Written by Nikki Ducas
Ever since I was a tween, I’ve been a jack of all trades and have had the good fortune of being able to turn my passions into lucrative money-making opportunities.
The extra income from my side hustles cushions my family’s finances and allows us to be debt-free, go on extra family vacations, have investments and maintain our six-month emergency fund. On the flip side however, the current reality is many people need multiple jobs to make ends meet. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 7 to 8 million Americans work multiple jobs.
A side hustler is a person who works on the side for fun and/or profit. If you can carve out a few hours per week, then a side hustle may be for you. According to Bankrate.com, the average side hustler spends 12 hours per week on their secondary work and earns an average of $1,122 a month.
You may have also heard the term moonlighting when someone works within their profession as a second job outside of normal business hours. USLegal, Inc. defines moonlighting as taking on additional work “while working for a private employer” and is governed by the policies of the employer. Public employees seeking to hold a second job may be subject to federal laws and agency regulations, depending on the position and classification.
My primary job is a stay-at-home mom, a homeschooler and homemaker. As busy as I am, I side hustle. I independent contract as a pet sitter, meeting planner and writer. I also manage an online home business. These side hustles don’t pay on a regular basis, but when I choose to work, the paychecks make a difference in our budget.
In a Facebook poll I conducted, people listed the following as their side hustles:
- Investment properties
- Trip planner
- Driving for Uber and Lyft
- Search engine evaluator
- Young Living Essential Oils rep
- CPR instructor
- Rodan + Fields (or other MLM business) rep
- Financial coach
- DNA Tech for cancer screening
- Health coach
Many of these side hustlers started because they were passionate about the idea or product and then happened to make money. Those who listed investment properties are paying for children’s educations and planning for retirement.
Most said they wouldn’t leave their day job for their side hustle. The main reason is fear of failure and debt, the cost of getting their business started and concerns that it wouldn’t be lucrative. My online home business required $5,000 and fortunately, I had the money in savings.
To find a side hustle, ask yourself what you’re passionate about. When are you available to work? Can you work outside the home? Do you need a computer? Do you need training? Do you need a car for the job? There are a lot of opportunities available that can help you make money in your free time. Give it a try.