WBEZ in Chicago interviewed a panhandler, a street musician and a magician how much they're able earn in a single day. The answer: Anywhere from $60-$100 a day, but also $0 depending on a lot of variables like the weather, police, and days when people aren't interested in giving.
Last year was my first full year attempting to be a freelance music journalist. At the end of the year, a local writer friend asked me to come to an undergraduate class she was teaching on "freelance journalism" to talk to the students about my first year in the game. I was honest with them about my dismal year. Most of them looked sad and defeated. I told them about how, in order to survive, I turned to medical research studies to make money on the side.