13 Reasons You Should Start a Side Hustle (Especially if You're in Debt)

(hey hey there, before we get started want to warn you that this is a prreeeeetty in depth post. If you’re pressed for time because you got things to do, or because you’ve got to work on your side hustle, I’ve got just what you need - An audio version! Just click here to listen on Soundcould)

13 Reasons People in Debt Should Start a Side Hustle - a super in depth post full of ideas & thoughts you may never have thought of... | viaYuri.com

So I’m willing to bet that if you’re reading this you carry some form of debt.

Whether that be credit cards, a car note, or immense student debt like myself - some form of debt is hanging over your head and you want a way to to take hold of it and put it in it’s place (i.e. a place that is no longer funded by your bank account).

But debt isn’t something that goes away over night.

Instead it is something that we have to make a conscious effort to master and get rid of.

And that usually requires time.

Lot’s and lot's of time. Years. Decades. Or even half a century (like it can seem or even truly be sometimes).

But what if you could maximize on the time that you already have?

So I’m willing to bet that if you’re reading this you carry some form of debt.

Whether that be credit cards, a car note, or immense student debt like myself - some form of debt is hanging over your head and you want a way to to take hold of it and put it in it’s place (i.e. a place that is no longer funded by your bank account).

But debt isn’t something that goes away over night.

Instead it is something that we have to make a conscious effort to master and get rid of.

And that usually requires time.

Lot’s and lot's of time. Years. Decades. Or even half a century (like it can seem or even truly be sometimes).

But what if you could maximize on the time that you already have?

What if with your current earnings it will take you ten years to pay off the rest of your debt but you could bring it down to five years, or maybe even three years?

Or possibly take care of $40,000 in less than 24 months like they did?

Well there is a way that we can. Yes, that’s right myself included as this is something I’m working towards as well.

So what's the answer?

Well get another job of course. But I don't mean one where you fill out an application to work for another employer.

Why?

Because you’re probably like me and don’t want to get a second job doing something that you hate. So, what if your second job could be based around something that you enjoy?

Or based around a skill that you already have such as writing, designing, planning, crafting, making, cooking, coding, playing, singing, hula hooping, etc.

Dealing with Debt as an Identity

If what I just said rings a bell then my answer (as I’m sure you’ve gathered from the title) is to start a side hustle.

And from the title you've also gathered that I have 13 different reasons why you should.

But before we go any further I want to clarify something.

Sure you are in debt now but I’m going to bet you don't’ want to live with that label.

In fact I’m sure that like me you hate even falling under that label. You hate that it's even a part of your identity. Hate that you have to carry that baggage.

So to give you something to look forward to I'm not going to approach this solely from the perspective of being in debt.

Instead I'm going to present it in a way that shows how a side hustle can allow you to lower your debt and pursue other areas of interest as well. 

Living Life NOW Instead of Waiting til Retirement

What finally propelled me to take action is realizing that I don't want to feel like I can't live my life until all my debt is paid off because that will takes years. Actually, probably decades. 

I want to enjoy my life now. Work towards my goals now. And start paying off my debt now

 
I don’t want to feel like I can’t live my life until all my debt is paid off
 

Or is it hard for you to even think like this because you feel that a debt free future is too distant?

Well if that's the case I’m going to say that’s the top reason you should start a side hustle!

If you feel that paying off your debt is a long way off, then earning extra income on the side can bring down your total balance to Uncle Sam, and god knows who else that. much. quicker.

So now you will have 14 reasons why you should start a hustle, because that last one - the one about doubting how fast you can make your debt go away - is a big reason to start a side hustle.

Alright, so now let's get started and in no particular order look at 13 reasons you should start a side hustle. 

Make sure to take note of which ideas resonate with you the most by getting this "Reasons Why I Hustle Worksheet" (don't worry, it won't cost you your email address :)

Ya ready? Here we go:

 

 
 

1. A Side Hustle Can Help You Pay Off Your Debt

Yeah, we're gonna start with the obvious one here, but hear me out!

Using a side hustle to pay off your debt is perhaps the biggest reason those in debt should start one.  The extra money that you earn of the side can go towards interest or the principal balance.

And if you have multiple debts or loans to pay off then you can combine use your side hustle income with the snowball method. This means you use the extra funds to pay off one loan at a time while maintaining minimum payments on the rest of your debts (which I cover more in depth here).

Here's a quick example. You make an extra $500 a month from your side hustle and you apply that to Loan A, which should be your debt with the smallest balance.

