Is a Side Job for Extra Money Right for You?

If you’re not too tired after working your demanding day job, you might consider picking up a side job for extra money (a.k.a. “moonlighting”). It’s especially worth looking into before the holiday shopping season gets in full swing.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 6.8 million Americans work more than one job. That equates to 4.6 percent of all employed people.

There are many benefits to having a side job for extra money. In addition to extra cash, moonlighting also lets you expand your skill set. It can also give you a taste of what it’s like to be self-employed.

Who’s moonlighting?

Women are more likely than men to have a side job for extra money. The same holds true for people in their early 20s.

There are also certain industries in which people are more likely to hold down more than one job. Public safety, education and healthcare workers were among the sectors with the highest percentage of multiple job holders. Some of the most common moonlighters include emergency medical technicians (19.4 percent) and paramedics (16 percent).

Popular side jobs for extra money

While some jobs on this list require special training, many do not.

  • Baker: Have a talent for making beautiful and delicious baked goods? If so, consider baking wedding cakes and other goodies from your home kitchen.
  • Freelancer: A few options include freelance writer, graphic designer, web designer and computer consultant.
  • Mystery shopper: Some big chain retailers will pay you to go shopping in their stores in exchange for your honest feedback.
  • Seasonal retail worker: With the holidays coming up, you can bet retailers are in hiring mode. While it’s often not permanent, it’s a good way to make a few extra dollars.
  • Pet sitter: Depending on your schedule, you can take on regular work or sporadic jobs as they arise.
  • Yard work: Raking leaves, mowing lawns, trimming hedges—the list is endless when it comes to yard work. Bonus: You’ll reap some serious exercise benefits!
  • Tutoring: This is a great side job for anyone with teaching experience.
  • Babysitting: Who says a babysitter has to be a teenager? Many parents may prefer an adult watching over their children.
  • Waiter or bartender: Shifts are commonly in the evenings and on weekends.
  • Crafter: Whether you quilt, sew or knit, you have a definite skill. Consider marketing yourself as a tailor/seamstress or selling your wares online or at craft fairs.

Practical concerns

If you’re thinking about moonlighting, there are a couple of things to think through.

First, make sure there is no conflict of interest with your current job. Some companies have stipulations about allowing employees to hold second jobs.

Also make sure that you have enough time for a second job. The last thing you want is for it to interfere with your regular job or to take too much time away from your personal life.

It’s also a good idea to check in with an insurance professional like an Erie Insurance Agent. You might need extra protection, even if you operate a home-based business. Your Agent can let you know if you need extra coverage and recommend affordable options.

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