Ways to make extra money outside your 9-5 job

Take KARE of Your Money: Side hustles

HUDSON, Wisc. -- If you're looking to earn some extra money, you might want to consider a side hustle.

"A lot of people are looking for these opportunities where they can supplement their income and make a bit more, in addition to their 9-5," said David Carlson, author of the book "Hustle Away Debt."

According to Carlson, side hustles are becoming more popular as people in their twenties and thirties try to pay off student loan debt.

Lewann Babler, 31, of Hudson, Wisc., turned to side hustles after her son, Leo, was born with a rare genetic disorder.

"Something was going to kind of have to change," Babler said.

More than two years ago, Babler took a step back from the massage business she was building to focus on Leo. To make extra income, in addition to her husband's salary, she opened her Etsy shop: Vary Vibrant Designs.

"It kind of started with the little kiddo onesies and t-shirts," said Babler, who hand-dyes clothing and home decor to create wearable works of watercolor art.

On a good month, Babler can make an extra couple hundred dollars. She also works 10-15 hours per week as a customer service representative for a company in New York.

"It's been really fun and kind of a nice way to bring in some extra money," she said.

But Carlson said you don't need to be crafty to make extra cash.

"I think that it's best when it comes to side hustles to look into things that you already have skills in. So if you write a lot or you have an interest in writing, freelance writing is a great way to go because content is in high demand. If you like photography, that's an easy thing to do nights and weekends," Carlson said.

Technology has made it easier to earn from home. You can transcribe, take online surveys or enter giveaways. Carlson has a list of side hustle resources on his blog "Young Adult Money."

If you're looking to start a side hustle, Carlson recommends keeping a calendar and blocking off time for it.

"It's kind of a juggling act," Babler said.

Babler has used the income from her Etsy shop to pay for Christmas presents for friends and family. During a recent family vacation, they were able to enjoy the trip without worrying about money.

"So that was kind of a nice treat that we didn't have to spend extra money that we may not normally have," she said.

It's also given her the chance to spend more time with Leo. She brings him to all his appointments: chiropractor, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.

Babler added, "I wouldn't have it any other way. It's great to be able to be home with him and I couldn't imagine, couldn't imagine anyone else taking care of him personally."

You can also read Carlson's post "50+ Legitimate Ways to Make Extra Money at Home," here.


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