The world has gone crazy! The average household debt keeps going up. Utilities, fuel and grocery prices climb steadily higher and income is
near stagnant. The prices of goods and services keep increasing, and the quality decreases, but you don’t want to work forever to afford a modest lifestyle do you? So you start looking for ways to make extra money and come across an interesting idea: the side hustle.
These days, with both parents working just to stay above water, it’s a sad fact that to really get ahead you’re going to have to earn more than an employer will, typically, pay. On the bright side of that, we have more opportunity today to make extra money on the side than any generation before! You know you need to have a secondary income stream to throw money at old debts or into an interest bearing account, but, like most people, you have no time to devote to it. Luckily there are ways to carve out a second income for yourself in minutes a day. Let’s get started!
What is a side hustle?
Simply put a side hustle is anything you do to earn money outside of your normal work. This can be a second job, tutoring kids, teaching piano or guitar, doing brake jobs in your driveway! The only limit is your imagination and ambition.
Many people turn to their tech to make a little extra money. That wonder of technological advancement you carry around in your pocket can actually make you money instead of being a drain on your wallet. You can take surveys in your spare time (more here), use mission apps while you shop (more here), fill out information for Neilson, provide speaking services for people learning English as a second language, or even test websites for mobile usability.
Some people still like an old-fashioned grind and prefer to clean houses or change their friends’ oil. Even mowing lawns can be a very lucrative side hustle. The point is: when you find something you can do, that your life will allow, you can monetize it and turn it into your side hustle.
What about time?
If time is your chief concern I would recommend looking to your phone to provide a secondary income. There are several posts on this site to help you find the apps you would need(here, here and here). And make sure you are utilizing all the downtime you possibly can. This blog, for instance, was started in my downtime at my last full-time job and I typically wouldn’t touch it after work because that was time for my family. If you’re not tech savvy, or these apps, or creating a blog don’t sound like anything you would like to try, you may have to make some tough decisions.
Rather than poker night every Thursday, maybe it should be every other Thursday. Maybe Saturday mornings become a working shift instead of relaxation. Or Friday nights you save money by not hitting the bar and use that time to earn more money.
There are always tough decisions to be made. Your time is your family’s time and trading it away for a little extra money is difficult. My question to you is how much better would the quality of the time you spend with your family be if you didn’t have to worry about money? Would you argue less? Get frustrated less easily? Feel less stressed and more ready to play with the kids than sit and mope? When it comes to time quantity is always great, but quality wins out.
I don’t have money to start.
You don’t need it. That’s the beauty of the side hustle! This should be something you are already qualified to do. You have a phone, just download a free app and utilize it. You know cars, so you probably have tools and won’t have a problem with an oil change or brake job. You already clean your house. You have the detergents you already use at home, so just use washable rags to clean with rather than paper towels and you don’t have an upfront investment. If you want to start a lawn mowing side hustle I’ll bet you already have at least a push mower and line trimmer.
Advertisement for your business, if you’re providing a physical service (cleaning, cars, mowing), would be your only cost. Good news though! We’re talking about $5. Get some paper or printable business cards and make a flyer or a card displaying your services, prices, and contact information. Pick a clear evening, when it won’t rain, and go door to door sticking fliers or cards in doors.
The conversion rate might not be great, but if you do this once a week you will get calls. The keys is to get referrals for this type of business. When you do a great job (I know you will) leave another card and let the customer know that you’d appreciate any business they can send you. Then schedule their next appointment.
What to do with all that money?
There’s an old saying that “you have to grow with your income”. Basically if, whenever you make more money, you keep spending more money you’ll never get ahead. The first thing to remember about a side hustle is that this money is not for spending.
Continue living life as you have. You’ve been making it with the income you’re earning now, so just keep doing the same thing and use your new income stream to help grow your future! If you have debt pay it off first. Dave Ramsey has some amazing insights on paying off debt and I highly recommend his books! The short version of his program, though, is: pay off the smallest debt first and then apply that payment to the next debt along with the minimum payment you’re already making. Keep doing the same thing each time you pay off a debt. It’s called the debt snowball and it works!
Also Dave make a point that you should have $1000 in an emergency fund. This money works as a credit card for you, but interest free. If an emergency pops up you use this money to cover it. Pause your debt payoff until the emergency fund is full again then resume your debt snowball. He has many more tips and insights that I cant cover here, though. You might want to consider one of his books.
Side note: Do not start saving money while you’re in debt. It makes no sense to accumulate 7 or 8% interest (or less depending on the investment)while losing 12-25% on money that you owe. Pay off the debt then start saving in earnest!
Now get to work!
Do your research and read our posts about apps you can use to make money! Then get started. The main difference between retiring at 50 and retiring at 67(if ever) could boil down to just getting started. So do it now!
Decide what works for you as a side hustle. You may have to try 2 or 3 before you find one that fits you, but keep going! Your future is worth it.
Want to make more money to increase your secondary income? Read Monetize Your Life (Without Extra Work)
Be sure to check out the rest of DadDoneLostIt.com for more great information, guides and laughs! Also check out Dad’s Gonna Lose It! for more of my misadventures in parenting!
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