5 Reasons Why to Start a Side Hustle Now
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When is the right time to start side hustles to make money? Now! See why, plus great side hustles for 2020.

By Bobby Hoyt, Founder of Millennial Money Man
Sponsored by Regions Bank, Member FDIC. All thoughts are my own and I'm not a Regions client.

Bobby Hoyt

There’s always been good motivation for people to make extra money outside of their day jobs with side hustles. Whether it’s paying off your debt, saving up for a vacation, or contributing more to your retirement fund, a side hustle can be a great for working toward your financial goals. Yet, many people aren’t sure if it’s the right time to start one.

COVID-19 has rocked the job market. There have been massive lay-offs, furloughs, hours cut, businesses and stores shut down. As a result, side hustling has become a necessity for many people. Looking at what has happened so far in 2020, I’d say we need to be looking at alternative ways to make money now more than ever.

But if you’re still on the fence, read on. You’ll learn why now is a great time to get started.

5 Reasons why now is a great time to start a side hustle

1. Side hustles protect your financial well-being

Most people just think of side hustles as a way to bring in extra income, which they do, but a side hustle also diversifies your income.

Think about your current job – it’s one stream of income. If something happened to that one income stream, it would be really, really hard to make ends meet. But if you had a second source of money, you’re no longer reliant on one income stream. Losing your job or having your hours cut doesn’t sting quite as much if you also have a side hustle.

2. You can find the time

A lack of time is one of the biggest reasons for not starting a side hustle, and trust me, I get it. Back when I started my site, I was going to work around 7 a.m. and not getting home until 8 p.m. some nights. I was exhausted, and I didn’t even have kids in the mix.

But every night, I spent at least an hour working on my blog. Instead of scrolling through social media or watching TV, I was working. It was hard, but the truth is that you probably do have the time./p>

Here are a few expenses you can cut or reduce:

3. The start-up costs are so low

Unlike starting a traditional business, side hustles tend to have very low start-up costs, and this is especially true with online side hustles. Here are some examples of how inexpensive side hustles are to start:

  • Blogging is as little as $2.95/month
  • You can start a freelancing side hustle for $0 since you’re leveraging pre-existing skills
  • You can start flipping items for profit starting things you already own

4. Get in touch with your credit card companies

This is one of the coolest parts about starting a side hustle: there’s the possibility that it can replace your day job one day. I personally know dozens of people who started a side hustle that turned into a full-time income.

When I started Millennial Money Man (M$M), I had no idea that it would become my full-time job. Being self-employed means I get to run my business the way I want, and I can grow it the way I want.

But here’s where it gets even better… instead of quitting your job and then starting a business, side hustles are flexible enough to do both at the same time. This gives you a financial cushion in the beginning.

M$M tip: Check out this article to learn how to handle your side hustles taxes: What You Should Know About Self Employment Taxes.

5. It’s never going to get easier

Even though side hustles are flexible and have low start-up costs, they’re still work. You will still have days when you don’t feel like putting in the extra hours. That’s never going to go away.

You will always have things happening in the background that make you feel like you don’t have the time or mental space to start a side hustle. That’s the reality. When you start one now, you’re jumping ahead all of the other people who are waiting for the perfect time.

How to start a side hustle

You know that the time is right now, let’s talk about the kinds of side hustles you can start.

It’s worth mentioning that a lot has changed in the past few months, and some side hustles aren’t as viable as they used to be. For example, rideshare driving has virtually dried up. But this unique time has made way for other side hustle opportunities, like food delivery services.

What I’m getting at is that if you pay attention to what’s going on in the world and pay attention to trends, you’ll start to see where there’s a need and how you can fill it. Keeping all of that in mind, here are five side hustles that you can start right now.

Deliver food and/or groceries

On-demand food delivery services are big business right now. Ordering dinner or groceries from the comfort of your home is just more convenient, and there is a really low barrier to entry – most companies only require that you have a clean driving record and can pass a background check. You can make anywhere from $15-$20/hour delivering food.

Work as an online tutor

There is a growing need for kids to learn from the comfort of their homes, which opens up this option for anyone who has specialized knowledge or enjoys working with kids.

There are a few different ways to pursue this side hustle:

  1. You can research companies that offer English tutoring to kids in different parts of the world. These companies pay between $12-$25/hour. Most don’t require that you have a degree in English or teaching, just that you have a bachelor's degree and general experience working with kids.
  2. Find an online tutoring platform where you can offer subject-specific tutoring. You can tutor K-12 studies and will need to be proficient in a specific subject. Many platforms let you set your own rates, which can range anywhere from $20-$50/hour.
  3. Post your services online. Let your friends and family know that you’re offering up your services.
  4. Reach out to local schools. Parents often reach out to their schools to find tutors. Contacting the guidance department would be a good place to get on a verified list of tutors.

For those last two options, you’ll want to do some research and find out what the going rates are in your area.

Start a blog

The rest of the side hustles I’m telling you about are all ones that you can start and begin to earn money almost immediately, but that’s not the case with blogging. It takes time to build your site and audience – both important parts of monetizing.

But the reason I mention it is because it's a legitimate way to make money, and you are completely in control of your work. You decide what you write about, the companies you work with, even how you grow your site.

You also get to decide how much time you dedicate to your site. But most full-time bloggers will tell you, and I agree, is that you need to put in a serious effort and spend some time every day on your site if you want to make money with it.

Blogging can turn into a stream of fairly passive income, which allows you to start another side hustle or expand into other business ventures.

Start freelancing

Freelancing is when you contract out your services to other business owners, and more and more companies are turning to freelancers to provide valuable services.

As far as how much you can make, standards vary depending on the services you’re offering. But it’s realistic to make an extra $1,000-$2,000+/month freelancing.

If you’re interested, check out freelance job sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer. You can get an idea of how much people are charging and the kind of services you can offer.

M$M tip: Having a dedicated bank account is a must-have for your side hustle, and Regions Bank has several options for business checking accounts. If you’re unsure which is the best option, Regions can match you with the right kind of account.

About Bobby Hoyt

Inspired by a mentor to reach for more after starting MillennialMoneyMan.com and paying off his loans, Bobby Hoyt began a pursuit of all things personal finance. Unsatisfied with the financial condition of his fellow millennials, he applied his knowledge as an educator to his blog.

His mission is to encourage fellow Millennials (and generations beyond!) to adhere to four main principles:

  1. Live below your means until you don’t have to anymore.
  2. Don’t finance stuff you don’t need.
  3. Let your friends pass you up (don’t try to keep up with the Joneses)
  4. Work really hard, then make your money work for you.

Through his work on Millennial Money Man, he hopes to help change the face of personal finance in Gen Y by challenging his readers to slay their debt, increase their income, and plan for their future.

Since quitting his band director job after earning $3 in ad revenues (a tactic he doesn’t recommend to students of his blogging courses) he has grown his blog to reach over 2 million readers each year. He’s a regular personal finance columnist for the American Psychological Association and has made appearances on major media outlets such as Forbes, CNBC, and MarketWatch. A firm believer in the importance of the side hustle (and an educator who values sharing his knowledge), he partnered with former high school classmate Mike Yanda to teach others how to grow their income by running Facebook ads, along with two other active blogger-focused courses at Laptop Empires.

Bobby lives in the Houston, Texas area with his wife Coral, their wonderfully strange dog Strider, and can usually be found on the golf course, or boating on some body of water when they aren’t traveling.

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This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and irs.gov for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.