By Sheryl Smolkin
If you are having trouble making ends meet you can spend less, get a job that pays more money or work more hours. Spending less will only take you so far in your quest for a balanced budget and better paying jobs are not always easy to find, particularly in the short-term.
However, there are lots of options available if you want to put in more time. Where overtime is readily available in your primary job, taking on a few extra shifts could be the answer. Otherwise, you may consider taking on a part-time job, or to use a newer expression in the workplace lexicon — find yourself “a side hustle.”
Before you commit to a regular part-time gig it’s probably a good idea to think about any potential conflicts with your primary position. First of all, if you have the kind of job that doesn’t end promptly at 5 PM, you can’t plan to start work somewhere else across town an hour later. Also, if your day job is at Apple, it’s a safe bet that part-time work at Microsoft will be viewed as an untenable conflict of interest.
Potentially lucrative side hustles are more available than you think, and many can be done from the comfort of your own home. For example:
- Seasonal work: Retail establishments frequently hire extra staff for the Christmas holiday season. A party store in my neighborhood is looking for staff for their busiest time of the year, which is Halloween. You can bet that after the first big snowfall lots of people would be thrilled if you offer to shovel their driveways.
- Blogging: I’ll be the first to admit that making money via personal blogging about a subject of interest is not a slam dunk. The major advantage for me has been the exposure which has led to regular well-paid writing jobs. But there are lots of bloggers out there who have thousands of readers and generate revenue from goggle ads and industry players.
- Complete surveys online: Big brands need consumer opinions on their products, advertisements and identity. Your feedback will help them to improve and grow. To show their appreciation they will reward you for your time on reputable market research panels. Companies typically pay through PayPal or in the form of gift cards. You won’t make a fortune but every little bit helps.
- Sell your photos online: Do you take amazing photos? You can actually sell your photos online at places like iStockPhoto, Shutterstock, Fotolia, and Bigstockphoto. Photos can be sold over and over again, allowing you to earn a residual income.
- Transcriptionist: If you have excellent keyboard skills you can get piecework transcribing everything from audio interviews to meetings to legal proceedings. This can be done on your own time, but make sure you understand the minimum weekly quotas and how much you can reasonably expect to earn.
- Customer Service Agent: One position I saw advertised online is for fundraising agents who make outbound calls to existing and past supporters of some of the largest charities across Canada. Each day, representatives speak with donors to help raise funds, respond to emergencies, renew support, sponsor children, and provide other worthwhile opportunities for charitable giving.
- Airbnb: Are you an empty nester with one or more empty bedrooms in your home or a currently unused basement apartment? Consider sprucing them up and renting them on Airbnb. However, before you start, check the zoning in your area to ensure short-term rentals are permitted.
- Driving: The future of Uber in many parts of Canada including Saskatchewan is up in the air. But if you are available evenings and weekends you may be able to make money using your own car to transport other people around as Lyft or Uber drivers. If this option appeals to you, make sure to check with your insurer to see if you have the proper coverage.
- Baking: Does everyone love your banana bread? Is your cheesecake to die for? How many free wedding or shower cakes have you baked for friends? If you love baking, why not start a home-based business? You can set up a Facebook page with lots of pictures of your work and before you know it you will have more business than you can handle.
- Caregiving: Most daycares close by six PM, but not all jobs are 9-5. People who work shifts are always looking for experienced caregivers to cover evenings and weekends. Similarly, many elderly people have regular caregivers but their families need occasional respite care.
These are only a few of the dozens of possible side hustles that can earn you extra money to pay the bills. Any hobby has the potential to be turned into a business. However, it is important to realistically assess how much time and energy you have and the possible impact working more will have on your family and your performance in your day job, before you take on extra work.
Here are some additional articles with lots of other ideas you may be interested in:
99 Side Hustle Business Ideas You Can Start Today
50+ Ways To Make Money Fast By Side Hustling
The Top 68 Side Hustles: Add Some More Money to Your Life
29 Smart Ways to Make Money on the Side in 2016