10 Of The Most Common Questions About Having A Side Job

Today, I’m going to answer some of the most common questions about having a side job. These are questions I get asked a lot by readers and other questions I see asked online. If you’re thinking about getting a side job or starting a side business, you probably have some questions. I know there were…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: June 5, 2023

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Today, I’m going to answer some of the most common questions about having a side job. These are questions I get asked a lot by readers and other questions I see asked online.

If you’re thinking about getting a side job or starting a side business, you probably have some questions. I know there were things I was curious about before I got started.

So, if you have common questions about having a side job or making extra money with a side hustle, then this is the article for you.

Finding ways to make extra income can change your life in huge ways.

I say that because I believe it. Here on Making Sense of Cents, I talk a lot about making extra money, especially through side hustles. After all, having side jobs changed my life and allowed me to pay off $40,000 in student loan debt.

My side job (this blog) even turned into my full-time business, which is something I will always be grateful for. I love my business, I earn a good income, I travel full-time, and I have a great work-life balance.

But, that doesn’t mean that my side hustles are going to be the right fit for you. There are so many different side hustles out there, so where do you begin to find the best one for you? Many of the common questions about having a side job that I’m asked are related to finding the right one.

Making extra money is great for many other reasons, like helping you pay off debt, save more money, test out a business idea, reach financial freedom, and more.

Below are some of the common questions about having a side job that I’m going to answer for you today:

  • How do you find a side hustle?
  • How much money can I make from a side job?
  • How do you get paid with a side job?
  • How can I find time for my side job idea?
  • How can I balance my day job, side job, and life?!
  • How can I grow my side income? How can I find clients? 
  • What is a good side job?
  • Should I tell my boss about my side hustle?
  • Do I have to pay taxes on a side job?
  • How do I avoid side job scams?

10 common questions about having a side job.


1. How do you find your side hustle?

There are probably millions of different side hustles out there in the world. 

So, how do you find the best one for you?

Since there are so many ways to make extra money, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when choosing one for yourself.

You will see some ideas later in this article, and once you have narrowed your options down, I recommend asking yourself these questions:

  • Are you passionate about your side hustle idea? While you don’t need to be passionate, it may help you decide between a side hustle you hate and one that you love. Or, you may just be passionate about the fact that your side hustle will allow you to reach your goals! It all depends on your mindset and what you want out of it.
  • Can YOU earn money with it? Someone else may be able to earn an income from a specific side job, but can you?
  • Do you have enough time? Does the side hustle fit into your schedule? Some side jobs take a couple of hours each week and others take many more.
  • Are you skilled in the area, or can you become skilled? It’s better to know this before you waste too much of your time and figure out that you don’t have the skills needed. Sure, there are some skills you can easily learn, but others may not be worthwhile. 
  • How much money do you need to start? Will it take a lot of money to start your side hustle? If so, can you afford that?
  • Will your day job allow you to have the side hustle? This is one of the common questions about having a side job that I’m often asked, and I will answer it in more detail further down. One example of a work conflict is if you work as a financial advisor ⎼ your employer may not want you giving financial advice on the side because that could be seen as competition.

Answering these questions will help you narrow down the side hustle ideas you are thinking about. 

I recommend creating a pros and cons list too, if you are stuck between a few different side hustle options.


2. How much money can I make from a side job?

Out of all of the common questions about having a side job that I receive, this is probably the one I’m asked the most.

I answer it the same way every time: the amount of money you can make from having a side job will vary. You may only make a few dollars a week or you may find yourself making hundreds or thousands of dollars a month.

It all depends on exactly what you are doing to earn side income, the amount of time you are spending on it, the effort you are putting towards it, and more.

Below are some estimates and ranges of what you can make with some different side hustle ideas:

  • Teaching English online – $14 – $26 an hour
  • Picking up trash – $30 an hour
  • Becoming a virtual assistant – $500+ a month
  • Taking surveys online at home – $1 to $5+ per survey
  • Blogging – $0 to millions of dollars a year. Yes, there’s a personal finance blogger out there who makes over $10 million a year. Yes, a year! I was earning around $10,000 a month on the side of my day job. Now, I’m earning around $1,000,000 a year from blogging.
  • Writing articles online for others – $15 to $1000+ per article. Usually, new writers start out at around $25 per article in the online world.
  • Renting a room in your home – $300 to $1,000+ a month. This varies widely depending on your location, whether you are renting it on a monthly or daily basis (such as with Airbnb), and more.
  • Mystery shopping – $3 to $100+ per mystery shop. Usually, whatever you are shopping for is free, plus a small payment for your time.
  • Mowing lawns – $20 and up per lawn. This depends on whether or not you’re doing extras like edging or trimming bushes, how large the yard is, and more.
  • Dog sitting – $25 to $100 per day. This all depends on the area you live in, the type of extra work (walking the dogs, administering medication, cleaning up, etc.), and so on.

