This post was inspired by DC at Young Adult Money, who wrote an article called I’m sure Money Can Buy You Happiness.
When you first read that title, you might scoff at the idea that money can buy you happiness. I mean, doesn’t that kind of go against most personal finance blogger’s values? Money=happiness?
But when you read the article, you will see that it’s about DC’s journey of overcoming some financial challenges, to being where he is today, which is in a state of happiness because he has a lot more control over his finances.
I could absolutely relate 100%.
Last year I was probably what you’d call a financial hot mess (FHM-ha ha!). Although I’d begun my road to recovery months earlier after I hit my financial rock bottom, I was still deep in the tunnel of despair without even a glimmer of light up ahead (yes, I’m the dramatic type).
And this time last year, even though I was now saving a lot more money and had control over my spending, the problem was it was one of the worst summers for my video editing freelance work. I mean I barely heard a peep from producers needing me to edit projects.
Towards the end of the summer I knew I had to do something quickly, or else I would literally run out of money and have to go into credit card debt, or dip into my retirement savings.
So that’s when I started using Taskrabbit to pick up some extra quick cash. Although some tasks paid low and were kind of a pain, most were OK. Then I got even more desperate and applied for a job at The Container Store. I got hired and although the training was extensive (like almost too extensive), I quickly found I absolutely hated working there. What’s worse was the very early morning hours I worked depleted me of all energy to get anything else done during the day. I hated having to be there and actually punching in a time card (amongst many other things).
But with both those jobs I was onto something…multiple streams of income to supplement my video income.
By winter I had quit TCS and pretty much gave up on Taskrabbit because the market was so saturated that you were either outbid, or the job paid so little it wasn’t even worth it.
At the time my friend Dave offered me a generous proposition to help him out at home so he could get some work done. I did some cleaning, organizing, more cleaning…but the best part was that if I got busy with video work I could just let him know I wouldn’t be coming over.
In January 2013 I decided that this is the year I’d really focus on making some multiple streams of income work. I monetized my website (kicking myself I didn’t do it earlier), started writing for other websites, started selling more things on Craigslist, and just recently started coaching beach volleyball on the side.
Last month I made $1448 in all my side hustles, and have made almost $6,000 this entire year so far.
I’m not saying that to sound “showy,” I say that because making that kind of side income really gave me a huge amount of confidence that it’s possible to branch out in other areas outside of your main skill/job to make money. It also helps me feel less tethered to my freelance editing jobs because instead of that horrible feeling of just waiting around for projects coming to me, I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone and creating my own opportunities.
Not only do I feel more confident, but I also feel mush less stress that if one job falls through, I’m not entirely dependent on that for my income. Being diversified means you have fall back options. And hey, the best thing of all is just having extra money in the bank, and that, like for DC, means a lot more happiness in my life.
Of course, you do not need to search for multiple income streams if you can improve your overall situation and land yourself a high paying job. Going back to school at an online university is one way to find a better job that I highly recommend, since you can take courses at night or in your free time and end up with something prestigious like a Master degree in Social Work. A degree like this will increase your earning power immediately, while giving you the ability to help people in need within your community.
How have multiple streams of income improved your life? What’s holding you back if you haven’t tried it?
Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net