Thanks to Uber, Lyft, and other companies that promote earning income on your own time, we have entered “The Gig Economy,” making non-traditional jobs a common source of income. What is the “Gig Economy”? Investopedia.com defines it as “an economy where temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees.” While some may embrace it as a primary source of income, those of us with more traditional jobs can also jump on the bandwagon and supplement our income by getting paid to do some of the things we love or enjoy doing as a hobby.
Looking for a way to fund your next epic vacation? Want to start putting aside more money for retirement? Want to chip away more aggressively at your student loan debt? Maybe you can considering utilizing some of your unique skills or even your hobbies to earn some extra cash. Here are some things to help you get started:
1. Consider the things you love to do.
On a personal note, I enjoy writing. It’s a way for me to express myself in a creative format and feel like I’m making a positive impact on others (at least, I hope that’s how you feel as a reader J). Freelance writing is something I enjoy doing and adds little extra cash to my savings account every month. Are you a health nut? There are tons of people looking for a fitness coach or someone to develop individualized meal plans. Do you like working with make-up? Offer make-up services for people going to special events or getting photographs taken. Consider what you like to do and offer it as a service.
2. Get your name out there.
Social media is a fantastic way to advertise your services. Sharing it with your personal and professional network and asking them to share it with theirs is a relatively fast way to find prospective clients. Use web-based sources like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and local neighborhood apps to offer these services and get your name out.
3. Do the math.
Calculate the cost of doing business. Remember, the idea here is to earn some extra cash, doing what you already love doing or are skilled at. If it’s going to require you to spend more money than you will earn, it might not be the best route. For example, while I’m doing freelance writing, spending $2,500 on a new computer is not a wise business decision. Also, consider the tax implications. Remember what Notorious B.I.G said, “Mo’ money, Mo’ problems.” The more you earn, the more taxes you may have to pay.
We can all win a little in the “gig economy” by providing a service doing what we love. Use your skills and hobbies to your financial advantage.