Whether you’re saving for a car, planning an epic road trip, or gearing up for college life, making some extra money can help you reach your goal faster. You could apply for a part-time job working at a store or other business — or you could turn something you already enjoy doing into a profitable side hustle. Convert your spare time into a money-making opportunity with these tips to help maximize your earning potential.
So Many Choices
Different things you’re good at — whether it’s dog walking, weeding, babysitting, tutoring, giving music lessons or washing cars — could become a way to earn extra money. Consider what there’s a need for in your neighborhood and then get the word out. You can put up flyers, or talk to your parents’ friends, neighbors, or coworkers. Research how much you’ll charge for your services by looking at other people’s rates for similar tasks. But make sure your parents are always in the loop on your communications with potential customers and any work you do for them.
What to Do with Your Money
Once you start making money, you must decide where to keep it. Hint: It should not be under your mattress where it won’t earn any interest. Depending on your age, you may need your parents to cosign your bank account. And depending on how much you make; you might need to set some aside for taxes.
Now, Soon and Later
You know the saying, “Don’t let money burn a hole through your pocket?” While that’s always good advice, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of what you earn right away. A simple, three-pronged strategy can help you enjoy your side gig income both in the short term — and in the months and years ahead.
Now. Consider enjoying some of your money now — you want to check out the latest Marvel movie or need a new pair of sneakers. By deciding, you can look forward to having a little fun right away with some of your side gig earnings.
Soon. Put some aside for things you want to buy soon but not right away — like a concert or sporting event in a few months, or maybe a spring break trip to the beach.
Later. In addition to saving for the immediate and near-term, it's important to put money aside for things you will want later. This could be college or maybe your first car. Having clear goals can motivate you to save more consistently and make better long-term financial decisions.
Decide ahead of time how much you will spend on things now, soon, and later — as well as invest in ways to make your gig more profitable, such as new materials, marketing efforts or equipment upgrades.
More Benefits Than Money
Earning money with your side hustle can lay the groundwork for running a business (or having a job) later. It can help you develop many personal and professional skills and teach you about budgeting and financial goal setting. It can be great practice for whatever path your professional life takes you on — and a steppingstone toward financial independence as a young adult.