Side hustles are all the rage these days, and for good reason. A second job could be just the thing that helps you build savings, pay off debt, or simply have more money on hand for things like leisure, travel, or dining out.
That said, the last thing you want to do is pursue a side hustle that ends up hurting you more than it helps. Here are a few indications that the venture you've chosen to pursue isn't the best one for you.
1. It's costing you too much money to get it off the ground
It often takes money to make money, and there's nothing wrong with investing some cash into kick-starting your side venture. For example, if you're looking to be a freelance caterer, you'll need equipment like portable pots and pans to get started. But there comes a point when you can only afford to sink so much cash into a side gig without it hurting you financially, so if you've been hemorrhaging cash rather than earning it, it may be time to reassess your options and see if you've made the right choice. This especially holds true if you don't already have a solid pipeline of clients clamoring for your services.
2. You've been at it for a while, and it just isn't paying
Some side gigs are more lucrative than others. But if you've been putting in the time for months and are barely noticing a change in your income, then it could be that you've chosen a side hustle that customers just aren't interested in. For example, if it takes you several hours to create a single custom-beaded piece of jewelry, and you've sold only one or two in the past month for $30 a pop, that's probably not doing much for your finances -- in which case it pays to find something new.
3. It's causing you to compromise your main job
Your side hustle will no doubt eat into your free time on evenings and weekends. But one thing you can't afford to have it do is take up your time when you're supposed to be working your main job. If that's what been happening, be sure to rethink that arrangement. For example, if you're designing websites for small businesses on the side, but most of your clients insist on holding conference calls to discuss their projects during regular working hours, that could cause you to fall behind on your main job, thereby putting it on the line. And while an extra $1,000 a month from website design may be nice, it's not worth losing the $4,000 a month your primary job pays you.
4. You just plain hate it
Pushing yourself to hold down a side hustle is tougher when you can't stand the work in question. If that's the case, don't torture yourself. If you do, you're more likely to burn out and quit. Instead, find a gig that's more enjoyable. Remember, you can always take a hobby you enjoy, like crafting or photography, and turn it into a little business. Similarly, if you love animals, signing up to walk dogs or pet-sit is a great way to score some cash and some cuddles at the same time.
Your side hustle should serve as a solid source of income without making you miserable or putting your main job at risk. If that's not the case, go out and find a new one that better suits your needs and your finances.