If you scroll down, you’ll see many more options for side jobs below.


3. How do you get paid with a side job?

The way you get paid depends on who your client/customer is and how you want to get paid.

If you have a part-time job and work for someone else, you’ll most likely get paid via direct deposit or check.

If you work for yourself, then you may choose to get paid via check, cash, PayPal, credit card, direct deposit, etc. This may also include setting up a separate account for your side hustle to keep track of your expenses and how much you are making. 

Depending on the side hustle, you might get paid monthly, weekly, every other week, when you complete a task, when you send the invoice, etc. 


4. How can I find time for my side job idea?

If you want to have a side job, then you will have to find time for it, of course!

If you don’t think you have any extra time, I recommend simply writing down how you spend your hours over the next week. Write down every little thing, such as when you scroll through Facebook or Instagram, when you turned on the TV, and so on.

This will help you to realize where you may be wasting time.

Whether you only have a few hours each week for making extra money or if you have a few hours each day, every little bit counts. And, yes, there are side hustles for those with hardly any extra time, and side hustles for those with tons of time.

If you are having a difficult time finding time in your day for a side hustle, here are some ways to start:

  • Wake up earlier or stay up later. Yes, you might end up getting a little less sleep.
  • Spend your lunch break making extra money.
  • Use your work vacation days to spend time on your side hustle.
  • Waste less time with TV, social media, and so on.
  • Strategically use any breaks during the day for making extra money.

I think this is one of the most common questions about having a side job because most people have no idea how they would fit one into their already busy schedule. It does take work, but I truly believe that everyone has a little extra time in their week to dedicate to making extra money.

Read more at How To Squeeze Side Hustles Into Your Busy Schedule.


5. How can I balance my day job, side job, and life?!

Managing it all can be hard, and I completely understand that.

At one point, I was working a full-time day job, taking 18-24 college credits a semester, managing a side job, doing volunteer work, and I was trying to manage my life at home as well.

It was HARD! And, there were probably times when I was stretching myself too thin and not taking care of myself.

Work-life balance is very important when you are trying to make extra money. Due to the fact that you will be holding down more than one job, you may find that other areas in your life are suffering.

While side hustling, you never want the quality of your work to decrease, for your family to be negatively impacted, and so on.

There are many ways to work side jobs and still lead a great life. You can:

  • Outsource certain tasks that will allow you to make more money.
  • Try to focus on one task at a time if you are not good at multitasking.
  • Leave work at work.
  • Be organized – being unorganized can waste a significant amount of your time and can lead to a lot of stress.
  • Eliminate time-sucks like TV, social media, etc.
  • Create a schedule that flows together smoothly.

Learn more about what I do at How I’m A Work-Life Balancing Master.


6. How can I find clients? How can I grow my side income? 

If you have a side job where you are your own boss, then you will have to find clients and customers to work with.

There are many ways to grow your side job idea. Whether you eventually want to turn it into a full-time business or if you just want to start making more money, growing it is possible!

Launching a new side hustle can be intimidating, and there is a lot that goes into growing your side hustle business. One of the most common questions about having a side job that I’m asked is about finding work, as in customers and clients.

I recommend trying the things listed below, but what works for you will depend on the industry you’re in and the kind of side hustle you start.

  • Ask around. You can start off by promoting your side hustle service to those you know, such as friends and family. Social media is a good way too, like sharing your side hustle on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and so on. Simply introduce yourself, whether that be in person or on social media/email/etc, and explain your services. One of the simplest ways to advertise your new side hustle is to make a post on Facebook that says something, like “Hey everyone! I just started a new business where I am ______. If you are interested or know someone who is, please let me know.” Something as simple as that can help you get your name out there, and it’s easy and free!
  • Place ads for your side hustle in your local community, such as by handing out business cards, posting flyers or billboards, and more.
  • Attend networking events. There are networking events for writers, bloggers, crafters, side hustlers, the list goes on and on. Find one!
  • Start a website so that potential customers can search for your service/product.
  • Reach out directly to those who may be interested in your service/product.
  • Once you have customers, ask them to spread the word about your side hustle.
  • Post on Craigslist. Craigslist is a great place to advertise your side hustle service as it allows you to reach people that may not normally be in your network. You can also search job listings on Craigslist to see if any match your services.

