The art of the side hustle: how to put your skills and hobbies to good useJuly 24, 2020
Having extra money in your pocket is always a nice feeling, especially so when you have big financial responsibilities or goals in sight. Whether it’s paying off your loans, putting in a downpayment for your BTO or even saving to retire early, finding ways to supplement your main source of income (i.e. your full-time job) might be the fastest and most straightforward way to go. So if you’re thinking of earning some extra cash on the side, here are some tips to keep in mind before getting started!
THE SIDE GIG
Chances are, you already have a full-time job going for you. However, as your financial responsibilities begin to take shape and increase in size, a little extra income on the side sure does sound nice. And with the concept of a side hustle floating through the social media space, it might seem like a quick and easy cash fix. However, balancing a side gig while maintaining your work performance AND juggling your social life is not an easy feat.
Speaking to several young JumpStarters, we found one common practice that helped them manage their time efficiently: the art of scheduling.
This means utilising small pockets of time throughout the day to ensure that you get things done — even if it means skipping that supper with your friends or spending the weekend at home ticking off your to-do list.
With all that in mind, now comes the fun part — what type of hustle should you do, exactly? Well, most people take on jobs that are closely related to their professional job scope, or in areas where they’ve had prior experience. For instance, a graphic designer by day might be interested in picking up more design projects in a completely different field than they are used to. This not only allows them to earn extra income, but also hone their skills in areas they’re interested in — talk about a win-win!
To get started, you might want to check out common freelance sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and even good ‘ol Carousell. Remember, we’re just scratching the surface here. There are literally hundreds of websites where you’d be able to advertise your skills, so take your time and explore the internet at your own pace.
So maybe your job function doesn’t offer much freelance opportunities, or you find that you don’t want to take on a side hustle that’s closely related to your job. The good news is that in this day and age, it’s pretty easy to find a gig in an area you’re comfortable with, and something that could even be related to your hobby or interest.
With the first line of options being stripped away (i.e. a gig in a work-related field), it might seem like there’s nothing much for you to offer. That’s where you’re wrong.
Dig a little deeper and think about how you can get creative with what you have. Think about what some of your hobbies are, and if you’re able to monetise them, (including the human resources policies of your current employer). For example, you might be a really good tennis player. Why not give classes to small groups of people over the weekends, then? Not only do you get a good session in yourself, but you also get to share your passion with others and share the tools of the trade! Or maybe you’re great in the kitchen — start an online business, or if you’re up for it, you could even offer catering and private cooking services!
Too much of a commitment? Well, there are slightly less time-consuming activities that offer decent returns too, like pet-sitting in your free time. Sites like Pawshake can connect you with pet owners looking for a sitter, and you can choose to take up jobs depending on your own schedule. (Besides, who could say no to extra snuggles with cuddly animals?)
If you’re still struggling to find something, perhaps looking online for inspiration might help. In 2018, CNBC published a short article detailing the top side hustles by popularity. This list included activities such as fitness coaching, survey taking and even house cleaning. While the income for each job should be taken with a pinch of salt (and because they’re based on the U.S. demographics), it offers an interesting take on what millennials are keen on doing for extra money.
MAKE YOUR MONEY WORK HARDER
Unfortunately for some, a side hustle is simply impossible due to the nature of their job or due to circumstances that are out of their control. For those of you who fall in this category, how then, can you grow your wealth?
While not as immediate as a sizable monthly income, you might want to consider the option of building a passive income in the form of investments. We’re lucky to be in an environment where individuals now have a wide variety of investment products they can choose from, depending on their risk appetite.
For instance, many banks offer a variety of options for you to park your money for investment purposes, such as bonds, unit trusts, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), to name a few. Standard Chartered Bank offers a selection of wealth solutions to suit different risk profiles and investment objectives. Plus, you get to tap into educational resources and a team of advisors raring to help you on your journey! If you’re keen to try do-it-yourself investing platforms, you could consider Standard Chartered’s wealth platforms that allow you to invest and convert foreign currencies at your convenience
Of course, investing is not a walk in the park. It requires an adequate understanding of the market, periodic portfolio review and will also require your patience in order to see the growth. Remember — only invest if you have enough money set aside for emergencies, and only if you’re willing to part with your money over a longer period of time (and are prepared to lose some, even all along the way).
Our tip: build an income portfolio, as this too, plays a big role in determining how much you earn on the side. But of course, this will definitely take time, patience and quite a bit of sacrifice, especially if you’re putting aside more money for investing purposes. There are plenty of online resources that offer great insight into how one can amass considerable amount of dividends in a year. Plus, you can even find personal recounts on different financial blogs.
Let’s face it — earning extra money is never an easy task. It’ll always require a certain amount of sacrifice, whether you choose to do a side hustle, or even when you want to invest. However, don’t ever feel pressured into making tough and important decisions like these on a whim. Take the time to find out if the conditions are right, and if you’re in a good space to supplement your income. While money is important, your well-being should always come first! So, take it easy, and make your decision an informed one.
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