Forget the beach body. This summer, bulk up your bank account instead. Enter: a side hustle that keeps the creativity flowing...and gets you paid.
But what if I don’t have a business idea?
Dig deep. Think about what your friends and fam ask you to do as favors. That’s the stuff you’re good at...and other people will probably pay you for. A few ideas to get you started:
If you’ve got thoughts and aren’t afraid to share them...
Give your friends, fam, and Facebook a break. Instead, share your feedback on products and services with a focus group. Yes, that pays. Maybe as much as a few hundred dollars for a couple hours of your time. Google ‘focus groups near [your hometown] or check out platforms like FocusGroup.com.
If you can shop like it’s your job…
Make it, well, your job. Some companies hire ‘mystery shoppers’ to pose as legit customers and report back on things like store cleanliness and whether employees were on their best behavior. Who said dream jobs don’t exist?
If you’ve got a way with words...
Get paid to write — just about anything. Companies need freelancers to write marketing copy and articles. People need dating profiles worth swiping right on. Your newlywed neighbors need 150 thank you notes signed, sealed, and delivered. Do it to it.
If you’re everyone’s go-to photographer...
Get that money shot. Everyone from bloggers capturing that #OOTD to new grads seeking headshots need someone on the other side of the camera.
If you find cleaning therapeutic...
Channel your inner Marie Kondo and get paid to declutter for those who can’t stand it. This will spark joy...in your bank account.
OK, then what?
Get a blessing from your day job if they care about this kinda thing. Some companies don’t want employees to have side businesses at all. Others just want to know you won’t do work while you’re on the clock. Best to get it all out in the open. Unless you enjoy uncomfortable HR convos.
If your company’s like ‘what’s in it for us?’ you can mention they’ve got skin in the game, too. Experts say having a side hustle you really like pays off in more ways than one. It’s a creative outlet and provides experience with more responsibility. You might even learn some skills that’ll help you out at your 9-to-5. Look at you, overachiever.
Once you get the green light, start strategizing your next money moves. Research the best platforms to find jobs, how to advertise yourself, and the going rates. And don’t forget to save some of your profits for Uncle Sam. He’ll want his cut next tax season (sorry).
Experts recommend setting aside 30 cents for every dollar earned in a separate account. If you expect you’ll owe at least $1,000 in taxes, you’re required to pay a little every quarter. Pencil in those due dates. Also hold onto any business receipts for any potential deductions.
What else should I do with the extra money?
Whatever you think will benefit your future self the most. Think: paying off high-interest debt, saving for emergencies, investing. Just make sure to keep a little for yourself, so you don’t feel totally deprived. Fine leather goods? Treat yo self.
A side hustle doesn’t have to feel like hard work. Investing your time and energy into a project you enjoy and comes naturally can boost your productivity. And your net worth. Double win.