Let's face it: Life can get expensive, and no matter how much money your paycheck brings home, sometimes it's not enough. Thankfully, there's a great solution to this problem that doesn't involve racking up debt to keep up with your bills: side income.
From dog-walking companies to one-person consulting firms, side businesses are popping up everywhere these days, so much so that 25% of U.S. adults have one, according to new data from The Hartford. And though you'd think millennials would've cornered the market on side hustles, baby boomers and Gen Xers are more likely to have a venture on the side than their younger counterparts.
If you're on the fence about starting a side business, here are some benefits that might sway you to finally move forward:
1. The financial upside could be substantial
When we think of the folks who have side gigs, it's natural to assume that many of them aren't making the big bucks. But actually, 18% of those surveyed by The Hartford earn between $5,000 and $10,000 a year from their side businesses, while another 18% bring home anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000.
Even if you only manage to hit the low end of the latter range, an extra $10,000 a year is hardly pocket change. Quite the contrary: It could help you build an emergency fund, save for a home, or pad your nest egg for retirement. Or it could simply improve your day-to-day quality of life by allowing you to spend more freely. And that's reason enough to put in the time.
2. You'll buy yourself some income security
Sometimes, even the most hard-working, talented individuals wind up getting laid off from their jobs. Even if you've been at your company for decades, you can't dismiss the possibility of that happening to you.
Having a side business, therefore, is a good way to buy yourself a helpful dose of income security. If you have a second gig going, you'll get peace of mind from knowing that if you are let go from your main job unexpectedly, you'll have some money coming in while you search for a new full-time role. At the same time, you'll have an opportunity to turn your side business into your primary income source should you choose to go that route.
3. You'll get a chance to grow professionally
Having a side business isn't just about making money -- it's also about building relationships, picking up certain skills, and figuring out what it is you're good at. While it's true that money tends to be the primary motivator in starting a side venture, the reality is that doing so allows you to spend your evenings and weekends focusing on something meaningful, all the while giving yourself a chance to succeed on a professional level.
If you're unsure whether a side business is right for you, why not start small and see where it goes? You don't have to dedicate every free hour you have to your side venture for it to be successful. In fact, nearly half of adults with a side business spend an average of 10 hours or less on it per week. So if you're eager to earn more money, buy yourself a degree of financial security, and further your career, it's time to give that side business a go.