1. I too have a love/hate relationship with side hustles. I actually listen to a short daily podcast that is dedicated to side hustles. It’s really interesting, but also makes me wish I could find one that was a bit more lucrative. I’m not going to get out of debt without one, but it is exhausting to have to work all day, then work on the side hustle. Though ultimately I’d like the side hustle to turn into the day job some day so I’ve gotta do it. Totally with you on the MLM’s though. While I do use one product that I bought through an MLM and I love it, the constant bombardment is getting old. They are a double edged sword.

    • I think the exhaustion is what finally compelled me to write this post. I don’t think that’s talked about nearly as much as it should be. And that’s great that you’ve put yourself in a position where your side hustle could be your full-time gig!

  2. Perfectly said all around! The ‘side hustle’ or even the ‘online expert’ in general has been a pet peeve of mine for quite some time. (sorry, I must be getting old). 😉 But I’ll be honest ~ it’s part of the reason I decided to start blogging.

    During my days as a professional musician, we called these people ‘posers’. (insert sarcasm) Everyone’s an expert. They’ve got it figured out. They discovered the secret.

    But there’s something seedy here to consider . . . and maybe because I am a teacher I am more in tune with it . . . many of these side hustles/MLM . . . dare I say ~ ‘take my course and earn $500,000 a month blogging’ . . . each of these human interactions have a winner and a loser. The deck is stacked. (Let’s not kid ourselves).

    I prefer authenticity. Honest, more meaningful interactions. Connections.

    Now, I do think that can happen online still . . . and meaningful side hustles do exist . . . but the misinformation and constant self-promotion that is very common nowadays is not that.

    Anyway, I must be 7 months pregnant too 😉 . . . sorry for the soapbox. Yet awesome post! I completely agree.

    • I think there are definitely bloggers who genuinely want to help people improve their side hustles/blogs/careers…and then there are people who have blogged just long enough for Bluehost to send them an affiliate link and that’s all they promote. To each their own.

      Like you, I really appreciate the transparency. And honestly, if someone has great content, tools, or strategies, I don’t mind paying for it! Just be up front about it.

  3. Catherine

    I had a decent little side hustle going with my blog but I sort of fell into it. I have always loved blogging but monitizing it was never my intention, but because of a few connections it sort of happened… Don’t get me wrong I am thankful for the income stream it provided during that time but once I realized how much it was taking out of me and my growing family I quit. I had a few ppl try and talk me out of it but I couldn’t do it anymore, it was never my jive and never felt driven enough to continue. I finally talked to someone who supported me and helped me off load the blog and I’m happier to have my time back. Money was nice but I wasn’t enjoying it. I understand the mentality that it’s often easier to make more money than cut back but there’s a line. My life is my children, family and a career I enjoy. Call me old fashioned but my husband and I plan to continue on in life the old school way with one singular career.

    • If I hadn’t gotten RIFed literally the day after I was rehired (and then again the following year), I would probably be of the exact same mentality. I do appreciate the concept of extra income streams. But at the same time, I would love to get to a point where I could side hustle less. Or not at all unless I did it solely for the love of it!

  4. As someone who’s very pro-side hustling, I think there are sort of spectrums of side hustling. There are those that are basically just picking up a second job. Those aren’t sustainable. You can’t work a second job forever.

    Then there are those like the sharing economy type gigs, where you can basically work anytime you feel like it and incorporate things you’re already doing. Take my dog sitting business for example. I already own a pup so I have to do my dog care tasks everyday, no matter what. Watching a second dog really doesn’t add much more work to my plate – the time to take care of my own dog isn’t really much different than the time to take care of my own dog and 1 other dog in my house.

    Bike deliveries are the only side hustle of mine that take time, and even then, I only do them when I want and only because I like the exercise. And I’m never obligated to do them.

    My hope is to keep these sharing economy gigs going on forever, but mainly because I find them fun and interesting.

    • It sounds like you’ve found side hustles that definitely fit with your lifestyle and your routine. I’m all for efficiency, and it sounds like you’ve nailed it!

