According to the Office of National Statistics, more than a million people in the UK have a second job, or a “side hustle” outside of their main job. On average, people work an average of nearly 10 hours per week in that side job.
Although a side hustle from home pulls from leisure time, it can be personally rewarding and stress reducing. If you have financial strains, for example, a second income can help make ends meet and help you earn towards spending and saving goals.
A side job can also be professionally rewarding. Many people take a side job unrelated to their main job to feed other interests and grow new skills.
Side Hustle Ideas
If you want to know how to start a side hustle, take a moment to evaluate your strengths, your interests, and the demand for work that you can reasonably fill.
The best side hustle ideas are the ones you have some passion for. Remember, the extra job will reduce your leisure time and you will need motivation to stick with it.
Having a second job is legal, but make sure it doesn't interfere with your main work schedule or conflict with any rules. You may want to check in with HR at the main job before starting. You do not want to be fired from your day job.
Here are some popular ways to make extra money with a side hustle:
Virtual assistant. Business owners around the world need extra help and will happily pay an organised person to help grow and maintain their business. Virtual assistants may do anything from basic admin up to specialty services. You may assist with marketing, social media accounts, customer service, IT, coding work and more.
Freelance writing. Identify an area you know well and promote your services as a subject matter expert ready to write and edit blogs, articles, reports and other types of content. A good copywriter and expert wordsmith is always in high demand.
Consulting. If you have a skill or experience that can benefit other businesses, you may be able to brand yourself as a consultant.
Creating. If you’re a DJ, designer, tailor, musician, a creator of any sort, develop your brand and try to create buzz for your work with the help of social media. If applicable, visit local shops and venues to see if there are opportunities to showcase and sell your work. You can also sell handmade crafts on Not on the High Street, giving national visibility to your work.
Photography. You can sell your pictures online to stock photo sites. You can also develop and promote specialty photography skills for more money. For example, photography for sporting events, weddings and pet portraits.
Get a part time job. If you are looking for side hustles outside the home, consider taking a part time job. These can be informal such as a child minder, dog walker, house sitter, house cleaner, a tutor, or a music teacher.
Gig economy. If you have spare time and a means of transport a fairly easy side hustle is to drive and deliver for Uber, Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Amazon. These gigs give you flexibility and control over your working hours.
Establishing your new business
Starting a side hustle is one thing, sticking with it is another. To help you get started, here are some tips from experts.
- Do your research. Prove to yourself there is a demand for your new hustle before pouring your heart, soul, and money into it.
- Startup costs may be inevitable, but experts say to never take on side-hustle debt. Fund yourself through savings if you need it.
- Create a reasonable work schedule and stick to it. You have to commit a minimum number of hours to be successful, and too many hours will burn you out.
- Focus on revenues. Build a client base and focus on delivering good work and getting good reviews and referrals.
Track your side hustle finances
Keep careful track of your costs and your income.
Tracking is important because you may need to declare taxable income to HMRC. It will also help keep you focused on your mission and help you gauge your success. Depending on the nature of your hustle’s finances, you may want to invest in accounting software.
You can also use an open banking app like Money Dashboard to track side-hustle specific income and expenses at a high level. This makes it easy to compare how it changes week by week, month by month.
Making the most of the reward
When you earn extra money, don’t squander it. After paying off any urgent debts shift your focus towards building saving, investments, and an emergency fund.
You can also make money to work for you double-time by putting it towards passive income assets. For example, dividend income from stocks or rental income from property pays you back a portion of your initial investment year over year, even if you’re not working.