Once Loan A is paid off in full you take the $500 that was going towards that and apply it to your second lowest debt payment, Loan B (which should now be your lowest debt amount since Loan A is already paid off in full).

And so it continues until all of your debt it paid off. 

But there is more to it than just the method.

After all, the entire income from your side hustle won't go just to you -  you have business expenses, taxes and more to think of. So keep this in mind when you formulate a plan on using your side income to pay off your debt. 

And for a detailed example on formulating a plan to pay off debt with a side hustle check out this post here

 

2. A Side Hustle Can Provide an Extra Means of Security

We all know that sometimes life can get tough.

If you ever find yourself in a pickle - you get laid off, your salary is decreased, a close family member gets ill and you need to take some time off - a side hustle can be that security blanket that you lost when you were 5 (or 13 #nojudgement).

How? Let's take a look at an example.

One of your parents gets sick and needs someone to look after them (again this is just an example, I hope this doesn't happen to you). 

Well since you choose your own side hustle hours, if you need to take time off you can work around your schedule instead of working around some else’s schedule.

So you can take care of them while still having a means of income coming in. 

Or if your salary gets decreased for budget cuts or whatever reason, you still have some wiggle room while you’re trying to adjust and figure things out again.

And, if you gave at least 10% of your earnings to yourself like I suggested here, you may actually have savings set aside to help you get by for a little while.

And speaking from experience, but unfortunately the wrong in of end, knowing you have something to fall back on can provide a comfort and reassurance that things can and will get better.

 

3. A Side Hustle Can Help You Save for Your Dreams

As we've already covered, a side hustle can provide additional income to any other job you may currently have.

This side income can be saved for future endeavors like:

  • a house
  • a renovation
  • vacations
  • a trip around the world
  • real estate investments
  • retirement
  • a new car
  • a boat
  • owning your own business
  • bucket list items
  • etc. - dream as big as you'd like

So instead of going towards debt, your side hustle earnings could go towards doing something that you’ve always wanted to do.

One thing I'd love to save for are real estate investments (owning rental properties for others to rent out). So while paying off my debt I hope to start saving for this dream as well.

Why? Because rental properties (when purchased correctly) can be a source of income that could help pay down debt even faster and in a more passive manner (which we'll talk about more in Reason #9).

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Are there any ways your dreams can correspond to paying down your debt as well?

 

4. A Side Hustle Can Help You Pursue a Passion

A side hustle can be a way for you to legitimately get paid to do that thing that you really love. So in other words a way for you to follow your passions.  

I know not everyone has a passion or that sometimes they can be really hard to identify, so this reason won’t apply to everyone and that is fine.

Different strokes for diff'rent strokes. But if this is something that does speak to you think of it this way...

During the daylight hours you may have your “day job” - the one that provides for you or your family. But after work you’re free to earn some extra cash doing things that you already love to do.

So maybe you work in insurance by day but love to plan events by night. Or make homemade soaps. Or DJ music. Or be a wedding singer. Or design websites. Or create iPhone apps. 

The point is in addition to earning extra money, a side hustle could be a way for you to explore and experience more of that thing that you already love to do.

 

5. A Side Hustle Can Provide Extra Pocket Change

*Newsflash* Not everyone starts a side hustle in order to leave their current job. You can use your extra side hustle funds to supplement your current income.

Maybe you want a little extra money to experience new things and eat out a few more times each month. Or have two great vacations each year. 

Or maybe you’re content with what you do but you’re not making enough to provide for your lifestyle or for your family.

Extra pocket change from a side gig could be just the thing you need. And because a side hustle is something that you are the boss of, you can set your own time and work hours. Which is an additional plus to earning more pocket change.

 

6. A Side Hustle Can Help You Leave Your Current Job

Like I said above, not everyone wants to quit their “day job”, but if you do a side hustle is a great place to start.

Why exactly? Because it can be a great transition while still having a steady income from your main gig. After all, it would be much easier to leave your current job knowing you have something else you can fall back on. 

And if you're interested in running a full fledged business for yourself, a side hustle is an opportunity to test the waters and take more risks until you find a business path that you can grow and scale - all while you're still employed! 

It also ensures you have business experience before you're ready to take the full time leap into entrepreneurship. This makes it a more tactical path as well, especially if you still have debt. 

On the other hand, you could also use your side hustle to build up a portfolio. Which leads me to...

