Anyone notice how expensive everything has gotten lately? One minute you walk into the store to grab some lunch, the next thing you know, you’ve spent $20. I don’t know about you, but I try to be as frugal as possible. When you have kids, every dollar counts. Either I’m spending it on Cash or saving it away for his future. The last thing I really want to do is waste it on food to feed myself on a random Tuesday afternoon.
Thinking back to 2010 when I rented my first apartment. It was me and 2 other girls and we shared a cockroach infested apartment in Costa Mesa, CA. I was paying $600 for the room, going to school, and working at a surf shop. Back then I lived off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and walked to school most days because I couldn’t afford gas in my Volkswagen Beetle. Fast forward to 2017 where our rent is $2,700 alone and my car payment is nearly the same price as my first apartment. To put that car payment in perspective, I drive a practical Ford, not a fancy Italian sports car.
Living the lavish lifestyle has never been my thing.
Sure, if someone came to me and handed it to me, I’d probably take it. But only if the bills were paid. Reminiscing on how my responsibilities have grown over the last 8 years trips me out. Back in high school, having $600 would have been ballin’. In 2010, having $1000 was safe. Now in 2018, if I only have $1000 in my bank account, I freak the F out. Life is so expensive and keeps getting more expensive as the years go by.
This isn’t true for everyone; but the average citizen shows us that the majority are living day to day to make ends meet.
We’ll work a mundane job to pay the bills, or we’ll be doing something we love, and it doesn’t pay quite enough. We’re stressed, we’re worried, and we’re tired. We’re unhappy! The world seems to be closing in from all directions, and all you can do to breathe. But fear not, this world of technology has provided us a couple of ways around the rising cost of living, and with a little adjustment, in our routines, we can work towards more breathing room each and every day.
In honor of the much anticipated weekend, we’re going to take a look at five ways to earn extra income in your spare time, and we’re going to turn it all around!
Blogging for extra income!
Ask anybody outside of the blogosphere about blogging, and they’re bound to have the same questions. “What’s the point? Isn’t it a saturated market? How does that make you money?”
They’re right to ask these questions, the blogging world does ‘seem’ saturated and impossible to break out in, but there are plenty of ways to utilize blogging for monetary income. But first, we’re going to have to figure out what you’ll be blogging about, and that means taking a look at yourself in the mirror.
What do you love? Do you have a passion for something? Where do you spend the majority of your time? Is there something you are already good at, or determined to get better at? Is it makeup? Sketching, painting, digital art? Writing fiction? Fixing engines or photographing aircraft? Whatever it is for you, you need to give it structure and put it out there. That’s your angle, that’s your passion, that’s your voice.
Okay, cool. So how do I earn from that? Well the first thing you want to do is throw some ads up on your blog. While ad revenue from programs like Adsense aren’t huge right away, they have the potential to sky rocket with your page views. As you build a following and a readership, this income only increases! It may not seem a lot, but it’s passive income. Chances are you’re recommending products to your friends already, why not do it publicly?
Once you start to build your audience and become a trusted voice in your field, your readers will think highly of your recommendations. That’s where the real income can start coming in and this can quickly become your full-time job. Affiliate marketing for products and brands you know and love is another totally free way to add to your passive income. Stay true to yourself and your readership, and you’re guaranteed some sales. What’s more, your readers are guaranteed great readable content and product suggestions. Win/win!
Create & Sell Your Own Products
Do you remember how we just spoke about finding your passion and enjoyment? Well in business terms, that’s your unique selling proposition. Your USP is what makes you and your product unique to everything else out there on the market. As an added bonus, you’ve already gained yourself a following that love and trust you by blogging and social platforms! All you need to do now is bring out something of your own. This could be an e-book, a course, a video seminar, prints of your art or photography, or really whatever else you can think of. If you take a look at Etsy or Creative Market, you’ll see all the possibilities of people already selling their unique products.
Freelancing & Consulting What You Already Know
Whether you’re a writer, photographer, artist, SEO Expert, Business Manager, Print Expert, NPD Specialist, or hobby woodworker, there are people willing to pay you for what you do and what you know. It’s a matter of putting yourself out there and being willing to put in the work in your spare time. Now with the power of the internet, it’s much easier to be a freelance worker. Join some Facebook groups in your niche or freelance websites to get your name out there. I personally love Fiverr for all things digital and Thumbtack for all things in-person. Eventually, it could become your living wage. This is along the same track as creating your own products but can be fast tracked in comparison. You don’t need the trust of a huge following to get freelance work, you just need some examples of your work and the right price. It’s best to start out with your prices low and your level of service high. As the 5-star reviews come in, slowly increase your prices. The more they want you, the more you’re worth!
Flipping Unwanted, Unused Products
You can always take the Gary Vaynerchuk approach. He promises that you can find a wide range of free or underpriced items on Facebook selling pages, Craigslist, and garage sales. The good news is he’s right! The truth is, people are too lazy to go to the trouble of correctly listing their unwanted items on eBay, and messing around with delivery etc. They’re as tired and stressed as we are! But as an outsider you can grab all these items and take the few minutes to list these items for what their worth and enjoy the profits.
How do you know if an item is underpriced, or even if it’s selling? Set your eBay search preferences to “Sold Only,” and type in the product you’re considering. This will give you an average price the item is selling for and an idea of its current popularity. Easy peasy!
Buying & Selling
If scrawling through pages for secondhand items doesn’t seem like your thing, you could always build an online shop around your passions. Starting off with the smallest, cheapest item in your niche, you can build up a shop without investing much money. Simply buy your items in bulk from eBay, Amazon, or various wholesalers, and sell them at their retail price. Be smart about it though and recycle profits into new stock. Keep investing that money back into your business until the profit is substantial enough to run the shop and ultimately pay you.
This approach allows you a more structured plan over the secondhand approach and can take you in any direction you want. Your shop can be managed in under a couple hours each night, and by the time it’s demanding more than that, you’ll be earning enough to ditch that day job, or at least cut your hours.
As you can see there’s plenty of ways to earn extra income in your spare time.
The ultimate goal has to be your own happiness. The key to finding your side hustle is to devote quality time to it. There are 168 hours in a week, manage them wisely. Even 3-4 hours a day on the weekend is a good place to start. You deserve happiness. You deserve to be less stressed. And most importantly, you deserve to live the life you want. So don’t stop until you have it!
Do you have a side hustle? What is it?