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Side hustles – the new security

What is a side hustle? It is a passion business you run in your free time whilst still holding down your normal job that 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 an extra couple of 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, skill and experience or a problem you have faced but the market does not solve yet.  Examples of side hustle ideas:

  • Interior décor
  • Writing articles
  • Social media manager
  • Baking and selling cakes
  • Tutor
  • Sell goods online
  • Graphic design
  • Web development
  • Uber
  • Gaming
  • Coaching etc.  to name a few

Besides the fact that side hustles present massive opportunity, here are some reasons why 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 meager 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 around your home. Or even better yet, you can direct the profits you make from your side hustle to pay off debts or start saving.

  • It’s a great way to test the waters ~ it could turn into a fully fledged business

What could start off as something you only do 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.

It is advisable to first have at least 6months to 1-year 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 year and years of compound interest on your money and you will still need money to retire on in any case.

  • 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 it used to cost  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!)

  • It gives you purpose and reignites your fire again from the normal.

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 again. And you can also learn invaluable skills that perhaps your current job does not allow you to exercise.

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 lack nothing.

*This article first appeared in City Press*

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