a lot of finance blogs right now are writing about starting a job on the side, a freelance gig, a hobby that pays – something that qualifies as a side hustle. in general, we’re all for increasing earnings. but we’ve recently done just the opposite – quit the side hustle that was actually hurting our ability to earn and save and retire.
we can only assume that for a lot of people, the hourly rate of the side hustle is higher than the practical hourly rate of the full-time gig. for us, though, our side hustle (she used to teach some fitness classes in addition to a full-time job) had a lower effective hourly rate because of travel time associated with it and, even at its peak, only ever netted about $10,000 extra per year. granted, that’s plenty of money. but, we realized that in order to earn that money, she had to restrict travel for work, which restricted how much she could commit to projects, which restricted her upward mobility and earning potential.
in a little over a year since giving up the side gig, she has been promoted and has seen her earnings climb more than enough to cover the lost side hustle income. so for us, the best money decision was to focus completely on our full-time jobs and not commit time and energy to the side hustle.
what does that mean for you? it just means do your own math. there are probably lots of situations where the side hustle makes tons of sense, like it did earlier in our careers, when $5,000 or $10,000 made a bit difference, and let us save more. but consider that at some point, holding onto a side gig might actually be holding back your ability to move up and earn more in your main job.