Earn More On The Side
Want to boost your income? A side hustle could be just the thing for you. Claire Connell looks at some popular revenue streams, and finds out the pros and cons.
19 October 2021
Looking for ideas to boost your income? Pick from platforms that are part of the sharing economy or look at some tried and tested part-time jobs of the past, and you could be on your way to getting richer.
Selling items online
This one is a win, win, win. You’ll win by decluttering your home or garage of your unwanted items. You’ll make some extra cash. And then the person who buys your old gear gets a bargain.
If you have new, unused items, you can make decent money. TradeMe says its most popular categories are home and living, and clothing.
Just make sure you charge enough for postage and watch out for dodgy buyers.
Online surveys can be a relatively easy way to make extra cash. Sometimes you’ll be paid in cash, points, or given vouchers for your time.
Online resource MoneyHub recommends i-Say, Valued Opinions, and Opinion World as the three most trusted sites. Beware of suspicious websites that may shortchange you.
If you have a bit of spare time and are an animal-lover, try offering dog-walking services. There are many companies set up in the main centres offering this service for pets owned by busy people.
Working for a legitimate company ensures you’ll be covered by employment law if any issues arise, otherwise try putting a flyer in mailboxes around your suburb.
The Baby-Sitters Club book range inspired generations of teens to start a side hustle looking after the children of friends and family.
There’s still merit in the idea – it can be an easy side-hustle to run on the side, especially if you can do after-school pick-ups.
First, it’s important you like children and it’s best you have experience with them.
The set-up costs are minimal. A valid first-aid certificate, covering children and babies, would be a good idea.
Creative work on the side
If you’re skilled in websites, design, content production, or digital marketing, help smaller companies in your spare time.
Often small companies don’t have huge budgets, and might only want a few hours a week. The flexibility could work both ways too. Just make sure you’re being paid reliably.
Admin or accounts
Like creative work, many small businesses need a helping hand when it comes to keeping their records in check.
If your day job is working in admin, accounts, payroll or financial records, you could pick up some extra work on the side. Word of mouth can be great for generating new work.
Airbnb a room
If you have a spare room, and it’s not in use for a flat mate, consider renting it out short term. This can be a handy revenue stream if you’re happy to share your space.
Just check your insurance covers you for any mishaps.
Ride-sharing driver or food delivery
Uber, Zoomy and Ola make up the main ride-sharing market in New Zealand. Then there’s food delivery services like Uber Eats.
Beware, you might not earn as much as you think after expenses, GST, tax and car maintenance costs are subtracted.
Speak to a few drivers from different companies first, to hear the pros and cons, and to get their tips on how to maximise your earnings.
If you’re prepared to work odd hours, drivers say generally evenings and nights are the busiest times.
Tips for a side hustle
Use your skills and passions. It goes without saying that it’s best to pick something you like. Don’t sign up as an Uber driver if you don’t like people or driving, and avoid babysitting if kids aren’t your thing.
Pay your tax. If you’re side-hustling, do it legally. Declare all your income. Visit business.govt.nz for all the information you need to keep things legal.
Time versus money. Don’t wear yourself out doing a fulltime job plus your side hustle. There’s more to life than work, so don’t give up all your spare time and make sure you have balance.
Run the numbers. Weigh up the financials before you sign up to anything or launch in full steam. Sometimes the time it takes you to set up and run a side hustle isn’t worth it for the small amounts you’ll make.
Work smart. Ask yourself if it’d be better to get a new fulltime job that pays more, rather than waste time on a side hustle. Think carefully about what’s best for you, your goals, and lifestyle.
It doesn’t have to be forever. You might not want to do dog walking three times a week for the rest of your life. But committing to a side hustle trial period of, say, six months could give you short-term gains, and buy you time to assess if you want to keep doing the extra work.
Do your research. If you’re about to join a company as a contractor, speak to other employees, or previous employees. It’s a good way to get insights into what working there is like, and if it’ll be right for you.
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