My journey to abundance is taking all sorts of unexpected twists and turns. It started with going underwater on my mortgage, took a detour into credit card and car loan territory, explored high end consumerism and then crossed into Ramsey land with the precise goal of getting debt free. I have also downsized my belongings, which encourages spending less. While spending less is a sure-fired way to increase net worth over time, my urgency to be debt free got me thinking about how I could speed up my progress.
There is a part of me that wishes I had figured this out 10 years ago…heck, even 5 years ago. I can’t help wondering what I might have accomplished had I delivered pizzas on nights and weekends. It’s not glamorous, but I could have put that extra $15k per year to good use! Truth be told, I probably needed to go through my journey in the exact way that I have in order to fully appreciate the lessons I’m learning now. Otherwise I would likely have rolled my eyes and told myself that I already work hard and I deserve a break.
In any event, I can’t change the past and I won’t cry over spilt milk. Instead I will review my time management and seriously consider how I want to use my most precious resource while still pursuing a side hustle. A friend of mine sets a great example. She loves going to yard sales. She has found some great lightly used items. She buys them at a low price, thoroughly cleans them, and then sells them on eBay with a markup. I love her example because she took an enjoyable pastime and turned it into a way to make extra cash.
I have two friends who manage Etsy shops and another who has taught piano lessons. I know of a family that sells fresh chicken eggs from their garage. Just yesterday I met a former Texan living on the outskirts of town who is converting his 5 acre plot into a small farm for which he is developing a business plan. There are many opportunities and what I’m finding is that many people keep their day jobs while monetizing their passion projects.
Having witnessed this in others, I am trying to find a side hustle that would be rewarding both emotionally and financially. I haven’t settled on an answer yet, but I have a few ideas. Ideally, it would keep me home or near to home so that I stay close to my kiddos. With this desire in mind, here are some of the ideas I’m exploring:
- Coaching – specifically personal finance, goal setting and home organization
- Writing – freelance articles, copy writing, or editing
- Tutoring – math and physics for local students
- Virtual sales – something like Usborne books
I will research each of these further and start testing the waters for one or two of them. I freely admit that I worry about how I will juggle it all. I truly believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way; even when we can’t easily see it. An analogy I’ve heard is that we have faith that the road is still ahead of us when we drive at night, even though we can’t see beyond he illumination of the headlights. Therefore, I’m putting my best foot forward to make the first step and then I’ll repeat. Before I know it, I’ll be at my destination – it’s as simple as that.
Do any of you have side hustles or projects you’re monetizing? Was it hard for you to fit it into your schedule? What have you put the extra earnings toward? I would love to hear your stories, so please comment below.