If the recent federal shutdown is any indication, not having savings or secondary income can be right down detrimental. Many furloughed federal workers feared losing their homes or not having enough food to eat to get them through the shutdown.
Some people, unfortunately, couldn’t understand how missing a paycheck or two could set a family back – but it’s common. If you’re lucky to have enough savings to go without a couple of paychecks, bless your soul. For the rest of us, two missed paychecks can mean getting behind in bills, which could ultimately lead to foreclosure, eviction, or bankruptcy.
In the United States, 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Eighty percent! Even in a good economy, the middle class often feel this false sense of security with having a job that can be detrimental during a time of job loss.
The “mo’ money, mo’ problems” mantra becomes evident because when we have an influx of cash, we tend to spend it on big houses, luxury cars, private school education, etc. What’s worse according to Yahoo Finance, is that in a recent survey, 58% of Americans have less than $1000 in their savings account.
Related: 50 Super Easy Ways to Save Money
So during a job loss or as we see in the recent government shutdown, there’s no wonder people were panicking and genuinely fearful of their future.
And though this post is not entirely about the furloughed federal workers, I use this as an example because many of us felt it. I live in the Washington, DC area and there are a lot of federal workers here. I personally know four who were furloughed.
Thankfully, they were married or otherwise had help from a family member, but that wasn’t the case for most.
There are federal workers who live in single income households. Others don’t receive a high wage in the first place, which makes saving in an expensive area as DC almost impossible to save.
A former friend of mine balked at the idea of having a side hustle. She stated that she made good money. I told her that no job is guaranteed, even a federal government one, but I left it alone. Her agency was one of those that were furloughed and she’s a single woman.
I wonder if she ever thought I may be right.
Why You Need a Side Hustle
The federal shutdown is just one example of why having a side hustle is important to every person. Most people are not entrepreneurs and enjoy their jobs, however, you never know what can happen.
Even if you are the employee of the month, every month, your employer can go bankrupt leaving you jobless. Or what will you do if the office building burns down and your employer decides to relocate? Or worse, decide not to rebuild?
There are no guarantees in life, especially when it comes to a paycheck.
Here are a few reasons to have a side hustle, even if everything is well in the ‘hood:
- pay down debt
- pad savings
- pay for a family vacation
- carry you through a period of unemployment or illness
- help you to move to a better neighborhood
Not having a side hustle in this day in age is downright unsafe.
What To Do If You Don’t Want to Quit Your Day Job
Don’t want to quit your job?
A side hustle is just that, something you do that brings you income on the side. You’re adding to your income without having to give up your full-time job. Millionaires have at least 7 streams of income. If you only have one, which is your job, you’re already behind on the eight balls.
What Type of Side Hustle Can You Start
When looking to start a side hustle, consider the skills you already have now. What skills do you have that your employer is paying you to do now? Can you take those skills and apply them elsewhere?
If you’re a graphic designer, you can offer your services to small business owners on the side. You can take a couple of clients and work in your spare time.
Next, look at your hobbies or passions. Do you enjoy cooking or baking? A friend of mine bakes delicious cupcakes on the side. She started her side gig because she had a senior in high school and wanted extra money to cover schools fees. Now her side hustle helps to pay for college.
The options are endless and I believe everyone can find some product or service to offer people to generate additional income into their lives.
Side Hustles You Can Start Today
Most of you who work for someone else has skills that can help others. I already mentioned graphic designing, but if you prepare taxes, write, build websites, for example, you can offer one-off services to people. You can start from word-of-mouth, or signing up on boards such as Upwork or Fiverr.
Freelancing is pretty easy to scale because you would only accept what you’re comfortable in doing.
As you build up reviews and your portfolio, you’ll be able to charge more. I know some people who were able to obtain larger contracts with companies based on the quality of their freelance work.
As colleges become more competitive, parents are more than willing to shell out extra money for a tutor for their child. If you are good in Reading, Math, Test Prep, etc., you can find clients to service.
Most of your clients will be students, so they won’t be available until the afternoon, which is great if you work a traditional 9 to 5. I used to teach in a school during the day and in the afternoons and evenings would tutor local students. What’s even better, now with the internet, you can meet clients online in the comfort of your own home. No travel time required.
The amount you can charge depends on your location and your subject area. Bigger metropolitan areas and more specialized subject areas can command more. You can read more about tutoring in the following posts:
- How to Become a Tutor and Make $1000+ a Month
- 9 Companies That Will Pay You To Teach English Online
- 9 Ways to Make Money On the Side as a Teacher
Selling Products Online
The online market has made it super easy to sell online to people across the globe. If you like to make things, you can find someone interested in your creations. Marketplaces such as Etsy is very friendly to crafters and make it easy to sell to people worldwide.
Don’t like to make things? Don’t worry, there are drop shipping and print-on-demand companies that will produce the product for you and ship them out to people to buy. A lot of people sell products such as t-shirts, mugs, and totes this way.
You can start by selling items from around your house you no longer need. When times were tight for me, I would begin to sell some of the books, handbags, and clothes I purchased needlessly.
Places to sell items online:
If you’re looking for an easy, but profitable side hustle to start, then you may want to consider blogging. Previously, people used to think that the only way you can make money blogging is by talking about blogging.
Now, that’s not the case. Many people are not only making good money on the side, but have completely replaced their full-time incomes with blogging.
You may not make money overnight, but the potential is there. Especially if you choose a topic you’re knowledgeable and passionate about and there’s an audience who feel the same way.
If you would like to learn how to start a blog from scratch, go over to my page where I show you how to get started.
So, how do you make money blogging?
There are plenty of ways to make money blogging and the most successful bloggers diversify their income from different sources and include:
- Display Ads
- Affiliate Marketing
- Products (digital products, eccommerce, etc).
- Services (freelance, consulting, etc.)
Before you start, make sure to do your research first. Make sure that there’s an audience big enough for the topic you’re interested in. Also, make sure you like to write. If you hate to write, by all means, don’t start a blog. Instead, vlogging (i.e. YouTube) and podcasting are still forms of blogging and can be monetized as well.
- How to Make Money Blogging – With or Without Ads
- 10 Top Affiliate Programs for Bloggers
- 5 Must-Read Books for New Bloggers
People turn their nose up at surveys, but you can make some decent income completing them. The key is to sign up for the right companies and to provide accurate information upon registration.
You won’t make enough to quit your day job, but you will make enough to cover a bill or two, save for a vacation, or help to stretch your income each month.
Companies are always completing market research and they need your voice to help them offer the best products and services. Most surveys pay a couple of dollars upon completion, however, depending on your demographics, you could be paid more.
I’ve been paid $100 to complete a survey plus a phone interview about my views on the upcoming election. I’ve been paid $60 for my opinion on financial services in my area, and $45 dollars for selecting my favorite radio stations and songs.
It all depends on the company and if you fit the demographic they’re looking for a particular survey.
Recommended Survey Companies
- 7 Legit Survey Sites to Make Extra Money
- 15 Best Survey Sites to Make $1000 + a Month
- 25 of the Best Side Hustles to Start Right Now
These are only a few ways you can make extra month each month and the importance of why you need a side hustle.