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a little something on the side?

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side income sources are more popular than you think

I work in a team of around 21 people, including myself. Of those 21 people, seven (that I know of) have source of income aside from their jobs. Three are landlords, two are basically ebay dealers, and the other has a custom printing business (and there’s me, with a website).

Normally, I think of side or additional income as being a very minority interest, but one third of my team, whilst still a minority, is actually quite a large minority. And these aren’t the sort of people you’d think of as being entrepreneurial at all.

None of us are actually planning on giving up our day jobs to pursue these full time. I really like my job, and that’s a common sentiment where I work. Also, these are definitely side gigs that would be pretty hard to make serious money from full time.

It does go to show that if you still have any spare time, you can leverage it into money if you want to. Maybe not a great deal of money, but it all adds up - and if it comes from a hobby, then that’s definitely killing two birds with one stone.

I’ve made suggestions for generating additional income before, jobs, businesses and weird ideas. But, now that we’re all in recession perhaps it’s a good time to dust off the lists and see what we can come up with together. I’ll start with my favourite five, why not add yours to the comments:

  • relief registrar - get paid to marry people in civil ceremonies
  • niche blogging - exploit the long tail of the internet
  • mystery shopping - not so much an income as a free lunch
  • PC troubleshooting and repair - I might pay for this if my computer broke
  • jewellery making - set yourself up with an Etsy shop

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12 comments for “a little something on the side?”

  1. Side incomes can be a great boost from personal finances. The endevours can also be a great learning environment. And the efforts have the potential to replace the 9-5 job. Granted only a few that start side incomes will ever see them grow to that level, but it is possible.

    Posted by Curious Cat Investing and Economics Blog | December 10, 2008, 1:37 am
  2. I like your relief registar. Never even heard of that before but think it’s hilarious. Another weird idea is donating plasma. I’ll be honest it helped get me some extra cash for spring break in college.

    Posted by Craig | December 10, 2008, 9:34 pm
  3. I am not a huge success at that. I made $1.73 from my pay per click articles last month. On my most popular article over a thousand people clicked on it. I cleaned up with a big $2.98 in 11 months. I would mention the nine tickle me elmo dolls I own from my year as an ebay seller but that would be kinda embarrassing. I do make a decent amount copywriting but decent only when you add it all together.

    Posted by Air Jordans | December 11, 2008, 12:52 am
  4. Side income has been part of my financial plan for a long time now, and I can’t see myself ever getting away from it. I think it is important to have income coming from multiple sources. It’s a great hedge against unemployment or other decreases in income.

    Posted by Patrick | December 11, 2008, 11:00 am
  5. My experiences on the web have been rather similar to Air Jordans! I do think it is a good thing to do though. Mostly as an exercise in writing which is harder than it looks … for me it is not really something I am looking for money for doing.

    A side income I have is freelance teaching but that is rather specialist in my case and a bit of a captive audience.

    Posted by Llama for brains | December 11, 2008, 4:26 pm
  6. @Craig:
    I saw a job advert for one in the local newspaper about 18 months ago. I thought it was a brilliant way to make a bit of extra money.

    @Air Jordans:
    Making money online is not as easy as it looks sometimes. I’m sure you’ll strike on something more successful eventually.

    It’s something I never really considered before I started blogging, but now I think it’s pretty much essential - it’s much easier for me to get more money from my side things than from a pay rise at work.

    Posted by plonkee | December 11, 2008, 8:50 pm
  7. My side gig is a fitness instructor at a local gym. I get almost $20/hour and a free membership for me and my family. Since I have to work out anyways…

    Posted by Gypsie | December 13, 2008, 1:11 am
  8. “Relief registrar”? What a great idea! I’ve never heard of it in this country (U.S.) Here, you have to be a minister, a judge, or a justice of the peace perform a marriage ceremony.

    One friend made a living by combining three occupations most would probably think of as side jobs:

    Paid soprano for a church choir (she had degrees in voice)
    Massage therapist (she took a training course to get herself certified)
    Yoga instructor (ditto)

    Except for the choir gig, I think she did pretty well. Don’t know how she engineered health insurance, though.

    Posted by Funny about Money | December 15, 2008, 1:18 am

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