  5. This is an interesting take on side hustles. I’m all about making some extra income. But I think it’s important we balance side hustles with our career development. If we work hard or invest more in our current jobs, we can go further and possibly get a raise that’s more than all the side hustles combined. I’d also pick the side hustles that offer the most return to my time investment.

  6. I think it’s all a matter of your effort to reward ratio, and that can depend quite a bit on priorities. For you, your priorities are changing quite a bit right now. and so the effort to side hustle is probably increasing while the reward is decreasing.

    • That’s partly true. I think where I will really feel that was is after HP is here. I honestly can’t imagine signing away 2-3 hours of my day after work a few days a week.

      The reward is pretty great right now because it’s lowering my stress level a lot about this leave. So that’s why I keep on keeping on. It’s also probably my fault for not trying to do more things online rather than side hustling in person at set times.

  7. Amen to all of this! Side hustles can be fun and rewarding in their proper place, but they are way over-praised. And down with the MLM stuff, I have zero tolerance for that crap anymore. I’ve gone to a few parties to be polite in the past but I’m done forever. Because trying to sell me overpriced stuff so you can make money or get free products is not polite.

    End rant. But about side hustles, we just feel that is so out of synch with our priorities now that we have kids. And so many people that promote it either don’t have kids yet, or their kids are older. The idea that it’s such a great solution to debt payoff or building wealth only works if you want work to take up most of your life.

    • I think you’re right, Kalie. It definitely won’t be a priority of mine when HP is here. I know Mr. P will keep coaching, though. That’s just too much money for us to turn down at this point sadly.

  8. The odd thing about side hustles is that they often mean working 60 hour weeks… with the goal of working 0 hour weeks! That might make sense for some, but for others it’s a case of bad balance. On the other hand, some people intend to retire to their side hustle, which would mean better balance. So I suppose the merits of a side hustle really depend on a number of factors.

  9. I do fall on the side hustle spectrum. I bring in a small amount of money from my blog, which I use to buy household items on Amazon every now and then. I also make a good chunk of money doing freelance writing projects, too, actually. I can make a couple hundred dollars a month on those without spending much time on them. I recommend people try it out if they have a skill, need some cash, and have the time. Why not? 🙂

    But yeah, the MLMs need to STOP, people.

    • I definitely agree that it’s worth trying out a side hustle. But I’m not sure it’s always the magic bullet it’s made out to be. That being said, I think I’m setting my sights on finding a new side hustle that lets me be more flexible with my hours. Probably part of why it’s so exhausting is that I’m at work, I do after school activities, and then I sit in a library for 2-3 hours afterward. I’m tired…and hungry! 😉

  10. As someone who LOVES side hustles, I also agree with this too. I don’t know if side hustles are sustainable in the long run. There definitely is a time and place to call it quits.

    I think a lot of people know this fact and thus don’t even try it in the first place. But for many people, it’s the only way to get ahead. Side hustles literally saved me when my back was against a wall financially and mentally. They allowed me to start punching back at The Man and claim a piece of my own. 😀 But will I be doing it forever? Methinks not. But for right now, it’s great.

  11. We have done a few side projects over the years, but mostly buying and renovating homes. Even blogging I didn’t start till 6 months AFTER we left our jobs. =) I think there is a season for everything. We renovated a full kitchen when I was 7 months pregnant. And I hand painted each and every damn cabinet. I was cranky, tired and sick ALL the time. So I get where you are coming from. =) That is not an awesome season to side hustle. Or right after the baby is born.

    • Yes, yes. That’s my fear. Now that the nausea is finally gone (knocks on ALL THE WOOD), I actually feel fine. Tired. But nothing out of the ordinary. I really don’t want to have to tutor this much when I go back to work after my maternity leave. Or I’ll never get to do anything other than watch my baby sleep.

