Side hustling is a term of art (errr slang) used by personal finance bloggers online to describe making money on the side, apart from your 9-5. My side hustles of choice are blogging and freelance writing. I am a financial planner by day (my day job) and I “side hustle” at night by making money blogging and freelance writing.
Do you side hustle? If not, you make want to give it a try. Here’s why.
1. To Bring in More Income
If you need to increase your income (whether it’s to make ends meet or for another reason), then consider picking up a side hustle. Will you have to take time away from entertainment and relaxation? Yes. Will it be worth financial freedom? Absolutely.
Particularly with young professionals, there is a stigma associated with working more than one job. Let me tell you something – you are not better than a second job. You are not “too old” to babysit. You are not above hustling nor are you entitled to only work one job and have everything work out perfectly.
Recently, my friend told me she is swimming in student loan debt and doesn’t know what to do. I felt so bad because she’s married and has two kids.
So, this is what I told her (and this is what I do): 1) decrease your expenses and 2) increase your income. These are the only ways I know how to get out of debt and change your financial future.
People may not understand why you’re working more than one job, especially if you’re a professional, but who cares. You’re taking care of yourself and prioritizing your financial future and that’s more important than what anyone else thinks.
2. To Get Out of Debt
If you’re in debt and unable to quickly repay your debt with your regular salary, then a side hustle is an excellent way to speed up your debt repayment plan. You can take on an extra job until you repay your debt – it doesn’t have to be permanent.
- Related: How to get out of any kind of debt
How do you think I went from $206k to $120k in student loan debt while going from a six figure salary to half that? I hustle. 🙂 For example, this past Friday night I went to a coffee shop and wrote four articles for freelance gigs (learn how to freelance write here). On Saturday I babysat twice – for two different families. On Sunday, I went back to the coffee shop and did more writing for my blog (learn how to start a blog and make money blogging here). I did this because I care more about paying off my student loan debt than hanging out on the weekends. Once my debt is repaid, I’ll have financial peace and that’s worth sacrificing weekends for. 🙂
I like putting all of my income from my side hustles toward my student loan debt because it’s separate and easy not to spend on anything else (I keep it in a separate bank account). It’s also really helpful and encouraging because as you make more from your side hustles, you’ll see your debt go down, which feels like small wins.
3. To Save an Emergency Fund
If you don’t have a fully funded emergency fund, then a side hustle is a great way to fund one. If you have an emergency fund, you will be financially able to take care of the unexpected when it happens. Building an emergency fund is one of the first things you should do to become financially secure. If you can’t fund an emergency fund on your own salary, then pick up a side hustle to do it.
4. To Make a Career Change
If you are unhappy in your career and want to make a career change, starting a side hustle is a way for you to dabble in another space without quitting your current job. This is less risky and could bring clarity for you if you’re not sure which direction you want to go in. For example, maybe you’re considering being an editor. You could start freelance writing on the side while still at your day job. This side hustle would help advance your career before you actually take the jump.
I know this personally because I quit my six-figure job because I was super unhappy as an attorney. It took a lot of financial planning to make this happen. More so than anything else, I’ve had to side hustle a lot to make up for the loss in income at my day job.
5. To Find Your Purpose
If you aren’t fulfilled and don’t know how to change that, consider picking up a side hustle. If you decide to pick up a side hustle for this reason, you don’t have to focus so much on the money. You could start teaching a Bible study or leading a women’s group at a local center. This is different than starting a hobby, however. With a hobby, you’re not accountable to anyone and it’s usually just for entertainment and enjoyment. If you’re actually searching for more meaning in what you do, then start a side hustle that you think could lead you to your purpose – maybe that’s teaching something that you’re good at, like dance or gymnastics.
A Final Note!
“Side hustling” is a term used by personal finance bloggers that means a job on the side of your regular job.
You may need to start a side hustle to 1) increase your income, 2) pay off debt, 3) save an emergency fund, 4) make a career change, or 5) find your purpose.
Whatever the reason, remember that side hustling can change your life — I’m living proof!