A side hustle, a gig. The sharing economy.
Folks looking to make a bit of money outside of their regular 9-to-5 jobs no longer rely on the bulletin board at the supermarket. There's an app for that.
People who need any number of things -- a place to stay, a cheap ride home -- can sign up online and someone will come to them.
When Brian Keating started to drive for Lyft last summer, he hoped that he could stay close to home.
The community development manager for the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission needed more money to make ends meet. Waiting around in Pepperell on the weekends for someone who might need a ride to Nashua was not going to fill the gap.
Instead, every Friday after work he drives 40 miles each way to the Boston area before he can collect a fare. "It's really the only way to make money," he said.
He hustles for enough fares, usually at $10 or $11 each, to make about $300 between Friday evening and Saturday morning.
Keating learned it was worth it to stick around after everyone has gone home from the bars. Rideshares to the airport are in great demand during the early morning hours.
The once-a-week driver mentioned the button on his app he can hit that drops money into his bank account.
But that $300 is not all profit. Brakes and tires wear out. Taxes are due.
Once in a while he will get a big tipper, but most do not tip. A few will add a buck or two.
When he is working, the app is on. If a fare comes in, Keating has 20 seconds to claim it. If he accepts 90 percent of the contacts, he might be eligible to shoot for a bonus. It is based on the total number of rides and how many occur during peak times.
Along the way, Keating has picked up some tricks. If he drops a passenger off outside the busy metropolitan region, he shuts off the app until he is back near Boston.
If he doesn't, the app will start sending calls for that remote area. It is more difficult to make money far from the city, he said.
Lyft wants good-looking cars, he said. His red 2014 Subaru qualifies. When he got a scrape, Lyft insurance paid for the repair.
They gave him $100 to clean it after a passenger lost their cookies in the back seat. The company would have paid for a professional cleaning, but Keating said he did not want to live with the mess all weekend.
Most of his fares have been pretty uneventful, Keating said. Only one stands out in his mind. While he was driving, his passengers in the back seat broke up their relationship.
Most of his customers are in their 30s. He keeps water and Starburst candy in the car for them.
Making money, making music
"There's a lot of opportunities to be had," said Aisling Keating of Groton, who does most of the booking. But the four-member group is at a disadvantage when bidding against a solo or duet act.
Many customers will opt for the less-expensive option. About half of the Kelly Girls gigs come through GigMasters, she said.
Keating, who sometimes spells her first name Ashling as it is pronounced, runs an entertainment website, MusicVisions.com, promoting Celtic music.
If something comes up that does not work for the group, she can call on other musicians. In turn, they refer potential gigs to the central Massachusetts group.
Music is a life-long love of the Dublin native but is not her main source of income. She is a massage therapist.
"The business model is not on our side," said Nancy Beaudette, another member of the group. "You can't get people to spend 99 cents on a song."
The Lunenburg resident maintains several music-based income streams.
The Canadian-born artist has toured internationally for over 30 years. She produces CDs and is both a private music teacher and a creativity coach.
The women form strong bonds with other musicians. When musician friends are touring, they often stay with group member Chris Hatch in Lunenburg.
An accomplished cook, she loves having them.
In turn, when Beaudette tours she prefers to stay with other musicians and friends. It is more fun and cheaper than a hotel.
Women working temp jobs is nothing new.
The Kelly Girls' website includes information about the 1940s Kelly Girls. The temporary office workers were booked by Russell Kelly Office Service. Eventually the term Kelly Girls was applied to temporary office workers of either gender.
Follow Anne O'Connor on Twitter @a1oconnor.