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What Do You Do With Your 'Side Hustle' Cash?

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  • What Do You Do With Your 'Side Hustle' Cash?

    The hubby and I have been looking for side gigs and other ways to make money. We've gotten to the point where we are bringing in an extra $2,000 per month or so through freelancing, side work, and selling old items around the house. I'd like to open an IRA, but should we wait until after all of our debt is paid off?

    And in the interest of having some additional ideas (outside of an IRA and paying off debt) - What have you all done with "side hustle" cash?

  • #2
    I honestly don't do much anymore as we're reached a point in our lives and main income that it just isn't necessary anymore.

    In the past, I used to sell collectibles, originally through a mail order catalog then online and at in-person collectibles shows and finally on Ebay. At my peak on Ebay (in 2000), I was doing as much as $3,000/month in sales. I still dabble on ebay but now it's aimed more at decluttering and any money that comes in is just a bonus.

    Professionally, I used to do a ton of online and in-person surveys. My top year, 2015, I made over $12,000 doing that.

    The main "side gig" I do now is picking up extra shifts at my regular job. An extra 4-hour weekend shift pays me $766. There's really no need for me to search for other options when that's available to me.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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    • #3
      You know what worked for me...selling my body to science. Back when I lived in Washington DC, I was super close to the National Institutes of Health, they had an office where people could volunteer for research studies. You could pick up an extra $25 or $50 on the weekends that way - answering surveys, getting poked and prodded, doing MRI scans, etc.

      james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
      202.468.6043

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      • #4
        Originally posted by james.hendrickson View Post
        You know what worked for me...selling my body to science. Back when I lived in Washington DC, I was super close to the National Institutes of Health, they had an office where people could volunteer for research studies. You could pick up an extra $25 or $50 on the weekends that way - answering surveys, getting poked and prodded, doing MRI scans, etc.
        I tried to do that back in med school. I went through the whole work up and got turned down to some obscure and harmless abnormality on my EKG. I had a full Cardiology evaluation and they assured me it would never cause any health problems. It just disqualified me from the studies.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


        • #5
          We put it into our fun money fund.
          It's mostly used as spending cash when we go on vacations
          Brian

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          • #6
            I totally misread the question. Oops. I thought you were asking what we do for side hustles.

            What to do with the money? I think it really depends on your situation. If you have a bunch of consumer debt - credit cards, student loans, etc. - your best best is probably to throw it at that. Should you be saving for retirement? Definitely, but other than contributing to a 401k to get an employer match, just putting it in a Roth isn't going to get you the same return as paying down a high interest credit card, for example.
            Steve

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
              Definitely, but other than contributing to a 401k to get an employer match, just putting it in a Roth isn't going to get you the same return as paying down a high interest credit card, for example.
              None of my current employers offer that (I am a self-employed contractor) - Currently, we have $0 towards retirement, which makes me nervous... but I'm only 26. We only have about $450 on a credit card right now, which will be paid off this month. Outside of that, a car loan and student loans that both need to be paid off.

              So, focusing on that would be better than stashing money in a Roth IRA right now?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by amastewa93 View Post

                None of my current employers offer that (I am a self-employed contractor) - Currently, we have $0 towards retirement, which makes me nervous... but I'm only 26. We only have about $450 on a credit card right now, which will be paid off this month. Outside of that, a car loan and student loans that both need to be paid off.

                So, focusing on that would be better than stashing money in a Roth IRA right now?
                Well you can never make up for lost time. If the CC is paid off, I'd at least start putting something in the Roth to get it going. Even if it's $50/month, it's better than nothing.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've got several different things going and carry no debt, so just consider that money to be "fun money", day to day spending.
                  I keep it in cash form and pay for lots of stuff with cash to avoid big monthly credit card bills.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by amastewa93 View Post
                    The hubby and I have been looking for side gigs and other ways to make money. We've gotten to the point where we are bringing in an extra $2,000 per month or so through freelancing, side work, and selling old items around the house. I'd like to open an IRA, but should we wait until after all of our debt is paid off?

                    And in the interest of having some additional ideas (outside of an IRA and paying off debt) - What have you all done with "side hustle" cash?

                    Sounds like you are prime for the Dave Ramsey debt snowball method. I would do his deal.
                    How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

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                    • #11
                      Actually, the debt snowball isn't a bad idea. I was able to pay off my credit card debts using that method. Once you get one debt paid off, just apply that revenue to the next debt, once you get going the obligations get paid off pretty quickly.
                      james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
                      202.468.6043

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Payoff that credit card balance today. Carrying a balance doesn’t improve your credit score.

                        No 401k? $0 in retirement. “Normal” debt.

                        I would definitely be contributing to an IRA (Roth).

                        You dont have to hit the max of $6000 per person but contribute something. But $500 to hers and $500 to his each month would do it.

                        Then the remaining ($1000) can go towards debt and building your EF if you don’t have a good cash cushion already

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

                          Well you can never make up for lost time. If the CC is paid off, I'd at least start putting something in the Roth to get it going. Even if it's $50/month, it's better than nothing.
                          Is there no minimum requirement to open an IRA? I've got a credit union account where I can open one - but I seem to recall there being a minimum (which we could easily save with the extra cash coming in).

                          We are going to focus on paying off debt outside of starting to pad retirement savings (because we are both essentially self-employed an IRA would help us both a bit tax-wise, which is a plus).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by amastewa93 View Post

                            Is there no minimum requirement to open an IRA? I've got a credit union account where I can open one - but I seem to recall there being a minimum (which we could easily save with the extra cash coming in).

                            We are going to focus on paying off debt outside of starting to pad retirement savings (because we are both essentially self-employed an IRA would help us both a bit tax-wise, which is a plus).
                            Whether or not there is a minimum depends on the company. Some may have no minimum to open an account but might have an annual account maintenance fee if you're below a certain balance. Also, within an IRA, certain investments might have a minimum. For example, Vanguard has a $3,000 minimum on most of its funds but does have some that only have a $1,000 minimum. You could always open your IRA at a place with the best terms for a low balance and once you build up more money in there, transfer it somewhere better.

                            If you are both self-employed, you may want to look into SEP-IRAs rather than traditional ones as they have higher contribution limits once you get to the point where that's relevant to you.
                            Steve

                            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Amanda - good for you for starting early on this. The sooner you take control of your finances, the better off you'll be. This applies to investing especially, but its also the case for debt reduction.

                              If you're investing, you'll need time for the investments to compound, so starting early buys you more time. After a certain period of time and depending on the investment and how well you manage the process, you should start to see very strong returns. Here is a nice chart from author David Bach's website. It shows you how much you need to save, by age, to reach a million dollar retirement portfolio. The main point here is that starting early gives you an advantage.



                              Source: David Bach.

                              This can also apply equally well to debt reduction, the sooner you get your debts paid off, the more time and mental space you'll have to accomplish other goals. Debt payoff has the wonderful effect of improving your credit, improving your mental well being...and it gives you more choices and more freedom.




                              james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
                              202.468.6043

                              Comment

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