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EXTRA INCOME? TRY A “SIDE HUSTLE”

EXTRA INCOME? TRY A “SIDE HUSTLE”

EXTRA INCOME? TRY A “SIDE HUSTLE”

Whether you are gainfully employed, retired or unemployed, everybody can use extra income. Today, we are in the middle of what is casually referred to as the “gig economy.” The gig economy is made up of short-term jobs or freelance assignments, sometimes referred to as side hustles. Do you need a side hustle? How can you determine something you can do on the side to bring in that much needed extra money?

Step one is to identify a need that you can fill with your skills and experience. That is why so many retirees are so adept at finding income-producing side hustles. One who has spent a full career honing skills and talents has much to offer. For example, consider the woman who spent her entire career as a CPA, and then upon retirement marketed her skills to university students who needed tutoring in accounting. She has the luxury of taking on as many or as few students as she chooses, and working the hours she sets for herself. That is a successful side hustle. Here are several others:

Driving has become the side hustle of choice for thousands of Americans who have signed on with UBER, LYFT or other transportation ride-sharing companies. The advantages include setting your own hours, deciding exactly in what geographical areas you will drive, and creating a modest added income in your life.  There is not a particularly high income potential here, since it is estimated that after expenses, drivers earn about $11 per hour.

Short-term rentals are in huge demand nationwide. If you own a rental property, or even if you have a part of your home you would be willing to rent to vacationers or other travelers, this may be a great side hustle. Once you have your rental fully set up, and your property listed on short-term rental sites such as AirBnB, VRBO, Flipkey or a host of others, all you have to do is accept reservations, welcome your guests and sit back and earn. Depending upon how often you are willing to rent your property, this can be a very lucrative side hustle.

Home repairs and maintenance can be difficult for a lot of people. But if you have been a homeowner for a number of years, and taken care of your own repairs, why not market your services to others. This is easily done through sites like Angie’s List, Home Advisor and Houzz are great places to let people know what you can do and to connect with potential customers. If you are new to this, take time to study what similar service providers are charging for their services and how they are marketing their skills.

Graphic design, freelance writing, website development and a host of other skills you may have honed in your career can morph into side hustles that allow you to work at home. Again, you set the hours, you decide how many clients to take on and you are your own boss. Highly skilled areas like these can produce substantial income without the burden of showing up at an office every day and working set hours. The key here is to keep your skills sharp and keep up with current technology used in your field.

Home staging is the process of making a house ready for viewing by potential buyers. If you have always had the talent to turn an empty room into a showplace, this may be an ideal side hustle for you. Market your skills to realtors who need their properties to look just right for potential buyers. If you already are friends with a realtor, start with him or her and slowly expand your circle of clients.

These are just a few examples of how smooth your transition into side hustles can be. Consider your skills and talents and get creative. Your next income-producing venture may just build on what you already know, and chances are there are people out there waiting for someone just like you.

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