Taking on a side hustle is a great way to make some extra money. For attorney and creator of personal finance blog Financial Panther, Kevin Han, these extra gigs helped him pay off his $87,000 worth of student debt in just two and a half years.
Even though he had a well-paying full-time job as a lawyer, Kevin was determined to get out of debt fast and turned to side hustling as a key way to make that happen. He started tracking his extra income in June 2016, and the results were staggering.
“In 2016, I made over $14,000,” says Kevin. “In 2017, I made over $16,000. So, in the past two years, I’ve brought in over $30,000 just from side hustles.”
So, what is Kevin doing to score so much cash? Here is some of his best advice, along with some ideas to help you find your side hustling success, too.
4 tips for finding a lucrative side hustle
1. Don’t be afraid to try anything and everything.
Don’t think that you have to just stick to one type of side hustle to make money on the side. In fact, taking on multiple jobs might be the best way to make extra cash while still holding down regular office hours.
That’s what Kevin has done, admitting that he’s tried pretty much every gig economy side job that exists.
“I’ve done Airbnb, Rover, Wag, Postmates, DoorDash, UberEats, Caviar, Tapingo, TaskRabbit, and Instacart to name a few,” he says. “I’ve also done lesser-known gig apps like WeGoLook and DriverDo. Honestly, there are so many things out there. I’ve probably earned income from 20 or more different types of apps over the past year.”
Since most side hustles require no upfront cost other than your time, Kevin suggests trying a bunch to figure out what works best for you. If one doesn’t work out, you can move on to another.
The one sharing economy option Kevin has never done is driven with a company such as Uber or Lyft, since he doesn’t have a car, but it might be something you also want to consider. Gigs like that can pay consistently well, with drivers making an average of $19.04 an hour, according to Uber. That’s over $1,500 a month — or $36,000 in two years — if you’re able to work 20 hours in a week.
2. Monetize what you’re already doing.
One of the biggest factors that helped Kevin save time and make more money was looking for side hustles that monetized things he was already doing, such as taking care of his dog or biking for exercise.
“Dog sitting with Rover, for example, is great because I already have to take care of my dog,” he says. “So, adding another dog into my home doesn’t change my routine at all.”
The 31-year-old also feels the same way about Airbnb. “I already have to clean up my house, so cleaning up my house for a guest is essentially a way for me to monetize my house chores,” he says. “These types of side hustles are utilizing the things I already own, which doesn’t add much additional time.”
Even Kevin’s bike routine is monetized. He makes deliveries on his bike with Postmates, DoorDash, and UberEats, and sometimes will do this during his “commute” home by taking orders in the direction of his house. “I’m already biking home,” he says, “so if I can get paid while I’m doing it, all the better.”
3. Constantly research new opportunities.
All of these non-time-restrictive side hustles — Airbnb, dog sitting with Rover, deliveries, and walking dogs on Wag — are some of his biggest earners. But Kevin also isn’t afraid to try other gigs to make even a few more extra dollars and is constantly on the hunt for new opportunities.
“This past year, I’ve done things such as moving rental trucks using an app called DriverDo,” he says. “I earned money taking pictures of hiring signs using an app called Jobspotter, delivered lost airline luggage to people using an app called Roadie, helped people move furniture and boxes through TaskRabbit, and I made over $1,500 this year selling furniture that people threw away on the side of the road.”
Kevin finds a lot of side hustles by searching for new apps or going on Craigslist and searching for odd jobs to constantly diversify his income stream. Keep track of what new apps are popping up in the news and check local job boards for one-off gigs. Every dollar counts.
4. Treat your side hustle income as bonus money.
Even though Kevin has already paid off his debt and makes good money as a lawyer, he still side-hustles.
“My idea with a side hustle is that it’s money that you don’t need,” he says. “Why shouldn’t I still find ways to make extra money? It only helps with future financial goals such as saving for retirement. Plus, I find side hustling therapeutic. Sometimes I’m stressed out by my daily life as an attorney, and doing a side hustle that’s unrelated to law helps to relieve some of my stress.”
Grant Sabatier used a similar mentality when trying to reach his goal of becoming a millionaire by 30. He would take on small gigs such as cat sitting for the weekend, confident that $60 could be $400 in 10 years if wisely invested. The key factor is to find ways to both make more and save more.
If Kevin has proven anything, it’s that you don’t have to invest a ton of time to make a ton of extra money. It’s totally possible to pursue a full-time career and take on a side hustle (or 10) to save cash for whatever your financial goal may be. A few extra hundred dollars can make a huge dent in your student loan debt or help you start investing in your future.
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