Own a Home? You May Want to Get a Side Hustle for This Reason

A woman working at her business.

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It's all about the extra money -- and why you might need it.


Key points

  • Home repairs can pop up when you least expect them to.
  • Having supplemental income could help you cover them with less stress.


This past summer, my air conditioning system decided to die in the middle of a heatwave. That left my husband and I in a tough spot.

Normally, replacing our air conditioner is the sort of job we'd want to research and compare quotes on. But with 98-degree temperatures at play, we knew we had to move quickly. That meant calling a few companies, getting two or three quotes, and going with the one that was the most affordable and had the fastest turnaround time.

All told, replacing our air conditioner cost about $7,000. Thankfully, we had enough money in our savings account to cover that repair.

But whenever I dip into my emergency fund, I feel compelled to put back the money I've taken out as quickly as possible. As a freelance writer, what I'll often do is pick up more assignments when my income needs a boost.

That's not an option that's available to everyone, though. Take my husband, for example. He would've been willing to work longer hours at his job to help put that money back, too. But as a salaried employee, it doesn't matter how many hours he logs -- his pay stays the same.

It's for this reason that I like to tell homeowners to consider lining up a side hustle. That extra income could come in very handy when repairs inevitably strike.

An effective way to deal with surprise bills

As a homeowner, it's important to have money set aside for emergencies like home repairs. But your emergency savings also need to cover things like surprise medical bills and car problems as well. If you own a home, a good bet is to get yourself a side hustle you can ramp up when unexpected home repairs arise.

Imagine you can normally cover your bills with your paycheck, but there's no room left over to pay for large repairs, and you only have a limited amount of money set aside for emergencies. If you sign up to drive for a ride-hailing company, you can put in limited hours during periods when your bills aren't piling up and then work more hours in the wake of an expensive home repair bill.

Similarly, you can start a business designing websites on the side if you have the skills to do so and only take on one client at a time. Then, if you're suddenly hit with a $2,000 roof repair, you can take on a bunch of clients to cover that bill (or replace the emergency fund withdrawal you take to cover it).

It's especially important to look at getting a side hustle if you own a home but have very little money in savings or none at all. Otherwise, even a smaller repair could drive you into debt.

It never hurts to have flexibility

I don't have a side hustle right now because my job lends to being able to do extra work. But before I went freelance and worked as a salaried employee, I also did work on the side to drum up extra income. That money came in handy when unplanned bills popped up.

If you own a home, it's a good idea to explore your side hustle options. Having an extra job could not only help you tackle repairs but also give you more flexibility with your everyday bills. That alone is a great thing to have.

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