Could a Side Hustle Help You Afford a Home?

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If you're struggling with housing expenses, it could pay to take on a second job.

Key points

  • Many of today's homeowners are struggling with high housing costs.
  • A large number have taken on a second job to keep up with their bills, and you may want to as well.

Many people do their part to run the numbers before buying a home and make sure they're not getting in over their heads. But the problem with homeownership is that some of your costs can be unpredictable. You may start out with reasonable property taxes only to have them rise a lot over time. And you could end up getting stuck with expensive maintenance and costly repairs, especially as your home ages.

In a recent ConsumerAffairs report, 34% of homeowners say their housing expenses are harder to afford than expected. And 27% agree that their homeownership costs have increased over time.

But 46% of homeowners are taking one key step to afford their housing costs -- working a second job. You may want to consider going a similar route.

The income boost you need

Even if you're able to afford your monthly mortgage payments, the peripheral costs of owning a home may be wreaking havoc on your budget. If you're struggling to keep up with your bills, you may want to look at getting a side hustle.

If you're able to boost your income, you may have a much easier time tackling housing expenses like maintenance and rising taxes. And just as importantly, that second job may give you an opportunity to build up some savings so if you're hit with unexpected home repairs, you'll have cash reserves to tap in order to cover them.

What side hustle should you get? Well, it depends on a few factors:

  • Your skill set
  • Your income goals
  • Your schedule

There are plenty of jobs to be had designing websites and editing web content. But those require specific skills that you may or may not have.

Meanwhile, you may find that certain side gigs pay more than others.Think about how much of an income boost you need, as that could dictate the route you choose to take and the number of hours you commit to.

Finally, determine what sort of schedule you're willing and able to maintain. If you work long hours at your main job and have numerous responsibilities outside of work, you may need a side hustle that's more flexible -- perhaps one you can do from home or completely set your own hours. But if you're able to commit to something like preset shifts at a local store, that could result in a more steady stream of income.

Don't continue to struggle

Some people wind up having a hard time managing their housing costs because they take on too high a mortgage to begin with. But in other situations, homeowners struggle because their costs rise unexpectedly, their income takes a hit, or both.

If you're having difficulty swinging your housing costs, it doesn't really matter how you got to that point. The key is to do something about it so you don't fall behind on your mortgage payments or other bills. A side hustle could be your ticket to making your home more affordable and alleviating a world of financial stress.

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