  12. I don’t side hustle. I never really have since graduating college. Luckily my income from my day (and sometimes night) job is more than enough to pay my bills. Due to the irregularity of my work schedule, it would be hard to commit enough to something to really make it work. Sure it’s an excuse, but it does have some validity. After a 50+ hour week and work travel, I’m just not going to side hustle on Saturday or Sunday. But at the same time, for those who are able to fit it into their schedule AND it helps them crush some financial goals – I’m all for it.

  13. I’ve never side hustled – unless you count the blog, which I don’t, because I think you need to have made money to count it. I’ve focused on increasing income from my main job instead. I don’t have any issues with side hustles but I don’t see them as sustainable long term. Eventually you’re going to want-or need-some free time back. I think they’re great for a short-term extra income need, or as part of launching a real business, but not otherwise.

    • You’re so right. I worked 8 out of the 10 weeks of summer vacation last summer. That was the first (and last) time I will do that. Talk about spoiling my “mini retirement” 😉

    • Vicki

      I know this post is old, but I just stumbled on this today while searching another topic. Just wanted to drop in and say I totally agree with your perspective.

      As someone who turned a side hustle into a full-time, six-figure business many years ago, then gave it all up to go back in-house for a full-time job about eight years ago, I have found that the financial and work/life balance rewards of dedicating yourself to a good full-time job far outweigh any perceived benefits of a side-hustle–even if that side hustle turns into an extremely lucrative FT gig. And, I don’t have kids. Never have. Never will–by choice. So, it’s not the kid thing that changed my mind. I’m single and fully self-supporting, so no hubby to provide income, either. (I provide this info only for context, to highlight that, yes, I am responsible for house [thankfully paid off], and all other expenses. For some reason, people always seem to think that if you did a business on your own, you have a spouse with income and health insurance. LOL!)

      As I get older, and see parents and friends become ill and pass on, you re-evaluate everything. Give me a full-time job with benefits and paid vacation any day over an all-consuming side gig or business. I can forget about work during my time off with a full-time job. Not so when you have a side gig or your own biz. I am even reconsidering things now: In fact, I am now considering taking a job that is $58,000 less than my current full-time job, just to have better work/life balance.

      To me, the only side-hustle worthwhile is one with truly passive income. I don’t care what the self-appointed “gurus” tell you, there is no such thing as passive income if you work in your own biz. The only passive income (where NO work is involved) is from stock dividends–or possibly real estate investments. But, even with real estate, unless you hire a property manager, it’s not passive. Oh, sure, you can do the affiliate links, but there is still SOME work involved. Don’t kid yourself. Granted, it’s much LESS work than a full-time job, but my point is it’s not passive–contrary to what some folks might tell you.

      For me, spare time now is all about what brings me joy. A side hustle doesn’t. However, I do realize that younger folks, or those who absolutely positively LOVE what they are doing as a side hustle, are well-suited for side hustles. In my younger days when I, too, loved what I did, the side-hustle-turned-business was great. But what I found over the long haul is that when something becomes a business, you start to hate the thing you once loved. Could be just me and the stage I am at in life. But, at least for now, I love my full-time job and am not sure I see that changing.

      Still, to each his or her own. No matter what you chose, make it something that brings you joy and is sustainable. What’s your “why” for doing what you do–or don’t do? Answer that, and everything else falls into place.

  14. I have a full time job, and a variety of so called side hustles, and I can understand the exhaustion with the whole “side hustle scene”. The internet marketing and social media scene is saturated in many ways, and so much of it doesn’t feel very real – or seems salesy and spammy.

    On the other hand, there are a lot of ways to make extra money on the side without having to sell your soul or let it take over your life.

    The problem with side hustles, however, is that they can often become much more than a side hustle.

    When i started my website it was with the intention of it being a hobby, maybe one that paid for itself. Over time it brought a decent second full time income – but along with it the hours put into it made it a second full time job as well.

    While side hustles can be a pain – sometimes they can be extremely rewarding and turn into so much more. The pain point becomes figuring out which you have – and figuring out when to cut the side hustle, and when to make it more than just a side hustle.

    • That’s such great wisdom, Peter! I sometimes kick around the idea of leaving the classroom to tutor full time. But I would truly miss the interactions with my colleagues. Not to mention the fact that tutoring can get a little unreliable at times. So glad you chimed in!

