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Full Time, All the Time

with Britt Reints

Forget the 9 to 5; the demands of a working mom aren’t limited by a time clock. Full Time, All the Time is a blog about balancing the many roles of a modern woman - and maintaining your wellbeing while doing it. I am a writer, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and sometimes volunteer living in Pittsburgh. Oh, and I think you look pretty today.

You can also find Britt on Twitter and at

Do you have a side hustle?

Categories: economy


BaristaMy friend J$ (no, that’s not his real name) taught me about the importance of a side hustle. What, you may ask, is a side hustle?

A side hustle is the stuff you do in addition to your real job to make extra money.

J$ says everyone should always have a side hustle. A side hustle can help you:

  • Save more money
  • Pay down debt faster
  • Diversify your income
  • Protect yourself from job loss or changes in the market
  • Keep learning new tasks
  • Expand your network

All good things, right?

About six years ago, I started getting paid to write a few things for people on the Internet. I worked full time during the day, but I’d spend some of my nights, weekends (and lunch hours or slow work days) on my freelance writing jobs. It was more productive than watching TV and it gave my family extra money for fun things that we wouldn’t normally have budgeted for - like traveling.

Then, about 19 months ago, my side hustle became my main gig. I’ve been working exclusively as a freelance writer ever since. It’s been a dream come true and I still can’t believe sometimes that my real job is something that started out as a hobby.

But what about having a side hustle?

When my part time work turned into my full time income, I didn’t take the time to seek out another revenue stream - and I’ve suffered the consequences. When the freelance flow turned into a trickle while my family and I traveled, I didn’t have anything extra to dip into. I was anxious and started really stressing about money for the first time in a long time. Fortunately, I was able to turn things around and get my writing career back on track, but I haven’t forgotten what that worry felt like.

It’s time to find a new side hustle.

Do you have a side hustle? I’d love to hear what “odd jobs” you do to make extra money.

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5 comments so far...

  • My main gig is Office Manager for an insurance agent, AKA Insurance Lady. My side hustle as J$ would call it, is working at Macy’s. We needed to bring in about $400 more a month to maintain our lifestyle & pay down debt at the same time. I was already in Macy’s at least once a week, sometimes more so it seemed like a good fit. There are occasional days when I am willing to give up shopping or food to not have to go in but overall, I’m really happy with how things turned out. I have new friends, I’m actually spending less (most months anyway) because I don’t have time to shop. Plus, I know when the best time to purchase anything in our store. The discount doesn’t hurt either!

    Wendy Pederson  |  July 25th, 2012 at 2:26 pm

  • I’m working on setting up my side hustle now! I’m even going to get one of those Square thingies for the iPhone so I can take credit cards. Lookit me, goin legit.

    Lisa  |  July 25th, 2012 at 2:34 pm

  • Freelance writing is my side hustle, but I hope to transition it to my main job and do the photography thing on the side.

    Megan  |  July 26th, 2012 at 10:17 am

  • My main job was in customer service/inside sales and I supplemented the income with shifts at residential group homes for developmentally disabled adults. 8 years ago, I made the careeer change into human services full-time.

    I now run a sheltered workshop program at a non-profit agency, where I once worked per diem. Now, I still pick up hours at another non-profit to offset childcare costs for our 7 year old son.

    It has been beneficial during this recession where my husband lost his job twice in two years. Fortunatley, there is need for direct care and the ability to pick up extra hours. There was holiday pay on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and Fourth of July. It was very difficult not to spend 24 hours of the holidays with the family but I made an extra $100 on each shift.

    More importantly, I like what I do and the bills get paid.

    Louise Casinelli Ryon  |  July 26th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

  • I don’t have one, but I find myself eyeing the “part-time help wanted” sign every time I take my 4-y-o to a birthday party at Gymboree. Hmm.

    el-e-e  |  July 27th, 2012 at 11:58 am