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What is a Side Hustle? Ten Reasons to Start a Side Hustle

I need a side hustle!

The “side hustle” is one of the great phenomena of the Internet age. Now that we all have access to this wide world of engagement, communication, and commerce, we also have access to a certain type of economic and professional freedom that never previously existed. That doesn’t mean we can all just turn around and quit our day jobs in a blaze of digitally-liberated glory. But it does mean each of us has the chance to explore a passive income!

What is a Side Hustle?

Side hustle meaninga personal pursuit that earns you a few extra dollars while fulfilling something within you that can’t be met by the responsibilities of your day job

But is it worth the extra time and emotional energy? What are some good side hustle ideas?

Well, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, when so many of us were yanked away from our day to day work routines, countless Americans actually treated it as an opportunity to build a business on the side. CNBC reports that business formation in the U.S. soared by 42% in 2020 with many Americans finding ways to cater to the demands of consumers living under new restrictions and facing unexpected challenges. CNBC notes that Americans turned side hustles into profitable operations in everything “from food and home entertainment to office supplies — as well as products and services needed by companies operating remotely.”

“I need a side hustle!” If you’re looking to supplement your everyday income, finding another stream of revenue can help to make ends meet. It can even get you to the next level. And during the pandemic, side hustles proved a reliable way to keep money flowing in during a time of great uncertainty.

However, there’s more to it than that. Whether you need the extra money or not, getting yourself a side hustle can be both personally and financially beneficial. This supplemental endeavor can become an excellent outlet for your passions, talents, and industriousness. It may not be possible as you work through an average day in your 9-to-5. Even if you like your day job, it may not represent the full scope of your capabilities. It may not necessarily tap into the things that bring you creative, intellectual, or even social enrichment. 

See Also: FIRE Movement Explained: How To Retire Early

Start a Side Hustle

Start a side hustle

The reality is that a good side hustle is a great financial move and a great personal move for a number of reasons. You might make money online, start a business or offer a service. Add to your monthly income, set your own hours and earn money! Gig work can be hard work that really pays off.

1. Diversifying Your Income Gives You More Power

If you can turn side hustles into something that makes pretty good extra money, you will likely feel a great deal more freedom in your everyday career. Knowing that you have a source of income in your back pocket may bring you more confidence to take risks in your profession. That might mean:

  • requesting a raise
  • volunteering for a new project
  • making the leap to a new company

Without a backup plan, you may be hesitant to take such risks for fear that your boldness could result in the loss of income. Having a small source of income to mitigate this risk could give you the confidence you need to take that leap. With reliable extra money, you’ll find yourself in a position of greater leverage. This means you might actually be able to make more money and advance more aggressively in your day job.  

2. Use the Extra Income to Pay Off Your Debts

Use the Extra Income to Pay Off Your Debts

Another good reason to start a side hustle is to create a stream of extra money to help you pay down your debts faster. You may have:

  • a few hefty credit card bills
  • student loan baggage
  • a big purchase in the midst of financing

It could be a good way to make chunk payments without disrupting the balance between your primary income, your budget, and your living expenses. The extra cash might offset these expenses with a separate source of income. Increasing the speed with which you pay off debts can save you a fortune in fees and interest charges.

3. Create A Wishlist Fund

You know what’s even more fun than paying off debts? Saving up for a luxury item that you’d never buy with your regular paycheck. While your day job does the heavy lifting like paying the mortgage and utility bills, your side hustle can do the fun work like:

  • paying for a jet-ski
  • a trip to Europe that seems out of reach
  • that fancy steak dinner that requires a reservation three months out

Make a list of things you’d love to do or buy, and only allow yourself these luxuries when you reach certain saving goals solely through your side gig.

4. Start Saving

Ways to Save Money

Of course, the most prudent thing to do with the money you make from your side hustles is to save it. Every dollar earned in your side hustle could be saved, invested, or otherwise squirreled away for emergencies, and eventually, for retirement. If you do it well, a great side hustle could actually net you enough to make a real dent in achieving your long-term financial goals. Forbes reports that, “According to a Bankrate study, about 37% of adults in the U.S. have a side hustle. And they can pay pretty well, at an average of nearly $700 a month!” At that rate, while you continue to live an active lifestyle of consumption thanks to your regular job, the side hustle could be used to help further secure your future and personal finance. 

5. Making Time For Something You Love

What is a side hustle?

One of the strongest arguments in favor of starting a side hustle is the opportunity it creates for you to do something that actually brings you happiness. You might be:

  • an accountant by day with a passion for video game design
  • a hard-working high school teacher with a great idea for a series of children’s books
  • a bank teller with an awesome gift for furniture building

You can create space for these pursuits during your nights and weekends. It’s easy to feel too busy, tired or distracted to make time for the things we really love. Pet sit or walk dogs as a part-time job if you love animals! Find freelance writing on companies such as Upwork or Fiverr. Become a virtual assistant and work in your spare time. If you love children you might try babysitting.

Finding a way to earn a few bucks from those activities can help us justify time spent in these areas. As an added bonus, you may find that an increased sense of happiness and personal fulfillment outside of work ultimately translates to better engagement, more energy, and stronger performance in your everyday job. Making money is a bonus!

