Side Hustles To Make Money And Pay Off Debt Faster

side hustles to make moneyI looked over everything and came to the conclusion that I need some side hustles to make money. That is if I want to pay off my debt before I’m 98 years old. I agree with with Mr Money Mustache and other blogs like ERE about being frugal and investing for wealth. But once you’ve cut that spending, you need side hustles and passive income to pay off debt faster.

You also need money to invest in the first place. Your regular job has a set income so you can look forward and know when you’ll be out of debt. For most people, myself included, it seems like a long way off.

I want to speed it up. To pay off debt fast so that I CAN invest.

This series of articles on the blog is about how to get out of debt when you don’t already have a $70,000/year job, $15,000 in RSP’s to cash out and Canada Revenue Agency wants $6000 from you 🙂

I have little epiphanies when I’m talking with personal training clients. They tell me their weight loss challenges and goals and I see how easy the answers are. I relate their weight loss questions to my debt questions. I think that weight loss is hard for them and getting debt-free is hard for me. But we both need to do the same things to fix our problems. I have habits that have made me fit. They have habits that have made them wealthy. We do habits daily and habits form our lives.

Habits are easy. New behaviours are hard at first. That’s why problems persist. If it was easy to fix how we got ourselves into a mess, then there wouldn’t be any problems.

Bank accounts and waistlines are kind of the same.

Fat is wealth. If you eat more calories then you expend, you gain weight. If you earn more money then you spend, you’re net worth goes up.

To go into money debt, you spent more than you had. To go into caloric debt and lose weight the same things apply.

I like looking at exercise like it’s making me money. Be happy about going out to shovel the sidewalk (I’m in Canada. Canadian winter shovelling can be a workout). It calories burned. That’s less I have to burn as a workout. Work more to make money. Workout more to get stronger and burn calories.

But I like working out. But I like making money. Me too. But I like to do them when I want and not by having my back to the wall and being forced to. The more calories I burn by walking, biking, stretching etc, the less time I HAVE to workout when I don’t want to.

The less I spend on gas, eating etc, the less I have to work earning money when I don’t want to as well.

True to a point. I’m all for frugal living but what about your investment of time? How much are you really saving by walking instead of driving?

Vehicle makes and models for canadian readers here.

My Blazer gets 18.6 litres/100 km. So at $1.10/litre it costs $20.46 to drive 100KM. My trip to the closest grocery store costs @ .204/kilometer costs .28 at 1.4KM. It takes 3 minutes to drive total one way. 57 cents round trip. Or I can walk it at 17 minutes one way. Co-op is 2Km takes 26 minutes one way. Superstore 3.5 km and 44 minutes to walk one way – $1.42 gas round trip or 88 minutes of life. Now unless I was going to do 88 minutes of cardio, it looks like my time is more of an asset then the $1.50.

Below are some of the side hustles from MoneyPeach I’ve found to be legit. Check out the full list of sides hustles at here

Side Hustles To Make Money #1 – BLOGGING

Just about every business today should have a website. Even if you don’t have a business but you have a passion, you should be writing about it. If you’re business is your passion then you have found a great intersection for an online business.

I have very good skills to transfer to an online business. I’m a personal trainer and electrician. I can teach people how to fix their electrical problems and get in shape through blogging and videos. At the end of every post or video, I can tell you what tools will get the job done and provide a link directly to Amazon for you to purchase that product.

You pay the same price as usual on amazon, while I make a 4-6% commission for suggesting the right item.

To start a blog, I recommend starting with Bluehost and WordPress. I plan on writing an easy tutorial for you to get your own blog started in the future.

Side Hustles To Make Money #2 – Self Publish Ebooks On Amazon

Everything you write on your book can be complied into an ebook that you self publish on Amazon. This is what I did with my How To Get In The Best Shape Of Your Life series on this blog. Except in reverse. I wrote the book first and published it on amazon. Then I broke it apart and put it up here for free as well.

Some people will read it on this website which brings in traffic and new readers. Others will want the convenience of having all in one book and on their kindle. These folks pay the bills for me. Thank you.

Side Hustles To Make Money #3 – Online Stores For Physical Products

I am considering this for the knives I make out of railroad spikes. Right now I make them just for fun and as prizes for reader draws. Stores like Etsy could give your crafts more exposure for free but the fees may outweigh that benefit. I will research this further.

