If you’re anything like me, broke millennial with bills and a mountain of student loans that sometimes keeps you up at night, you can’t afford to not have one. I venture to say that even if you were a well funded, no student loan and no mortgage having magical mystical being, you need a side hustle. People with debt need one for the obvious reasons; to get out of debt and enjoy a life without money worries. For the ones with no debt, the reason might be less obvious but just as pressing. Just like you would need to diversify your portfolio when investing in stocks, you also need to diversify your source of income and not depend on one source. My logic is that if anything is possible, there is a chance that it will happen. Losing a well paying job is possible, especially in the world of “at will”. If you had been relying on that one job to sustain you, then you’re in for a nasty surprise. The only way to ensure that you will have some sort of income despite the circumstances is to have more than one source of income. The problem is that side hustles are often perceived as something labor intensive, time consuming and generally difficult to get. But I’ve found that there are ways you can have a side hustle without selling your labor or spending too much of your precious weekend hours somewhere where you don’t want to be. While a part time job at a local business might be the easiest way to get a side hustle, there are other ways that you can make a significant amount of money. Here are the ones that I’m trying currently.
- Filling out surveys about consumer products- There are sites like focuspointeglobal.com and others that will pay for your opinion as a consumer. Depending on which survey I participate in, I can get monetary compensation or free products that I usually use, which in turn will save me the money I would have spent purchasing it.
- Content writing- Part time content writers are paid roughly $15-$20 per hour for their work on posts for sites. So a 20 hour work week can get me $300 (minus tax) or more, x 4 and I got a way to pay all your bills without dipping into my paycheck.
- Translation services – I know everyone can’t do this since there’s a clear requirement of a foreign language competency here, but if you do know a foreign language, please make use of your knowledge and get compensated. I provide translation services for a local university project and get compensated about $16/hr for a 10-20 hr work week. I don’t even see this money. It goes straight to paying off my debt in the order I’ve decided to pay it off (Credit card then Student Loans, then mortgage) speeding up the process by leaps. If you don’t know any foreign languages, don’t despair! You can also do this with tutoring etc.
- Get a roommate- I love my roomie! Because she’s a good person but also because having her slashes my housing cost in half. My mortgage and condo fees total about $1300. I rent out my spare bedroom to a young professional like me for $650 and voila! I’ve cut my costs in half. This is not quite a side hustle in that it doesn’t require me to do anything to generate revenue. But it does serve as another source of income.
Most of the jobs I mentioned above don’t require any labor (unless you count typing) and allow me to make between $600-$650 a month. While all of them don’t consistently make me the same amount of money, they do make me enough to cover a significant portion of my monthly bills which I have reduced now to $2,000 (Including my mortgage). In a good month, I probably won’t have to touch my paycheck, and it can go straight to paying off my debt! My goal is to have about 3 more reliable side hustles so I can increase the amount I will pay towards my student loans.