If you’re into personal finance, then you probably know about the “side hustle”. For those of you not in the know, the “side hustle” is freelance work outside of your regular 9-5 job.
I was reminded of my lack of a side hustle after reading Ramit Sethi‘s article, Forget Frugality: Focus on Earning More. His article pointed out that there are two different ways to “spend less than you earn”: either spend less, or earn more. He emphasized the benefits of increasing your earnings through a side business or freelance job. Some commenters felt that Sethi’s advice was obvious, others were annoyed at his assumption that it’s easier to earn more money than to be more frugal and save money. Still others pointed out that you can do both! Earn more AND spend less!
And so here I am, side hustle-less. And I’ve got plenty of excuses (valid or invalid, you decide)! I’m pretty sure my employer doesn’t permit us to have additional jobs. Conflict of interest or some such thing. I suppose I could look into it to be certain. I love my current job, so I wouldn’t want to do anything that takes away from that. Plus, I’m not really sure what extra work I would do.
I don’t have a lot of freelance-friendly skills that I’m aware of. I guess there are a lot of different things one could do as a side hustle. J. Money of Budgets are Sexy has been featuring assorted opportunities through his Side Hustle Series. The most feasible one might be Mystery Shopping. It seems like it could be a lot of fun, and I could get rewarded for trying new stores/restaurants/etc. Still, I don’t go shopping very often, so it might add extra stress trying to fit in shopping trips. I don’t think I’ve got the artistic skills to sell things on Etsy. Maybe I could sell my old stuff on Ebay?
If I were to do something else outside of work, I’d need a good plan. And I’d probably have to do something that either is enjoyable or that pays well if I want to make having a side hustle (or two) worth it. To be honest, I’d much rather avoid or cut back on expenses than commit to an extra job that’s not rewarding (either emotionally or financially). I could save money (and also eat healthier) if I brought my lunch to work every day instead of depending on the cafeteria. That’s a change right there that would help me spend less. I value my free time more than the possible extra money I could be making “in my free time”.
I’d rather stick to one job that I love (i.e. my current career path) and focus on that, than be distracted by other pursuits.
So, what are your side hustles? Do you find it worth it (in terms of time, money, happiness)? Or would you rather work on spending less than on earning more?