Should You Get Your First Side Hustle in 2023? · Madam Money®

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It could be a smart move.

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Although side hustles aren’t a particularly new concept, they’ve grown in popularity over the past number of years. In fact, if you’re the only person you know without a side hustle, well, it’s easy to see why.

If you’re now thinking about getting a side hustle, you should know that doing so could work wonders for your finances. A side gig might make it possible to build some savingspay off debt, or generally have more flexibility when it comes to paying bills and treating yourself to different things.

But the decision to take on a side hustle is a big one. In some cases, you may be committing to a lot of extra working hours. That’s time you won’t have available to socialize, sleep, or simply enjoy lounging around binge-watching your favorite series.

So should you get your first side hustle in 2023? Ask yourself these questions to find out.

1. Is money tight?

Having extra money is really never a bad thing. But if you’re worried about fitting a side hustle into your schedule, you may want to take a step back and ask yourself if you really need the money.

Maybe you have a fully loaded emergency fund and manage to regularly contribute funds to yours IRA based on your current paycheck. Maybe you also have no debt and are able to cover your bills without concern. If that’s the case, a side hustle could make it possible to, say, take an extra vacation each year, or enjoy a nicer one than what you’d normally be looking at.

But is that really worth giving up so many hours of your precious free time? It may not be. And so if you’re doing well financially, it’s okay to say no to a side hustle and decide that your downtime is worth preserving.

2. Is childcare an issue?

There are plenty of side hustles you can do from the comfort of home. But if you have kids who are too young to stay home alone and you’re single, or you have a partner who works nights and weekends, then you may run into an issue with childcare if you take on a side hustle that requires you to leave the house.

Of course, there’s always the option to pay for childcare so you can work. But unless your side hustle is really lucrative, you may find that it’s not worth it financially.

It’s one thing to pay a babysitter $15 an hour if you’re able to earn $50 an hour tutoring or teaching an instrument. But if you’re looking at a $20-an-hour gig, you may decide it’s not worth giving up your time and wreaking havoc on your schedule to come away with just $5 for every hour you work.

3. Are you good at time management?

To keep down a side hustle, you need decent time management skills. That’s because that gig is only one of several responsibilities you’ll be juggling. If you’ve struggled with time management in the past, you may want to hold off on taking on an extra job. Or, you may want to start with a gig that really only requires you to commit a few hours each week.

A side hustle could do a lot of great things for your financial picture. But that doesn’t automatically mean you should get one. Run through these questions before diving in.

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