Side hustles – the new security

Starting a side hustle can help you through tough financial situations. Picture: iStock
Starting a side hustle can help you through tough financial situations. Picture: iStock

What is a side hustle? It is a business you’re passionate about that you run in your free time while still holding down your normal job which pays you an income.

The idea behind a side hustle is that you use your free time to start a business that can potentially bring you extra income. And, with the economic climate we are in, who doesn’t need couple of extra rands to go towards their budget?

There are hundreds of side hustle ideas, you just need to find one that aligns with your gifts, talents, skills and experience.

READ: Create extra income with a side gig

Besides the fact that side hustles present massive opportunities, here are some reasons you need to start a side hustle:

1. Salaries are not growing and haven’t been for a long time but the cost of living keeps rising

According to the SA Reserve Bank’s quarterly bulletin, South African workers are seeing meagre pay increases that are not keeping up with inflation. As the cost of living is rising, it’s getting tougher to make ends meet.

A side hustle can supplement your income and start paying for essentials in your home. Or, even better yet, you can direct the profits you make from your side hustle to pay off debts or start saving;

2. It’s a great way to test the waters – it could turn into a fully fledged business

What could start off as something you do only in your free time could lead to you jumping ship and going full-time. It all depends on your objectives and how successful the side hustle becomes. This also gives you the opportunity to “test the waters” and get a small taste of what it takes to run your own business.

READ: 6 side hustles that will actually make you money

It is advisable first to have at least six months to a year’s worth of an emergency fund before you resign from your work to pursue your side hustle full-time. Do not use your pension/provident fund money as you will be losing out on years of compound interest on your money and you will still need money for when you retire;

3. Its easier now to start a side hustle than before

Starting and running a side hustle has never been easier than it is now. Your phone/laptop and data are the most powerful resources you have. Setting up a website costs a fraction of what once did and you no longer need a big marketing budget to reach your potential client. You can easily market your goods or services on social media and email marketing (which still works by the way); and

4. It gives you purpose and reignites your fire

The benefits of a side hustle are not only monetary – running a side hustle can give you a sense of purpose and reignite your fire. You can learn invaluable skills that perhaps your job now does not allow you to exercise.

READ: How the Money Makeover candidates have transformed thier financial futures in six months

If you could use an extra income, challenge yourself during this time and just start. Contact 20 family, friends or colleagues and ask them if they would be interested in purchasing your service or product and take it from there. Do not let fear get in your way of getting your finances right. Go ahead, you have nothing to lose.

Examples of side hustle ideas
  • Interior decorating;
  • Writing articles;
  • Social media manager;
  • Baking and selling cakes;
  • Tutoring;
  • Selling goods online;
  • Graphic design;
  • Web development;
  • Uber; and
  • Coaching.
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