As you can see, there are many different ways that you can find clients and customers for your side job.


7. What is a good side job?

There are so many different kinds of side jobs that exist.

You could work online, offline, for yourself, for someone else, sell a product, sell a service, and so on.

Here is a snippet of some of the side jobs and businesses that have been shared on Making Sense of Cents. These are all ones I recommend checking out:


8. Should I tell my boss about my side hustle?

I mentioned earlier that I get many common questions about having a side job that are related to work conflicts, also including, “Can I get fired for doing side work?”

Some day jobs may have restrictions on exactly what you can do outside of work to earn extra income. If you are questioning it at all, then you should do your research before moving forward (this may mean reading your employment contract or contacting human resources).

If your side hustle has anything to do with your day job (from writing, teaching, selling things, etc.) it is important to find out your company’s policies, especially if you have a contract with your employer.

Being in breach of your contract can lead to losing your job, side hustle, and more.

You also don’t want to work on your side hustle while you are on the clock, unless you are able to use your lunch break. I always used my lunch hour to side hustle, and this was a great way for me to put an extra five hours a week towards my side hustle.

Other tips to make sure your side hustle doesn’t interfere with your day job:

  • Don’t let the quality of your work slip at your day job.
  • Usually, it’s against company policy to take a side hustle client who is a competitor of the company you work for, as that can be a conflict of interest.


9. Do I have to pay taxes on a side job?

A side job, whether you work for someone else, for yourself, at home, or anywhere else is most likely still subject to taxes.

I recommend reading Your Top 14 Tax Questions For Bloggers and Digital Nomads Answered for the answers to the following questions and more:

  • How should business structure be determined? When should I form an LLC? When should I switch to SCorp?
  • When should a person start paying quarterly taxes? How do you do quarterly taxes?
  • How do I know if it’s a hobby or a business?
  • What is the best way to keep business finances separate from personal ones?

This is one of the common questions about having a side job that you’ll want to take very seriously. Not paying taxes on your side hustle can cost you more money and stress in the long run.


10. How do I avoid side job scams?

There are lots of work from home scams, and you’ve probably seen some of them before.

All you have to do is scroll to the comment section of any popular article and you’ll see “Work from home and make $1,000,000 in the first 5 minutes!” Or, “Do nothing all day and make $5,000!”

In fact, you can find work from home job scams all over the place – in your email inbox, phone calls to your home, online articles and more.

Sadly, many of these work from home jobs are actually scams.

Now, this doesn’t mean that every online job is a scam.

To sort through the scams and find legitimate ones, you should always make sure to research the company.

If you are afraid of falling for work from home job scams, you should do things such as:

  • Contact the Better Business Bureau to see if the company is real.
  • Research the company online to see if there are any mentions of it being a scam. I like to type in “Company name + scam” into a search engine and see what pops up.
  • Before you give out any personal information, such as your Social Security number, you should make sure it’s a legitimate job.
  • Search the Federal Trade Commission and see if they have any press releases or articles about work from home job scams that they may have found.
  • Never click on any links or download anything in a suspicious email.

And, most of all, trust your gut! If you feel too weary of something, then it’s probably best to move on and find another opportunity.

What side hustle ideas are you interested in trying out? What do you think of side hustling? What common questions about having a side job didn’t I cover?

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Your #1 question – How do you find your side hustle – is integral to becoming successful. You need to at the very least like what you do, or you’ll eventually lose interest and fail.

  2. Great point about finding a side hustle that you’re passionate about and enjoy doing. If it also pays well, then that’s the ultimate achievement!

    It can also be worth exploring side hustles that you aren’t so passionate about. They’ll give you extra income to put towards destroying your debts or boosting your investments. Once you have this income boost, you can be more inspired to find side hustles that suit you a little better.

    Sometimes it’s worth just starting somewhere! Get some side hustle action on a roll and you can improve it over time. You’ll find the best one for you eventually. 🙂

  3. My side hustles have evolved over the years for sure, the nice thing is they have become higher value over time!