There are a lot of ways to make just a little extra money and I have tried out several of them in the last year. I figure because they don’t seem to take a lot of time and energy, perhaps they are worth the hassle for some quick cash they bring. But collectively over time, they can pivot between being rewarding and easy vs mentally draining and not particularly lucrative.
My side hustles include Instacart shopping and delivery, completing online surveys, tutoring on Cambly, micro mystery shop jobs, and trying out an Etsy shop. I see value in the experience of them all, but the payout has been fairly low so far. They have all been worth trying out, but is it worth continuing?
Sometimes I have gotten caught up in just keeping busy with these either creative, or simply flexible ventures, but I am starting to take the time to consider the pros and cons of continuing.
Here are some questions I will check in and ask myself regularly — and they may be worth pondering for your own small side ventures and extra jobs.
1. Is the overall impact on your life positive or negative?
Really think about how this particular gig affects your balance and energy at the end of the week. Consider setting time limits on the extra work to achieve a balance that works. Try and choose side gigs that you enjoy.
2. Do you have a clear goal or outcome from this activity?
Is it just passing the time occasionally for some pocket change or is there a growth opportunity and a payoff with more effort? Be clear on what you hope to achieve vs time spent.
3. Are you solving a short-term cash flow issue?
A flexible side gig can be a great way to get a separate income stream that will help fund a specific purchase, investment, or vacation, for example. But try not to rely on two jobs as a long-term solution to fund your living expenses.
4. Is your gig having an impact on your full-time job and career opportunities?
It is easy to get swept up in keeping so busy with low-paid or inconsistent extra work —but over time it can indirectly affect your motivation to focus and succeed at your main hustle. Try not to be penny-wise and pound-foolish.
5. Can you achieve better results by becoming more organized?
I believe organizing chunks of time as well as keeping better track of activities and schedules are good ways to avoid running on empty without a plan. It can help with focus, achieving more with less time, and keeping stress levels in check.
Have you taken on any small side hustles to make a little extra cash? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. Thanks for reading!