Even with the money from your full-time job, or maybe even both you and a partner’s full-time jobs, do you always seem to just barely keep up with expenses each month? If so you’re not alone. Most people in the middle class in America live this way, treading water month to month, bobbing up and down in agony, barely keeping their heads above the water line.
A survey conducted earlier this year by Bankrate and published by CBS News found that an astounding half of Americans say their fiscal ship would be capsized by a single $500 unexpected expense. There is an enormous emotional and even physical toll of the stress of living like that, barely clinging to the bottom of society, paying off expenses in fear as they pop up in some kind of whack a mole game from hell, giving every bill collector just enough so they don’t bite you, wondering when that $500 misfortune is going to knock you flat on your back.
The American Psychological Association even conducted a study showing that stress caused by financial troubles has an impact on Americans’ health all over the country. Well, one of the most important things you can do is cut back on any expenses you can live with cutting to try and save up a measly $500 emergency fund and feel some measure of control over your life. But another thing you can do, and the tough thing about it is that it does require more from you, more time, more effort, more labor, more energy- is make some extra income.
Ideally, find a way to make some extra income that can grow into a part-time living, then into a full-time living, then into a wealth creation machine that takes you far away from average, mediocre, middle class, and the tyranny of always having just barely enough. The cost is you have to lean in harder, work harder, do more, care more, sleep less, sort yourself out, give up your bad habits, vices, or addictions. The benefit is you have your dignity, nobility, self-esteem, and no more fear, no more danger from unexpected $500 expenses. If there’s any chance of not spending your life that way, it’s worth swinging for the fences and taking it.
Here are seven ways you can generate that extra income while working a full-time job.
1. Start Freelancing
It’s easy to start offering your services freelance on small projects or very part-time gigs online, whether to your already existing network of friends, family, and business connections, or whether you go in search of clients in the many online clearinghouses for clients and freelance workers.
This is a great way to shore up with some extra income while having a degree of control over how much extra you take on, how many hours you put in, and how much time and energy you have left to meet your other responsibilities and obligations, including your full-time job.
Think ahead as you’re picking your projects or gigs to apply for. Try to stick to things you like, know a lot about, and might be able to build up a resume around for future freelance work doing something a little more difficult or to a higher degree of quality in the same line of service and start to build up your book of business, your level of human capital and expertise in a given field, and the ability to start leaning into your chosen path and really starting to solve the tough problems and make a difference in the world.
That’s where all the rewards are: at the top of the mountain where you are alone solving the biggest problems in a line of work because you solved all the easier problems and kept moving, and now have an overview of your field to begin thinking on a higher level. Truly you can get paid to become an expert these days rather than spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on higher education to become an expert. Don’t sit back and learn. Learn by doing!