My Friend Makes $3 an Hour From Her Side Hustle. Here's Why She Does It Anyway

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  • My friend sells handmade jewelry that only yields about $3 an hour when accounting for materials costs.
  • Because it's a hobby she enjoys, it's worth it to her to stick with it, despite such minimal earnings.

She loves her work and is willing to do it for very little pay.

If you've been thinking about picking up a side hustle, you're not alone. A good 45% of Americans have a side hustle currently, according to research from Zippia.

Holding down a side hustle could benefit you financially in many ways. It could be your ticket to paying off your credit card debt once and for all, or socking money away for another big goal, like buying a home. And some side hustles have the potential to be quite lucrative, so much so that they might boost your income substantially.

But one friend of mine who works a side hustle only makes about $3 an hour from it on average. And despite the minimal amount of income she's earning, she insists that her side gig is worth holding onto.

It's not just about the money

A lot of people take on side hustles because they truly need an income boost. My friend is in the fortunate position of not being in that situation. She and her husband both work and earn decent salaries, and between their primary earnings, they have enough money to cover their mortgage payments, pay for their cars, and live a generally comfortable lifestyle.

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Rather, my friend holds down a side hustle because she finds it fun. Years ago, she started making jewelry at home in her spare time. She then started giving out homemade jewelry as gifts to different people in her life.

At that point, people started asking if it was possible to purchase jewelry from her. And she decided her answer would be yes.

Initially, my friend thought she might make a decent profit on her jewelry. But then she realized that to do so, she'd need to compromise on the quality of her materials. She didn't want to do that. But because it costs her so much money to procure those materials, at the end of the day, she only makes about $3 an hour in the course of her work.

That's okay in her book, though. The way she sees it, making jewelry is something she does for fun. If she can make an extra $20 a month here and $30 a month there, that's a little bit of extra spending money she didn't have before. Plus, this way, she can, at the very least, cover the cost of her materials, which she'd probably be buying anyway.

When a side hustle stops you from spending money

Not only does my friend not mind earning very little from her side hustle, but she also acknowledges that making jewelry is a good way for her to stay occupied on evenings and weekends. If it weren't for that hobby, she feels she'd probably spend more time going out and spending money on various things, like restaurant meals and shopping. So while her side gig isn't particularly lucrative by itself, she insists that it saves her money.

Many people who take on a side hustle do so for the money, and there's nothing wrong with that. But in some cases, a side hustle can serve a purpose other than making a huge difference for you financially. And you shouldn't necessarily write off a low-paying side gig if it benefits you in other ways.

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