By Sophia Bera
NEW YORK (AdviceIQ) -- Do you work a full-time job and still can't take care of all those bills every month? Maybe you manage to pay your bills but have nothing left over for savings and investments? Maybe you need a side hustle -- the newer name for the good old odd job or part-time gig.
You can do all kinds of creative, fun and interesting part-time work and earn anywhere from a hundred to an extra thousand dollars each month. With that in your pocket you can accelerate your debt repayments, give yourself breathing room until you earn your next raise or boost your retirement contributions and increase the amount you invest every month.
You build wealth in two main ways: You earn more, and you save and invest more. Many people find saving and investing difficult at a certain point. After all, you can only trim so much from your budget and eliminate so many expenses.
In theory, earning more is a limitless way to build wealth.
Where to start. Consider what you're good at, your skills or what you know a little more about than the average person. Then marry that with how people need help that they'll pay for.
Some questions to spur ideas:
- Love animals? Start pet-sitting or dog walking (or if a fan of kids you can always babysit). Check out Care.com for people who need various sorts of caregivers.
- Enjoy sharing your knowledge? Tutor students (get started on Tutor.com or WyzAnt), create a how-to e-book or teach classes in your community.
- Prefer outdoor work? Set up a mobile car-washing biz or do landscaping and lawn care.
- Have a specialized skill? Offer services as a freelancer or consultant. Set up profiles on such sites as Odesk, Elance and freelancer to grab your first few gigs. Then branch out and establish your own website.
(See more outlets for part-time work here.)
You don't need the next multimillion-dollar startup idea, only something you know about. You also need the means to reach at least a handful of people willing to pay to get a problem solved or a convenience created based on what you know.
What's next? A side job requires a little legwork to get the ball rolling. Put yourself out there any way you can.
Tell everyone you know -- online and off -- about your service and ask them to spread the word to anyone who might want what you offer. Post your availability on Craigslist or similar online marketplace sites.
Once you build momentum, your sideline can grow quickly -- especially if you do an outstanding job and ask for referrals.
What to charge for a service is always one of the toughest first questions, especially if you never worked in that field before. Ask too little and you sell yourself short; ask too much and you price yourself right out of the market. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a lot of good information on what various professionals charge in different parts of the country.
When you start making some extra cash, use the money wisely. Put your earnings to work for you and accelerate your big financial goals.
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-- Sophia Bera, CFP, a fee-only financial planner that caters to investors in their 20s and 30s. She has been in the financial planning industry since 2007 and is the founder of Gen Y Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is an adjunct professor teaching courses in math, finance, insurance and investments. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row, in Minneapolis. She works with clients throughout the U.S. She has been quoted on various websites and publications including Forbes, Business Insider, AOL, Yahoo, Money Magazine, The Fiscal Times, Fox Business and The Huffington Post. Money Under 30 recently named her one of the "Top Financial Advisors for Millennials."
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