In Praise of a Side Hustle

Money – we all need it, and the sad truth of hard cash is sometimes it runs short. Unexpected vehicle repair, illness, the kids suddenly grew 6 inches taller and everybody needs a wardrobe update – you need money, fast.

The best solution is to save for it, and I know you’re saying, how can I save for an emergency, they’re unpredictable, but given the curveballs of life, you know *something* is going to happen sooner or later, so you may as well be prepared for it. Financial experts recommend having three to six months of living expenses set aside (insert loud gasp, and thoughts of tropical vacations), but most folks would benefit from a couple hundred dollars stashed in a savings account.

A couple hundred dollars is a doable goal – you might be able to save for it by chipping away at your grocery budget, and putting that extra ten or twenty dollars into a savings account and feeding the kids hot dogs this week.

Or – insert flashy lights and dramatic fanfair – you can work for it.

But, you say, my paycheque’s already stretched so far, given the rising utility bills and skyrocketing cost of living, and lowering of hourly wage… I’ll give you a moment to mourn the declining economy before presenting my other option – the side hustle. (Cue up more flashy lights and dramatic music.)

Side hustle – get a second job.

Gone is the stigma of working multiple jobs to make ends meet; now it’s simply a reflection of our economic reality. Those who purport a ‘job for life’ are mythical creatures who are living off pension funds and now well into retirement; our world is changing faster than those ‘job for life’ creatures ever imagined, and the economic reality is evolving to include contract work, side gigs, and an army of part timers working full time hours (but without benefits).

In many points of my life I’ve had more than one job, and managed to draw income from various sources at different times, and not all of them were super glamourous, but they provided an income stream, and that’s what it’s all about.

But wait, you say – I’m tapped out – I’m so busy doing x,y,z I don’t have time for another job, I’m busy binge watching Netflix, watching the kids, or redecorating my birdhouse… and I suggest that for most people working a 40 hour work week, you do. Consider giving up an hour or two an evening (or morning if you’re an early riser) to a side gig.

Enter the world of online contract work, or telephone reception, providing customer service for large companies; or, if you’re busy at home with the kids, consider taking in another kid or two as home daycare or before and afterschool care, the possibilities are endless.

Consider what you do well, and easily, and think about taking in income using that talent. Obvious ones are the crafty people, the sign painters and wreath makers and photographers who can earn an income selling their services, but also consider your dog walkers, retail workers, personal shoppers, house cleaners, computer repair and delivery people, and don’t forget taxi drivers… I’ve thrown a mix of jobs at you, some self-employed (with their own tax benefits) and others wage driven, but consider what you do well, and keep doing it.

And eventually you’ll be drawing a steady income from that side gig.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?  Drop me a line