In managing your finances there are 2 sides of the equation – income and expenses. We often focus solely on the expense side. In the personal finance world, it seems that all you ever hear are things like deferred gratification and living within your means.
But, it can be discouraging cutting expense after expense to try and make ends meet or to try to get ahead.
When your means aren’t much it’s difficult to live within them.
But there is a whole other side to the equation – the income side. Instead of trying to cut $500 of spending, why don’t you just make $500 more each month?
That’s easier said that done right? You can’t just pull $6,000 per year out of thin air. Or can you?
In reality, there may be more opportunities than you think.
I’m talking about a second job, a side gig, starting a small business on the side – whatever you want to call it.
There is a world of opportunity. You only need to grasp a small piece of it and you can drastically improve your financial situation.
If that piques your interest at all then there are 4 things you need consider – 4 steps to make extra money from home with a side job.
Assess Your Interests
What are you interested in? You will naturally have an easier time spending time doing something that you’re interested in.
Take a formal inventory of everything that you find interesting. Do you enjoy gardening, photography, design, music, computers or woodworking? Each one of those (and hundreds of others) have the potential for a good job on the side.
The best businesses are one ones that you love doing. I mean, how great would it be if you could get paid for doing the thing you love?
Most likely, you have an interest that has income potential.
Assess Your Talents And Skills
Going a step beyond your interests, what are your talents? These will most likely line up with some of your interests.
If you have something in which you are both interested and talented, then there is serious potential there for a side gig.
There’s a guy that I grew up with that was an extremely talented musician. He taught guitar lessons on the side to bring in some extra income while he was in school.
Don’t forget to include skills you have acquired at your current or previous job.
I know someone who was an accountant for a number of years who started doing bookkeeping for small businesses on the side. She ended up doing so well with her side job that she was able to leave her job and start her own accounting firm.
Assess Your Tools
What tools do you have? Do you have a lawn mower? Maybe there’s an opportunity to mow some lawns in your neighborhood.
I’m sure you have pots and pans in your kitchen cabinets. Start a catering business.
Have a toolbox full of tools in your garage? I’m sure there’s someone on your street that has something that needs fixed.
I know of a guy several years ago that started a tool rental business out of his garage. At first it was just a good excuse to buy more tools, but ended up bringing in a nice little income on the side that eventually grew into a full-fledged business.
Assess The Market
Look for opportunities around you. There are always needs that either aren’t being met or are being met poorly. If that weren’t true, no one would ever be able to start a business.
Surely you’ve heard the phrase, “Everything that can be invented has been invented,” that has famously been misattributed to Charles Duell, Commissioner of the U.S. Patent office in 1899.
Don’t live with that mindset.
There is always opportunity. You just have to look and listen carefully.
My Own Personal Example
Years ago I was in to graphic design. (Fun fact: graphic design was my original major in college, but the lack of a job market in the area caused me to change majors.)
Over the years, I’ve continued to play with it in my spare time, not really thinking anything of it.
At the end of October I put together a logo for a friend for a new site he was working on. A few other people saw it and wanted to know if I would do some work for them as well.
That’s an extra $350 this month from working this little side job a few hours here and there.
I am interested in graphic design, marketing and corporate branding. I’m talented enough that people love the work I’ve done for them. I have the tools (software) to do the work. There was a need in the market.
This isn’t just a post of full of fluff. These concepts really do work.
Have you ever done any work on the side? If not, is there something that’s holding you back?
p.s. As requested in the comments you can find a sample of my work here.