3 Signs Your New Side Hustle Isn't Working Out

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  • A side hustle could help your financial picture improve.
  • It pays to dump a side hustle when it doesn't pay enough, it's hurting your productivity at your primary job, and it's essentially taking up all of your free time.

It may be time to call it quits.

If you picked up a side hustle last year, you weren't alone. In 2022, 40% of Americans had a second job, according to data from Zapier.

Now, the reality is that holding down a side hustle can lead to numerous financial benefits. For one thing, earnings from a side job could make it possible to build some savings if you're lacking in that department. A side hustle could also make it easier to pay off nagging credit card debt or save for big goals, like buying a home.

But not every side hustle works out so well. And if these signs apply to you, it may be time to ditch your side hustle and replace it with another one.

1. You're not earning anywhere close to what you expected

Some people hold down side hustles more for the fun of it, and they don't really care if they don't earn a lot of money. But if your goal in getting a second job is to boost your income substantially, and that hasn't been happening, then it may be time to call it quits.

Let's say you've gotten hired to tutor students for $50 an hour. At first, that may have seemed like a great gig with a great hourly rate. But if you're spending an hour on the road just to get to each student, you're actually only earning $25 an hour. And if you're also spending $10 on gas, then your earnings are whittled down to $15. That's not nearly the same as the $50 you might've expected.

2. It's impacting your productivity at your main job

Not every side hustle is one you can do after hours or on weekends. It may be that you've gotten a gig designing websites for small businesses. But if those clients keep calling or emailing you with requests during the day, and you have to keep stepping away from your office to deal with that, it's apt to impact your ability to do well at your main job. And that could put your primary job at risk.

3. You're struggling with a lack of free time and sleep

Working a side hustle is going to mean giving up some of your downtime. But if it's taking up all of your spare time, that's not a good thing, as it might easily lead to burnout.

What’s more, if you've been forced to cut back on sleep due to having a side hustle, that's really not a good thing. Not sleeping properly could negatively affect your health, not to mention leave you groggy and grumpy every morning. So if your side hustle has effectively taken over your life, and there's really no way to cut back your hours, then it may be time to find another gig.

If your side hustle isn't working out, it doesn't mean you have to give up on earning an extra income. But you may need to make some changes to the type of work you're doing. The good thing, though, is that you can learn from a failed side hustle attempt and avoid a repeat during your next go-round.

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