If you don’t already have a side hustle of your own, the odds are that you’ve at least heard of them. Side hustles are growing in popularity, a way of earning extra money without having to take on a second job or even give up your day job. It seems like the perfect way to add to your earnings, a change from spending your evenings and weekends deep in a box set or two.
But how does it work in reality? Can you really balance a side hustle and your job? Here are some things to consider if you’re hoping to take the side hustle plunge.
Can you keep up the time commitment?
While there are a lot of side hustles you can do without a huge time commitment, the truth is that a lot of them will require some of your time. Some may have a minimum time commitment each month, while others can be a little more flexible. Adding another 5 to 10 hours to your working week may not seem like much at first, but it can end up being a lot on top of your other job.
Whatever you decide to do, start on a trial basis. See how it fits in with your existing work/life balance before you make any long-term commitments. Try it for a month or two before you get too used to the extra cash to stop you from becoming reliant on it.
Could you link it to your existing job?
Some of the easiest side hustles to stick to are the ones that are related to your existing job and your expertise. Many people who work in communications, for example, find proofreading and copywriting roles easy to fall into, while a teacher could become an online tutor and use their teaching experience elsewhere. Learning something completely new may not come easy when you’re already juggling another role, so try to find an opportunity that plays to your strengths.
Will you still have enough time for yourself?
Even if you can fit in your side hustle around your existing job, you also need to factor in time for yourself. It’s easy for a side hustle to consume you, meaning you have no time to enjoy the extra money you’ve been earning! Choosing a profitable side hustle that is low-commitment will help you reap the most benefit. Try to limit your side hustle time to just a few hours a week, so that you can still enjoy the majority of your evenings and weekends.
Are you equipped to deal with the financial side?
Not only is there a time commitment to think about, but you also need to consider how you’ll juggle your finances. Understanding how tax works for side hustles is important and will help you plan for your accounts to make sure you pay what you need to and aren’t caught short at the end of the year. Hiring an accountant is another way to keep track of your finances, but may not be worth the monthly cost if you aren’t going to be earning much from your side hustle.
While there’s a lot to consider when balancing a side hustle and your job, there are plenty of people making it work each day. By finding the right type of side hustle and making sure it works with your other commitments, you can enjoy the bump in your earnings without letting it take over your life.