  15. I think the impact of constant side hustling on physical and mental health doesn’t get addressed enough on some sites. Yes, there’s more money coming in but there’s also more stress and strain. When I worked 5 jobs I was exhausted ALL THE TIME. I was devoid of happiness at times, and that’s no way to live. Great article- side hustles do take time and energy.

    • Thanks for sharing that perspective, Kara. My goal is to eventually not need my side hustles anymore and totally do them for love of it. Needing the money to cover my leave adds stress to the side hustle.

  16. kim domingue

    The hubs and I both grew up with both parents working. We decided that when we had children, I would stay home with them. Raising the kids, taking care of the house and all of the errands was my full time job. MAJOR money crunch, lol! When my youngest was about three, I started doing some market research work. I’d do phone surveys from home and site surveys in the evenings and on weekends when the hubs could be home with the children​. I made enough money to keep us afloat but the downside was that the hubs and I had little time to spend together and almost no social life at all. The hubs tried doing some woodworking, some years later, as a side job. And while he enjoyed woodworking, we ended up with little time to spend together and almost no social life. A few years ago, I tried doing some sewing as a side job while I was working full-time​. I got to the point that a favorite activity became a chore and something I dreaded instead of looking forward to doing. And the hubs and I had little time to spend together and no social life. I guess a side hustle has it’s benefits but we’ve found that we’d rather do without some things rather than miss out on time together and with​ family and friends. If it’s a question of keeping the electricity on or food in the fridge…..well, that’s a whole different ball game and you do what you have to do. But I don’t think most people can raise a family, work a full-time job AND a side hustle indefinitely. Something is going to give at some point and it’s usually your health.

    • Your comments are always exactly what I need, Kim! I think you’re right. We definitely have our needs covered. Even if this leave does force us to dip into savings, we have savings to cover it. I’m definitely not going to pick up any more tutoring gigs for a while. I’ll continue what I’ve got going and let it taper off into summer.

  17. I agree with you, Penny. Someone recently commented to me that they had tried several different side hustles and each one cost them more than they made. The right side hustle for the right person at the right time can be a lifesaver, but there are a lot of side hustles that don’t meet that lofty criteria. My own side hustles (not counting the blog) occurred long before the sharing economy was in place, and included such obsolete pursuits as selling wedding invitations from catalogs through the newspaper in the 70’s. It was great at the time, but in all fairness, doesn’t really apply to the side hustles of today when I occasionally recommend side hustles on my blog. I’d like to think I can see both ends of the spectrum when it comes to side hustling, with a lot depending on the individual and the opportunity.

    • Yes, individual and opportunity! Two really important considerations.

      And what a fun side hustle. I bet you’ve got some GREAT stories, Gary!

  18. I love side hustling! Even after I left my day job in 2012 I still have been writing 3 to 4 times a week for the past eight years.

    I think the first reason for the first ration increases unless you want to do the side hustle. So far, my energy has not waned yet because it’s so much fun writing online. Also, since I’m in San Francisco, there are so many cool financial technology start ups to have lunch with and get drinks with and do some business with. There’s literally just so much cool stuff to do here!

    So maybe that’s it. Maybe find a side hustle that’s very enjoyable, To prevent burning out. Just find something you just love getting out of bed to do!


    • Thanks for commenting, Sam! I’m so glad your side hustle inspires you and energizes you. That’s usually how I feel about tutoring…and it’s DEFINITELY how I feel about teaching. Perhaps I just put my cranky pants on before writing this post 😉

      • I was thinking…. maybe there might be an even better side hustle for you.

        I’m also tutoring by coaching high school tennis this season. I thought it would be my dream job, but it’s absolutely not! There are a lot of things about the job that aren’t particularly enjoyable e.g. being a driver for the kids, interacting w/ one kid who annoys others and is disrespectful, having to do what you’re told by the head, working every day, etc.

