I need some extra money. How can I earn more to pay off my debt?

Do you ever wish you had some extra money? Maybe your income is not sufficient to meet your expenses monthly. The solution is a side hustle. You might be thinking – What?

Do you even side-hustle bro? Click To Tweet

What in the world are you talking about? I’m talking of course about a side job. That’s what a side hustle is – an extra job whose sole purpose is to create extra money that you can use to achieve some of your financial goals.

Want to pay down your debt (student loans, car loans, or credit cards) faster, then lower your spending and get a side hustle. A side hustle can be a great way to “try” a new business idea or hobby. And you can make money along the way which you can throw at your debt.

But first . . .

Why is it called a “side hustle”?

Well, because it’s a job “on the side” of your regular job. It’s in addition to your full-time job. And this is an important point. Don’t give too much emphasis to your side hustle. You should put your primary focus on your career to maximize your earning potential. This career/full-time job probably – though not always – has much more income potential anyway.do you even side hustle

The hustle comes in because usually you have to “hustle” to make it work. It’s usually on off hours. Think: nights and weekends. It’s hard – it really becomes a hustle.

Think about that debt that you have. Those pesky credit cards, or those burdensome student loans. Wouldn’t you love to see them gone . . . forever? But how bad do you want it? What are you willing to do to achieve it?

I played sports in high school, and one thing I always did was hustle. Even when I wasn’t the biggest, strongest, fastest, or most skilled, I still hustled. Some call it heart. I made up for my lack of size by hustling.

It’s more of a mindset. That never give-up, play to the whistle, always running attitude. I’m sure you’ve seen players like that in any sport. They are scrappy, and the crowd usually loves them. The opposing team hates them, because those players really make them work.

That’s what your side hustle is like. You’re always hustling and always running to get rid of your debt or achieve that goal. The key is to not give up. That attitude more than anything is what will help you to destroy your debt.

Related: How to pay down debt fast.

How do I start?

First, what do you do in your full-time job?

Are there skills that you’ve developed at your work that could translate to an extra job? This is by far the most lucrative way to side hustle.  The pay is probably closer to your full-time job pay level.

For example, are you a teacher? Do you speak English? Thought so – you could teach English as a second language to kids or even adults in other countries. Check out Englishkey to start. There are others as well.

Are you in finance or accounting? You could offer to help a small business or non-profit with their bookkeeping on a part-time basis.

Do you know a specialized software program, like AutoCAD, Solidworks, Excel, or Photoshop? You can turn that into cash by freelancing for businesses or individuals. Start with this list on entrepreneur.

There are a myriad of other part-time jobs requiring a variety of skills that you could do.

Second, what are your hobbies?

Can you monetize any of the things you do for fun? Of course you can.

A hobby is something you enjoy doing – right? You wouldn’t do it otherwise. For instance, my wife loves crafting and scrap-booking. She’s been able to earn some extra money on the side by publishing some of her art journals in crafting magazines. It’s not a lot, but a little extra here or there can be a big help to take some pressure off your budget.

If you’re interested, you can check out her blog about crafting below.

Related: Kate’s Scrapyard Blog

She was recently featured in our local newspaper as well.

Are you a woodworker with a modest assortment of tools, jigs, and fixtures? Obviously you could sell some of what you make. You could also sell your plans of that unique piece that everyone is always asking about in your living room.

There really are no limitations to what you could do to make some extra money. Use your imagination and you might be surprised at what you come up with.

Blogging could be a side hustle. Not this blog . . . yet, but others have done very well.

Why I don’t Have a Side Hustle.

After all that, you’re probably wondering, why doesn’t he have a side hustle? I am a big proponent of extra work to make money for paying down debt and other financial goals. But I also think that it should be for a short time.

Once you pay off that debt, take a break. Spend some time with your family. And enjoy life a little more. No one on their deathbed will wish that they worked more.

Since my wife and I have no consumer debt, and the only debt we do have is a rapidly diminishing mortgage, I don’t see the need for me to work all the time.

I realize that I’m blessed to be in a situation like this, and I’m grateful to God for the job he recently provided to me. It does take an extra hour of my time each day (commuting), but not having to worry about money to pay the bills is much less stressful than the alternative.


So do you have a side hustle? Do you think you need one?

Just remember, don’t focus so much energy on your side hustle that you neglect your full-time job. Remember to work hard and strive for those beneficial promotions and benefits. If you spend all your energy on your side job, to the detriment of your full-time job, the result will be less income than you started with.

A side hustle can be a great way to earn extra money to achieve some of those financial goals that seem tough to complete. If you have consumer debt to pay off, get that scrappy attitude and work, work, work! Just remember that once your debt is gone to scale back and make time for the important things.

What do you think? Are side hustles worth the extra time and aggravation? Let me know in the comments below.

And thanks for reading and sharing.




Chris is the original Cash Dad. He's a father of 3 and a mechanical engineer by trade.


  1. Side hustles are good for a lot of people. Especially those who may not have a lot of career mobility. The hustle gives you opportunities to both earn more and perhaps frame a new career. The key is to start a side hustle involving something you enjoy to keep you motivated.

    I use my hustle not to pay off debt but to earn more to invest. I determined long ago that I didn’t have the energy or desire to double-down on my regular career to grow my income. The side gig gives me flexibility to earn on my own time and the upside is only limited by how much time I spend on it. Not some corporate salary range!

    • Chris Reply

      Great points!! If you’re shooting for FIRE a side hustle is a great avenue. I’m just not willing to give up my free time yet.
      But I certainly recognize the flexibility and freedom that a good side hustle can bring.
      Thanks for the comment. ?

  2. I completely agree with your take: side hustle for a while, then take a break. I had a fairly lucrative hustle for about 4 months, but it was exhausting. It wasn’t something I could sustain over the long term. Instead, I sought a higher-paying regular job (not an easy task, but it eventually happened).

    • Chris Reply

      Nice . . . I guess the best would be to find a side hustle that’s lucrative and not so time consuming that it becomes your life. I’m sure there’s some out there, but I haven’t really found it yet. Thanks for stopping by. ?

  3. Chris, great points with advocating the side hustle that you already have the skills/passion for – quicker to overcome the learning curve. And nice call with winding down once the need is gone. Can’t replace the time.

    Did you ever have a side hustle/are you hoping the blog could be that for you?

    • Chris Reply

      I’m hoping that the blog can get there eventually. ?
      I’ve dabbled here and there with odd jobs, but none of them ever stuck. I’ve also considered freelance CAD work, but never pulled the trigger on that either. Maybe someday . . .

  4. I think you would be awesome at some of the side hustles we have talked about. But of course, I covet your time more than the money so I am thankful that it is not a necessity at this point in life. Love you!

    • Chris Reply

      I agree – we aren’t in need of extra money at the moment. Not that we couldn’t use it, but it’s not worth the time right now. ?

  5. drmcfrugal Reply

    I’m with you on this one. Side hustles can be fun. But I don’t take them too seriously because my main hustles makes so much more than I can compared to any side hustles that take a lot of time.

    • Chris Reply

      Thanks for the comment, and who knows where this blogging thing will take either of us. ?

  6. I agree in terms of spending more time living rather than working so much! I second that if you have enough from your main job then you are blessed. Spend the rest of the time with loved ones!

    Personally I have no side hustle. I blog for the experience and enjoyment. I’m more big on enjoying life and living right now as my basic needs are more than taken care of.

    • Chris Reply

      Thanks for the comment. Family time can’t be understated. And blogging? Well, we both know it’s not easy, but in time . . . It could be a lucrative side hustle. ?

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