 

7.  A Side Hustle Can Give You Permission To Work In Another Field

As I just implied a few sentences ago, you can use your side hustle as a way to build up your portfolio. But what do I mean by this?

Well if you’ve heard my story you’ll know that I went to school for a field I loved (interior architecture) but due to a lack of hands on experience in college I was unable to get a job.

And in addition to that, when I graduated back in 2011 America was still in a recession hangover. 

I bring this up to say that if something like this happened to you, you could use your side hustle as a way to gain experience outside of your current job.

Let’s say you’re a computer programmer but took a job in insurance because of the money (this is my go to example because this is exactly what I did - insurance that is). While “insurancing” during the day, you could be working on coding programs or doing freelance coding for others at night.

Then if you ever wanted to work for a company that needs a coder you’d have a portfolio of work -  recent work and probably even testimonials -  to back you up.

And as a side hustler you are also a self starter, which is something that most employers look for in an employee.

This example may also work for those who want to build expertise in fields they never majored in. Or even for those who didn’t attend college.

Let's say you're interested in graphic design but you're not professionally trained. Well you can use your side hustle to gain experience as well as hone your skills. 

The bottom line is this: Experience is everything.

And let’s also state the obvious. You could potentially build up your side hustle enough for it to become your full time gig - if you so desire - even if you've previously never had experience...

 
 
 

8. A Side Hustle Is a Safer Bet for Those With Debt

(yes I like to rhyme from time to time)

What do I mean by this exactly?

Let's say, god forbid, something happens and you get laid off from your current job. You currently live paycheck to paycheck and have a minimal savings, if any. 

You have debts to pay and at first you start calling loan companies to make deals and explain your situation. But that only works for so long.

Your credit card debt is also raking up at an enormous speed because you can't afford to pay it down and it may be one of your only forms for making payments.

Also, finding another job is taking longer than you expected and in the meantime everything else just seems to spiral out of control.

I know this because I'm speaking from experience. 

It's one of the worst situations to find yourself in. 

And it was made worse knowing that whatever money you do have needs to go into someone else's pocket - the debt companies.

It made me sick knowing that in my time of need I had to pay for more than just food and shelter - my standard essentials for living. 

But I found out that if I couldn't also handle my debt during these difficult times, the situations just grew worse and worse. 

Now let's approach this same story from a different angle.

You get laid off but you were already making an extra couple hundred dollars a month from a side hustle you started. This story can now go one of two ways:

  1. You continue to bring in revenue from your side hustle as you try to find another job. Things felt rough for a moment but that extra income and a little savings made it easier for you to keep up with your bills until you found employment again. Of course it still felt like you had 2 jobs - as finding a new position can feel like a job in and of itself -  but in the end the hard work was worth it. 
  2. Getting laid off lit a fire within you that forced you to find ways to take your side hustle full time so you never had to be "let go" again. You took your side hustle into overtime - finding ways to grow and scale it - and worked hard to build up your audience and create passive income products (which we'll cover next). You hustled your hinny off, but in the end you were able to pay your bills on time and more than match your pervious earnings. 

These two options are very valid and have much more pleasant circumstances than the first example.

But let's not forget that hard work went into these last two options as well, but work that was well worth the effort

And, as I stated in Reason #6, if you eventually want to start your own full time business a side hustle allows you to start small and test the waters.

So while you (hopefully) have a steady income from your full time gig, you can build up your side hustle and learn from any mistakes along the way with much less risk.

 

9. A Side Hustle Can Generate Passive Income

A side hustle can be a means for you to earn passive income.

Not quite sure what that term means? Don’t worry, I’ll explain:)

Passive income is money that is earned without you having to be present. Generally there is hard work done up front, but once complete there are systems set in place where you make money without having to do manual labor, or trade dollars for hours. 

As the popular blogger and podcaster, Pat Flynn, puts it "you don’t trade time for money".

And he should know. He has an entire website and business (I’m talking $100,000+ a month business) dedicated to this called Smart Passive Income.

