A Londoner’s Guide to the Art of the Side Hustle

A Londoner’s Guide to the Art of the Side Hustle

Is the cost-of-living crisis squeezing the life out of your finances? Or perhaps soaring interest rates are leaving you with next to no disposable income? You’re certainly not the only one. As living standards across the UK decline, many Londoners have found new ways to supplement the income from their full-time roles by embracing the side hustle life.

The side hustle can not only give you more control over your finances. It can also be an effective way to monetise a hobby and eventually lead to the start of a business. If all that sounds promising, here’s how you can get started:

Where do your skills lie?

A side hustle is not really the same as a second job. Rather than doing a few hours working behind the bar, for example, a side hustle is typically less structured than that. It’s something you can do in your own time, often at home, away from paid employment. This flexibility is one of the biggest advantages to the ‘right’ hustle for you.

A good way to identify a potential side hustle is to think about where your skills, experience and interests lie, and then mesh those together with your goals to find a suitable role. For example, if you work in a creative profession, such as graphic design or copywriting, you could easily create a profile on freelancer sites and start earning some extra money on the side. 

Alternatively, you could monetise your hobbies or interests, perhaps by offering dog walking services in the local area or by buying and selling clothes for profit. You could even see if there’s a nice little data entry role you could do on the side. Here’s a massive list of some time-tested side hustle suggestions that don’t require much up-front capital to get started.

How much time do you have?

If the sole motivation for your side hustle is to boost your finances, you need something that you can monetise quickly. You’ll also need something that’ll sit neatly alongside your existing commitments. A good starting point is to make a rough schedule of the time you have available so you know how much you can take on.   

Understand your tax obligations

You’re starting a side hustle to earn extra money, not to give it away. But unfortunately, you’ll have to pay tax on any extra income you receive. You should record your side hustle income in the Local Business section of your personal income tax return. This amount will be added to your employment income and taxed at your marginal rate.

Avoid expenditure if you can    

The whole aim of a side hustle is to earn money not spend it. So, if the side hustle you want to get into requires considerable investment, it’s probably worth thinking again. As an example, you might fancy doing some photography work but not have a decent camera, or want to get into interior design but need to take an expensive online course first. It’s fine to spend money if you’re working towards a long-term goal, but not if you just want to make a quick buck.

Put your full-time work first

You might enjoy your side hustle a lot more than your 9-5, but it’s your full-time job that pays the majority of the bills. If you find you’re feeling burnt out at work or spending time on your side hustle when you’re being paid by your employer, it’s time to rethink your priorities. After all, it’s the security your main role provides that allows you to pursue your passions.  

Have you taken on a side hustle to boost your income? What are you doing and how successful has it been? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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