One of the things I’ve noticed since delving into the world of personal finance blogs and FIRE and all that jazz is that almost everyone has a side hustle.
That is, these people LOVE to work. Or I should say, they love the idea of financial independence so much that they will work crazy long hours in order to achieve it. They have MAJOR hustle.
I love money, too. Which is probably why I’ve been working a side hustle for the last 5 years.
What constitutes a side hustle? Do you need a side hustle? How do you get a side hustle? Let’s chat, shall we?
What constitutes a side hustle?
Part time work on top of your regular full-time job. That is a side hustle. Let’s leave aside the concept of passive income for now. That’s the subject of a different post.
Do you need a side hustle?
Not necessarily. Are you happy with how much income you’re bringing in? Are you fully funding your retirement vehicles, do you have a healthy emergency fund, are you secure in your financial situation? If this applies to you, then you probably don’t need a side hustle.
Are you a type-A personality who hates not being busy? Do you want to retire early or achieve certain financial milestones more quickly? Do you have a niche skillset or a hobby you’re super passionate about? If this applies to you, you might want a side hustle.
Where do you get a side hustle?
A side hustle could be anything. Here’s a short list of ideas depending on your skillset:
- wait tables or tend bar on the weekends
- be a bouncer at a club
- be an adjunct professor at a university
- work retail at your favorite store
- fix cars or electronics or appliances on the side
- fill out surveys or be a secret shopper
- pet sit or house sit for friends and neighbors while they’re out of town
- design logos or brochures as a freelance graphic designer
- write articles or blog posts for websites or magazines (a lot of these are contractor or paid by articles jobs)
If any of these things sounds appealing to you, you might want to consider picking up one of these gigs and testing it out.
I’m a firm believer that a side gig should be something you like to do. Maybe even something you’re passionate about. It should be something you enjoy enough that the extra money you make while doing it is a just a cherry on top!
Why? Because otherwise you will feel resentful. You’ll start to resent the fact that you’re spending your free time working and you’ll start to resent the personal finance journey you’re on. You’ll decide it’s not worth it to you to devote extra time and money towards financial independence and you’ll think it’s easier to just work one job for longer than to work two jobs for half as long.
Trust me on this one. You have to have super discipline or really be dedicated to turning around your financial situation to be able to work a second job you hate.
Which leads us to the next and final question:
How long do you work a side hustle?
Short answer? As long as you want. As long as it isn’t stopping you from other, personal goals.
For some, a side hustle is a short term thing. I’m going to work two jobs until I get my student loans paid off. Or until I pay off my credit card. They’re doing this with a clear end in sight.
Then there are the others. The weirdos like this Basic Bitch here who actually enjoy their side hustles. And in some respect, wish they could make their side hustles their full time job but can’t for whatever reason.
Those folks are the hustle-4-lyfe types.
Whatever you do, though. Make sure that you’re doing it for you and not for someone else. Again, that resentment might bubble up and destroy your drive if you let it. Instead, pat yourself on the back for your amazing hustle, choose a gig that appeals to you, and start bringing in that dough!