If you’re a fan of side hustling, you’ll be interested in the side hustle stack. A side hustle stack can change your income from good to great to bring on “early retirement!”
In this article, I’ll show you how to create the perfect side hustle stack, one that aligns with your specific financial goals and your desired lifestyle.
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What Is Side Hustle Stacking?
Side hustle stacking is a simple concept: You pair two or more complementary side hustles to create multiple income streams.
I’ve been ‘side hustle stacking’ since January 2018, when a major life change drastically reduced my income.
Today I’ve got three side hustles that help me support four kids on my own, all while creating my own schedule and being able to be home often for my kids.
If I’d been forced to get a “regular” job, I don’t know how we would have survived. Raising kids with two parents is tough work–raising them with one is even tougher.
My side hustle stack has allowed me to implement balance in my life and my kids’ lives while still being able to provide for their needs.
Whether you’re interested in a side hustle stack to improve your overall financial stability or to reach a specific goal, such as paying off debt, a side hustle stack can be the right solution.
So, how do you build the right side hustle stack? Here are some tips.
How to Build a Side Hustle Stack
Start building your side hustle stack by making a list of your skills and interests.
Remember that “skills” and “interests” are two different things. For example, your list of skills includes things you’re good at doing and might look like this:
- Graphic design
- Handyman skills
- Automotive repair
- Computer repair
- Math whiz
On the other hand, your list of interests includes things that you enjoy doing. For example:
- Fix computers
- Web design
- Cleaning and organizing
Now comes the important part: comparing your list of skills with your list of interests.
For example, let’s assume the two lists above belong to our fictional side hustle stacking wannabe (we’ll call him “Fred”). There are some similarities in Fred’s lists.
Fred listed web design on his “interests” list. However, this could be an unreasonable side hustle if he knows nothing about designing websites.
But because he has both graphic design and computer repair skills on his “skills” list, we can assume he knows enough about web design to make that into a side hustle – or at the very least, he can build on his current knowledge to learn enough.
Conversely, Fred also loves skydiving. While being a skydiving instructor might be a great side hustle for Fred, it could be disastrous if he “jumps” into the business with just one dive under his belt.
Similarly, Fred loves to crochet, but if he’s not good at it, he will have a tough time making money unless he learns more about it first.
As such, your goal should be to choose a side hustle that you know how to do and love to do. So if you love to clean and organize and are good at it, you might choose a house cleaning or organization business as one of your side hustles.
Make your lists with these tips in mind, and be sure not to mix the two terms as you create your lists.
Bonus Tip: Create a third list with items you may be able to rent for easy passive income, such as your garage, basement, pole barn, yard, or vehicle.
Using Your Lists
Next, use your lists to find matching skills and interests that could be turned into side hustle opportunities.
The longer each list is, the more opportunities you’ll have to create side hustle stacks. Try and use your lists to create side hustle stacks that meet benchmarks, such as:
- Combining similar skills
- Time flexibility
- Use partner apps you can piggyback leverage.
For example, consider using TaskRabbit to help you get gigs if you’re a handyman. Or, if you’re a dog walker, create a profile on Rover.
Or you might choose one side hustle that you can work in the morning and one that you can work in the evening. You’ll save time and earn more money by using your lists to create smart ways to combine side hustles.
Benefits of a Side Hustle Stack
Build Multiple Streams of Income
One of the main benefits of a side hustle stack is that it allows you to earn multiple income streams. Having multiple income streams is important because, although you may relish your main day job, things change, and that job may not always be there.
Layoffs happen. Companies merge or go out of business. Technology might make your job obsolete.
Having multiple income streams helps ensure that you still have money coming in even if one source of income disappears.
The Potential to Work From Home
Depending on the types of side hustles you choose to work, you could make extra cash right from the comfort of your own home.
Examples of side hustles you can do from home can include:
- Tutoring (in person or online)
- Transcription and data entry
- Freelance writing
- Graphic design (Etsy Printables perhaps?)
- Web design
- Expert advice (i.e., JustAnswer)
- Blogger or influencer
There are hundreds of options to work from home if you’re willing to search them out.
The Ability to Create Your Own Schedule
In addition, side hustling and side hustle stacking allow you to create your own work schedule. You choose when you work, how you work, and who your clients are. It can be a very flexible way to increase your income.
Examples of Side Hustle Stacks
As you’re making your side hustle stack list, start by choosing one side hustle first, then try to think of second or third side hustles that stack well onto your first side hustle.
For example, if you enjoy driving and being around people, you could drive for Uber as one of your side hustles. Then you could add delivery services for DoorDash as a second side hustle.
If you’re handy and love fixing things, you could be a fix-it person and make repairs in your local community. Advertise your business on social media or sign up as a Tasker on TaskRabbit.
Here’s another idea. Create fix-it videos and publish them on TikTok or YouTube. If you can build a large audience, the income from ads and affiliate partners could be significant. You might be surprised at how much YouTubers make by placing affiliate links in their videos.
If you love cleaning and organizing, you could stack your cleaning/organizing side hustle with a recycling side hustle and earn some additional cash when you help clients take scrap metal and other recyclables off their hands.
Another idea would be to pair your cleaning/organizing hustle with a retail arbitrage (product flipping) side hustle and sell goods your cleaning/organizing clients no longer want. Or you could start a blog to show others how to clean and organize.
You get the picture. Take two or more tasks that complement one another and start making money.
Your Side Hustle Has to Work for You
Remember, your side hustles don’t have to complement each other. As long as they allow you to make room for other gigs, you’re on the right track.
For example, I freelance write early in the morning before my kids get up. I’m a morning person, and morning is my quiet time when my head is clear.
One of my other side hustles is selling real estate, which requires a lot of evening and weekend work.
Although the two side hustles aren’t directly related, they allow me to accomplish being home during the day and homeschooling my kids, which is a high priority for me.
You, too, can determine and combine your side hustle schedule to best fit your personal priorities.
Now that you know how side hustle stacking works, use the information to increase your income, make yourself more financially solvent, and reach your financial goals.
I have no doubt you possess at least a few skills you can use to earn some extra income. Use the tips above to get creative and find ways to use those skills to earn some gig money.
If you work it right, you may find, like I did, that your “gig” money is enough to be your main source of income.
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Great post Laurie! I didn’t need any income after retiring but I had a stack of side hustles already planned and ready to execute just to entertain myself. I became an expert witness, a manufacturing plant trouble shooter, a design reviewer, a utility rate case consultant and a lobbyist. I only worked a few hours a week but brought in six figures which, while not needed, was still fun to make. And most of those were done in my home office remotely, but they did let me travel on an expense account as much as I wanted to see my clients which was also fun to do. I agree that having several complimentary skill sets you can monetize is a good idea whether you are using them to become financially independent or just to keep your mind sharp in retirement. In my case I steered my career into areas I could carry into retirement. That plan began for me over thirty years ago so it really is a good idea to start looking at this when you are young, it can give you tremendous flexibility now and can also make life very interesting when you are older, or just plain old, like me!