The Internet has certainly made it easier to have ‘a thing on the side’ without the commitment of holding a second job or running a business – and you only have to look at the posts on task outsourcing platforms like Airtasker to see that the time-poor and skills-challenged will pay for others to clean the car, sew cushion covers or update a website. What could you do and is it worth your time and effort? You do want more hustle than hassle, after all.
How to choose your side hustle
First up, what can you do? List all the skills you have, things you can do. Include DIY skills (crafts, gardening etc), soft skills (public speaking, working with people etc), sports and outdoor skills, formal skills learned at school or university and past job skills. Now, what do you enjoy doing? And what have you been complimented for doing well? Therein lies the answer to how you could potentially spend some of that ‘free’ time on weekends.
Let’s take a look at a few weekend side hustles that have been successful, along with some earnings calculations:
- Every business needs social media marketing yet not every business (particularly smaller ones) has the personnel, the skills, understanding or time to do this well. It’s a cinch for most Gen Ys. Even just $100 a week adds up to $5200 a year. #kaching!
- There’s an art to writing resumes and cover letters and job seekers are willing to pay to stand out. Two resumes a week at $100 each is $10,400 a year.
- Whether officiating funerals or weddings, renewals of vows or naming of babies, a celebrant charging $350 an event, doing two a month, earns $8,400 annually.
- Whether making your own jewellery, headwear or bags or sourcing pre-loved luxury or vintage items, and selling online, assume $500 worth of sales a month and you’ve earned $6,000.
- Teach a yoga or aerobic class at your local gym. At $45 for 30-minute sessions, just two sessions adds up to $4,680.
- With a good camera (not your smartphone) and a great eye for composition and what captures mood and the moment, photography for birthdays, engagements and weddings could add up to $26,000 a year if you do one $500 job a week.
- Unleash your creative skills decorating cakes for birthday, weddings, anniversaries or other special events. $300 per week profit is $15,600 a year.
- Coordinate and supervise kids’ party activities, once a week for $200 and bank $10,400 a year.
Some side hustles will make money and others will fulfil you in other ways. Like Rach who works in disability care. Her day job pays the bills while a travel blog she’s written on the side, building up a decent following over the years, opens up places to her, for free, that she’d otherwise not afford to visit.
Is a side hustle right for you?
I understand why people are lured to fill in extra hours earning more: job insecurity is a reality for many; under-employment is too. There are bills to be paid. Perhaps you have a savings goal for a home deposit or holiday. There are some other overlooked financial considerations that can have bearing on whether a side hustle is the answer to your money prayers.
Second jobs can often mean a higher rate of tax, some tax to be paid upfront whereas side-hustles are often cash-based, and potentially, undeclared income. The catch is that if you don’t declare income, you can’t claim deductions either. What do your set-up costs look like? Will you need professional indemnity and public liability insurances? Do you really have the energy to put into a side? Will trading your time for money have costs on relationships, your health or even your ability to do your main paying job?
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Note this is general advice only and you should seek advice specific to your circumstances.