Special to the Financial Independence Hub
Time is money, as the saying goes. And if you’ve got extra time on your hands but not a lot of extra money, maybe you’ve thought about starting up a side gig. Whether or not you decide to turn your side job into a flourishing career of its own, it won’t really feel like a job if you’re enjoying yourself at the same time. Plus, having multiple streams of income is highly recommended as a safety net.
With the following side jobs, you can prevent yourself from getting run down and ragged by being your own boss. You can set your own schedule, accept or decline jobs as your availability dictates, and adjust your prices so that it’s all worthwhile in the end.
You can start getting clients by reaching out to friends and family and growing via word of mouth from there. In time, you might find that a web presence will help you reach even more people. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a website; a Facebook page can be just as effective if managed well. In some cases, professional certifications can also bolster your reputation.
House sitting is an excellent way to earn some extra cash on the side, and it’s a very relaxed gig. You’ll be responsible for making sure that nothing goes awry while the homeowners are away. Your mere presence will deter would-be burglars, but house sitting goes beyond just sitting in a house, as you may need to handle other emergencies or simply bring in the mail and take out the trash.
In exchange, you get paid a daily fee. However, in most cases you also get to use all of the home’s conveniences during your stay. This means you can use the kitchen, shower or Wi-Fi, watch cable TV or dip into the homeowner’s DVD collection. If anything is off-limits, you and the homeowner should make this very clear.
Be courteous during your stay and leave everything as you found it. The homeowner won’t appreciate it if their monthly water or energy bills sharply increase thanks to your habit of running the AC at 68 or your need for a hot bath every night. If you live alone, you’ll need to be comfortable “shutting down” your own home (which helps you save on your own bills) or going back and forth. Otherwise, if you have to pay a house sitter so that you are free to watch someone else’s house, it’s a redundant situation.
There are countless avenues you could take in the realm of animal care. Pet sitting, dog walking, animal training and grooming are all on the table, and you can specialize in all kinds of pets and animals. You should be able to demonstrate extensive personal experience or seek certifications to help you find new clients. And since working with animals has inherent risks, it’s a good idea to double check your insurance before you begin.
As a pet sitter, you can welcome another person’s pet into your own home temporarily, or you can watch the pet in its own home. The latter is often the least stressful, since the pet gets to stay in its own, familiar environment and has a routine to follow. Dog walking is a form of pet sitting that is perfect for someone who works second or third shifts and is able to walk dogs while their owners are working 9 to 5.
Animal training and grooming are require extensive knowledge, and being part of a professional association will help you stay up to speed. These are jobs that offer great enjoyment and allow you to bask in the fruits of your labor. If you enjoy training or grooming your own pets, getting a little extra education in the subject is the perfect way to turn a hobby into a lucrative side job.
If you have a high-quality camera and an artistic eye, you could earn extra income as a photographer. You could cover local business events, take senior pictures or be a wedding photographer. A studio, while not required, can be easy to set up in your own home with the right kind of equipment. That would allow you to expand into family or baby photos, pet photography or professional headshots.
Being a photographer extends beyond actually snapping the pictures, of course. You’ll need to have professional software so that you can go through all of your photos to choose the best of the best and to make any adjustments that might be necessary. You will then have to deliver the photos to your client, which nowadays is typically done via a secure server. With this added behind-the-scenes work, make sure you have as much time to spend in front of your computer as you do behind the camera.
Turn your passion for music into an enjoyable side job by becoming a music teacher. Guitar, violin and piano lessons are perhaps the most common, but there are plenty of people, both kids and adults alike, who want to learn how to play the saxophone, trumpet, drums and any number of other instruments. Voice lessons are also popular.
As a music teacher, you can travel to your students or your students can travel to you. You might also be able to rent space in a music shop or community center. A music teaching certificate might be helpful, but talent is especially important.
Because your students will be taking lessons during their free time, and they probably work or attend school, it should be easy to coordinate your own work schedule for this fun side job.