Side Hustles To Make Money #4 – Coaching Or Freelance Work

If you have a skill then you can also do coaching or freelance work. I do the copywriting for my products and other people want those writing skills. This allows me to coach people that want to do it themselves or I can simply do it for them. Here’s how I put my copywriting skills up for sale on Upwork.

Some online coaching works better if done through email exclusively. I have found this to be the case for personal training online. Getting clients to schedule, and then show up for phone appointments can get complicated. Especially with high end clients that always reschedule last minute.

The first rule of freelancing is not to buy a course on how to freelance. I’m saying this because I bought a lot of the books on amazon and they all say the same things. Most want to sell you a $400 course on how to be an even better freelancer. They didn’t teach me enough to go even further in debt.

What a course can’t sell you is the leg work and time it takes to establish yourself as a freelance writer, admin assistant, etc. They can’t sell you the hours of promotion and proposals. This is where people always fall short on side hustles to get out of debt.

This is the black secret. The freelancer selling the course is tired of all the leg work doing proposals, edits and clients calls. They want to make steady income selling courses. Selling a product like an ebook less time consumptive. Selling a service is a big time suck.

All side hustles work to a certain degree. But you have to focus and become extremely good at the work and the promotion of that work to get anywhere.

FOCUS on something and EXCEL… then the money will come if you promote the crap out of it.

Know People. I’ve become savvy at marketing and copywriting. I do facebook ads and have done google ads. Even so, what has worked for me is referrals from friends or acquaintances.

All my business comes through hair stylists, medical aestheticians and work related friends of mine. Perhaps because personal training and residential electrician work require interaction and people like to use people with a built in trust aspect.

Next, do more of what you already do for a living. For me I picked up personal training in the evenings while doing electrical work in Calgary during the day. Now that I’ve been laid off, the personal training is still there as a life boat. So is the odd electrical job like fixing a light switch or sparking outlet. These two skills will be there to go back to once I finish my electrician apprenticeship. I enjoy it more than a set 9-5. I may also do a mix of both but as a self employed guy for the variety instead of punching a clock.

Below is an edited list of side hustles to make money and pay off debt faster from There is also a forum with discussions on the topic.

  1. Write an article or blog and stick an adsense banner on it. (my examples: how to do a pistol squat, full body bodyweight workout routine)
  2. Later, try to think of an amazon affiliate link thing to stick in there. (my examples: how to set up a home gym, what supplements should I take for fat loss?)
  3. Write ebooks and self publish (my example: Culler: The fictional story of a debt enslaved soldier in the post apocalyptic future and his fight for freedom.)
  4. Put something up on youtube and collect ad revenue (my examples: my youtube channel). Better yet attend a conference/workshop and video all the stuff. Put 40 videos up on youtube and collect adsense money (My journey with google adsense) and increase reader ship.
  5. Make music and put it up on music sites where folks can download it for a buck or two. (permies examples: jimmy pardoformidable vegetable)
  6. Make 300 podcasts on something awesome like permaculture. Edit them into one big audio and sell as a download.
  7. Go to some forum and write helpful answers. After a year, edit those answers into a collection of articles or blogs (my examples: How To Build A Coffee Can Forge)
  8. Every time something makes you angry, write a solution into a blog. After a year, convert it all that into an ebook. This is how Cullers War started. I heard a news story that really pissed me off and I wrote a fictional book out from that experience.
  9. Find a product on amazon or ebay and write some comparisons, complete with affiliate links.
  10. Write a review of every book you’ve ever read – complete with amazon affiliate links. (my examples: Fahrenheit 451, Three Against The North)
  11. Read 20 articles on a topic and write your position referencing those 20 articles. Put an adsense banner on it for now. Optimize the income later.
  12. Give one thousand things away for free. Videos, articles, podcasts, ebooks … it is so weird, but after a thousand it is as if you now have mystery income, good luck, money offers for stuff, and all sorts of money things that you could never have predicted before. It’s a bit like magic. (my example: My 20+ years of weight loss personal training advice book that I stripped out as a free series of instructional blog posts starting here.)

Cash saved – not earned but I still think of it as a side hustle

Here are a couple quick moves I made to make some forward progress on paying off debt.

  • By going to school as an apprentice electrician, I was able to get a Student line of credit at 4.6% to pay off my 15% CIBC credit card debt.
  • Cashed in my work contributed RSP/TFSA combo to put a $3000 dent in my LOC.

These are not accessible to everyone but I want to put it out there just in case.