Your mortgage may seem like a life sentence, but it doesn’t have to be. Through “side hustle,” you can achieve your financial goals sooner like saving the down payment for your future home and paying down your mortgage in 10 years or less. I’m living proof of the power of side hustle. With side hustle, not only was I able to buy a home at age 27, I was also able to pay off my mortgage in 3 years by age 30.
In case you’re not familiar with the term “side hustle,” it’s a way to make money outside your main job. For some people side hustle is just an income source, while for others it’s a way to explore your true passion without quitting your day job. For example, you could work at an office during the week earning a steady paycheque and make money as a wedding photographer on weekends.
Not only is side hustle a great way to pay off your mortgage sooner, it can help protect you against a homeowner’s biggest fear, job loss. If you ever lost your full-time job and it’s only source of income, you’ll have a tough time paying the mortgage, but with side hustle you can dedicate more time to your side gig and boost your income for as long as you need to.
With side hustle, the possibilities of earning income are endless. In fact, it’s even easier today thanks to the sharing economy. If you’re super successful in your side hustle, you could find yourself as an accidental entrepreneur and end up quitting your full-time job to focus solely on your growing side business.
Are you ready to, in the words of Uber, “get your side hustle on?” Here are some creative ways from my upcoming book, Burn Your Mortgage, to earn side hustle.
The Sharing Economy
Renting out your place short-term: Not ready to become a full-time landlord? Short-term rental websites like Airbnb make occasionally renting out your place easier than ever. Help pay for your vacation by renting out your home while you’re away, or rent out a spare bedroom during festivals and sporting events, when demand for accommodation is high. If you decide to rent out your place short-term, make sure you aren’t breaking any rules. Many cities are cracking down on Airbnb rentals.
Driving or renting your car: If you’re used to chauffeuring around your family, why not chauffeur around paying customers by joining Uber? If you’re too busy to drive others, rent out your car through Turo.
Errands: Websites like AskforTask help connect you with busy people who need a helping hand with errands or basic repairs around the house (think of it as an odd-job matchmaker).
Home restaurant: Do you have a passion for cooking? Why not start a home restaurant? Websites like Feastly and EatWith help connect you with customers looking for a unique dining experience at an affordable price. Don’t want guests in your home? MealSurfers and similar websites let home cooks sell food for pickup.
Other Side Hustles
Part-time job: I know what you’re thinking. Retail, yuck! But there are a lot more jobs than those at the mall. Bank telling, bartending and working at a clothing store (make sure you get a store discount!) are all good ways to earn money.
Childcare: Look after other people’s kids.
Coaching: Career coach, money coach, sports coach—the possibilities are endless.
Dog walking: Earn extra money walking Fido. The more dogs, the more money (just watch out for these pesky squirrels or Fluffy, the neighbour’s cat).
Housesitting: Look after someone’s house while they’re away.
Photography: If you’re a skilled photographer, take photos at special events like weddings and graduations.
Teaching: If you have an area of expertise, teach part time with the local school district, or at college or university—or online, for that matter.
Virtual assistant: Help out busy business owners with administrative work such as responding to emails and returning client phone calls.
Yardwork: Mow the lawn and shovel the snow for your neighbours or start your own business.
Sean Cooper is the author of the upcoming book, Burn Your Mortgage: The Simple, Powerful Path to Financial Freedom for Canadians, available for pre-order now on Amazon and in bookstores March 1, 2017.