Here are a few examples of passive income streams:

  1. CREATE YOUR OWN PRODUCTS
    • You can create and sell books (physical or eBooks)
    • You can create online courses that teach a software, skill, or technique.
    • You could host a webinar (an online workshop where you record live) and then sell it as a video training once it’s complete.
  2. ENDORSE OTHER’S PRODUCTS: Have you heard of Affiliates before? Maybe you’ve heard of the Amazon Associates Program which is something that I participate in. You have a product that you really recommend and provide a link to it on your website. If someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase of any type, a small portion of their purchase goes to you. (There is a little more to it than this, as well as ethical considerations but that's a topic for another day).
  3. ENDORSE OTHER’S PRODUCTS: Many online businesses and solopreneurs have affiliate programs for their own products. For example, someone you may have heard of is Marie Forleo. She provides a 50% commission to former students of hers that endorse her online course B School. That’s pretty much $1000 that she gives away of her $1999 six week business school program just to those who help sell it for her. 
    • There are also smaller affiliate earnings through companies such as Convertkit^ (^my affiliate link) that do affiliate programs as well. 
    • I’m even looking to start an affiliate program for my business and I plan to talk more about that in future posts (so if you’re curious stay tuned:).
  4. OTHER’S ENDORSE YOUR PRODUCTS: As I just mentioned, you yourself can create your own affiliate program and there are many services that make setting up the logistics and payments pretty darn simple. Again, I’ll probably talk about this is another post, so if this is something you’re interested in let me know in the comments down below.

And if you're curious which of the 4 methods for generating passive income I'm most interested in, it's through creating my own products. I am an info product designer after all.

**(I know you’re an ethical person if you’re reading this so it should go without saying to only endorse things you truly use or recommend. But there, I said it anyway).

 

10. A Side Hustle Can Help You Take Your Blog to the Next Level

Are you currently a blogger? If so I’m sure you’ve heard about the wave of people trying to “monetize their blog”.

That’s right. A blog is usually the first step for many side hustles. Especially for those hustles that run primarily online. 

If blogging and writing is something that you’re already doing, then building a side hustle on top of it is a great opportunity for you to earn some additional funds.

Funds that you can use to pay down your debt or even put towards other interests in your life.

One thing I do want to mention is that monetizing a blog won’t work for every blogging situation.

If you primarily blog about your family or everyday life it may be hard for others to find enough value in that to put some money behind it.

This does not mean you have to blog about business though, as there are many bloggers that blog about

  • food
  • natural products
  • fashion
  • fitness
  • finance (even if you’re still getting out of debt)

...and more that make some sort of income from their blog.

So how can you make money from blogging?

There a few ways people do this, but those who tend to make a substantial income from it supplement their earnings by:

  • generating passive income (like the techniques mentioned previously) 
  • freelance for clients,
  • coaching programs
  • consulting work 
  • Some may even do freelance writing for other blogs and websites.

Many also get paid by companies to talk about their products. These are called sponsored posts. If that is something that you’re comfortable with it can be a great option for you to earn some side hustle income from your blog.

Whichever way may work for you the best, finding a way to earn money from your blog could be a great side hustle opportunity.

 

 

11. A Side Hustle Can Provide More Freedom, Flexibility, & Travel

(THIS ONE IS A MUST READ)

How? You may say. 

Doesn’t starting a side hustle mean I have to devote more of my time? So how can I have more freedom and flexibility?

Well the answer is at first, yes. You will have to put in more time.

But all things worth having (like a debt free life) take work.

So you put in the time now to create a side hustle that will eventually become a business that can fully support you financially and help you pay down your debt.

And while this a great path to take, if you’re feeling a little anxious and pressed for time I have another option for you...

You can do what I did.

You can leave that terrible desk job behind (that one in insurance that I mentioned before), and move to another country to teach English.

That’s right. For almost two years now I have been living in South Korea teaching English in the public school system.

 
For almost two years now I have been living in South Korea teaching English in the public school system.
 

Here I do my job, plan well for my students and really enjoy teaching. But here I also get ample time to work on my side hustle. I even wrote the majority of this post at my desk at school!

And if you have a family or a spouse, there are a few couples and families I know who do that same thing - teach English abroad.

Now this option isn’t for everyone,  but it is a valid option and personally one of the best decisions that I've made in my life. 

Another benefit for teaching specifically in South Korea is that many use a good majority of their income to pay off student debt because the cost of living here is pretty affordable.

So you can travel the world, have more flexibility, pay down your debt, and still have time to work towards a side hustle.

I’d call that a win-win-win-win situation.

 

12. A Side Hustle Can Give You the Ability to Make a Difference

That’s right, I'm not just reaching for straws here. I mean this. I truly do.

Businesses have to ability to make a change and a strong impact in other’s lives.

This is something that I, myself, hope to achieve with my side hustle in the near future.

Sometimes just seeing someone take action and achieve something despite their circumstances is enough to make a difference in someone’s life.

Need some examples? 

