This month, I’ve decided to do things a little differently and share my side hustle income report. A few months ago, I had an epiphany: there’s a secret money equation.
The truth is that it’s nearly impossible to accomplish your goals or live the life you deserve without tackling both sides of the equation.
You need to learn how to save, but you also need to learn how to earn.
During college, I was mainly focused on saving. I cut back as much as I could and I lived on less than $15,000 per year in one of the nation’s most expensive cities: Los Angeles. It wasn’t fun and it definitely wasn’t pretty. (My diet consisted of peanut butter and pasta.)
HOWEVER, it did teach me how to save. I learned where each purchase fell on the Happiness Curve and how to live without. Those lessons are ones that I will never forget because they showed me all the waste in my life and all the luxuries that I had previously taken for granted (looking at you, cars!).
It wasn’t until I landed a full-time job and finally had room to breathe that I realized saving was only one half of the equation. It was the half I had mastered, but it wasn’t the whole picture.
When I committed to paying off my student loans in less than a year, I made another commitment to myself as well: I would increase my “extra” earnings throughout the process.
When it comes to earnings, some months are better than others. And honestly, that’s just fine. Everything extra I earn goes straight to my loans (which will be paid off in 15 days!) and I use my salary from my full-time job to pay for my living expenses.
The reason I’m sharing my earnings is simple: it wasn’t until I saw other people sharing their income reports that I realized it was possible to earn extra money on the side. And I want the same for you.
I don’t want you to ever feel confined by the amount of money a company agrees to pay you each month or the salary of your chosen profession.
There is always more money to be earned, regardless of your field.
So without further ado, here is the breakdown of the extra money I earned in February:
Staff Writing: $120
Corporate Writing: $500
Yep, that’s it. All of my money for February came from freelance writing. By training, I’m a writer, and because of that, freelance writing has been the easiest field for me to break into.
As I move forward, I hope to diversify, but there’s an important lesson in this income report:
It’s easiest to earn money using the skills you already possess.
If you are just breaking into “side hustling” then it’s important to remember that you already have all the skills you need.
In fact, here are three ways you can started today:
Post on Your Personal Accounts
This might sound a little scary, but the number one thing you should do if you want to earn more money is post on your personal Facebook page or Twitter account. The people who follow you on these accounts are already in your network and “know” you. Because of that, they trust you. They know you are a real human and even beyond that, they probably know where you went to high school and a few of your friends. Right off the bat, there is a connection (even if it’s a small one).
Once you’ve established what your skill is (and remember, we ALL have one), write a short post that states you’re interested in taking clients and would love to talk to anyone that might be interested.
Here’s the script you can use:
Hi friends! I recently started taking (insert your specialty here) clients and I would love to connect with anyone who is in need of help! Whether it’s you or someone you know, I would love to connect. Here are a few samples of my work (link to samples if you have any). My specialty is (ex: small business owners who need killer copy for their websites) and my rates are super flexible. Feel free to message me!
Also, when it comes to your personal social media accounts, be on the lookout for friends who post about potential jobs.
When the company I work for needed a freelance videographer and I was tasked with the job of finding one, the first thing I did was post on Facebook because my “friends” are the people I already know and trust
Copy and paste the script to your social media account today. The worst thing that could happen is that no one responds. The best thing that could happen? You land a paying client with a single post!
Although it’s not reflected in this month’s income report, Ebates is an excellent way to earn extra money because it requires no effort and is completely free.
Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for a free Ebates account by clicking here.
- Once you’ve signed up you, you can start earning a percentage of cash back for every purchase you make through their site.
- Next time you need to buy something online, enter the online retail site through Ebates and you’ll be on your way to earning money for buying the things you would have bought anyways. (Sometimes it’s as much as 10-15% per purchase!)
- Ebates will send you a check in the mail (or pay via PayPal) once you’ve accumulated $25.
Still unsure? Here’s a testimony from my mom (the most trusted source in the world and the woman who taught me everything I know):
“Ebates is great. You just get paid for buying things you would have already bought and they send the check directly to you. One of my checks was for $50!”
Sign up today! Next time you’re shopping online, enter the website through Ebates and earn $10 for your first purchase.
Reach Out to Your Academic Network
If you graduated college and haven’t connected with your department yet, you’re missing out on potential money. Even though I graduated from UCLA nearly a year ago, I still subscribe to the English Department email list. Every week, the academic advisor sends out a few emails about events on campus and freelance jobs.
Yep, that’s right. My university sends me information about paying jobs right to my inbox.
In fact, one of my best (and longest) clients came from one of these postings.
Luckily, I know UCLA isn’t the only university that does this because the university I work at does the exact same thing.
With most universities, you can subscribe to the mailing list online. However, if you can’t find the link, you could also reach out to the academic advisor directly.
Here’s the script you can use:
Hi [advisor’s name],
I graduated from UCLA in 2015 but would love to stay up to date with what is happening on campus. Is it possible to subscribe to the email list for the department?
Thanks for the help and Go Bruins!
Copy and paste the email and send it off! It will take less than 5 minutes and could result in your very first freelance job.
Do you have any tips or tricks for earning extra money? Share them below!