A “side hustle” is a term used in personal finance to describe any additional source of income. Anything that earns money in addition to your regular work.
The need to have more than one source of income has increase tremendously today as cost of living has increase and salaries has still not increase. How do we then cope with this increase in the cost of living?
Today we’re going to look at some of the reasons why side hustles are such a great idea, and why you should start your own side hustle today.
More Money in Your Pocket
Money isn’t anything, and I’ll be the first to tell you that. In fact, I believe that happiness is the most important aspect of life, and that happiness is directly proportional to the number of experiences we have along the way. That said, I won’t say money doesn’t matter because it can buy happiness in some cases.
Many of us end up taking on a second job – or happily working more hours at our current job – in order to earn more money.
While there’s nothing wrong with having a second job, it does result in compromise. It implies that someone else sets your working hours, that fitting the rest of your life around your two jobs becomes difficult, and that your ability is limited.
Financial independence is something that we all want to achieve. One of the most appealing aspects of financial independence is not having to think about how much a meal will cost or how far a flight will set you back. When you run your own small side business or work as a freelancer, you have the freedom to save money and have a little more wiggle room to do what you want.
Side Hustles Teach You New Skills
A formal education can teach you tons and tons about theory and the importance of a variety of different subjects. That said, education can only take you so far. At the end of the day, you need to eventually stop thinking about things and start doing things to truly become an expert.
If we’re honest, many of us stop growing in our jobs. While many employers extol the virtues of their continuous improvement, their training courses and their guided learning, the reality is that 90% of what you do in your job is likely exactly the same stuff you did yesterday, last week, last month.
Side hustles take away this “safety blanket” to a degree, and encourage you to learn new skills. This isn’t just beneficial from the perspective of keeping life fresh and interesting; it can also provide future career opportunities.
Don’t believe me? I’m the perfect case study. I fell into a career of retail management by mistake some years ago; something I hated, but seemed to have a skill for. I longed to “get out” but unfortunately potential new employers only ever saw me as a retail manager and nothing else.
Personal Satisfaction from Growing Your Side Hustle
There is much to be said for creativity; for making something from nothing. A side hustle can be the perfect example.
Take this blog, for example. While I’m not getting rich off it, I do have the satisfaction of knowing that everything you see here is down to my efforts. I chose the domain name, customized the theme, created the content and so on.
Without me, this site simply wouldn’t exist.
So when I get an email or a comment from a visitor who stumbled across my site it’s always an amazing feeling. And this contact only happened because I put myself out there and created something from nothing.
Side Hustles Can Turn Into Future Businesses
The term “side hustle” is perhaps a little derogatory. It suggests something small, secondary or unimportant. And when you start them, this is exactly how many side hustles are.
Over time, however, it is entirely possible for a side hustle to become a full-time business. If you dislike your job, or fancy becoming your own boss, or want to earn more than you can in your current career then a side hustle provides the possibility of escape.
I’ve personally experienced this’ some years ago I launched a new website and almost immediately it went crazy. Within weeks I was earning more from the website than from my job, and struggled to hold both together.
Eventually I quit my job to focus on the website in question. As a result, I had one of the best summers of my life, dividing my time between a business I was passionate about and relaxing in the sun with family and friends.
Be prepared therefore; put the effort in and you might surprise yourself with just how much a side hustle can grow.
Side Hustles Provide “Financial Insurance”
Many of us in the West live surprisingly close to the bread-line. Most people have very little in the way of savings and would struggle financially within weeks if they lost their job.
This not only means most of the population is petrified of losing their job, but in cases where people are “downsized” it can lead to considerable financial turmoil.
Having a second source of income however helps to provide a “buffer” from the difficult periods of life. You might not be earning enough from your side hustle to pay for all your expenses, but in such situations anything is better than nothing. If you’re smart, you’ll also have been putting some of your second income away in the form of an emergency fund for situations just like that.
This helps to put you in control. It means losing your job is far less of an issue; it can even make voluntarily quitting a job or boss you hate more of a realistic possibility.
After all, you’re most likely to turn a small side hustle into a full-time business when you have all the time in the world to spend on it, and the motivation of knowing if you fail you’ll have to go out and get another job.
Whichever way you cut it, for those looking to become debt free, build up cash reserves and become financially free, I think a side hustle forms an important part of the process. If you don’t yet have a side hustle of your own, why not consider starting a blog or one of the various other options today? The sooner you get started, the sooner you can start benefitting.
Gives You a “Fall-Back” Plan if things turn for the Worst
The economy isn’t exactly reliable and business today isn’t what it once was. While the generations before mine may have had the liberty of working with the same employer for 20+ years, that sense of security just doesn’t exist in todays market.
For many who’ve been laid off or let go from work unexpectedly, the worst part is having to start all over. But what if you had a side gig that could keep you going until you found another full-time job?
Your side hustle can allow you to test your business ideas and build clients without the stress of having to earn a lot of money in a short time. Those clients and business lessons can then provide you with a ready-made gig should times get hard and you find yourself suddenly free of your day job. In fact, some people have found that their side gigs became so lucrative that they didn’t need their day jobs anyway.