Should You Take On a Side Hustle?

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You can drive for a ride-share service, deliver for various companies, or take on task-based work with very little effort to get started. In many cases, these side-hustle gigs take nothing more than filling out an application (assuming you have the applicable skills).

It can be tempting to take on extra work in order to put some extra cash in your pocket. However, side hustles aren't for everyone. Taking one on may not be the right thing for you and you should consider the following before getting started.

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What is your money situation?

Is there a financial reason you want a side hustle? Taking on extra work to pay off debt makes sense. If you can pay down high-interest credit card loans or get out from under student loans, a side hustle might make sense.

The same could be true if you want something extra without tapping your savings. For example, working a side hustle to save up for a vacation might make sense, but be careful in using side hustle money to cover a recurring expense like a car loan, because that ties you to the secondary job.

What is your time worth?

There are some things that are worth more than money. If your side hustle hurts your focus on your career or keeps you from finishing a degree, the extra money may not be worth it.

The same can be true if working a side hustle means sacrificing family time. Money can do a lot of things, but it can't replace memories or make up for times you weren't present.

What will you really earn?

One of the risks of taking on a side hustle is that you don't earn what you expect to. You can research this beforehand online, and you can talk to other people in your area who take on the same type of work.

In some cases, you simply have to put some time in to see how much you make. If you do that, keep records -- record your expenses as well -- and be willing to walk away if the money earned does not live up to your expectations.

Is this the best way for you to earn money?

A talented contractor friend of mine told me he was driving for Uber on Friday and Saturday nights. He made $200-$300 "extra" each week but was putting in long nights that affected his ability to do anything else on the weekends.

In reality, he would have earned more money from taking on side building projects. He had many offered and had turned some down to make less money driving. That would be fine if he needed the change of pace, but it was a waste of his talents since he was not burned out on his main line of work.

Know what you are getting into

Earning extra money or paying off debt via a side hustle can be a great thing. Working a second job can also harm your quality of life or take away from more important things.

Value money, but make sure you understand what you're getting into. Use a side hustle to enhance your life. Don't let one set back your long-term planning.

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