What the heck is a side hustle? And do I need one?

Published on: Tue, 27 Sep 2022
By: Claire, redwigwam

What the heck is a side hustle? And do I need one?

There has never been a bigger squeeze on our finances. The cost of everyday products is rising, and pay is rapidly falling behind the cost of living.

As a result of the cost-of-living crisis, many people are looking for ways to make extra money – a side hustle. Recent research shows that 5.2 million workers have turned to second or multiple jobs to help pay for the increased cost of living, while another 10 million plan to. 


But what is a side hustle?

A side hustle is something you do to make extra cash on top of your actual job.

Typically, this is a part-time job, but can also involve selling things you’ve made, or picking up freelance work (writing, editing, accounting for example).

We’ve picked out our top 10 side hustles below – but really you could do anything if you have the time!

Looking for a more flexible way to work?

Nine to five doesn't exist in our world. Join redwigwam and find work that fits in around your lifestyle.

How do you start a side hustle?

First things first – you need to decide what your side hustle is going to be. As this (for the moment at least) is going to be something you do on top of your everyday job, it needs to be something you’re passionate about – or something you can do relatively hassle free.

Some people use their side hustle to take a hobby to the next level. Maybe you’re an avid knitter – your side hustle could be selling knitted goods. You could sell old clothes or other stuff you have at home. You could set yourself up as a freelancer if you have relevant skills.

Or you could sign up for a temporary work platform like ours at redwigwam, where you’ll be able to pick and choose from a whole host of jobs.

The important thing to remember is it’s a job on the side – so you need to factor in how much spare time you have, versus how much money you want to make.

It’s also worth noting the many MLM type schemes which are out there. We know some people manage these very successfully BUT do be aware there is often a set up cost to get started and you’ll need to work hard to recruit people into your team to earn better money. It may look like easy money, but please do your research before you commit!

What side hustles work?

With the right time and effort, all side hustles can work.

First and foremost, you need to determine if there is a market for yours, and how you are going to find your customers. What are your initial outlays going to be? And do you have the time to fulfil your orders? Don’t over promise and then under deliver!  

Lots of people prefer a part-time job because it means a regular income. Or working for a platform like redwigwam means you enjoy the benefits of being employed (like tax and NI payments being taken care of) but on a completely flexible basis, because you only pick up the hours you have the time to do.

If you do decide to go it alone, do remember you need to pay tax and National Insurance on any money you earn (as a rule of thumb, save 20% of everything you make to cover this).

What are the top 10 side hustles?

There is no right or wrong way to have a side-hustle – what works for someone won’t be ideal for someone else. But some of the most popular side hustles include:

  • Selling crafts which you’ve made
  • A regular part-time job
  • Flexible working on a platform like redwigwam
  • Buying and reselling items
  • Blogging
  • Tutoring
  • Babysitting or dog sitting
  • Taking online surveys
  • Food delivery services
  • MLM schemes

What side hustles make the most money?

Like everything, how much you earn depends on how much you put in – which in turn is determined by how much free time you have. Obviously some will pay more than others – if you’re turning a hobby into an income you may find your pay rate per hour is low (and don’t forget to take into account the costs of buying materials when you’re setting prices)/

Obviously with a second, or flexible job, you’ll be paid per hour, so will earn at least national minimum wage – and often much more.

What is an easy side hustle?

Well, while there is no such thing as easy money, some ways of making money are easier than others…

Completing paid surveys for example is simple to do – but you do have to do a lot of them to earn rewards.

As we said at the beginning, it’s important your side hustle is something you enjoy. In terms of redwigwam jobs, many wigwammers enjoy mystery shopping as a way of topping up their income. These jobs can often be done while you are out and about doing your regular shopping and don’t even really feel like work!

How do you find a side hustle?

Does it feel like everyone around you has a job on the side? But you really don’t know where to start?

Try looking in your local area. Shops, bars, and restaurants often have advertisements up looking for part-time staff. Local Facebook groups are always stuffed full of job ads too. Or if you need a little more flexibility, try a flexible work platform like ours at redwigwam.

Of course if you already have a crafty hobby, you can start by photographing some of what you’ve made and sharing with friends and family, and again in local Facebook groups. Once you’re up and running, it’s probably a good idea to have a look at setting up a store on Etsy which has all sorts of crafts on offer.

What side hustles can I start with little money?

The idea of a side hustle is to MAKE money – not spend it. So, unless you already have a crafting hobby where you can make things to sell on the side, we wouldn’t recommend shelling out to get started. Instead, find a side hustle that is free to join.

Your best start point is joining a flexible work platform like redwigwam.

It’s free to make an account and then you are automatically matched to all available jobs in your local area. You book the work you want to do and turn up as per the instructions on the job brief.

Click below to get started!

Looking for a more flexible way to work?

Nine to five doesn't exist in our world. Join redwigwam and find work that fits in around your lifestyle.

What jobs can I do as a side hustle?

Anything really! Although typically, part-time jobs as a side hustle are things like bar work, waiting on, cleaning, mystery shopping.

Have a look at our latest jobs page to see what is available in your area.

Do I have to pay tax on what I earn with my side hustle?

In short, yes.

You are legally required to pay tax on everything you earn once you reach your personal tax threshold (personal allowance is up to £12,570 at the time of writing – meaning you won’t be taxed on the first £12,570 you earn in each tax year. Any money you earn over this is taxable).

At redwigwam, all our workers are classed as employees, which means the appropriate tax and NI payments are automatically deducted from your pay packet.

If your side hustle means you are self-employed, you’ll need to complete a tax return each year – this will then work out how much tax you need to pay. As a rule of thumb, it is best to save 20% of what you earn from your side hustle to cover your tax bill.

How do I know if having a side hustle is worth it?

Ultimately, this will be down to how much money you make! But if you have enough time, and are enjoying what you are doing, then any extra income is a good thing – especially at the moment!

Looking for a more flexible way to work?

Nine to five doesn't exist in our world. Join redwigwam and find work that fits in around your lifestyle.