5 side hustle ideas when your income isn’t enough

Life is expensive isn’t it?  Even when you do everything right, work hard and further your education, sometimes it’s still not enough.  I know a thing or two about side hustles.  One of the things I learned about myself early on was that I didn’t like to be tied down by a traditional job.  I wanted freedom so I was willing to work hard for myself so that I didn’t have to work for someone else.  So I have had many side hustles in my life.  One of them I turned into a career.  But I compiled a list of my top 5 along with pluses and minuses for each one so you can make your own decision which one might be best for your situation.

There are a lot of scams out there.  My Judge Judy addiction has lead me to see many cases of people falling victim of internet scams, so please do your research!  I don’t want to see any of you on Judge Judy!

Make Money doing something you’re already doing

This sounds simple enough but what are you already doing that you can make money with?  Do you stay home with kids? Can you watch another child or maybe two while you’re home with yours to make extra money?  Or if you’re shuttling kids back and forth from school can you offer to drive other kids for some extra money?  If you’re already helping your kids with homework after school everyday, can you offer to tutor some other kids?

What about meal prep?  If your’e already spending one day a week prepping your meals for the week can you offer to prep another busy mom’s meals for the week at the same time to make some extra money?  Or maybe offer to grocery shop for others while you’re at the store anyways.

Pluses:

Since these are things you are already doing, you probably won’t need to arrange childcare or drastically alter your family’s schedule.

Minuses:

Even though it might seem like you’re not changing much, it can stretch you thin.  If you’re trying to help an extra couple of kids with their homework, your kids might not get as much of your attention.  If you’re watching other kids, it might mean you can’t stick to your normal family routine and outings.

Direct Selling

I’m passionate about this one.  Sometimes it gets a bad wrap.  I get it. You cousin Susan tried XYZ company and she failed miserably so you have a bad impression.  But do you know how many people I’ve seen drop out of nursing school, or get a corporate job and decide it’s not for them?  It doesn’t mean nursing isn’t a great profession for many people, or all corporate jobs are a scam.  It just wasn’t for those people.

But I do think if you’re considering this route it’s so very important you do your research.  And by research I don’t mean scour the internet reading all the internet trolls comments about their bad experiences.  Did you know even Rachael Ray has a hater website?  I mean seriously, who hates Rachael Ray?   Pretty much everyone has haters now.  So what I mean by research is reading through factual information from the company.

Here are some questions you can ask someone who has been successful with that particular company:

  1. How exactly will I be getting paid?  Do I get paid on the spot?  Do I receive a check every 2 weeks?  What is the percentage I would be making?
  2. If I wanted to bring home an extra $1000 a month, can you map out on paper for me exactly how I could make that happen with this company?
  3. What are my options if down the road I decide to not continue with the company?  What would that look like?
  4. Other than family and friends, what are ways that I can meet new clients so that this is a viable business and not just a hobby?

I always recommend going with a reputable company that has a proven track record.  New direct selling companies pop up daily and the majority of them don’t last so stick with something tried and true so you don’t lose something you’ve worked hard for.

Pluses

You can create your own schedule.  I started off working my business as a hobby so it was a couple hours here and there. Now I work anywhere from 20-35 hours a week.  You get to decide. Residual income!  I feel like if more people understood the power of residual income they would move mountains to make it happen for them. One of my biggest examples of this was a year or so ago when I was giving my kids a bath and heard my phone ding in the next room.  When we finished our nighttime routine and I checked my phone I had an email with a reorder from a customer who I had initially met years before and she had continued ordering from me throughout the years.  I figured out my profit from this one email that took me 30 seconds to read and respond to profited me $175.  All because of the work I put in years ago.

Minuses

It takes work.  It’s not the clock in, clock out kind of work.  You’re building a business.  I think one of the biggest misconceptions people have when they start something like this is they think they can just pass out a couple catalogs or post on facebook a couple times and the orders will start rolling in.  It doesn’t work like that.  Be willing to find ways to market yourself outside of family and friends.

Another pitfall I see is people being quick to quit.  They have one customer send back product, or one bad appointment and they decide it’s not for them.  Give yourself grace.  Know that it’s not going to be perfect.  Be willing to give it a solid effort for a year before you decide to continue or not.

Rent out your house

You can make great money renting out your house as a vacation rental.  If you’re going on a family trip of your own and will be out of the house, why not rent it out while you’re away to make extra money?  You can list your home on sites like VRBO or Airbnb which is more secure than just posting on craiglist.

Pluses

It’s relatively simple to do.  You can do it as often as you’d like or just plan for it when you’re going out of town.  And you can make great money in a short period of time.

Minuses

You have strangers in your house.  I get that you might not be ok with that.  Also there is the chance that you have bad renters who mess up your house.  So if you decide to go this route be cautious!

Selling on etsy

If you are a crafty or creative type, you can use your gifts to start a business. If you’re considering this route I would do some research first.  What is your competition like?  What would it cost you to make your product?  How much could you sell it for?  Is the profit worth it to you?  What about shipping costs?  This can be a great way to make money if you give it some thought and make sure you have a sound business plan before you start.

Pluses

Who doesn’t love the idea of turning a hobby into a profitable business?  It’s something you can do from home and the schedule is flexible.

Minuses

The start up costs can be extensive.  If you don’t do enough research your profit margin may not be enough to make it worth your time and you will probably spend a lot of your nights and weekends working on getting orders out so you have to be passionate about your product.

Become a Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants are becoming more in demand everyday.  Essentially you are an assistant for someone but you work remotely.  Business owners, bloggers, entrepreneurs, realtors, etc often need help with social media, responding to emails, creating graphics, etc.  I know several people in my line of work that have made careers out of being a virtual assistant so it’s a great option for those of you that are great communicators, reliable, trustworthy, and still want to work from home with a flexible schedule.  Here is a great blog post on how you can start!

Pluses

You can work from home and your schedule is relatively flexible.  You don’t need a ton of experience on your resume which is great, as long as you can show that you’re going to work well with the person hiring and you can accomplish what they need.

Minuses

You’re working for someone else which can be challenging if the person you’re working for and you don’t jive.  The person you’re working for can really make it or break it.  Depending on how much money you need to make you may need to have multiple clients which means you really have to market yourself to make that happen.

So there you have it.  What other side hustles are you doing and loving?  I will forever be a fan of my fellow #bossbabes

<3 Krista

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