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The secret about side hustles

Ah, financial freedom. The buzz word on everyone’s lips right now.

Whether new or seasoned in your search, we’re all looking for it. In that search, you’ll have come across the term, ‘side hustle’.

It’s the primary recommendation on a whole lot of budgeting blogs and financial podcasts.

And when a recommendation is that hot, you know we had to check it out!

So, does it check out? Can a side hustle give you financial freedom?

First up. What is a side hustle?

A side hustle is something you do in your ‘spare’ time to earn some extra income. So, essentially, a second job. Doesn’t sound so glamourous now, does it?

The most common ‘side hustles’ (aka, second jobs) are things like taking online surveys, participating in focus groups for market research, mystery shopping, and pet sitting and/or dog walking (okay, this one does sound fun).

Some other common side hustles might utilise a skill like social marketing, graphic design or cashie bricklaying jobs.

All these services are in demand. If you’ve got the skill set, you can absolutely earn yourself a little extra money.

So… extra work = extra income = extra money. Right?


… maybe.

There are three things I want you to consider to help you decide if a side hustle will work for you.

They are:

  1. Your values.
  2. Your budget.
  3. Your health.

1. What are your values, and does a side hustle align with them?

This is the most important question to ask when determining if a side hustle is for you.

If your primary goal is to bank as much money as possible as quickly as possible, then yes, a side hustle might work for you.

But if you place a high value on life outside of work (remember, a side hustle is a second job) then you need to consider what the cost of that extra income is going to be. (Hint: it’s going to be quality time with your family, leisurely weekends with friends, and your favourite corner of the couch. You won’t be needing it anymore.)

I’ve tried and tested the usual side hustles. They all ended the same way. As soon as they started to creep into the time I value with my family, I had to let them go. Because they just didn’t fit with my ultimate goal: financial freedom and freedom over my time.

2. How much will your side hustle add to your budget? What will it take from it?

Now I want you to take a good hard look at the numbers. (Don’t know what yours are? Create your budget here.)

On paper every little bit helps, right?

But not all side hustles are created equal. They don’t all pay that well. Most side hustles that don’t require a particular skill, e.g., surveys, will only earn you approximately $ 2 – $6 per hour. Your time spent on surveys could be better spent to positively impact your budget, such as meal prepping for the week.

The time lost to your side hustle can also take more than your social life away.

Spent the weekend hustling and had no time to prep your lunches for the week? Now you’re buying it every day and watching your weekly budget disappear before your eyes. Oops.

It is possible to create a lucrative side hustle leveraging a skill or talent. These veer further into business territory than a traditional side hustle though, and with businesses come expenses. Spend money first, make money later.

A great side hustle takes time and money to build. If it’s something you’re passionate about, then what are you waiting for?! But if you’re just looking for a way to make extra money, your time might be better spent utilising the income you already have better.

This question really comes down to your goal. Do you want to build a hustle so successful you can leave your regular job for it? Or do you want to buy a house? Your side hustle might take money from your deposit and add to the time it’ll take you to get there.

What impact will your hustle have on your health?

Today’s pace is fast. Don’t let hustle culture get the better of you.

Remember what we said at the beginning? A side hustle is just a second job. There’s no ‘side’ about it. You’re just hustling.

Trying to eat well, sleep well, and do two jobs well can put you in the fast lane to burnout.

If your hustle is adding to your financial wealth but costing your mental and physical health, it’s not worth it.

Hustle culture will have you feeling like you’re failing, lazy, or just plain not committed enough. None of which is true. (Hands up if you’re at max capacity as it is? Yep, me too!).

You don’t have to hustle to reach your financial goals. Focus on the small changes you can implement right now and work towards that goal one day at a time.

You will get there, and in one piece too.

Bonnie’s wrap

If you’ve felt that you aren’t doing well unless you’re hustling because it’s so hard not to compare yourself success story you see online, I’m here to tell you that is not the case at all.

My approach to increasing your financial situation is not an everything-all-at-once approach. This rarely works. It’s an at-your-own-pace approach. Small changes along the way make a big difference in the long run.

A side hustle is not a get-rich-quick scheme. They’re not a shortcut to financial freedom.

They’ll take your time, money, and maybe even your sanity.

They can work, but only if they work for you (and not everyone you see online).

But if you are thinking about starting a hustle, here’s what I want you to do:

Check your values. We can help you figure out what they are here.

  1. Check your budget. What impact will a side hustle have? Do you have room to invest in one?
  2. Check your health. What impact will a side hustle have on you?

Check, check, check? Then do your research, make sure the return is worth your investment, and go for it!

Not so sure? Then remember this:

Whether you’re budgeting or hustling, the result is going to be the same.

Ignore the hustlers. Slow and steady always wins the race anyway.

Related to: Happy Habits
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