        I’ve realized that this side hustle is NOWHERE near as fun as my writing side hustle. So, keep looking for that better side hustle. Once you find it, it’s just peaches and cream! 🙂


        • Thanks, Sam! I think I would love to write more. Not that I don’t love tutoring, but sometimes the hours really stack up when it’s back-to-back with work and after-school commitments. So glad you stopped by. And so glad you’re coaching!

  19. Love/hate, I definitely go through phases. Currently in an off period. That said, also in an off period workwise so I think the pendulum may swing back… that said I no longer take on side hustles that arent worth my time (most mystery shopping, writing I don’t enjoy, anything that doesnr easily fit into my schedule).

    • I really like how you’re so selective with your side hustles. Time is invaluable, right? So it only makes sense that we’re particular about how we spend it.

  20. “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

    I couldn’t agree more, I wrote an entire article on this very topic. I suggested people try to get more money out of their day jobs, than a low paying side hustle.

    Also, the fact that side hustles require a lot of taxes at the top of your tax bracket, where frugality savings requires no taxes.

    • As someone who was RIFed twice, I totally get the security that comes with multiple income streams. BUT. I tend to agree that unless you’re wanting a career change, it makes sense to focus more on your career!

  21. I tried a few, but most turn out to be way more effort than anticipated for way less income than anticipated. Using the Your Money or Your Life questions, they aren’t worth the time.

    • I love how simple this is and how sure of your answer you are. Truly. I think part of why I exhaust myself (in addition to overcommitting) is because I hate to take a firm stance on things.

  22. Can I just put my hand up and say I paid my debt off without a side hustle and to be honest a blog would have been a distraction. It’s easy to say that when I’m with a normal, little hosting company that doesn’t pay me $60 dollars for getting someone to sign up. I think I get a month free, but I’m happy enough recommending without the freebie… maybe that’s why I’m earning zilch blogging.

    That said, I do regret not building another stream of income because my final debt repayment was made with a redundancy payout and living on one income was harder than I expected.

    I told my debt free story in a guest post on centsibly rich, so you can check it out if you don’t believe me! 😉 http://centsiblyrich.com/paid-off-mortgage-free/ (You’re supposed to keep the juicy stuff for your own site but I was just too dazzled by the request to write a post for someone else’s blog, who probably gets more than a handful of views a day! Another reason I make zilch. I don’t think I could enjoy writing if I needed it to make me money though)

    • I’m so glad you shared that link, Sarah. I am dreadfully behind on my blog reading and blog sharing. I’ll get on it this evening!

    • Thanks for sharing the link to your story, Sarah! I’m honored you shared your story there!

      I initially started the blog as a side hustle, but had no idea how much time/energy it would take. Which is why I don’t encourage it all that much (I’m barely covering my expenses at this point!). I like to side hustle when it’s in my spare time and doesn’t feel as much like an obligation. When I feel like I “have to” do it, it often leads to periodic burnout. “Want to” makes it much easier.

      • You’re probably right, Amanda. The fact that I feel obligated to say yes to every tutoring gig to try to cover my leave is probably contributing to the stress! Glad your blog is working out! It is wonderful 🙂

  23. Jover

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Side Hustles being a savior at first, and then you become a slave to it. And for a lot of people, they become accustomed to the money and rely upon it, so they have to keep up the extra hours and work to be able to keep their desired spending levels.
    I don’t ​even like driving Uber anymore, but it’s “what I do” when I don’t have anything else going on. I also use that extra cash to fully fund my IRA, so I feel obligated to my future self to keep doing it :/

    • You hit the nail on the head for me! Most days, I love tutoring. Actually, even when sessions don’t go according to plan, I love working 1-on-1 with kiddos. It’s that “lightbulb” moment in class magnified tenfold. But lately, when I get requests for new clients, I feel obligated to say yes. And that’s just putting too much on my plate. I have to be better about saying no. Yet I also really want (and sort of need) the extra income.

    • I gave over 500 rides, and finally stopped. Instead, just use the Destination Feature where you input your destination and pick up a ride or two along the way for extra money and back. That’s a no brainer if you gotta go far anyway!

