I’ve shared my foray into sidehustling over the last two months; I’ve netted over $500 in various alternative financial pursuits and learnt so much about taking opportunities as they’re presented to make extra dollars. I’ve done countless online market research surveys, sold all kinds of perplexing junk on eBay, dealt with the pre-pubescent rage of a young kid who hates maths while tutoring and wasted hours clicking through various ‘offers’ online in pursuit of increasing my overall income pie. All these activities have their ups and downs; flexibility is traded for significantly less return, while eBay and etsy attract fees and effort. However, my most hated yet valued side-hustle is babysitting.
The boyf and I are lucky to continue to get ad-hoc babysitting opportunities from our family. Typically this nets us $100 for the night – the kind of income where if you consider amount per hour, you cringe. But it was these $100 nights that gave us opportunities to pay a $1500 holiday in cash in January. Buy a Wii. Get things we couldn’t possibly afford on our unpredictable income. It also saves us money – these babysitting opportunities come up on Friday or Saturday nights. Typically, great nights for spending on takeaway or a bottle of wine, or a night out.
The way we have learned to realise value from these $100 nights is to stash the cash. We have the ‘Fun Party Jar’ (very over the top name). All our cash jobs fill that jar. Each individual job can feel pointless and annoying. $100 can feel like it’s not remotely worth it. But slowly and steadily, we add to that jar. And it starts to add up. $500. $1000. Enough to make a big difference to our lives.
To make it bearable involves acknowledging the special time it nets with family. We get the kids outside. We learn a bit about what we’d be like as parents. We shamelessly exploit screens. We make up games and learn the most delicate lessons in dispute resolution. And slowly we add to our wealth and grow our tools at our disposal to build the life we want.