At times, we all wish we could earn more money.
Be it for an increase in lifestyle or just to make things a little easier day to day.
But my question to you all today is “Do you really need to earn more money”?
It may seem like a slightly odd question, after all, I encourage people to start a side hustle or a small venture to secure a second income.
My concern today is that for alot of people, it may not actually be worth it.
That is not to say that I don’t believe people should give it a go.
I think anyone looking to better themselves or their lifestyle should at least give it a try.
I fear, however, that many do not actually need an additional income, they really just need to manage the income they have better.
In this article, I am going to highlight my main concerns.
If nothing else, hopefully this will help you to identify whether pursuing a second income is the right move for you.
Is a second income really what you need?
First things first, let me say that ANY side hustle or venture with the purpose of creating a second income is going to take time.
I know alot of people who work full time jobs, have families and still run a part time side hustle very successfully.
The question is, is that what you want?
Let me explain.
For the sake of arguement, lets take a blog as an example.
For many (who haven’t done it), creating a blog may seem like an easy hustle.
Start writing, sell some products though affiliate marketing and earn more money.
To be frank, some people are that lucky and get straight into a niche which just works.
For the most of us though, it is a slog.
Blogging, or any other side venture, takes a huge amount of time and effort, especially at the start.
Getting something like a blog up and running is not hard in itself, but building an audience and identifying yourself as an expert in your niche takes time, alot of time.
And that is one of the main things I want to get across to start.
The majority of people would not scoff at earning more money, even if it was a fraction of what you earn in your main day to day job.
After all, who doesn’t love extra cash.
One of, if not the main thing that I really want you to consider is time. Is it worth it?.
What are you giving up to be able to dedicate enough time to your venture?
Are you missing out on time with friends and family? What are your priorities in life?
As I said before, many people find that balance and are very happy with their work/life balance so don’t let it put you off, just bare it in mind if you are considering starting a side hustle of some sort.
Are your current earnings enough?
I encourage you to take a look at your current earnings.
Do you earn enough to pay all of the bills and put some money aside for a rainy day?
I know I was struggling with this, it’s part of the reason I started, to try and earn more money to be used for savings and investments.
Again, no-one would turn down earning more money but taking a look at your current income, do you really need it?
The question here is budgeting.
Do you earn enough to pay all of your bills, put some aside and have enough left to get by day to day?
If you are unsure, take a look at your household expenditure.
Can you cover the costs of living comfortably?
If you can, but you are still finding that your money is tight every month, then maybe debt is the problem.
Try this calculation:
Monthly cost of debt / monthly income X 100
It should look something like this – 700/2500 X 100 = 28%
That percentage is your debt to income ratio. Essentially, as a percentage, how much of your monthly income you are spending on paying back debts every month.
Generally, if your percentage is over 30% then you are going to find that things are tight.
Now I will argue that you should not include a mortgage in this, although I know that many say you should, it is a debt after all.
But considering your percentage, how much of your monthly income goes on debts?
Maybe this has helped you to identify a problem.
No matter what that percentage came out as, ultimately, it is money that you do not have in your pocket and, as an example, 28% of your monthly wage would go a long way if it wasn’t being used to pay back debt.
If you find that you are struggling with debt, there are plenty of articles out there which will help you to identify and tackle the problem.
For now, I will point you to one of mine which takes you through some of the options.
How much is your lifestyle costing you?
If, after carrying out the calculation above, you have found that your debts are manageable and not an issue, then I urge you to take a look at your lifestyle.
Everyone wants to, and should (in my opinion) enjoy their life.
We all work hard for our money so the last thing I want to suggest is saving everything you have once the bills are paid.
Have you all heard of frugal living and the pursuit of FIRE?.
I’m not against it but I am a firm believer that you need to reward yourself and enjoy the time you have on this planet.
There are limitations to this though and (if you wish) you can carry out a similar calculation to the one above to see just how much you are spending on your lifestyle.
Take everything you spend on lunches, dinners out, nights out, drinks etc and divide that by your monthly income and times 100.
What is your percentage?
This time, it is a personal thing and I am not going to tell you how much you should be spending every month.
Ultimately, if you can afford it then carry on, enjoy yourself.
If things are tight though, maybe split it down.
Do you find that you are spending a large amount on nights out every month?
Could you drop down to going out every other weekend? that is likely to save you a substantial amount.
Something to think about.
All I am trying to do here is to help you identify WHERE your money is going every month.
If you have carried these calculations out and can say that you do not have an extravagant lifestyle, no excessive debts, but are still struggling, then maybe dedicating some time to a side hustle of some sort is a good option for you.
Even if you do have alot of debt, it’s not exactly easy to get out of it so a side hustle could enable you to earn more money to help with those bills.
Whatever your situation, you now know where you stand.
Are you in a good position and have decided that you really don’t want to dedicate as much time to earning extra money as you would need to, then congratulations.
If you are struggling a little but still don’t want to give up your time to a side hustle, then maybe look at reducing your monthly bills where possible.
Happy to put aside some time every month, start a side hustle of some sort and start earning more money? then there are plenty of options out there.
With these resources, you should at least be able to identify something you are interested in which could make some money and get you started.
As we mentioned at the start of the article, whatever you choose will take time.
A side hustle or any form of startup will take time and effort.
If you have the time and the motivation though, you can really make a go of it.
For those of you who have decided against a side hustle, maybe concentrate on building your skills.
Aim for promotion at work or even a new career.
Any way you can increase your income without sacrificing time (I know, easier said than done).
To summarize, a side hustle or a start up take alot of time and effort.
Carry out the calculations above and maybe, you will find that you do not need to earn more money, you just need to manage the money you earn a little more.
Whichever way you decide to go, you now have the ammunition you require to make an informed decision.
I have nothing against people wanting to earn more money, I am after all trying to do that myself.
What I do not want to see is peolpe dedicating so much time to it that they miss out on life.
Identify your priorities and tackle the issue.
If it is a lack of income, start a side hustle and build your earnings.
If you earn enough but are paying a large amount of it out on debts every month, tackle them.
Or just look at reducing your monthly bills.
Might sound obvious but we are all guilty of lifestyle creep or have been at some point in our lives.
Earnings go up, lifestyle becomes more expensive and before you know it, you are no better off.
If you have decided that you want to earn more money and start a side hustle of some form, then good luck to you.
I wish you all the success in the world and hope that for anyone who has decided that it may not be for them, that this has helped.
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