I still remember my first side-hustle. Maybe it wasn’t really a side hustle, it was just a hustle hustle because I didn’t have a job. I was only 7 or 8 years old and I sold koolaid. Don’t y’all remember eating koolaid? Maybe it was just a Mississippi thing but I sold koolaid. Not to drink but to EAT. I am sure I, and my hustle, were responsible for many cases of cavities and possibly even a few ulcers and cases of pre-diabetes. Anyway, back in the day, I use to borrow or, ahem, steal packets of koolaid from our kitchen at home. I would also abscond with a little sugar. Okay, a whole lot of damn sugar and make the most delicious concoction any snaggle-tooth third grader could ever imagine. Kids use to dip pickles, candy or just lick the sticky goodness right off their fingertips.
I would take sheets of notebook paper and fold them into tiny little pouches and fill them with my delicious mixture. They sold for 25 cents a packet which made for a nice profit considering I paid nothing for the raw materials to make my products. Even if I had actually been purchasing my own packs of koolaid, sugar in bulk and notebook paper, I am sure I had priced the finished product correctly to turn a tidy profit during that time.
I would usually leave school with anywhere from a dollar or two everyday. Not a bad ROI for someone who had an 8 pm bedtime.
I think what this taught me at a very early age was always have more than one source of income. Yes, my parents provided me with everything I needed but it felt great to have those extra quarters jingling in my jacket pocket. Even if I would only save them up to buy the latest Betty and Veronica comic book or give them away to a friend or cousin, they were mine and I could do with them what I wished. That idea alone, at the tender age of 8, made me absolutely giddy with delight.
Throughout the years, that idea has remained with me. I have done everything in my 20s, 30s and now 40s to make a few extra dollars. I have sold everything from purses and accessories to houses and land. I have done consulting work, opened a tax preparation franchise, partnered in a childcare facility and a temporary agency. I have also invested in and taken so many classes and seminars to learn new ways to make money. I developed a personal theory that says, if I have to have a job, then it should pay my bills, basic retirement, healthcare and living expenses. Any other fun things I want to do, like travel, shop, extra investments and savings above 10% of my salary, business ideas, etc should be funded by money earned outside of my job.
I decided to write a series of blog posts that describe different ways to make an extra few hundred to thousand dollars a month. Many of these will cost very little to nothing to start and can be done from anywhere. Most may require you have a computer and internet access but some require you only have a smart phone. Making an extra $100 a week is easy and it adds up to over $5000 in one year. To many people, that can make a huge difference in their lives. It can mean the difference in being a renter or a homeowner. Paying off debt like student loans. Taking your kids on vacation next summer or having an emergency fund when an unexpected illness occurs. So on every Saturday, I will be posting about a side- hustle the average person can do, that doesn’t take a lot of money to start that has been proven to earn anywhere from a few hundred to thousands a month depending on the time and effort you put into it.