Are you handy with a hammer and make beautiful furniture on the weekends? Maybe you have a knack for the kitchen and create inventive new dishes each night. Or perhaps your skill at the sewing machine keeps you and your kids in the latest fashions. Whatever it is you do to fill the time, that beloved hobby you’ve had for years may have the potential to evolve into something more.
Just don’t quit your day job just yet. The thought of getting out of bed to do something you’re passionate about is exciting, but you need to keep a level head. There’s a learning curve to monetizing any task, especially something so dear to your heart. The transition from hobby dressmaker to full-time Etsy retailer may not go as smoothly as you think, and you don’t want your financial failures to ruin your life-long love of fashion.
Test the waters first by trying out your hobby as a side hustle. This hip new term is also known as that extra gig or part-time job you have to make a little bit of cash on top of your regular income. The side hustle is a popular way for Americans to pad out their budgets. In fact, as many as 44 million people across the country supplement their income with some kind of hustle. In some cases, people have more than one!
Baking for craft shows, special events, and friends can be a great way to dip your toes into the world of side hustling. It also needs a lot of capital to get off the ground. Depending on the laws in your state, you’ll need to work in a commercial kitchen and have a food handler’s certificate. You also must think about the cost of ingredients and packaging.
Now you can understand why you should stick with your 9–5 — at least until you can figure out what your average overhead costs are. It may take a while to recognize a pattern through trail and error and don’t be surprised if you end up dipping into your personal savings to cover these costs.
This strategy can work for a while, but leaning too heavily on your savings may leave you unprepared for financial emergencies. So focused are you on the side hustle, your personal finances may suffer. It may prevent you from making household repairs, visiting the doctor, or making an essential purchase.
If you ever find yourself in this kind of trouble, a personal loan can help you repair your finances. They’re perfect for when a household bill or repair has a looming deadline. In some cases, with lenders like MoneyKey, you can qualify for next day funding. They aren’t, however, business loans, so they’re best used to cover personal expenses when you experience a critical cash shortage.
As for your side hustle start-up costs, you’ll need to research how you can stir up the extra money you’ll need before you make even more extra money. Sound confusing? Don’t be discouraged! Every great idea needs a little capital before you can expect it to turn into a cash cow. Luckily, you can find practical how-to guides like this one for first-time hustlers on Google.
Hopefully, you find a strategy that’s guaranteed to sort out your side hustle. Whether it does end up being a baking company or something else entirely, consider your hobby wisely. It may be more than just a way to pass the time. It could be a fun way to make extra cash!