By Lynette Murray, Platinum Adviser
A ‘side hustle’ is something that you do outside your normal job that produces additional income. People have a side hustle for a number of reasons:
- extra cash to pay for a holiday;
- fast-track debt repayments;
- contribute to mortgage repayments;
- pay for your hobby or creative outlet;
- get practical, real-world experience ahead of a career-change;
- build an emergency fund with 3-6 months worth of expenses;
- an opportunity to re-invent yourself in retirement;
- build and maintain an active social life;
- save for your kid’s university fees; or
- boost your retirement funds.
In many cases the side hustle is more about a creative outlet separate from their 9 to 5 job as well as an opportunity to gain experience and grow a network of colleagues and new contacts; rather than the actual money.
A side hustle is not the same as a part-time job though. With a part-time job you are simply working for another boss, whereas with a side-hustle you are your own boss. Ever had a conversation with your Uber driver about why they do what they do? I’ve had many fascinating conversations with public servants, ex-restaurant owners, retirees and students about the role their side hustle plays in boosting their finances and in many cases their confidence.
Anna Pino and Candice Edye from Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre are quick to point out that while it’s important that a side hustle does not interfere with your normal job, they have seen a number of side hustles take on a life of their own, and end up with becoming a full-time business.
“We see this with quite a few people in the lead up to retirement where they utilise the skills they have built up over the course of their career to launch a small business, online shop or consultancy practice,” says Anna.
“In many cases a side hustle provides job security as you don’t have all your financial eggs in one basket,’ adds Candice.
“If something happened and you lost your day job, you would still have continuity on your CV and the ability to earn some income from your side project”.
Some famous companies were started as a side hustle, for example Nike founder Phil Knight worked as an accountant at Price Waterhouse while he built Nike. Side hustles come in all shapes and sizes though, for example:
- Creating and selling items online
- Freelancing e.g. graphic design, marketing, writing, web design
- Providing a service e.g. pet-sitting, dog-walking, driving, deliveries, virtual assistant, user testing, babysitting, house sitting
- Transcription or data entry work
- Renting out spare space e.g. accommodation, parking spaces
- Coaching, personal training and tutoring
- Technical e.g. develop an app or IT product, computer repair
- Tourism e.g. guest house, tour operator
- Baking and cooking
- Cleaner, gardener or handy man
Working provides a sense of purpose, social interaction and it challenges you intellectually. Retirement can leave a void that can’t necessarily be filled by golf or long walks on the beach. A side hustle can give retirees an opportunity to expand their social lives, exercise their creativity and have a reason to get up every morning; whilst still being flexible enough to enjoy the benefits of retirement.