Hello! Today, I have a great post written by my friend Lindsey from And the Kitchen Sink. She has paid off nearly $20,000 of debt in just one year and is determined to become financially independent. Working multiple jobs at once can be tiring, but it can also be well worth it.
When I walked across the stage of my college graduation ceremony, the thought of working four jobs never crossed my mind. I walked across that stage with no student loan debt, so I was going to start my post-grad life debt free. It’s been a little over a year since my graduation. While we’re not buried in debt, we are in the process of paying off a new-to-us car.
I got a full-time salaried job right out of college writing proposals for a big company. Not even a month into my job, I realized how much I hated working for big corporations.
I felt like I never had enough to do, and this job went completely against some of the very core things I believed in. I went to college to become a journalist so I could spread the truth and tell other people’s stories, not write false or glorified lies for other companies to read.
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I knew I couldn’t be picky about my job.
Despite the hatred for my job, I had no real world experience and we were in no position to be picky about where our paychecks came from. I felt depressed and conflicted every time I had to get up and go to work. I wanted a way to be creative, without losing my paycheck.
It was in this desperation for a creative outlet that And the Kitchen Sink was born.
I had seen so many blogs and read so many stories of men and women being able to walk away from their full-time jobs in pursuit of a blogging career. I was inspired to reach that same goal and decided to start my own blog. I had no idea what I was going to write about, but I knew I needed a place where it was okay to be creative.
Over the past year, I have learned to live a more frugal life, and it has brought me so much joy. We CHOSE to be frugal, and it has been a decision that changed our lives for the better. And the Kitchen Sink became the place where I shared those stories. I wanted to share my failures and successes in hopes that I could help others on their frugal journeys. There is a stigma around frugality that it’s something only poor people embrace, or that you can’t have any fun. I used to be one of those people, and I used to believe that money was the secret to happiness. Frugality is a choice. For some, the choice is out of necessity. For others, frugality is a decision to live a simpler life.
My blog became my first “side hustle” and one I’m so glad I started. I spend about 20-30 hours a week working on my blog. This ranges from creating new posts, social media management, promotion, and even working with my graphic designer to create awesome printables. There are expenses in running this side hustle, which ended up coming out of our monthly budget. We knew our budget could handle my side hustle until I made enough to cover my expenses, and eventually be able to quit my full-time job to blog full-time.
After living together for about 6 months, we decided to stay in our little one bedroom apartment for another year to save money and build up our savings. This was a great plan, until our renewal rates came in the mail. If we decided to stay in our current apartment we would have to pay an extra $100 a month, just for staying where we were, with no added benefits! We tried to talk to the property manager, but she would not lower the renewal rate.
We hadn’t planned on making a move, and had only two months to find the finances AND find a new home. Less than a month before we had to be out of our old place, we found the perfect apartment! No unnecessary add-ons to our rent, and even no pet rent! While it would add some time to our respective commutes to work, there was really not much of a downside to this place. The only problem was that our old apartment came with a washer and dryer, where this one did not. We were then faced with the task of finding a set for our new place. I know this sounds like such a small problem, but we had not really prepared for this move AT ALL. Our budget was certainly not prepared for a washer and dryer.
We decided the best thing for us was to charge the washer and dryer to our credit card, and use my tax return to pay it off when it arrived. A month after filing my taxes, I received a notice from the IRS stating that they needed additional information to complete my tax return. Which meant we had no idea when I would get my tax return.
In the chaos of purchasing a washer and dryer, my second side hustle was born. I hated the idea of accumulating debt, and I wanted to be debt free as soon as possible. So, I got a job working as a staff writer for a wonderful blogger to help pay off our washer and dryer debt. As a staff writer, my job was to write the articles, and to find and edit good stock photos to go with them. Total, I spend about 10 hours per month staff writing.
My tax return ended up coming, and we were able to use the money to pay off our washer and dryer debt without accruing any interest on our credit card, just as we planned! I decided to keep my staff writing job, and invest the money directly in my blog.
I loved writing articles for other bloggers, so I began freelancing as well. This would become my third side hustle. Typically, I’ll spend anywhere from 2-3 hours on a freelance job depending on the article. I’ll usually take 2 or 3 freelance jobs a month. My freelance jobs help fund my blogging business, and also helps us fill in the gaps of our budget.
We’ve used the money made from my side hustles to pay off debt, keep ourselves from going over budget, and even save up for vacations. I’ve been side hustling for nearly 8 months now, and I don’t think I’ll quit any of them anytime soon. While the money is great, and it gives me a creative outlet, it also takes up A LOT of time. All my jobs combined average to be around 60 hours a week, or roughly 240 hours a month!
I’m able to work on my side hustles during downtime at my full-time job, and some are even completed in a single day. I use my weekends as my time off, and will usually only spend about an hour or two working on my blog. While I certainly wouldn’t recommend working four jobs to anyone, there are quite a few perks to it.
1. There is an outlet for my built up creativity
If you’ve never worked in a corporate environment before, let me tell you something. Anything you write is regulated very strictly. I’m lucky if I do any original writing at all. My side hustles gave me a place to not only share my experiences, but also let me write freely.
I’ve always felt the need to write, and my job was not fulfilling this part of my life, despite being a “writing” job.
Before I started my blog, I felt empty and unsatisfied with my work. I felt that I was not fulfilling my purpose and that there was something greater that I was meant to do.
2. Extra money never hurt anyone
If it wasn’t for the paycheck, I would never work a day in my life.
I would focus on the things I was truly passionate about, and that would be the end of it. Unfortunately, you can’t pay the bills with passion. Side hustles are a great way to earn extra money. If you are paying off debt, constantly going over budget, or looking to build your savings, I would recommend picking up a side hustle.
On our upcoming cruise, I was able to use the money I made from my side hustles alone to fund a shore excursion. It cost us nothing extra (this was un-budgeted, unplanned money) and I had fun earning it.
3. I learned what I like
In my college years, I remember taking a variety of different internships to find out what I actually liked doing, in hopes of finding a career path.
My side hustles have done the same thing for me in my post-college life.
Through different projects and assignments, I’ve learned what I like to write about and what topics interest me. There are a multitude of articles out there on just about everything you could think of, and researching for my writing has allowed me to learn a lot these past few months. I found I was interested in topics I had once dismissed years ago.
These side jobs make me happy and bring fulfillment to my life. Even just a year ago, I never imagined myself working four jobs. But then, who does? If you’re on the fence about starting a side hustle, I say go for it. Who knows, it just might change your life for the better.
About the Author: Lindsey is a born and raised southern girl from North Carolina who made the transition from big spender to frugal by choice. She is dedicated to living a more meaningful life by focusing less on money and possessions and more on experiences. Lindsey writes about ways the average person can live a frugal lifestyle and all of the benefits that come with it. Lindsey believes you don’t have to be poor to be frugal, and that anyone can benefit from a frugal lifestyle. Check out her website at Schatzvirtualsolutions.com
Do you make extra income? How has it changed your life?