6. Cultivate Creative Skills

The more time you can dedicate to your passion projects, the better you’ll get at them. Refine your creative abilities and get paid to do it. You might:

  • sell graphic design work on the side
  • use your music skills to teach guitar lessons after work
  • moonlight as a gardener in your own neighborhood

You might become good enough at this type of gig to go full time. You could turn those into your own business. Naturally, this is the best case scenario—your side hustle goes so well that you eventually get to work exclusively at something you love. In her Clever Girl Finance: The Side Hustle Guide, author and Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) Bola Sokunbi notes that there are countless examples “of well-executed side hustles that generate enough revenue to replace income from the owner’s full-time job, giving them the option to be their own boss on their own schedule if they decide to do so.” 

7. Learn Business and Organizational Skills

Naturally, there’s more to a successful side job than just pursuing your craft. In most cases, you’ll be working independently on a freelance or contract basis. You will need to find clients for your startup. You’ll be:

  • interacting directly with clients
  • managing your own investments
  • invoicing for goods or services
  • taking additional steps like promotions, customer service

In other words, you’ll be running your own business. You are your accounts receiving, marketing, and creative departments. You are the management, the talent, the labor, and the ownership. You may even be delegating work, outsourcing jobs, partnering with others, and hiring help as this side business grows. One of the unspoken benefits of a side hustle is the skill and experience you’ll accumulate as you learn how to run your own business. Ultimately, this is the kind of knowledge that you can leverage in both your day-job and your side hustle to earn more. For some tips on getting your business started, including how to fill out all the necessary paperwork to make it official, visit the Small Business Administration

8. The Web Creates Opportunity

start a side hustle to make money

The Internet has created a type of economic opportunity that never previously existed for side hustlers. Decades ago, the idea of creating a business without a storefront, a distribution chain, or access to traditional marketing channels would have been unthinkable. As a result, the barriers to entry into any type of cottage business were fairly high and costly. Today, anybody can be a business owner and create a social media page or bare-bones website in place of a storefront. And with some smart leveraging of both social media and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies, anybody can market and promote a brand at minimal cost. Not only that, but the web opens you up to a global market of potential customers or clients, whereas the side hustle of just two decades ago had to persist on a steady diet of local customers. In other words, if you’ve ever dreamed of a side pursuit but were discouraged by the cost of entry, the Internet has transformed the small business landscape. You could have an online business! Never before has it been easier or more affordable to connect with your target buyers and begin selling your business idea or creations. 

9. Take Your Hustle Into Retirement With You

One of the best things about your side hustle is that it can be something you love doing in your spare time and can work with your skillset. If you can find a way to make money working on something that’s actually important to you, the rewards can last a lifetime. There may come a point in your career when you count down the days to retirement. Even if you like your job, you might eventually look forward to being unburdened of your daily grind. The amount of time you have for other ventures might change. But of course, with retirement comes a major loss of income. Hopefully you will have planned and saved for retirement. But a little money coming in if you start a side hustle could still go a long way toward enjoying leisure activities and pursuing other experiences and opportunities in retirement. Even as you live on a fixed income, you could keep a few dollars rolling in. And provided it’s something you truly enjoy, and something that you do on your own terms, you could live a more comfortable retirement. The beauty of the side hustle is that it should earn you money without actually feeling like work. It can be done in your free time. This is the kind of beauty you can truly appreciate when it continues to bring you joy, stimulation and monetary benefits later in life. 

10. Grow as a Person

If you ever feel like the daily grind of your day job has come to define you, the time is right to begin a side hustle. When you get the chance to flex your creative muscles, take personal risks, and invest your emotional energy in something that matters to you, you feed a part of yourself that might be quietly starving in the corner of your office. This is not to disparage your day job and its importance to your lifestyle and financial stability. But every time you learn something new, experience something different, or take a new step in your life, you open new neural pathways, expand your perspective on the world, and come into contact with new people. A fun side hustle idea is an excellent way not just to grow your income and make good money, but to grow as a person.


Best Side Hustle Ideas

Side hustle ideas
  • Finding graphic design, bookkeeping or freelance work
  • Renting out a spare room on Airbnb
  • Becoming a dog-walker or providing pet-sitting services like Rover
  • Selling handmade goods on online store like Etsy
  • Driving for ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft
  • Offering photography or videography services
  • Tutoring or teaching a musical instrument
  • Starting a blog and earning through advertising and affiliate marketing
  • Dropshipping business or selling products on Amazon or eBay
  • Deliver food or groceries through apps like Uber Eats, Doordash or Instacart
  • Participating in online surveys
  • Social media management
  • Teaching an online course
  • Selling in an online marketplace like Craigslist
  • Participating in a focus group
  • Delivering packages
  • Starting a Print on demand store
  • Starting a YouTube channel

Conclusion: What is a Side Hustle?

This all points toward a major but oft-overlooked benefit of picking up side hustles. The gig economy is at an all time high. If you have the know how, you could go far. Each of us is far more complex and versatile than even the most demanding of our job responsibilities. It’s important to find ways to gratify your own sense of self lest it should be lost in a stack of paperwork, a mountain of files, or a line of customers. And if you can find ways to make a little money doing it—or perhaps even a lot of money in time—your second job could improve more than just your bottom dollar. It could improve your overall quality of life. 

Side hustle meaning-A job or a business that a person operates outside of their regular employment, often in their free time, with the aim of earning additional income. It can range from a part-time gig to a full-fledged business. It’s a way for people to supplement their primary income, pursue a passion, or test an entrepreneurial idea. The concept of a side hustle has become increasingly popular in recent years as people look for ways to diversify their income streams and have more control over their financial futures.