“I don’t make a six figure salary and I’ve cut back on every possible expense, but I am still in debt and far away from my personal finance goals! How in the world am I going to reach them?”
I’ve had that thought countless times. What it came down to was me finding legitimate ways to increase my income. The majority of people who’ve just started this financial independence journey, working on getting out of debt, saving for some large purchase or any other major financial goal can relate. If you’ve already found ways to cut back on other expenses but are still struggling to make ends meet; the issue is your income and it’s time to increase it.
You’d be surprised at how much of a positive impact a few hundred dollars in additional income can make on your financial situation. Side hustles have been and continue to be one of the best ways to help catapult you towards your FI goals. I have a few tips to share!
1. Avoid jumping at the first “opportunity” you are pitched.
Let’s face it, the moment you tell your friends your looking for a part time gig they want to sell you on their “business opportunity”. Most of the time these are not side hustles, they are multi level marketing or network marketing businesses. They will show you the potential and what you can have and how this is going to be the answer to all of your problems…I want you to take a few days or however long you need to think about it before signing up. Do you have the 50, 60, 100+ bucks to invest in the this business right now? Do you have the time to put in to actually start generating an income. Do you believe in the product itself?
If you have the time and money, then it can be a great opportunity but if you need a true part time job or side hustle then this might not be the best option right now. It’s okay to decline. Trust me, that business opportunity will be there later, right now your focus is increasing your income as fast as possible with as little effort as possible so you can pay your bills and clean up your financial mess.
And believe me, this is not a jab at network marketing businesses. At 19 my very first business was a Mary Kay Consultant and it was great! I got to sell beauty products to women but the goal was to build my pipeline with other beauty consultants, that’s where the REAL money was. This model is not for everyone and that’s okay!
2. Make sure it’s flexible.
It’s important that whatever you do is flexible and can work around your schedule. If you already have a full time job the last thing you want to do is jeopardize your full time income for your part time income. The job that pays the bills and keeps a roof over your head is priority.
3. Focus on things you can start relatively quickly.
If you are in deep doo doo you don’t have time for a long term side hustle, you need money now. The light and water bill are 3 months past due and it’s crunch time! Maybe a second job is your answer or something like becoming an UBER driver. It takes days to get on board and start earning $100 to $200 per week. That’s $400 to $800 a month!
4.Don’t try to replace your income (right away).
Let’s be honest, the goal should not be to replace your income right away. If you set this goal you will end up frustrated and mentally burned out. It’s important to maintain your mental health, especially if you have a family and children. Your side hustle will help you cover the ends you can’t quite seem to make meet, accelerate your savings rate, or pay down some debt and clear up your monthly household cash flow. This will soon create some breathing room and then you can eventually move on to starting that small business you’ve always dreamt of.
5. NO sales if you’re not great at sales!
I can’t stress this enough. Selling is NOT for everyone and it requires a ton of mental stamina. Most people do not preform well at sales when you are worried about being evicted or wondering if your car will still be in the parking lot when you are done pitching to that new customer. Also, if sales is not your strength it will take time and effort on your part to perfect that skill (it’s possible) but sometimes you just don’t have the time for that. Again, this will only leave you mentally and emotionally defeated. The key is to get back to zero, then climb higher.
We tend to get caught up in how others will view us if we take that second job delivery pizza or driving for Uber on the weekends. “What if I deliver pizza to my co-workers house, will they judge me? ” Often times people aren’t that concerned with what you have going on and will not think deeply into you having multiple jobs. Remember, this is temporary and you’re on your way to a much better financial situation.Stay motivated and positive!