When it comes to managing your money, there’s a lot of talk about saving money by reducing expenses like: cutting back on lattes, nixing cable, and ditching the gym membership.
I totally get it. I think that if you are trying to pay off debt and build a solid financial foundation, those things can help. But I also know from personal experience that there is only so much you can cut back on before you are left without any options.
What’s that, you say? You already have a job? Luckily, there’s another way to strengthen your financial foundation. Enter the side hustle, which can help you make extra money. I’ve had dozens over the years, and I’ve made up to $50 per hour (and even more in some cases).
Not familiar with the side hustle? Here’s an explanation along with ideas for how to make extra money.
What is a Side Hustle?
Side hustling is a term that refers to work you perform outside of your regular job. So if you work full-time, but you babysit on the weekends, that’s a side hustle.
A side hustle can refer to anything you do on the side to make extra money. Some examples of typical side hustles include babysitting, pet sitting, tutoring, but can also include more specialized things like being a writer, a consultant, or a coach.
Side hustling is a great way to boost your income and reach your financial goals. Instead of focusing on penny-pinching, you are focusing your energy on earning more.
Personally, I find this to be a lot more motivating in helping me reach my financial goals. Want to pay off your student loans faster? Side hustling is where it’s at.
Need to save up some spending money for an upcoming trip? A side hustle can help you do just that.
Not only that, but side hustling can help diversify your income streams and strengthen your financial foundation. Through side hustling, you no longer have to rely on one source of income to get by — which can be a lifesaver in the case of layoffs and downsizing.
Side hustling has been a game changer in my own life as I’ve worked to increase my income and pay off more debt. Through side hustling, I was able to pay off $30,000 of debt in 3 years on a non-profit salary while still enjoying the more fun things in life, like traveling and happy hour with friends.
How to Get Started with Side Hustling
I believe that anyone can earn more through side hustling. We all have skills and abilities that are valuable, and in today’s digital age, there are more resources than ever to get started.
If you want to get started with side hustling, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I bring to the table?
- What are my unique skills? Is there anything others routinely tell me I’m good at or have a gift for?
- What will people pay me for? Or what do people already pay me for?
- How much time am I willing to devote to side hustling?
- What is the minimum pay I’m willing to work for?
These questions will help shape what type of side hustles you should try. The good thing about side hustling is that you can try a variety of things and see what works best for you. There’s no need to quit your job or make any long-term decisions out of the gate. Side-hustles are generally low-risk and low overhead options.
I’ve dabbled in many different side hustles, including:
- house cleaner
- pet sitter
- brand ambassador
- event assistant
- focus group participant
- and more
From these side hustles I’ve been able to make anywhere from $10-$50 per hour. Because of side hustling, I have increased my income and have been able to add to my vault of experiences, while also boosting my social network. It’s a win-win situation.
To get started with side hustling, let your friends and family know about your desire for more work. Your network is your net worth in this regard, and can play a powerful role in helping you secure more gigs. It can be surprising how much your network can propel things further simply by asking. But you have to take the first step and ask! Send out personalized emails and post on social media.
In addition to reaching out to your personal network, look into a variety of resources and platforms to help yourself get started.
For example, to make extra money, you can:
- Work as a TaskRabbit. Typically, I’ve made $15-$30 per hour as a TaskRabbit
- Teach others as a tutor using Tutor.com. The rate depends on the subject matter
- Become a babysitter or pet sitter with Care.com
- Use your internet skills and make $10 per test as a web tester with UserTesting.com
- Become an Uber or Lyft driver and make $27-$35 per hour or more
- Work as a writer or editor using oDesk and Elance
- Use Fiverr to get paid for your creative skills (while many gigs are offered at $5, you can make more than that)
- Sell your art, clothes, and creative wares on Etsy.com
- Join Facebook groups related to your side hustle (for example, I am part of the Brand Ambassadors of Portland Facebook group, which posts upcoming gigs)
- Become a consultant or coach, and set your own rates
- Pitch a company and offer to do their social media
- Get paid for sitting as a portrait model at your local art school and make $20-$25 per hour
- Sell your old items on eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist
- Become a caterer
- Be a mystery shopper
- Participate in medical studies at your local university. Rate depends on the study, but I’ve made $30-$100 per hour
- Become a Postmate and deliver food and make up to $25 per hour
- Work holiday themed events or parties — you can make more during the holidays and make $20-$25 per hour
As you can see, there are a variety of ways to make extra money in your free time. The best thing about side hustling is that it is all on your own terms, when your schedule permits.
So instead of wondering how you can save five cents on your next purchase, think of the big picture and think about how you can earn more. Earning more can help you pay down debt, save for emergencies, and fund your passions.
Do you currently side hustle? Do you have any questions on how to get started?
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