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Posts tagged with: side-hustle

My New Side Hustle for Extra Income


I finally did it. I’m sure we’ve all heard it: diversify your income and make additional income. But this is easier said than done, right? I mean, if we already work one full time job, who has the time to squeeze in another income source? Even if we have the time, I know I definitely am not ecstatic about the idea of two jobs. Then I realized that I can practically turn anything I enjoy doing and simple things that I don’t mind doing, into a money-making side hustle. 

As of October 5, 2017, I am officially a side hustler. My new motto: Everyday I’m hustling. I got a position as a substitute teacher! (Since I work at a year round school, I will be able to sub in the traditional calendar schools during my off-time.)  I am stoked about subbing because it matches the new understandings I have gleaned about a good side hustle! 


To start, hats off to every working person that leaves work to go another job at the end of the day or on the weekend. Our full time jobs in itself are exhausting and that requires respectable and admirable commitment. However, I consider a second job and a side hustle to be different things. I do not want my side hustle to feel like a second job. To leave work at 5 pm or to wake up on the weekend in order to go to my second job would drain me. Knowing myself, I may be tired and potentially a bit cranky. 

I want my side hustle to be optional. If I need to call out,  use vacation days,  send in a doctors note or just pretend to be sick (although I would never do that 🙂 ), then I would feel tied down to another job. I want my side hustle to be one in which I can choose when/how I want to work.

With my side hustle as a substitute teacher, I can choose the days and time-frame in which I want to work. I will only work on my off weeks from my year-round school. I will only work the days on the week in which I want. In fact, I just turned down my first position as I write this. Do I want to come in to work on Friday? Nope!

A side-hustle that offers good flexibility: driving for lyft and blogging. Katie, a B.A.D reader, mentioned that people also charge about $100 to program Amazon sticks. Clever! You can do weekends, weekdays, morning, afternoon, etc. You don’t need to cancel a scheduled time. 

Skill-set Promotion

Caution, this is very theoretical. The premise of skill-set promotion comes from Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” Chapter 6. In this chapter, “Work to Learn, Don’t Work For Money,” Kiyosaki advises that we take a  job that will teach a new skill and that our new skill-sets can be used to make us more money. Yes, this is idealistic. We have a job because we have a family to support, bills that must be paid, debt that needs to be reduced, and we simply need green money. Or a direct deposit.

But this is a profoundly insightful goal and one that we have more luxury to consider when choosing a side hustle. Essentially, I believe that my side hustle should not just bring in money, but promote a new marketable skill in myself that will enable me to do something additional for income. For example, if you currently do marketing as a full time job, you could side hustle by doing branding for new, small companies or individuals (this is all over sites like Fiverr). The concept is that the newly learned skill-set developed by branding could give you more marketable expertise within your 9-5 that may earn you a promotion or enable you to start your own company.

Through my side hustle as a substitute teacher, I will be able to teach new grades, new subjects, and work with a different demographic of students. I could even try some upper level math… but probably not. Either way, this will make me a more diversified, smarter, and, I believe, better educator. While this growth does not directly lead to me making more money, it does lead to an invaluable diversity in the world of education. And it could use this as leverage for different positions in education or if you wanted to tutor. 

A side-hustle that offers good flexibility: building websites, branding, online tutoring. You will be practicing and honing a skill that you already have and probably learning new things along the way. You can market this time and these skills to promote yourself. 

Space for passion and time

For some, skill-set building and passion within a side hustle may fit well into the career that you already have. For example, teaching is my passion and being able to be a substitute teacher to build my talents both support each other. Others may have a job that is not necessarily their passion and that does not align well with building a skill-set that they desire. We all also have different time constraints. Some may be single but are earning an advanced degree and are attending classes after working. Some may have a large family that they go home to after work.

Again, we have more luxury to consider what we are passionate about and how much time we have when deciding on a side hustle, and I think this is a beautiful thing. I believe that my side hustle should be something that I am passionate about and that fits well into my time constraints. When this is true, I think that we will feel better about doing it, and ultimately better about reaching our financial goals.

My side hustle fits well into my passion and my time constraints because I am subbing at traditional schools when I am off from my year-round school (year round schools in my area are typically in session for about 8 weeks and then out for about 3). I also considered other passions/ time constraints that I have. Writing/free afternoons = start a blog :). Teaching/ time off during summer= tutoring. Someone who has a family, complete with the dog and limited time, could side hustle by being a dog sitter. (The first time that I found an online sitter for my dog, I sought out someone who had a family because I thought that my dog would enjoy that).

A side-hustle that is good for passion and time: babysitting/ caregiving, catering, dog walking, interior design. We can turn anything into a passion and then into a side hustle! I have a dog and I love her so much- and I can make money by sitting for other dogs that she can play with! 

