Is it just me or does it seem like everyone is looking for a side hustle that prints money while they sleep? That would be one heck of a infomercial! In this post I’ll walk you through my logic for the easiest side hustle you can start today. Certainly there are drawbacks but everyone has got to start somewhere.
What if I told you’ve I’ve been doing a side hustle every month that has paid me thousands every year and you could do it to? Do I have your attention? This is the easiest side hustle to start today!
What if I told you it was budgeting?
Wait wait wait! Hear me out. I can prove from real world experience that proves this is possible. No this isn’t some sexy startup or mid level marketing company. This side hustle (aka budgeting) doesn’t require sales experience. Doesn’t require programming skills. Doesn’t even require numchuk skills.
The goal of a side hustle
The reason people want to make more money is because they want to increase the gap between income and expenses. Side hustles typically focus on the income side but there isn’t any reason the other, darker, scarier side can’t get some attention too.
More income is a great goal. The problem with it is that it usually takes time to build something up and start bringing in more income. Utilizing budgeting as a side hustle can lead to results in a month or less. This side hustle starts with tracking expenses. This is the easiest side hustle you can start today.
Wealth Creation is a 2 way street
It takes money to make money. I know you’ve heard it because I’ve heard it hundreds of times. One part of creating wealth is on the income side. Make more. Invest wisely. You know the drill.
This part of the wealth creation equation is sexy. People want to make $250k a year, have no debt and live the good life. They think, I dont need a mansion. I’ll take a smaller house with a pool.
The other part of the wealth creation is not nearly as sexy. People picture a nerdy engineer with glasses sitting over a computer putting numbers into a spreadsheet. FYI I dont have glasses but most everything else is true.
Even though one seems cooler than the other, they create the same result which is more cash at the end of the month.
Where this doesn’t work
Like most things in life, budgeting and personal finances don’t involve any tricks or hacks. It takes hard work, persistence and planning. Do those things long enough and you’ll be a success.
While I truly believe that budgeting is a solid side hustle to start creating a gap between income and expenses there isn’t a secret to it. This post doesn’t ‘contain some secret formula.
With that being said, if you are already into budgeting and/or frugality this budgeting side hustle probably isn’t for you.
However, if you aren’t. I truly think that budgeting can produce side hustle type money for you.
The math behind budgeting as a side hustle
The cold hard numbers. That is what everyone is after when it comes to side hustle. Lets take a look at two different months to determine what the potential is.
Month 1 – the no budget month
I’ve had this type of month, unfortunately. The month where I start with a budget but never actually track my expenses. Life gets busy right? Add to the fact that my wife doesn’t know where we are at in our spending plan so we put our thumb up in the air and just see what feels right as we check out at Target.
Guess what happens? We over spend. Boy do we over spend. So much it hurts sometimes. I’d say our overspending is anywhere between 5-25% of our budget. Thats HUGE!
Month 2 – the budget month
I’d like to say this is the norm. It has been as of late after I realized the power of budgeting but it hasn’t been as much as I’d like. This is the type of month where you start with a monthly budget, track your expenses most days and keep an eye on your spending. When my wife asks me how we are doing I can say with confidence where we are at and what we need to watch. These months we do great.
It turns out that if you put a plan together and stick with it, the results are what you’d expect.
The Hourly Rate
If we look at the difference in our two examples above its clear that budgeting and tracking expenses can save me (and probably you) 5-25% of your typical monthly budget.
How much time though? Doesn’t it take a few hours to set up a budget and then 15-30 minutes every day updating it? Not hardly!
I’ve been budgeting for over 5 years now so its an old hat. However, I think its perfectly reasonable to assume you can put together a monthly budget in about 15 minutes. You have to check a few things. Maybe even scroll through your calendar to see what you’re doing but it doesn’t take too much more than that.
Add all this time up and you’ve got 15 minutes to set up a budget and about 100 minutes to track it (I only update my budget during the work week). Add up all that time and you’ve got ~ 2 hours.
Depending on some quick math I’d say that this whole budgeting thing could easily pay you ~$100 an hour. Isn’t that crazy? Like I said, this is the easiest side hustle you can start today!
The Downside to budgeting as a side hustle
Throw out the fact that budgeting isn’t as sexy as growing a money tree in your back yard and budgeting still isn’t perfect. There is limited upside, I get that.
The long term effects of budgeting are enormous though. Yes the first month or two it will only save a few hundred dollars. However, what about avoiding lifestyle inflation? Lifestyle inflation is a huge wealth killer and you can avoid it by budgeting.
What am I missing?
What do you think? Am I completely crazy? Let me know!