This is a guest contribution from Melanie. She’s currently writing about her struggles with debt and overcoming the burden of $81,000 in student loans. She’s been able to pay off $35,000 and begun a new, frugal life. Thanks for the new article!
Side hustling is a great way to supplement your income. During hard times, this extra money can be the backbone to your budget. For me, side hustling is a way of life.
By working on the side, I gain the freedom to pursue other interests, extra income to throw at my student loans, and the confidence to know things will be okay should anything happen with my job. Best of all? It only takes a few hours per month.
Having a diverse array of income streams can add excitement and security to your life! Here’s how to begin:
Look around you. Yes, right now. What do you no longer use? What can you sell? Do you have a craft, hobby, or special talent? You would be amazed at what simple things can be done for extra money. Save someone a spot in line for an iPhone, make a grocery run, or water someone’s yard! I’ve been paid to “look busy” at an office during a site visit from the out-of-town CEO.
Have people skills? You could be a Brand Ambassador, which is my main side hustle. It pays between $15-20/hr! You can also try focus groups or basic medical research at your local university.
Use Your Network
Let your friends, family, and acquaintances know that you are looking for extra work. It can make a huge difference in your side hustle success.
Here’s how you can keep it casual, yet professional:
I wanted to let you know I’m looking for extra work in _____. Let me know if you hear of anything.
Just by asking, I’ve worked as a pet sitter, office assistant, and event. Moreover, people are more likely to think of you next time they need help with something.
Develop New Skills
Side hustles are a great place to learn new skills, and a fairly safe space to fail. Trying new things and failing with a traditional job could be detrimental to your career. But for a side hustle, if you think you can do it, and learn from it, go for it!
I got a gig off of Taskrabbit for transcription with no previous experience, but I learned a lot in the process. Because side hustles can be one-off gigs, you can see it as a learning opportunity, rather than an obstacle. After trying different things, you may find you like your side hustle more than your traditional job!
Expand Your Comfort Zone
Along with learning new things, side hustles get you out of your comfort zone. I recently acted as “mother’s helper,” though I am not a mother myself. Some things aren’t comfortable at first, but with time, it gets easier and easier. Your ‘new’ becomes your ‘old’, and your comfort zone grows.
Don’t Forget Gratitude
After landing your first gig, be sure to follow-up and say thanks. Whether you are providing a product or service, send a note of appreciation to your employer. Side hustling can be competitive, and having manners can go a long way.
Ready To Try It?
Patience, hard work, and determination are key. In 2013, I made $5k from occasional side hustles – even while working full-time. That extra money helps me aggressively pay off my debt!
Do you have any other tips to get started with side hustling? What are your side hustles?
You can visit Melanie’s blog at Dear Debt.