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As the gig economy and short term contracts begin to play a bigger part in every day working life, having a little side hustle is an increasingly popular way to supplement your income.
With a little effort, forward planning and dedication, it’s possible to create a great source of additional money that can be used as a recreation fund, put towards additional savings or even as a means of bolstering your main income.
For many people, debt is a daily reality and even with a full-time income, it can be a struggle to make ends meet. Rising living costs and the unavoidable expenses that life throws at us all add up and realistically, there are only so many things you can cut back on before you realise you’re living a miserable, spartan existence. Having a side hustle means you can afford the little extras that make life a little easier.
There are so many things you can potentially do as a side hustle, though it can be difficult to come up with an idea if you’ve never really considered it before. Odd jobs like cleaning, babysitting or looking after pets are a popular choice, especially among younger people and students.
Online tutoring, DJing, performing in tribute or covers bands and even small scale catering operations are other well-known choices for those who need to generate extra funds. These days, people are taking things to another level and from translation services to plain old administration, there are limitless ways for you to start a successful side hustle.
This is arguably one of the most difficult parts of the whole process. At this stage, you need to consider a few key things before you can go any further. Firstly, what are your skills? Be realistic here, its one thing to enjoy singing along to the radio while you’re in the shower but its quite another to have the skills and talent to make money from your voice. Similarly, you may enjoy baking cakes for fun, but even a very small catering business that operates occasionally will require some serious organisation and planning. Think about what you can charge for, what others are likely to want to pay for and whether this is a potentially sustainable idea. It’ always good to have a couple of alternative options in case your first idea isn’t workable for some reason.
Just like a band or a DJ starting out in the music industry, anybody who works a side hustle needs to start small. Contact friends, family members, colleagues and anybody else you can think of who may need what you’re offering. Handyperson services often start with a few minor repairs for friends and neighbours but can grow into viable businesses. Word of mouth counts for a lot, but in the era of social media, spreading the word via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is basically common sense. You can create a free business page on Facebook in a matter of minutes and providing you’re ready to start accepting work, this can be a quick and effective way to get yourself out there.
The world of work has changed and many people use online platforms such as People Per Hour, Upwork, Elance and other sites as a basis for their full-time income. There are also thousands of opportunities for people running a side hustle. A few articles per week or an hour or two of online teaching could be enough to generate those much needed extra dollars. Don’t forget things like eBay and Amazon, plus the numerous other e-commerce sites out there.
Savvy sellers can make a decent amount by reselling items from an online store. If you’re the creative type, your own Shopify site or a platform such as Etsy could be an option. The world of bespoke jewellery, upcycled fashion and retro clothing has already taken full advantage of these new avenues with many other niche markets following closely behind. If you’re happy to start working in exchange for products, rather than money, becoming an Instagram or YouTube influencer is easier than ever before. The most successful influencers can actually generate money from the number of views they receive and though many of them still have day jobs, there are a select few who have managed to elevate their side hustle to a full-time role.
It can be difficult to choose from, so here are just a few examples of side hustles that may inspire you to start your own:
Many cab drivers only work part-time. For those who enjoy driving or have particularly good skills behind the wheel, this can be a lucrative and reliable way to generate extra cash.
Many companies will pay you in cash to dedicate some time testing their products or visiting one of their stores in person.
Many bars and restaurants need people who can work just a few hours a week.
Part-time work like this can be interesting and rewarding, especially for those with an interest in art, history, science or learning in general.
This is one of the most popular side hustles for people trying to break into the industry or those with an interest in TV and film. Hours can be long and irregular, but the pay is usually quite good.
For animal lovers, this kind of side hustle doesn’t even feel like work. Walking a few neighbourhood dogs or taking care of cats while their owners are on holiday can be a lovely way to earn a little extra while also getting to enjoy the company of animals.
Many pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers will pay subjects to be part of controlled studies or trials.