  24. Carrie

    In my entire adult life I have always had a second job (sometimes a third). I guess you could call it a side-hustle. It has allowed us to pay off our mortgage, travel and add extra to our retirement savings.

    • That’s great that it/they have opened so many doors for you. Side hustles and second jobs can (and should!) be lucrative. Especially for all the extra time and effort most people put forth.

  25. I appreciate you calling out the “faux experts” – especially in tutoring! You definitely don’t have to be a teacher, but “brushing up” doesn’t cut it either. You have to know the curriculum, the assessments, etc. As a chemistry tutor, you need to understand what level the student is working at. You shouldn’t be teaching AP level if the student is in a general chemistry class! I have 3 side hustles in addition to my full-time job (online teaching, freelancing, and rental property paperwork). And a blog. If I wasn’t done with full-time work soon – the blog, the freelancing and some of the on-line teaching would be gone.

    • For the most part, the tutors in our area are great. But every once in a while I sit too close to a table and overhear things that I wish I didn’t. I’ve definitely gotten requests to tutor in subject areas that were outside of my expertise and my interest. I happily referred them to other tutor buddies!

  26. Lizzy

    I completely agree with you regarding MLM schemes!! I once spent about 1500$. on a skin care company and never made a penny!

    I babysat for one family as a side hustle when I was engaged/newlywed. This was before I had my own children, and II really enjoyed it. One night a week covered gas and any random spending money. More nights a week added to my savings.

    I also worked as a dog walker and pet sitter, but as my main job, not a side hustle.

    • That’s awesome that babysitting served you so well! And I especially like how your earnings had a designated purpose. I think sometimes I still let the idea of tutoring full-time creep into my mind, but that really should just be a sign to me that I’m doing too much.

    • Is AIM MLM? I fear they’ve trapped my mom w/ their healthy Barley Green product and won’t let go. 🙁

      But, the product does seem healthy and it does help keep one regular.

      What to do?! It’s almost like a cult.


  27. I definitely credit side hustling with our success in finally making progress on paying off debt. That being said, it can be really exhausting. The majority of side hustles seem to take so much of our time, but at a pretty low rate of pay. I often worry about side hustles not being worth it in the long run – like I’ll regret it someday.

    However, as of right now I can’t really do much at all (twins will be here sometime in the next two weeks), so if I can make a few bucks on my laptop, it seems like a productive use of time.

    Oh, and I can go on Facebook because my friends stopped inviting me to those parties. They realized that there was no point.

    • That’s my fear, Harmony. Tutoring is lucrative. I want to get more into writing online, but I know I’ll have to start pretty low. And part of me really doesn’t care, but part of me wonders if Old Lady Penny will be upset that I traded so much of my (relative) youth for $5-$15/hour.

  28. I have two jobs, but I don’t think of one as a side-hustle. I work as a temp to support myself as I grow my business. It’s a ton of work, but I know that the intent is to leave temping. I do have to remind my friends, sometimes, about my business so that they remember to refer people to me. I try to do that in a less-annoying way. I also don’t allow my facebook/feeds to become ZJ’SBUSINESS all the time. It would be so darned exhausting and not the type of friendship we signed up for.

    • I love following your career path (paths?) on Twitter. Even though you’re still very much a mystery, I can always feel how passionate you are about what you do. Totally cheering you on, ZJ!

  29. I agree that sometimes side hustles can be exhausting, I can’t imagine doing it 7 months pregnant!
    I’ve had mine at the moment for about 2 years and will probably keep it for another 2 or so. I get notified when there is work available and I can either take it if I want the extra cash, or leave it if I have something else on or just need a break. I enjoy the type of work, the flexibility, and the mini boost to my savings.
    One day something will have to give though when I decide to start a family. Most likely the full time day job will be cut back to only 2-3 days a week and a side hustle will be a maybe.

  30. I grew up in an MLM hotbed area and learned over 20 years ago that I very much dislike them. I’ve been “given” so many ‘ground floor opportunities’ that I’ve literally lost count. I’ve also stopped talking to people because I didn’t want to get pitched, and I’ve had people stop talking to me because I told them to quit bugging me about joining their down line.