Let's go back to  Marie Forleo. She started out as a side hustler. As a matter of fact as a multi-side hustler. Now she has a multi-million dollar empire and has even been featured by Oprah and Sir Richard Branson. 

And the founder of Charity Water, Scott Harrison, started his charity on the side while he was a big club promoter in NYC after returning from a trip in Africa that changed his life.

And here are some people whose side hustles have truly made a difference in my personal life - no matter how big or small:

  • Courtney Sanders at Think & Grow Chick | Tiffany's podcast is my go to for inspiration and work ethic. She has the kindest way of telling someone "how it really is", but also in a way that makes you want to take action. Whenever I feel unmotivated or don't feel like working, I listen to one of her podcasts (this one especially). She currently has a job in finance but has been building her side hustle over the years in order to take it full time. 
  • Paula Pant at AffordAnything.com | Paula's thoughts on finance encourage me, fuel me, inspire me, and make me view money from a completely different perspective. Her main gig is completely passive - real estate run through the aid of property managers - so her blog based business is her side hustle.
  • Myleik Teele | You don’t have to be in debt to want a side hustle. Myleik is literally a millionaire as she is the founder of Curlbox. Her side hustle is the advice that she gives to others through MyTaughtYou.com, her popular journals, and her podcast. Through these channels she talks about business, life, and love and gives you the kick in the pants to get ish done. And she also reports things from I perspective I normally wouldn't think of. 
  • Nadia Washlick | In addition to a full time gig (where she even bring her own handmade soap to use at work) she runs the chemically free  living blog BodyUnburdended.com. From her site I've developed many of my own homemade concoctions and remedies, and have learned more about the chemicals we come into contact with everyday. 

If this isn’t enough to convince you, then think of the difference starting a side hustle will make in your life.

In fact I have a little exercise for you:

DO THIS EXERCISE NOW | Take a piece of paper and fold it in half. Or you can click here and get the one I made for you, no email address required (plus you can type directly into it without having to print it out #win).

  • Now on one side write down the top 3 ways starting a side hustle will make a difference in your life.
  • Then list at least one way your own side hustle will make a difference in someone else's life, but of course feel free to write more.

Then save the second half of your paper for Reason #13. Which brings us to...

 

13. A Side Hustle Can Help You Reach Your Goals

A side hustle can provide the confidence to know that you can actually achieve your goals - such as paying off your debt. It can be that big win you need to prove to yourself your own capabilities.

That’s right, it can be that push, that drive for you to know that you can handle your own messes.

One of the people I mentioned above, Courtney from Think & Grow Chick, has a excellent podcast which speaks on this. It’s all about building discipline in your life and she says that you lack confidence when you break promises to yourself.

This means that if you start a side hustle -  and put real effort into making it the way you want, -  it's a huge sign that you can reach other goals that you set for yourself - again like paying down your debt.

NOW LET'S FINISH THE EXERCISE | So it’s time to use the second half of the you paper, or again use the template I provide for you here.

  • On the second half I want you to first write down 3 LARGE and important goals that you want to accomplish.
  • Then I want you to write 3 sentences on how starting a side hustle can help you achieve those goals. It can be through mental wins or even in a monetary fashion. 
  • Then finish it off by writing down the top 3 reasons for starting a side hustle that resonate with you the most

Ready? Get to it! (But remember to scroll down to the bottom to get your action task for the day)

 

BEFORE YOU GO...

You did it! You made it to the bottom of this post. That alone should make you feel some sort of accomplishment. 

You may find that several of the reasons to start a side hustle fit the bill for you. For me numbers 1, 3, 7, 9, and hopefully #12 are what ring true for me the most. The other reasons are all added benefits. 

Your Action Task for Today:

If you're interested in starting a side hustle then sign up to get the free Side Hustle Starter Tools Checklist

Then make sure to  tell me in the comments below what your top 3 reasons for starting a side hustle - I'm really curious and I'm looking forward to having a further conversation on this.

Honestly. No matter when you read this post and if it's a few years from now I want to know. So make sure to post a comment - even if you're the first one. 

That's all for today. Until the next time I have something to share that helps remind you why you want this in the first place...

 

via,

Yuri

 

 
 
 

Yuri Gibson

South Korea

I'm an info product designer, expat, & side hustler that loves to make lists, guides, podcasts, and more on side hustling, paying down debt, &  living small(er). 

Un-cute Cliffnotes version?

I'm all about Side Hustling & Taking Action.

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