BALTIMORE — Anyone who needs to earn extra money to pay some bills or get out of debt isn’t alone. It is estimated that one in three Americans struggles to make ends meet.
Financial experts advise people to pay down debt and increase their savings during times of economic uncertainty, but sometimes that’s easier said than done.
Whether you call it a freelance job, a part-time job, or a side gig, most people do it with one goal in mind.
Nathan Grant, senior credit industry analyst at MoneyTips, said that “when the pandemic started people were losing their main sources of income and it kind of opened their eyes to other ways to earn money. the money”.
Once someone has decided to go into a side hustle to earn extra money, the next question might be “to do what?”
A Google search for side hustle ideas turns up millions of results. To find the right answer for you, Grant recommends people think about everything they know how to do.
“Speaking of skills you might have, I didn’t go to school for it, but you know what, I’ve designed wedding invitations and stuff in the past. I wouldn’t mind do this for people who are looking for a cheaper option, an alternative outside of a professional service that might charge a lot more, for something simple,” Grant said.
Freelancers can offer their graphic arts, programming, or writing skills to an online marketplace like Fiverr, Freelancer, or Upwork.
“The person paying already knows in advance what they’re going to accept, and payment isn’t released until the work is approved. It’s usually things like web design, proofreading, there might be social media work, graphic design,” Grant said.
For professionals skilled in manual labor, there are other apps like Handy for Pros.
“It’s for people who must already have paid experience with the services they offer. So you can’t just say “hey, I’m a handyman, I’ll do this”. There are checks and balances in place,” Grant said.
In addition to signing up for gigs on one of the more familiar services like Uber or DoorDash, there are other apps like TaskRabbit or Thumbtack that offer babysitting, dog walking, and shopping opportunities. other odd jobs.
Other side gig opportunities can be found in the freelance sub-communities on Reddit.
Potential scammers might also want to start small.
“Small businesses are a good place to start to see if you can maybe make some money, because there could be some nice local small businesses that don’t have a website or have a very outdated one, and maybe dip your toes trying to do a job like that,” Grant said.
Once you’ve decided on the type of side job you want to do, there are a few other things to consider like the cost of doing business, having the right tools for hands-on work, or having high-speed internet and a laptop. with enough RAM to handle your digital workload, plus the gas to get you to and from your jobsites.
Be sure to budget your time and money to expect the unexpected.
“I’ve even had experiences in the past where you might say oh, this will only take me a few hours to do. I’ve done this stuff before. But then can you change this, can you change that, and then you’re like if I break down my hourly wage, I’m actually working for a very low hourly wage on this project. So that’s like something you have to consider,” Grant said.
If being your own boss doesn’t sound ideal, more companies are offering remote work since more people started working from home during the pandemic.
“For many people who have lost income and jobs over the past few years, they really need to start thinking about these things because it could be the saving grace that gets you back on your feet or keeps you afloat before the next job. major. the decision is coming,” Grant said.
There are stories of people getting rich and winning thousands of dollars, but don’t be discouraged if that doesn’t happen to you.
“It might not be right away that you’re making $100,000 doing side business, but you’re really improving your overall financial picture, and right now, more than ever, I think that’s super important. “, said Grant.
If your side job helps you pay off some of your debt and save a little extra money, you’re already on the right track.