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Tips to Start Your Side Hustle the Financially Responsible Way

A side hustle is a great way to supplement the income you earn from your 9-to-5. Some side hustles can be lucrative to a point where they double your primary earnings or become enough for you to fully transition into entrepreneurship if that’s what interests you.

The most challenging part of a side hustle is getting started. Perhaps you're unsure of where or how to start, or you're worried about financial limitations they may face. Starting a side hustle may mean you’ll have to use money from your own pocket until the business booms. Of course, some side hustles like dog walking  don’t require a lot of money to get started. So if you can, start where you are, with what you have, and build from there.

Here are helpful tips on how to get your hustle on, the financially responsible way.

Get started

Understanding that success won’t come overnight will make it easier for you to start. Identify your niche, preferably in a field you’re really passionate about or where you are already skilled or experienced. Don’t drive people around the city if driving gives you anxiety or be a dog walker if you don’t like dogs. You won’t enjoy being in these lines of work, and you won’t make it a profitable business if you’re dreading every moment.

So, choose what fits you. Do some research to see what other people in your chosen field are doing so you can establish a benchmark for your success.

Name your goals and break them down into parts such as short term, mid-term and long-term goals. If you have a debt that you want to settle, that could be one of your primary goals. Don’t forget to add the exact amount of money you need to achieve each goal.

Invest in necessary resources

It can be stressful to think that you may have to take from your pockets to get started. Consider that you may be making a profit in as a little as a couple of months after starting, which will make all initial capital outlay worthwhile.

The resources don’t have to be expensive. For example, if you’re planning to take on graphic design as a freelance designer, you can purchase entry-level creative design software packages. You can also invest in tools such as invoice automated software that process, track and send payment reminders to clients.

If your finances are tight, there are two ways to free up money to start up your side hustle:

  • Tackle your debts – doing this will help you free up some money you could use towards equipment. DirectAxis has a debt consolidation solution that simplifies your debt repayments.
  • Get a start-up loan – DirectAxis offers a personal loan solution that you can use towards your equipment investment needs. 

Before you decide, find out about your financial health first to get a better idea of your best option. Use our tool to learn about your credit health and how you can improve it.


Budgeting puts everything into actionable steps and it minimises the risk of feeling overwhelmed.. Your budget will tell you how much you’re paying towards your expenses. It will also show you how much you’re left with post-payments and help you identify gaps on which expenses to cut back on to divert the money elsewhere. If you haven’t yet drawn up a budget, use our free budgeting tool to get started.

Charge what you’re worth

People who are new at side hustling often struggle with charging people for their services. Remember that you’re providing a service that will require time and effort, so charging the right amount is only fair. Also, undercharging will not help you reach your goals in the time frame you’ve planned.

The best way to go about it is to determine the going market-related rates for various scopes of work. Also, you have to include other costs, such as travelling. For example, if you’re a photographer or videographer, you’re likely to be travelling to and from locations for shoots. These are costs you need to factor in when you charge a client.

Final thoughts

One of the greatest things about the side hustle game is that it can easily be tweaked as you progress. You do not need to have everything figured out from the beginning, and you certainly don’t need to invest in everything at once. It’s a trial and error journey that promises great financial benefits long-term if you are committed and disciplined.

Our 25 years of experience in helping people achieve their goals has shown us that there’s merit in backing yourself. After all, fortune favours the brave.

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