I have a friend who has a pretty decent paying job. By that I mean she makes more than enough money where she’s not living below her means. And, she still has enough leftover that after paying her monthly expenses she can travel.
However, on the weekends, she’s a hostess at a local restaurant. Why? She loves having that extra income so that she can retire earlier than her colleagues.
I also know have other friends and family who have a second job to pay off their student loans or enjoy luxuries like the latest iPhone, pool in their backyard, or latest car model.
Whether you can relate to any of the above or not, COVID-19 shined a spotlight on why you should make money on the side. Life is just too uncertain for you to become complacent.
But, even if you weren’t somehow affected by the pandemic, here are 7 reasons why you should have an additional source of income and how to get started.
You Have To Make Money on the Side Right Now
1. The times they are a-changing.
Let’s get right into it. The gig economy has completely changed the game. What may have seemed like a pipe dream several years ago is now a reality for millions of people.
If for some reason you aren’t familiar, the gig economy refers to the increase of freelancers and those with side gigs. According to Upwork’s 2019 “Freelancing in America” study roughly 57 million people in the States freelance. That’s a 4 million person increase within the last five years.
“For the first time, as many freelancers said they view this way of working as a long-term career choice as they do a temporary way to make money,” the report stated. “In addition, the share of those who freelance full time increased from 17% in 2014 to 28% this year.”
What’s more, freelancing and technology have lowered the bar of entry. Also following the COVID-19 pandemic, more jobs freelance. And, we can expect that trend to continue.
TL;DR, if you aren’t on the side gig bandwagon, you may be left behind. Jump on while there’s still chances to make some extra dough.
2. Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
Did you know that approximately 25% of Americans have no emergency savings? Moreover, 42% of non-retired adults under 30 reported having no retirement savings. However, making money on the side can change that.
Let’s say that you work online for just one hour per day through a site like VIPKid. You could earn between $14-$22/hour whenever you have the time. That could turn into an extra $280 to $440 a month that you could put into your nest egg.
What if you believe that you have enough in emergency or retirement savings? You could stockpile this financial surplus to meet any of your financial goals like saving for a vacation, down payment on a home, or pay off your debt faster.
3. I want my cake and wanna eat it too.
“Of course, making extra money never goes out of style, and that’s probably what draws most people to create a side hustle,” says Nick Loper, creator of the Side Hustle Nation podcast. “Other benefits might include learning or practicing new skills,” or exploring a passion. It may also empower you to find your “economic value outside of your day job or paycheck.”
Additionally, having multiple sources of income can help you become more self-reliant. It can also help you break free of the financial chains holding you down. And, with that independence, you’ll be healthier, have peace of mind, and take more risks.
Best of all? It allows you to live the life that you want without feeling guilty.
4. I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in, to stop my mind from wandering.
Unless you literally home repairs that need your attention, additional revenue streams let you fix any financial holes. I’m talking about auto repairs to replenishing your savings if you had to dip into it. Unfortunately, the pandemic has forced people to stop making retirement contributions with 30% tapping into their accounts.
Making money on the side can prevent you from withdrawing any more from your savings. It also ensures that you have the cash on hand to, well, fix any hole, rather than relying on credit.
5. Somebody to lean on.
Obviously, you can’t literally lean on money — unless you had a Scrooge McDuck-like vault. Instead, when you have a side hustle you’re no longer relying on just one source of income. As such, if you experienced a setback, such as being furloughed or laid, you still have some sort of income flowing in.
Even if the money that you’re earning on the side isn’t as much, it’s without question better than nothing. Hopefully, it’s enough to cover your essential expenses until you get back on your feet. Because of that, you don’t have to tap into your savings or live off of plastic.
What if you’re able to keep your day job? That’s even sweeter. You now have a diversified income just in case.
6. I don’t have money on my mind — I do it for the love.
Depending on your financial situation, this may not be applicable. For example, I had a cousin who had lost their job because of the pandemic. To meet end’s meet, he starting delivering pizza — even though this wasn’t his passion.
But, let’s say that you’re fortunate to pull in a decent income at your current job. Despite this, you always wanted to cash-in on a hobby like baking, designing websites, or repairing musical instruments. You could do this part-time until your startup become a full-fledged business.
Before putting the horse before the cart, Eric Rosenberg suggests in a previous Due article that you should merge your passion with your skills.
“Look at your skills and passions.” writes Eric. “Look at your hobbies and interests” and “how you earn a living and how you do your best work.”
“Where the Venn diagram of your passions and skills overlap is the first place to look, he advises. “This can be a very fruitful, profitable, and exciting income stream. And, if it works out, “you will find yourself earning more than ever.”
7. Money for nothing.
Regardless of your side gig becomes a full-time job or not, it could eventually earn you a passive income. Blogging is one example of how this is possible. If you keep plugging away, you may be able to earn advertising revenue from Google Adsense or through affiliate partnerships.
Other passive business and income ideas could be:
- Renting out a spare room on Airbnb
- Developing a smartphone app
- Investing in REITs
- Self-publishing an eBook
- Peer-to-peer lending
- Purchasing music royalties
- Leasing equipment
- Photo licensing
- Selling handmade goods
- Franchising your existing business
While this will work some elbow-grease upfront, once it’s rolling you’ll be able to make money online with little to no daily effort.
Getting started with earning money on the side.
Earning money on the side requires precious time and energy resources. With that in mind, before you embark on this journey, you should ask yourself the following questions to make sure it’s worth depleting these valuable assets:
- What is the financial return?
- Will it require you to learn new skills?
- How long should you side hustle for?
- Are you able to earn money on the side while keeping your day job?
- Do you really want/need to spend time doing it?
After answering the questions above, and you feel that it’s time to make money on the side, then