“Everyone Needs Multiple Ways To Earn Money”

HustlingWhen I first saw the headline of Jane Barratt’s recent piece at Quartz — “Your Salary Shouldn’t Be Your Only Source Of Income” — a sarcastic voice in my head said, Sure! Try to have rich parents who slip you money, too. And don’t forget interest on the trust fund.

Because come ON.

The article is much peppier than the headline, for better and for worse, and it includes lots of advice.

You can earn more money by spending less. But you should also ask for that raise—and get a side hustle. It’s extra income, but more than that, it extends your marketability by demonstrating initiative and ensuring you have skills outside of your day job.

Whether it’s learning to code and helping small businesses with their digital presence, or starting your own small business on the side, everyone needs multiple ways to earn money.

Ask for raises: absolutely. Don’t expect your job to be there for you forever: sadly true. But, and I say this as someone whose side hustle became her full-time job and who now spends all her time hustling or recovering from same, hustling is exhausting. It is not for everyone. I’m dismayed by and resistant to the idea that this is how we are all expected to adapt to our shiny new gig economy.

In many cases, trying to multi-task and treat every hobby as a potential business opportunity will wear you out, unless you are a super organized and focused Olympian-type person. Most of us are not built to operate that way. We need downtime; we need chances to space out.

Even in America, not everything can or should be about profit.

That said, if you want to try your hand at investing, which Barratt endorses, great! Make the money you have work harder for you. “Being an active investor will help you look at life differently,” Barratt writes, and I’m sure she’s right.

But while flying solo into the stock market, as per her suggestion, can be rewarding, and, as a woman, even perhaps empowering, it also means taking on a lot of responsibility and stress. I don’t think you should feel bad about yourself if you take a shortcut and work with an expert, or with an online service like Betterment. I mean, hey, if you have money to invest, you’re doing well.

You don’t have to be type-A; you can be type-OK.

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