So…if you have been budgeting for long enough, you might come to the point where there is nothing left to cut. Have you gotten there yet?
If so, then it’s time to pull out the big guns! No not an actual weapon! The secret weapon in your debt payoff arsenal. The side hustle!
Before you get started with your side hustle, you need to make sure that you have assessed your money mindset and have addressed any bad behaviors that got you into trouble in the first place.
The goal with earning more is NOT to outrun your out-of-control spending. To get the best bang for your buck, be intentional about how you handle your new increase.
What exactly is a side hustle?
The definition for a side hustle will vary depending on the source. But here is my definition. A side hustle is a source of income that’s generated outside of your full-time job. There two major benefits to having side hustles.
What are the Benefits of Side Hustling?
Benefit #1: Minimized risk. I don’t believe in putting all of my eggs in one basket in any scenario but especially when it comes to my money. Too many things can go wrong.
These jobs ain’t loyal! You can get laid off or lose your job at any time. So I like to have multiple streams of income and multiple side hustles so that I have money coming in from different sources. Just think about it for a moment.
Money flows OUT of our houses in multiple directions. Mastercard, Visa, Car Payment. Student Loans, Shoes, Makeup (maybe that’s just me!) But in many instances, we only have one stream flowing IN.
If you lose that one source, Visa, Mastercard, Wells Fargo, and everybody else will still expect to receive their money on time. No one will care that your job decided to let you go without notice.
Benefit #2: Accelerated debt payoff and wealth building.
Side hustles allow us to generate “extra” cash in order to save aggressively and to build wealth for the future. “Extra” is in quotation marks because I don’t really like looking at new money through the “extra” lens.
“Extra” has a casual connotation to it. Casually approaching new income will result in it being spent in an equally casual manner. i.e. on junk that we don’t need. So be careful to approach newly earned money with intentionality and purpose.
Over the past 8 years side hustling has helped me to:
- Pay off nearly $100K in student loan debt
- Save a $60,000 down payment for my home
- Save a 6-month emergency fund
- Save $40,000 in one year
Have I convinced you yet? Are you ready to get a side hustle of your own?
How can you get started with side hustling?
Your strategy should be based on your unique skills, talents, abilities, and passions. For example, if you play an instrument or you like to sing, one way that you can generate extra cash is to give private lessons on the side.
Or, if you’re a teacher, you can tutor after hours, on the weekends, or during the summer. If you love to cook, you can sell pies or fried chicken. Whatever your culinary specialty might be.
Am I the only one who remembers growing up in church and seeing those ladies cooking chicken dinners and selling them after Sunday service? You could get yourself a two-piece, some macaroni and cheese, some collard greens, a biscuit, and a slice of cake for the small price of $3 or $4. Those ladies were getting their side hustle on!
If you’re looking to get a side hustle, sit down with a piece of paper a pen and brainstorm. Think about what areas you have expertise in, and then get creative. The next step is to figure out ways to monetize your skills and abilities.
What are my side hustles?
My side hustles are directly related to my fields of expertise, which are healthcare, education, as well as my area of passion, which (you guessed it) is personal finance.
Although I teach full-time I also maintain a part-time clinical job seeing patients, and I do consider this a side hustle, because I am not dependent upon this “extra” money to pay the bills.
My household budget is based upon my full-time income and my husband’s income. So that way, anything additional that I earn above my full-time salary can be designated specifically for other financial goals.
More about my side hustles…I’ve also taught online courses at colleges and universities for YEARS. And I bring in a small amount of money each month from my YouTube channel.
The money isn’t anything to write home to mama about. But I’m not complaining by any means! It’s nearly enough to offset my $500 grocery budget each month which is a blessing.
I also have this blog. I don’t yet place ads on my blog (I don’t foresee myself doing this anytime soon) but I do bring in a small amount of revenue from affiliate income.
My line of debt-free t-shirts also brings in a few dollars and I recently launched my money coaching business.
My newest venture is creating digital products, such as workshops and ebooks, that will benefit my community (that means you)!
In January I created the totally free 21-day money challenge and included an option to purchase the 57-page workbook which included a ton of valuable resources, like budgeting templates, meal plan templates, cheat sheets, checklists, expense tracker and much more. That little workbook led to my first $1,000 month in my business! That’s what I call profiting from your passion!
Things to remember as you side hustle
1. Have a name and a specific purpose for every single dollar that you earn.
If you do not name that money in advance, when you begin to earn additional money from your side hustles, that money is gonna leave your hands as quickly as you received it.
Without a plan, the money will begin to disappear into thin air. This leads me to my next point.
2. Avoid elevating your lifestyle as you earn more money.
Ever get a raise and start to feel an itch to maybe… upgrade your car or upgrade your house or upgrade your lifestyle to match your new earnings.
3. Save, spend and invest in alignment with your current financial goals.
Now, in order to do that, guess what? You actually have to have some financial goals, preferably something that’s written on paper.
I generally recommend having short-term, mid-term, and long-term financial goals.
You can grab a copy of my free goals workbook here:
Once you have your financial goals written down, you’ll be able to physically look at those goals and you can say to yourself… okay, this money that’s coming in on Friday… I’m gonna designate specifically towards paying off my student loan debt. Or I’m going to put it in my IRA.
Having financial goals is a great way to make sure that you’re staying on track and that you’re not getting distracted by that new money that’s in your pocket or in your bank account.
4. I say again…avoid the temptation to spend the new money!
The temptation might be to treat yourself, to pick up a new pair of shoes, a new purse, to go on a vacation… (maybe I’m just speaking for myself!) or do something else that you’ve been wanting to do for a while.
Remember your why and refer back to your goals when you feel temptation creeping up!
Financial goals that can be achieved by side hustling:
- Accelerated debt payoff
- Aggressively saving for retirement.
- Make additional principal payments on your mortgage or car note
- Establish a fully-funded emergency fund
- Invest in yourself and build your skillset by attending a class or workshop
- Create a travel budget
Two (more) quick words of caution about side income
Caution #1: Side hustling can become addictive.
You don’t want to be trapped by or feel dependent on your side hustles. That completely defeats the purpose of a side hustle! At the peak of my side hustling back in the day, I was working a lot of hours, I was paying down the debt aggressively, but I didn’t have a lot of time for other things. I didn’t have time to work out. My diet wasn’t exactly the healthiest. And I wasn’t sleeping a lot. As you side hustle remember to take pace yourself and take care of your mind and body.
Caution #2: Keep an eye (or two) on your tax situation.
At the peak of my side hustle season, I failed to keep an eye on exactly how much money was coming in. Before I knew it, I jumped a tax bracket, and at the end of the year, I owed the IRS like seven or eight thousand dollars.
That was not fun. So keep your tax situation in mind and plan accordingly. I hope that you’re inspired and motivated to get a side hustle of your own if you don’t have one. If you already have a side hustle share it below and inspire someone else.
How do you prioritize and allocate your side hustle income?