Side Gigs

I am a stay at home mom and Weston works for a Christian non-profit. He loves his job, loves the mission of the organization, doesn't so much love his salary. But that's what you get with non-profits right?

Before he took this job he'd do graphic design jobs on the side to let his creative side come out. It gave him a little bit of joy and a little extra cash. Now he does it mostly for the cash.

I started doing super part time customer support for a website back in October and it's been perfect for our stage of life. Every now and then they offer some extra stuff that needs to be done and they've been at perfect times for us (buying a house and then remodeling this house).

Why our side gigs work:

1. They fit our personalities - I'm introverted and the idea of having to be on the phone with people, or even having to work several hours at a time is exhausting. Weston loves being creative and loves helping people out that usually wouldn't be able to afford to outsource their graphic design. He loves helping smaller churches, organizations, and friends' start ups even if it means he's charging less than he normally would.

2. They fit our schedules - Weston works in the evenings after Fitz is in bed and doesn't always have a project going on. He's learned to split his time well between the graphic design gigs, Fitz, and me and if he needs to, will just stay up extra late to finish a project. I LOVE getting to stay at home with Fitz everyday. I couldn't be tied to a computer all day or even for an hour at a time and try to watch Fitz at the same time. My job allows me to do all of it from my phone and it's about an hour a day of work spread throughout.

3. They're for extra money, not to make ends meet - While Weston isn't making bank at his full time job, it's enough for us to live off of, give off of, and save for a few rainy day categories. Our side gigs let us celebrate our anniversary, save for retirement, add a benevolence category to our budget, and save for a future adoption (which... are so expensive). For us, if they were to make ends meet, they'd be more of a stress than (mentally) helpful. I'd always be looking for how I could make more money, Weston would be worried about not always having a project lined up.

Tips for choosing a side gig:

1. Have friends and family looking for you - My sister actually found the job I have now. She sent me a text with the information and the rest is history! She knew I couldn't be strapped to my computer or answer phone calls, and that I didn't want something that took a ton of my time.
Weston and my family and our friends are always looking for possible projects for him. In fact, when we moved to Tyler, a friend who Weston had done work for previously came up and offered him a lot of work that lasted through March. It's even developed into more work with the rest of that company.

2. Pick something that actually makes sense - If tedious tasks drive you nuts, don't do surveys for money. If the idea of having strangers in your car terrifies you (like me!), don't drive for Uber or Lyft. Are you really good at grammar and always finding mistakes in stuff you read? Maybe try to get into editing. If you have a knack for making things, try selling it on Facebook or Etsy.

3. Don't expect to make a ton of money immediately - It takes time to build up any business, even if it's just a small side business. Unless you're doing something that is a consistent $___/week/month, whatever, it'll take a little bit of time to build up an inventory, or get your name out there for whatever you're doing.

4. Don't be afraid to try a few different things  - It's okay to fail and decide that whatever you chose isn't for you. Give it a good try though, and if it's still not working out, try something else.

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