3 Side Hustle Struggles You Might Face -- and What to Do About Them

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  • Side hustles can open the door to logistical and accounting challenges.
  • The right strategies could make your side gig much more manageable.

Side hustles can pose challenges. Here are some common ones you might face.

You may have decided to get a side hustle to boost your income in the face of rising bills. Or maybe you have a specific financial goal you're working toward, like buying a house or paying off your credit cards for good.

There's a definite upside to having a side hustle -- growing your earnings and buying yourself more financial freedom. But there are challenges you might encounter if you hold down a second job. Here are three you might struggle with -- and how to handle them.

1. Not having the time

When you work full-time, finding hours in the week to tackle your side hustle can be tough. And the last thing you want to do is drive yourself to the point of burnout, or show up so sleep-deprived to your main job that it compromises your performance.

Rather than struggle to squeeze your side hustle into your schedule, carve out time for it ahead of time. At the start of each week, take a look at your work-related and personal calendar and see where your side hustle might fit in. Perhaps you can only manage two hours of side gig work one week and five hours another week -- and that's okay. It's important to be realistic about what your schedule allows for.

2. Figuring out what taxes you owe

Some side hustles are done on a freelance basis, which means you won't have taxes withheld from your earnings the same way your full-time employer takes them out of your paycheck. But the IRS requires you to pay taxes on side earnings as you go, which means you may need to get into the habit of paying estimated quarterly taxes.

If you're new to having a side hustle, you may not know how much to pay. But you have options. You can either consult an accountant for help, or you can use an online calculator to determine what you should be paying.

3. Feeling guilty when you aren't working

Some side hustles limit the amount of work you can do. For example, if your side hustle involves content editing and the company that hires you only needs five hours of your time per week, that's all the time you can put in.

But some side hustles can be done at your own pace. If you drive for a ride-hailing company, for example, you can work one hour a week or 20 -- it's up to you. And that flexibility could end up backfiring on you, because what it might do is lead you to feel guilty if there are times when you'd rather sit home and relax than plug away at your second job.

To combat this issue, try setting a weekly or monthly income goal and letting yourself off the hook once you've met it, or once you're clearly on target to meet it. So, let's say you're hoping to earn $400 on a monthly basis. If you're at the midway point of the month and you've already taken in $325, then you can probably let yourself relax on the couch for an evening rather than force yourself to put in some side hustle hours.

While side hustles can be a wonderful thing, they can also be tricky to manage. If you're struggling with any of the items above, come up with a plan to rectify the situation so you're able to hang onto that secondary income stream.

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