I’ll keep at it and see if there is something I can find out there, but it’s been 6 months of not having much luck. I’m totally fortunate in that I’m not looking for a primary source of income before they come and shut my lights off, but at the same time it’s killing me as a highly-motivated person to think about the hours I’m wasting that I could be using to dig out that much faster.
Obviously there are two pretty straightforward ways to get out of debt:
- Pay off your debt.
- Make more money so that you can pay off your debt faster.
In other words, your debt is what it is. It ain’t going away, and so if you’ve got a lot of it like I do, it’s really just a matter of trimming what you can where you can to focus every possible cent onto paying that debt down.
As step #2 also calls out, bringing in extra income helps, as long as you maintain your focus and use that extra income to get out of debt that much quicker. If your boat is filling with water, you can scoop it out much faster with a bucket than with a spoon.
My problem is not the focus part. We are so insanely committed to paying off our debt that I could probably require life-saving brain surgery and still have a tough time deciding if it was worth it over putting that money towards one of our higher interest accounts.
No my problem is getting that extra income. That side hustle. I’m just not good at making that kind of thing happen… or maybe deep down I just don’t want to be good at it.
I work a lot already, so please don’t think that I’m a lazy person. I hold a 40-60 hour a week job for a software company, and I’ve been working for this same company for almost 20 years now. Along with this, I have taught at local universities, and have a semi-regular freelance job as an illustrator for a company I’ve been fortunate enough to work with for the better part of 15 years.
What I do know however is that I’ve still got some extra time. Think like 2-3 hours every night after my wife and kids go to bed, and an extra 10-15 hours on the weekends. I stay up that late anyway, but usually it’s consumed with dumb things like playing videogames or noodling on a guitar.
Monetizing on that 2-3 hours is what’s eluding me right now, and it’s driving me nuts!
My wheelhouse in terms of skills (I guess I could have just said “skillset”) is primarily centered around art and writing. You know… creative junk. What I’m not sure how to do is parlay those skills into a little extra scratch to use to pay my bills.
Let me run down a few things I’ve tried and/or explored. Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking in terms of finances. Here we go:
- I’ve poked around on Fiverr. Just signed up yesterday, so we’ll see how this goes. I’ve been a part of a few other similar sites, and the results haven’t made me fall over with excitement…
- I searched the standard job websites for part time and freelance work. It’s rare to find one that fits my “2-3 hours per night plus weekends” timeframe, and even less likely to get an offer. I’ll keep applying though. I’m not giving up!
- I’ve tried UpWork, but man… that is a confusing mess of a site. I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong or if I just suck, but I have received zero replies. I wouldn’t mind knowing that it’s because I stink at what I do. The killer for me is that I can’t tell either way.
- I’ve considered getting a part-time job at a big box store of some kind. I guess if I worked part time at Walmart at least I could say my job has “art” in the title. To be honest, I haven’t looked into this one too much, as I don’t think I can dedicate enough time to the commute and hours to make the pay worth it. I need something I can do from home.
- Uber and Lyft are unfortunately not good options for me. For now (until we can get them paid off) I drive a Dodge Challenger that seats 2 mildly uncomfortably and 5 WILDY uncomfortably. On top of this it gets around three-tenths of a mile to the gallon. My wife drives a big truck, so that’s not a good option either.
I’ll keep at it and see if there is something I can find out there, but it’s been 6 months of not having much consistent luck. I’m totally fortunate in that I’m not looking for a primary source of income before they come and shut my lights off, but at the same time it’s killing me as a highly-motivated person to think about the hours I’m wasting that I could be using to dig out that much faster.
There is a scene from Seinfeld where George and Jerry are going through the things that George is good at as he looks for his next job. If you’ve seen the episode I’m referring to, then you know just how I feel. If you haven’t seen that episode then I feel like you’ve already stopped reading this paragraph and moved on to the next one, so at this point I’m only still talking to the folks that did see the episode. Since it’s just us Seinfeld watchers now, I feel like I can be myself with all of you. Seinfeld was a great show right? I still watch it often, but I was never a big fan of Jerry himself though. That show was all about the supporting cast.
I’ve spent a good portion of the posts on this blog offering up advice or sharing tips. Now I look to all of you for guidance. Do you have suggestions for a good side hustle? It doesn’t have to be art/writing/creative related. I’m open to all suggestions. Please don’t pepper me with lame get-rich-quick gimmicks either. I’m looking for legitimate work suggestions where you put in honest work, and you get an honest return.
And no… I will not send photos of myself in a bunny costume. Fool me once…
Quick Update: In less than 24 hours I have received 3 messages on Fiverr, all with phishing links that wanted me to click for “great opportunities.” Things are going well so far…
If you’ve got thoughts about this post or any other post on Digging Out, I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below the post, or send me an email via my Contact Page . If you like what you’re reading on Digging Out, and think others would enjoy the blog, please share the page with them and subscribe. Thank you!