activity, you will get the same payout as if you wagered $5. The only real reason to wager more is if $5 doesn’t motivate you.
Should you use it?
Now, you are not going to get rich by using this app. In July, I had my most successful week ever using the app, completing 4 GymPacts, 4 Food Logging Pacts, and 20 Veggie Pacts. All together, I risked $140 if I didn’t complete any, and made $3.11 for a 2.2% return. While the rewards will vary a bit every week, you also get the reward of extra motivation to live a healthy lifestyle. If you are anything like me, the extra push from knowing I have money on the line is what I need to make sure I stay active and eat healthy. It doesn’t hurt that you earn a little side hustle money while doing it.
Have you ever used Pact? What are you experiences with it? Do you use any apps to make extra money?