3 Ways Having a Side Hustle Has Benefited Me

by Maurie Backman | Published on Oct. 25, 2021

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A woman sitting at her kitchen counter next to bowls of fruit and a laptop and writing in a notebook.

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Here's why I'm thankful I held down a side hustle when I worked full-time as a salaried employee.

These days, I work full-time as a freelance writer. But years back, I spent my days working for a marketing firm for a salary. For the most part, that meant working 45 to 50 hours a week as a matter of course and spending hours each week commuting. Between that and having a household to maintain, finding time for my side hustle -- writing -- wasn't easy. I'm glad I stuck with it despite the challenges, though. Here are a few ways that side hustle really came in handy.

1. My side hustle helped me boost my savings

The money I was earning from my writing gigs wasn't money I needed to pay my bills. That's because my husband and I had set up our budget to ensure that we could cover our various expenses based on our salaries alone. But some months, I earned a lot from my side hustle, and I was able to use that income to grow our savings account.

Through the years, we've encountered our share of home repairs, some of which have cost many thousands of dollars. We've also embarked on some pretty big renovations, like finishing our basement. Having that extra money in savings really came in handy for all of those expenses.

2. It helped me indulge without guilt

I didn't grow up with a lot of money, so a part of me has always felt a little guilty indulging in certain purchases or spending chunks of cash that I know I could be saving instead. That's why I'm grateful for my side hustle.

There were many times when I wanted to go out to dinner a few extra times during the month or take an extra vacation. Knowing I could work more and earn the cash to pay for those things eliminated the guilt factor. My logic was that I was already working full-time and earning a full-time salary, and so any extra money should really be mine to enjoy.

Of course, as mentioned, I did save a lot of my side hustle earnings. But I also spent some of that cash without feeling bad about it.

3. It helped me sleep better at night

The marketing firm I worked for was a fairly new company that went through its share of changes. At times, I wasn't sure whether those changes would be beneficial to me as an employee, and I contemplated leaving several times. I also worried sometimes that the company would look to restructure and downsize staff in the process.

If it weren't for my side hustle, I would've had a lot of sleepless nights during those rocky periods. But because I had a steady stream of income on the side, I was less concerned. In fact, several of my side hustle clients had made it clear that if I wanted to take on more work, it would be made available to me. That alone served as a source of comfort.

If you're on the fence about getting a side hustle, it pays to think about the different ways it can improve your life. Sure, working that second gig will mean having less downtime, so you'll need to weigh that downside against the perks. But if you've been toying with the idea of getting a side hustle, why not give it a try and see if it works for you? You may benefit in more ways than you'd think.

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