Why a Side Hustle Can Take Your Finances to the Next Level

side hustle

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When people find out I work a second job in the evenings and weekends, I understandably get some puzzled looks. Why work 40 hours a week at a full time job, and then spend my free time working more? Well, there’s actually a lot of reasons to work a side hustle, and it’s been a HUGE boost for our financial situation.

What is a Side Hustle?

Simply put, a side hustle is a job outside of your full time job that you work to earn an extra source of income during your free time. There are a ton of examples including: babysitting, dog walking, tutoring, renting out a spare bedroom on Airbnb, driving for Uber or Lyft, selling on eBay/Craigslist/Etsy, blogging, photography, or even traditional jobs such as waiting tables or working in a coffee shop.

Some great resources for finding side hustle ideas are Side Hustle Nation by Nick Loper and the “Side Hustle Series” by J$ of Budgets Are Sexy.

My Side Hustles

I work for a minor league baseball team from April to early September. I only work when the team is playing home games, so the way the schedule is set up, I’ll usually work 7 straight evenings and then have 7 days off (with some variance, but that’s the basic idea). My typical shift usually ends up being around 4 and a half hours long.

For a more detailed look at what my side job entails, you can check out this post.

I also consider this blog to be another side hustle. While it currently generates no income, I spend a lot of time brainstorming, researching, and writing posts. Eventually I hope to build it to the point where it’s bringing in some income, but for the time being it’s a passion project. The fact that I get to do something that I love, and hopefully benefit my readers’ lives makes it well worth it. It also helps cultivate creativity and builds my skill set in a variety of areas.

Also, I’m very proud that my wife just started a dog walking side hustle through an app called Rover.

Benefits to Working a Side Hustle

There are a number of benefits to working a side hustle, which is why they are a big part of my life! First of all, it’s important to build an additional stream of income outside of your full-time job. Along with building up an emergency fund, by diversifying your income streams, you’re further protected from the financial hardship of a job loss.

Working my side hustle was a big key to enable us to pay off $15,000 of student loan debt in 10 months. While the extra income isn’t a huge amount, the best part about it is that it’s EXTRA income. We had gotten accustomed to budgeting with the income from our full-time jobs, so even though some additional money was coming in every month, we continued to live the same way. This meant that ALL my side hustle income went directly towards paying down our student loans.

Another benefit to working a side hustle is that it gives you the opportunity to pursue work in a different industry outside of your full-time career. This can be an industry you’re curious to learn more about, or one that you’re already passionate about. We’ve all heard that finding “a job you love” is something to strive for, but for some people it’s hard to make that practical.

I LOVE baseball, so having a side job that lets me work at a baseball stadium is a perfect fit for me. It lets me continue to do something I’m passionate about, even though it’s not my full-time career.

You can learn new skills, sharpen existing skills, and become a more well-rounded employee in general. My blog has helped me refine my writing ability and has helped me advance in my full-time career.

Drawbacks to Working a Side Hustle

To be honest, there aren’t many drawbacks to working a side hustle other than the extra time and energy it takes. For this reason, I’d definitely recommend choosing a side hustle that you enjoy. During baseball season, my wife and I don’t get to spend as much time with each other in the evenings, which can be tough sometimes. I also miss out on some time with family and friends. Fortunately, my family enjoys coming to the games and I work with awesome people that make coming to the ballpark a ton of fun.

How to Figure Out What Side Hustle is Right for You

As previously mentioned, there are so many options to consider. Take some time to research your options. Think about what skills you have and what resources you have available to you. Do you have a car and live in a busy city? Driving for Uber could be a good fit. Do you love animals? Maybe you should look into watching dogs through Rover. Whatever you end up deciding to pursue, working a side hustle brings a number of benefits and can help take your finances to the next level!

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