Time to side-hustle

Changing my philosophy about a side hustle helped me find something that I am actually excited about doing, and that not only earns me money but will give me a valuable talents that will better myself. Do you already have a side hustle and if so what do you do? If not, are you ready to earn additional income by starting a great side hustle? What ideas are you guys considering? I’ll let you all know how my first day goes 🙂

Facing The Harsh Reality (Re-Do!)


Edited: HUGE thanks to those of you who reached out after my last post completely disappeared! It seems silly because its such a trivial thing compared to real-world issues, but I was SO BUMMED when I thought the post was gone! I really appreciate those of you who took screen shots, typed up word docs, and provided links so I could re-access this content! I’m sorry I can’t re-publish the previous comments, but at least the content was saved! THANK YOU! <3

This was a tough one for me to write and to post. I’m about to let you take a peep into our current financial situation. It’s not pretty. I appreciate constructive feedback, but go easy on me!

I’ve already talked about a dozen times about how our finances got out-of-control over the summer months. Everything was fine through April-ish. But then a perfect storm hit that we did not weather very well. First, my final paycheck from my part-time job was in April (even though I worked into May, my contract was written with 4 lump sum payments and the final one was paid out in April). Just like that, we were down $3,000/month (that’s how much my part-time job paid. Note – I had to leave my part-time job because I got a big raise at my full-time job and had to sign a non-compete).

Hubs’ income from his company had been dwindling for months as he was back in school full-time and only had one crew working for him. He continued to pay for all his business (and personal) expenses, but when his licenses and insurances all came up for renewal the best option for us was to call it quits. By mid-June, he was out of money and all his expenses (that he’d previously budgeted and paid for separately out of his business income) needed to be included in the regular household budget. We lost his income and added a few line-items to the “expenses” portion of our budget (specifics in a future blog post).

Our income had plummeted overnight.

We’d grown accustomed to an income of over $10,000/month! And then, just like that, we were down to an income of only about $3,000/month (my take-home pay from my full-time job). We basically kept on spending like it was business as usual. My raise would go into effect mid-August. I thought that if we could just hold out until September (my first full month at my new rate of pay), that we’d be golden! I was expecting to have a huge bump in my take-home pay. I was hired at $55k and when my raise went into effect I’d be at a $95k salary (in 2 years’ time!). I thought my take-home would be over $5,000/month – somewhere in the $5-6k range (note: I have a lot of automatic payroll deductions – see more here).

What I did NOT expect was that my first paycheck with my raise (for 2 weeks of work) would only be $2269. We’re talking under $4500/month. Nearly a thousand per month under what I’d been anticipating, and less than half of what we’d grown accustomed to bringing home.

I spent a lot of time in August (after that first paycheck) looking at our budget trying to make sense of it and see how I could make it work. From an objective perspective, I know $4500/month is a lot of money. Many families get by with half that amount! When I first started blogging, our household income was only $4,000/month so we’d done it before! And that was when our babies were in diapers still! Surely we could do it again!

But the numbers just didn’t work. Our lifestyle had become inflated. Our budget was bloated. We’d picked up a lot of monthly payments that didn’t used to exist (more on that in a future post). And no matter how I tried to look at it, our expenses exceeded our income.


And so, we continued to live on credit cards.

The blog was just purchased by its new owner at that time. I didn’t know if I’d even be blogging anymore. So, I gave up. Without the public accountability and with our financial situation seeming so bleak, I didn’t think it could be done. I didn’t see a way to win.

Fast forward to today. Last month (September) was the first month that we were able to balance our budget since April. For four months (May – August), we were in the negative every month and supplementing our lack of income by relying on credit.

We’re still not in a good place.

Although we didn’t go into the red last month, it was just barely by the skin of our teeth! I had to implement that surprise No Spend Week the last week of the month. And, oh yeah, September was a 3-paycheck month!!! How will we do it with a normal (2-paycheck) month? How can we get by on our current income?

I did change my payroll deductions so I have a slightly higher take-home pay. Instead of $2269, my paychecks are now $2440. Among other things, we also have a huge tax debt we owe. I could adjust my withholdings to get a little more back per check but am purposely not doing so until the tax debt has been paid in full. It’s going to be awhile.

Bottom line, we need to get a budget in which we are somehow living on $4880/month. At this point, our expenses exceed that amount. Heck, our debt obligations alone are over a third of that! It’s kind of scary stuff still.

We’re committed to cutting back in many places. Hubs finishes his personal training course this month and will hopefully be able to land a part-time job. And we’ll supplement in the mean-time by selling everything we can to try to earn some side-cash and STOP increasing our debt by living on credit. Gulp!

More concrete budget details to come.