Getting the Most out of Life
Earning Supplemental Income: The Art of the Side Hustle
Everyone wants to earn more money, but few people put the time into starting a side hustle that can generate significant supplemental income. Whether you’re an expert editor, a creative artist, a skilled website coder, or a photographer, your passion can provide supplemental income to your 9-5 job. Here a few tips on how to start and manage your moonlighting venture.
Utilizing Your Natural Skill Set
How do you spend your time when you’re not at work? Oftentimes, an activity you like to do, one that seems to come naturally, isn’t a skill set you think about monetizing because you assume that it’s easy for everyone else, too. But offering your skills could be a huge financial boon. Look for ways to solve problems for others by using whatever your skill is. If you can do that, you likely have a business on your hands.
Examples of Profitable Side Hustles
Once you figure out your marketable skill set, it’s time to decide how to start your side business. Here are some resources for four types of freelancers:
- Expert Editor — There are plenty of bloggers, freelance writers, and business owners looking for people to edit their work. Consider posting a job listing on Elance.com or Freelancer.com to advertise yours skills. Join an online community of like-minded people, such as the Careful Cents Club, to network and see if you can help out other freelancers who have too much work on their plate.
- Creative Artist — If you spend your free time creating jewelry, sewing clothes, making handmade soaps, or crocheting mini stuffed animals, consider opening an Etsy.com shop for your side hustle. Do your research and figure out what sells well, what doesn’t, and how to price your items. Etsy.com also provides the Seller Handbook, which offers advice for starting and running a successful business through their site.
- Website Coder — If you’re the type of person who can throw together a website in a few days for a buddy, you could make money off this valuable skill. One option is through WordPress. About 75 million sites use WordPress, and it’s becoming more common with businesses. The average WordPress developer charges $50 an hour, so if you’re looking to earn significant supplemental income and have the skill set to get there, this could be the perfect fit. Upload your resume to Upwork.com to start.
- Skilled Photographer — The popularity of social media tools such as Pinterest and Instagram has made the Internet increasingly visual. People are more likely to click on links that include a photo, which means that the demand for high-quality photos is even higher. In addition, the rise of personal branding among young professionals has led to a desire for high-quality photo shoots. If you love spending your weekends with a camera in hand, there may be business owners interested in buying your images.
You’re Earning Supplemental Income! Now What?
If your side hustle starts to take off, the most important thing to remember is this: Set aside money for taxes. You are now earning more income, and your paychecks aren’t necessarily coming to you with taxes taken out. This means you’ll have to pay more during tax season. Talk to your tax professional about how much you should be earmarking for taxes, including whether you should pay quarterly taxes, or if it makes sense to change your tax withholding at your full-time job to account for the extra income. You can deduct business expenses to reduce your tax rate, so get organized. Consider using online bookkeeping software such as Xero or QuickBooks to make your life easier come tax time.
A side hustle is a great way to earn a little extra, pay off those debts, and enjoy financial freedom in your youth. You work on your hobbies and passions anyways, might as well get paid for it!
Sophia Bera, CFP® is the Founder of Gen Y Planning and is a financial planner for Millennials. She's passionate about providing comprehensive financial planning to people in their 20s and 30s across the country in a fun and accessible way. She is a contributor for AOL's Daily Finance website and has been quoted on various websites and publications including Forbes, Business Insider, Yahoo, Money Magazine, InvestmentNews, and The Huffington Post. She was named one of the "Top Financial Advisors for Millennials" by the website: www.MoneyUnder30.com. Sophia is a sought after speaker and presenter and a founding member of the XY Planning Network. In her free time, she enjoys performing as an actor/singer and traveling the world. Follow her on Twitter @sophiabera or buy her new Kindle ebook on Amazon called: What You Should Have Learned About Money, But Never Did.