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Get Ahead in the New Year Part 3: Develop a Side Hustle

Our three-part series called Get Ahead in the New Year concludes with this article. Previously, we’ve examined how to develop passive income and how to cut expenses as steps to getting ahead financially. Now, we discuss one of the fastest ways to get ahead by creating a side hustle!

We aren’t talking about leaving your current employer. In fact, it’s recommended that you make yourself indispensable at work to avoid experiencing a layoff or downsizing. You don’t want to lose your primary source of income.

So, what really is a side hustle?

What Is a Side Hustle

What used to be called a second job in past decades is now commonly referred to as a side hustle. It is a side gig that is done besides a primary job as a way of bringing in extra income. In the past it was common to take a second job to save up for “the wants” in life, like a second home, a vacation, or a child’s college education.

Today, 44% of Americans admit to having a side hustle. Many of them work a side gig in order to help pay for bills and living expenses. The extra money fills a financial gap for them and their families.

Others have a side hustle to try out a potential new career before committing to it as their primary source of income. For many bloggers and content creators, they start off with their content being a side gig before scaling it up. They continue to hold down their full-time job while they try their hand at building an online business that may someday sustain them.

A side gig is also a way that some folks can express themselves creatively. True story: a friend who is an internal medicine doctor during the week plays drums in a local band on weekends. He has no intention of leaving his medical career but is able to do something he enjoys while making some extra fun money.

Side Hustle Ideas

Don’t fool yourself. A side hustle is another job. It’s similar to what you currently do or nothing like it at all.

Side gigs take time, effort, and sometimes a financial investment to get started. Consider whatever you put in as “seed money” that will provide you with additional funds to one day build an emergency fund, pay off debt, or contribute to savings.

Some things to remember:

● The whole point of a side gig is extra income. Bonus points if it is something fun or interesting!

● Choose something that comes easily to you and your present skills. For instance, if you already are dedicated to working out and staying in shape, then becoming a part-time fitness instructor or coach is a good option.

● Consider the time required. If you work a full-time job that requires you to travel, you will want a side hustle that you can do online from anywhere.

● Keep expectations realistic. Time and effort are required for a side gig to pay and make a dent in bills or whatever you are applying your earnings toward.

Side hustle ideas fall into two broad categories: online and in-person.

Online Side Hustle Ideas

Become a virtual assistant. Business owners and companies need a part-timer to handle administrative duties virtually. Apps like Fancy Hands help you find the right fit.

Freelance work. The possibilities here are endless: accounting, graphic design, payroll, social media management, tutoring, and writing are a few ideas. Apps like Fiverr help pair your specific skill with a job.

Selling products. These could be homemade or second-hand items you sell for a profit on sites like Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, and Poshmark.

Start a blog, podcast, or vlog. By creating content that is interesting and useful, you may gain a large enough audience to garner income from ad networks, affiliate marketing, or sponsored content.

Tutoring. Thanks to apps like Zoom, education companies offer virtual tutoring online, so there are many opportunities to be a tutor to students anywhere in the world.

In-Person Side Hustle Ideas

Delivering groceries or takeout food. Instacart, DoorDash, or UberEATS are popular ways to make some extra money with little long-term commitment.

House Sitting and pet sitting. These are great side gigs for those who love animals or those who have a flexible living arrangement.

Rideshare. Your car becomes your own taxi service by accepting passengers through apps like Lyft and Uber.

Seasonal retail work. Stores always need extra help for holidays and certain times of the year.

Odd jobs. Certain chore-related tasks like cleaning, furniture assembly, and yard work can be found on apps like Taskrabbit. True story: a friend’s son got hired to pull weeds and water plants weekly for an elderly customer and wound up house sitting for them for a summer.

Photography. If photography is already a hobby, take it to the next level by hiring yourself out as a photographer for business portraits, family photos, senior portraits, or wedding photos.

Vending machines. This side hustle has gotten a lot of press lately as younger entrepreneurs, blue-collar workers, and those with less disposable income can get started in their own business for less than $5k. It initially takes money, time, and effort to get it set up, but can reap good benefits and be scaled up.

Final Thoughts

Have you identified a side gig that you are considering? Developing a side hustle is just one way you can get ahead financially this year. Be sure to check out the other two articles on passive income and cutting expenses. This three-pronged approach will help you get on track in 2023!


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