    As for a true side hustle, I’m good with them. My challenge has been striking a balance between the time/money/enjoyment aspects – I’ve never been able to capture all three at once.

  31. I was just talking to Crystal (Budgeting in the Fun Stuff) about this. I’m like you – though I make some spare change from the blog, I don’t even begin to cover its expenses and it’s been 11 years of costing substantially more than it earns. “Side hustles” (I guess) and overwork were the very definition of my 20s. I worked three jobs at once, and logged enough hours at one of them to qualify as two jobs. The reason it worked was I had youth on my side. Even though I didn’t think I could ever be more tired, and I was in constant mystery pain, the vitality of youth is real and like a magical elixir, made many many work hours possible. Today, I *routinely* shut down harebrained ideas for ways to make money on the side. There’s no time or energy to waste unless it’s there’s a solid plan, I have a rambunctious toddler to chase and corral, one full time paying gig, and a household to run. Adding anything to THIS had better be a valuable and sensible choice and it better not be any MLM nonsense.

    I’m all for extra money but I can’t get behind sacrificing what’s left of my health at this age for it – the hustling life isn’t a fit for *this* stage of my life. That’s not to say I’m not working just as hard as ever, I certainly am. But my personal resources are severely limited, as I think you can now relate to with the pregnancy experience, and it’s time to be way more strategic about which dollars I earn and how instead of trying to pick up an extra $50 on one or another temporary side gig. I want to build something real and meaningful in this stage of life.

  32. Moderate Money

    This is an important post! Like you mention I think its a combo of wanting more money but not putting in the hard and long work for it. I recently started writing a blog but consider it as a personal journal and learning experience rather than a side hustle. If I was doing it for the money, that would be a terrible time and financial decision on my part! It seems the people making money off blogs are the ones telling people they can make money off blogs! Lol. Keep up the good work!

  33. Currently, my blog is my only side hustle. I spend about 10 hours a week on average on it, and am lucky to make $100 a month. So, no. It’s not really lucrative at all… BUT I’m not doing it just for the money, so that’s okay for me. I’m sure if I put 20 or more hours into a week, I’d’ see more return, but man! I just don’t have the time, energy or interest to work 40 hours a week at my day job, and then another 20 or more at home. I worked 60+ hour weeks for 3 years not too long ago, and it was NOT worth all the sacrifices – my health (physical and mental), my social life, my sanity!

    I do find it incredibly frustrating that the internet (in general) glorifies side hustles as this super-easy thing you can do, without being an expert, and you can make tons of money from it and finally acheive fincial success. Yah right!!

  34. I used to have 2-3 side hustles apart from my day job when I got married and found ourselves saddled with debt. I eventually gave up the side hustles one by one when we paid off our debts and our take home pay increased. I remember working all the time back then because there were bills and debts to be paid. Definitely not fun.

    Now, I only have my day job but my take home pay exceeds what I used to earn even with the side hustles. I could make more money by pursuing a side hustle but I would rather play with my son when I get home and take it easy with my second pregnancy. I find that I get tired more easily now and I don’t think that’s because of my pregnancy. Side hustles are mostly a young(er) person’s game and you need drive to be able to sustain that sort of commitment.

    • That’s a really great perspective. They can be really draining. Sometimes, I find tutoring to be so energizing. But not always, especially at the end of the school year. And congrats on the upcoming new baby! <3

  35. Dana

    Amen, sister! I had a side hustle for 15 years, sometimes two or three (especially when I was doing my undergrad). It was my dream to eventually get ONE full-time job that would pay all my bills, and after a bachelor’s degree, a teaching credential, and nearly 10 years of full-time teaching, I’m finally at the point where I can give up ALLLL my side hustles. It feels amazing, and I can’t see myself going back anytime soon, at least not on the regular. If someone calls me to perform for a wedding or something random, sure, but I am LOVING having my weekends and evenings back.

