SAN JOSE, Calif., June 30, 2021– Participating in the gig economy can help you shore up funds when you’re in between jobs. Side hustles can also bring greater financial stability during normal times.
Think of it this way, If you work for a single company and you are let go, you’ll lose 100% of your income. But let’s say you side hustle with five clients or gigs, and each of them makes up 20% of your pay. If you lose one side gig and are down to four, you only miss 20% of your income.
Side hustling is also a great way to rake in extra cash even while you have a full-time job. And it can also be a way to supplement your pay if you have a part-time job. With the financial uncertainty millions of folks have seen during COVID-19, it can be a better route to provide greater security.
As you might expect, the pandemic has created shifts in side hustling and also provided a financial cushion for those who didn’t have one.
For people who didn’t have emergency funds, side gigs turned into something of a safety net. Let’s find out the other ways to earn side money post COVID-19 to boost your financial wellness,
Focus on your strengths
Focus on what you are so passionate about that you can do it better than everyone else. If so, look around for ways to make money at that.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re an awesome cook. You can earn some cash by either cooking for others or teach others to cook and earn a nice living doing it. Or you can start your own home bakery side business. Have a knack for organizing? If so, consider being a virtual assistant, or advertise your organizational services on platforms such as Thumbtack or TaskRabbit.
Depending on the side hustle you want to endeavor in, the market could be saturated. To stand out from a sea of equally eager and qualified folks, think about what makes you unique. For instance, let’s say you want to offer editorial services. Instead of being a general researcher and proofreader, do you have experience in a certain niche? Or do you have a journalism or English degree?
Choose something you enjoy
Hustling gives you an opportunity to choose something you like doing. Plus, if you are passionate about something, you’ll be motivated to develop your skills and excel at it.
Tap into something you really enjoy doing that could also help break up the monotony in your everyday life. If you spend your days looking at spreadsheets but love to draw, consider selling artwork or design templates online.
Look for side hustles that require a low commitment upfront
If you’re just starting out and are strapped for cash, you don’t necessarily want to invest a ton of time and resources on a side hustle. Instead, look for gigs that either require very little equipment and materials or ones that you have some experience in.
Let’s say you have some experience tutoring. If so, then consider being a virtual tutor. Or, if you have a theatre background, you might find a fun gig being a virtual babysitter, where part of the job entails entertaining kidlets.
Once you have a proof of concept, or after you’ve made some money, then you can ramp up how much investment and time you put into it.
Find ways to monetize things you are already creating
Want a passive side hustle? Think about something you might already be creating that you could sell online as a digital product. For instance, the idea of creating budgeting worksheets. Many people love creating spreadsheets and graphs to stay on budget, reach savings goals, track income, plan for retirement, and more. If that’s something you also love doing, think about how that creative energy could create an extra income stream for you.
For instance, you could create a standard template of these spreadsheets and graphs using free software, then sell it as a product on Etsy. Those sorts of products are actually very popular on the platform, and worth exploring.
Use social media platforms to your advantage
During the pandemic, there was also a surge in popular social media platforms. You don’t need to go full throttle on all social media platforms. You might end up spreading yourself thin and do a half-hearted job.
For instance, if you are selling crafty items and are a visual person, then Instagram might be your go-to platform. If staying on top of current events and creating and engaging in dialogue might be your strength, then Twitter might be the social media platform for you. If you love to impart your wisdom to others, then educational clips on TikTok might be for you.
Make that money work for you
To make the most of cash earned from your side hustle, start by exploring what you can do to optimize your earnings. If you’re struggling financially and need it to cover bills, that certainly takes priority.
But beyond that, see if you can sock some of it away. Even $50 a month could help, as that adds up to $600 a year. Consider going on a spending fast where you spend money on just the bare necessities. That way, you can accelerate your savings.
If you’re on the fence about whether to put any “extra” money toward an emergency fund or to pay off debt, it’s typically a good idea to squirrel some beans away for a rainy day first. Why’s that? Well, if you don’t have an emergency fund in place, then should an unexpected cost arise, you’ll need to resort to debt. In turn, you’ll only be digging a deeper debt hole.
Consider it as a long game
A survey revealed that in 2019, 73% of those who side hustled earned an average of $200 a month, and the majority of folks earned an average of no more than $500 a month. You might not get rich overnight, but you’ll be building the inroads for successful side hustling.
There is no one size fits all to any financial journey nor side hustle experience, adds Flores. “Everyone’s lives and goals look different. Don’t get stuck in a perfection or comparison trap when starting – start now with what you have, where you have, and then tweak as you grow your side hustle,” says Flores. “Starting out messy seems scary, but in my experience, the best way to learn is by doing.”