Who doesn’t want more money in their wallet? Few people are in a position to say no nowadays. Despite lifting restrictions and increasing vaccination rates, the economic fallout of the pandemic is still a lurking presence in many people’s lives.
According to a recent poll conducted by Harvard and NPR, roughly 20% of US households lost all their savings during the COVID-19 outbreak. Another 38 percent of households admit to facing significant financial problems in 2021.
For anyone facing similar issues, having extra cash isn’t a luxury but a necessary step to getting back on your feet. And choosing the right side hustle can help you achieve your goals faster.
How Can a Side Hustle Help?
A side hustle can be helpful for a variety of reasons.
Pay off Debt
If you took out a personal loan or line of credit in the past year, a side hustle could help you pay it off faster.
You wouldn’t be the only one to rely on credit recently. While some people had savings to drain during the lockdown, others had no such resources at their disposal. If government assistance wasn’t enough, these people had to look to personal loans and lines of credit to help them stay afloat.
Your income has a role in whether you need extra help. Lower-income Americans not only have less expendable spending to cut in times of austerity, but they also face the greatest job volatility in the country.
Location plays its part, too.
Utah, for example, had the lowest average retirement savings in the country before the pandemic. With fewer resources at hand, people in Utah may have run out of savings faster and needed to borrow money more often.
Create a Cushion
Without a side hustle, low-income people living in Utah may be more vulnerable to unexpected expenses. You may need to borrow money at this stage of the pandemic — whether you already have debt or this is the first time you need a loan.
In an emergency, an installment loan or line of credit creates a safety net. Installment loans in Utah come with quick, easy applications so that you find an option that works under a time crunch.
Although it’s nice knowing you have such a safety feature in place, it’s best if you can handle these emergencies on your own. After all, no fast cash loan works as rapidly as money in the bank.
Your side hustle can boost your checking balance and create a significant cushion to protect you from these financial issues. Once you earn enough, you won’t have to borrow money in a crisis.
A side hustle can be beneficial even if you aren’t facing any difficulties right now.
Did you know nearly every millionaire has multiple income streams? Diversifying your cash flow like a millionaire means you’ll be less vulnerable should one of your income sources fail.
Achieve Other Goals
You don’t have to be in dire straights to consider a side hustle. You can benefit from increasing your cash flow, even if you have healthy savings.
This extra money can go towards fun purchases, like renovations, travel, or luxury clothing. You can also use it wisely to double down on investments to earn greater returns on your portfolio.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Side Hustle
A side hustle gives you the financial flexibility to tackle goals you can’t with your normal 9–5 wage alone. But like any job, you have to like it to stick with it long-term without burning out. Here are some things you should consider before starting a new hustle.
How much spare time do you have, and when do these free hours fall? Figure out your schedule, then consider carefully how much leisure time you can give up without going crazy.
This is an important exercise to perform when figuring out what hustle to pursue, as some gigs require more time investment than others.
Your skills, training, and interests should help you narrow in on a gig that you’ll be happy to work. Sit down and brainstorm what abilities and hobbies you can put to good use.
Are you an amazing baker? Do you have experience walking dogs? Are you handy with tools? Do you know how to code? Can you copywrite and edit? All of these could lead you to monetize your skills.
Look for a side hustle that requires very little upfront personal investment. Rather than going it alone, find jobs through side hustle platforms that facilitate freelance work.
While these platforms may take a cut, you won’t have to worry about finding clients, processing payments, or setting up a website. They also provide a failsafe for unresponsive clients, ensuring you get paid.
Is there anything standing in your way from taking the plunge? Brainstorm the barriers preventing you from starting today.
Do you have the organizational skills and entrepreneurial spirit to stick with it? Do you lack marketable skills to turn into a paying gig?
If the answer is no, sign up for a free course to expand the skills you need to make your side hustle a reality.
You should also consider the demand in your area. Someone living in Scofield, Utah, population 23, probably won’t get many offers as an Uber driver. If you live in a rural community, you might have more success pursuing digital gigs.
Are You Ready to Make Extra Money?
Times are tough, and a side hustle can help you weather the storm — whether you’ve drained your savings, taken on debt, or having a rough time.
But not just any side hustle will get the job done, so don’t choose one at random. Do you research and reflect on your needs to make sure you choose something you won’t resent in the long run?