Most people work full-time jobs in order to pay the rent and put food on the table. Typically, they also have dreams and goals that go beyond just paying the next round of bills.
But maybe their salary isn’t enough to put money away to save for a house, to have kids, fund their retirement, or for other long-term objectives. And while getting a raise, a promotion, or a new, higher-paying job is often how people go about increasing their incomes, those options aren’t always on the table.
So, how can you earn more money?
Look for a side hustle.
In fact, 37% of Americans have side hustles, according to one recent survey. But what is a side hustle, and how can you find one?
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is usually just a second job. They’re gigs that full-time workers take on, typically in order to bolster their savings, pay down debt, and provide more income for their families.
But side hustles can also be more than a second job.
They can also be a small business. Some people feel the itch to be entrepreneurs, so they do what it takes to create a small business—a business that is, in effect, their side hustle. These businesses can be anything ranging from a cottage industry making t-shirts, baking brownies, creating new apps, or even designing websites.
Some people also get a side hustle in the gig economy.
The term “gig economy,” usually refers to temporary or contract jobs. Uber drivers, for example, are members of the gig economy. So are workers for TaskRabbit.
A side hustle, then, is just that—something you work on the side. It is not a full-time job or career.
Can a side hustle help your financial life?
Seventy percent of people who have side hustles do so out of financial need, according to survey data.
If you are earning more money from a side hustle, then it stands to reason you might be able to improve your financial situation—which, of course, is the goal for most people.
But have a plan for that money, and make good use of it. Pay down debts, or save it.
What are some examples of side hustles?
Driving for Uber or Lyft is one of the most popular examples of having a side hustle. These drivers are classified as independent contractors by the companies they work for, and in turn, the workers have the ability to decide when they want to work. That flexibility often makes driving for a ridesharing service an attractive side hustle.
You can also put your current skill set to use in looking for a side gig. For example, if you know how to use Photoshop, then you may be able to pick up freelance graphic design gigs for sites like UpWork or Fiverr.
Don’t discount starting your own business, either. For some part-time entrepreneurs, a side hustle consists of designing a new product to sell online or starting a business that cleans up yards for dog owners.
How much time does a side hustle require?
How much time you put into a side hustle is up to you.
Some people simply want to work a couple hours, every few days to help pad their bank accounts. Others, like those who start their own businesses from scratch, may be striving to turn their side hustles into profitable enterprises.
There is no hard and fast rule about how long you should spend on your side hustle.
What can you do with your side hustle money?
With a new stream of income, you may want to target high-interest debt, such as credit cards, and pay down your balances. The same goes for student loan debt.
You can also specify a goal, and save up for some other goal, such as a car, house, or a wedding.
At Stash Invest, we can help side hustlers and full-time hustlers invest their money. You can begin investing with as little as $5.