From driving an Uber to taking online surveys, it seems everyone these days is interested in diversifying their income stream with a side hustle. And why not? After all if diversifying stocks works for your 401K portfolio, why wouldn’t that same notion apply to the income you take in?
The truth is that its smart to have various revenue streams, as it acts as a safety net. If one gig doesn’t work out, its not the end of the world when you still have other sources of income flowing into your paypal account.
But what happens when you’ve tried countless efforts at side hustles and feel that the time spent isn’t worth what your taking in?
Take it from someone who has tried the online surveys…the captioning…the competitive cheap bidding of freelance projects on content mills such as UpWork only to feel that the time spent was far from worth it. When you calculate that your hourly rate is less than minimum wage it’s time to regroup and consider another way.
I came to the realization that the best side hustle for me was saving.
You heard that right, good ol’ fashion saving.
Now of course you can’t save if you have zero income. But if you are holding down one full-time job, the best side hustle lies in rethinking your spending habits and lifestyle so you can save that hard earned cash, and enjoy the time you are not working and live a more fulfilling life.
Don’t get me wrong, I still subscribe to the notion that it is far better to have multiple sources of income than one alone. But finding those great opportunities is not always as easy as we hope that it would be. So in the present case, here are some ways you can start squirreling away some of your hard earned cash. Just remember to think of doing so as your side hustle.
Spreadsheets are your new best friend.
This is not new news that will blow you away, but how many people actually do this? Make a spreadsheet of all of your monthly expenses and earnings. Sure ignorance is bliss, but if you don’t know what you are working with you are doing yourself a disservice.
When you see those numbers out in front of you, you can actually start seeing where you can cut back and where you can’t. Recognizing where you are spending money is honestly the first step. When I did this I wasn’t shocked to see that most of my discretionary income was spent on work lunches and morning lattes. I had already recognized that I was spending lots here. But when I saw the amount listed out on a spreadsheet, often upwards of $300, I would think of how many other things I would rather spend money on than coffees and salads.
To me, taking a trip or decorating the home held more value to me than a fancy latte.
Change is hard.
Once you recognize your spending, its time to take action. This is the part where lots of folks, including me at times, fall short. The truth is that for me, buying that morning coffee was my routine. I loved those 10 minutes of bliss in the morning walking into my favorite coffee shop, getting that delicious brew and getting mentally ready to take on the day.
They say it takes weeks to make a new habit. I would concur with that statement wholeheartedly. Sure, I love getting that coffee, but what if I can make a new healthy habit of bringing my morning brew with me to work? When in doubt just think back to why you want to do this…its to save money.
Just remember this saying: “Saving is my side hustle.” I think that is T-shirt worthy if I must say so myself!
Having something to strive for helps with savings goals. Perhaps you are dying to book that trip to Paris in the Spring, or you desperately want to buy a new car. Whatever the case maybe, pick a date on the calendar and keep your eyes on the prize.
When we have something to aim for it makes saving more tangible. We can see what we will gain if we save now.
Remember that your time is money. You are worth it, don’t sell yourself short by taking a small commission, spending hours taking an online survey that earns you $1 or doing something that doesn’t make you happy.