    • Oh, yes! When side hustles take up prime time like weekends, that’s an extra sacrifice people don’t talk about. So glad you’re able to really focus on what you love!

  36. Ruth

    Oh wow, I needed this post. I side-hustled through 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010…and then in 2011 I just kind of broke. It’s not that I haven’t done some of this since… heck, I made thousands last year writing. but I became acutely aware of how much a side hustle was costing me in terms of quality of life. Sometimes you need it. Sometimes it’s ok just to do something like write for pleasure and not worry about getting paid (or say you’re only going to write for folks who pay you at least X much). Or to craft and give things away vs. selling them. I’m experimenting with a lot of analog projects like zines, where I can put in passion and creativity. Part of that comes from having been able to find a steady job. A lot comes from having entered my 30s and realized that I need to make choices about what I want to do with my one precious life. I’m glad you entered it in the rumble, because reading it was just what I needed.

    • Thank you, Ruth! I am still struggling so much with side hustling. We need more income now that our son is here, but when I come home from work and then leave to go work again, it breaks my heart. Side hustles are definitely more complicated than the hype lets on!

  37. Pre kid, I was all about the side hustles. But after having said kid, I gave up the one I actually did love because the loss of time simply wasn’t worth it any more (which is the same reason I now don’t even work FT at my career job). I think the side hustle is great at certain life stages and in many situations, but it definitely isn’t a one size fits all answer. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with not having one – time is valuable.

  38. I’ve been “side hustling” as a bartender for almost 3 years now and it’s turned into more of a “side zombie crawl”. I enjoy the extra money but I’m burnt out and want to do something different. When we were paying off debt it was so much easier to go in and pour drinks all night with a smile on my face. Now it’s just another place I have to be.

    I’ll be excited for the day when I can leave and make money doing something I love, like running my blog. But right now we need the extra cash.

    Thanks for the great article and honest perspective.

    • Thank you for sharing, Jamie! That’s a side hustle that gets falsely glamorized IMHO. I think people see the money possibilities that bartenders can make but not all the aggravation they have to put up with. Props to you for keeping it up!

      True story: I used to work with a teacher who would commute into Chicago proper to bartend once or twice a week during the school week and then again on weekends. She did for a few years, made a ton of extra cash…and then married the club owner and left the classroom. Ha! 😉 I always tell my husband that’s what I’m doing wrong.

  39. A few years back I was side hustling for a friend who had his own recruiting business. I was spending 10-20 hours a week helping out. I had a few nice paydays from placing candidates, even one that netted me about $4,000. However when I stepped back over the full year I was working for about $5 an hour after taxes. Totally not worth it. Was better to put that extra effort into my day job in the hopes of a raise or promotion.

    My overall stance, it depends on the person and their situation. However, for most people they end up being worth more in time and effort than money.

  40. One of my sorority sisters just texted me asking to suggest a second job for her. It’s become so customary for people to make money on top of their “day job” that I think we’re entering a time when having two jobs or a side hustle is the de facto setup. I agree that consistently working two jobs is unsustainable. What people can sustain is picking up extra cash here and there as needed. That’s why AirBnB works for a lot of people. I will say it has been very difficult for me to pick up the more lucrative hustle of freelancing. Getting that first paid client is a full-time job in itself.

    Great post! Glad I found it via the Rumble.

    • So cool that you found it through the Rumble. And you’re so right about freelancing. I have one gig that I love and one gig that is pretty OK. I won’t take the $5 or $15 job offers. I already write for free here. 😉

  41. I think women are capable of creating real businesses that make real money. Not just a “little side gig” as the MLM world likes to put it. I get bombarded with MLM “opportunities” or “coaching” opportunities. I find that some stay-home-moms are cornered into believing the low hanging fruit of the MLM is in fact the only fruit they can reach. It’s easy to order a business in a box but much harder to learn the skills you need and to start your own business.

    • That’s a really powerful perspective, Amber! And I do think you’re right. I also think there are a lot of MLM-esque programs and posts that also prey on people who want to start businesses but don’t know where to start.

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