Why Extra Income Is So Important

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Extra Income

One of the most widely discussed topics with personal finance bloggers is about earning extra income. We all talk about it, and most of us even practice what we preach. Earning more money is not a taboo topic, and is in fact, a reality for many. When I talk about earning more, I’m not talking about earning more from your regular job; I’m meaning cash coming in from a side job, or hustle.

Before you stop me and say that you don’t have time to pick up a side job, I hear that too many times. I don’t allow it as an excuse anymore and do you know why? The simple reason is that excuses get you nowhere. If you are taking time to make excuses, then you are not using your time wisely. Myself and many other people also have busy lives, yet we manage it rigorously – point being, there are many ways to make extra money if you’re willing to put in the time. (Editor’s note: I could not agree more with Grayson. Excuses will get you nowhere and the time you’re wasting making them can be put to much better use.)

Make that Money


I have been earning extra income ever since I was in high school. I have had side jobs for close to 15 years. It is not about having time to do a side job, it is about the drive to look for side jobs. If you want to earn more money, then go out there and get it done.

I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I have found over the years that if you want to see results, then you need to dig in and dedicate yourself to whatever goal you have. Trust me, making extra income on top of having a full time job, a family, selling a home, and enjoying my passions is not always easy. There are times when I am tired and want to just relax, but then I think about my goals.  I always create lofty goals and the only way I can achieve them is to earn extra money.

The Importance of Extra Income


We all have goals, don’t we? If you don’t, then I am not sure what to say to you. Step away from this post and go write down something you want to achieve.

Ok, now for those that have goals. Let’s talk about how you plan on achieving them. John and I both are advocates of setting goals. They are extremely important and help you understand where you are and were you want to go. Without them, it can be very hard to achieve much.

A Goal That Requires Extra Income


One of my main goals this year is to sell our current home and then buy another one. Now, selling and buying a home is a hectic process as all homeowners know. The entire process is time consuming and it costs a lot of money. I have been saving as much money as I can with each paycheck, but after some time, I realized that I wasn’t saving enough.

There are two ways to deal with this problem.  I could cut services that I pay for on a monthly basis, or I could earn more. You can only cut expenses by so much before you are going to hit a wall. Unfortunately for me, I have hit that wall. So, my best option was to make more money.

I can’t go to my boss and ask for a raise, as we only get annual reviews, so that would be a waste of time. What I can do is look for income producing opportunities on the side.  It has been about seven months since I have ramped up my efforts to earn extra income and I can say that I have reached my goal. I now have enough money in my savings account to be comfortable when paying a down payment and having an emergency fund.  This wouldn’t have been possible without earning extra income.

There have been so many people that have reached out to me about how they were only able to achieve their goals by earning more money. I was only able to reach this goal and another major goal of mine – paying off my debt, because of extra income. It is such a powerful financial tool and it can provide financial security. If you have the ability to earn money on the side, then you can truly change you life. Extra income can open up opportunities that allow you to achieve more.

For those who remain skeptical of the power of extra income, please don’t look down on the idea until you try it. There are thousands of ways to earn extra money. Side hustles are a powerful tool and the options can be vast. I wouldn’t be able to do many of things that I do without my extra income. Not only does it open doors for me, it also allows me to increase my knowledge. I try to never stop learning and when I do that, I get more opportunities to turn an idea into an income generating side hustle.

Do you earn money on the side? Do you think it is important to earn more money or do you earn enough that you don’t have to worry about it?


Photo courtesy of: _DarkGuru_

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Grayson is the owner of Debt Roundup and Empowered Shopper. He also co-owns Sprout Wealth and Eyes on the Dollar. After going to battle and winning against consumer debt, he decided it was time to learn how to use credit wisely and grow his wealth. He discusses all things personal finance and is not afraid of being controversial. He also is a freelance writer and blog manager.

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  • Jack @ SeeJackSave says:

    I totally agree Grayson. I’ve had my second job for almost twelve years now. For a couple of years it turned into my first job (a whole other story) but for the most part it’s been a great addition to my main income. In addition to more cash, it has allowed me to develop new skills and to be exposed to a whole different field of work making me more valuable in the labour market. In short I’ve grown both my financial AND my human capital!

  • Jen says:

    Earning more money is really important. I’ve cut down as much as I can at the moment and I’ve found something I enjoy that will bring in some extra money. I think that’s the key thing. If you can find something you enjoy doing then it won’t seem as bad to be working a side job.

  • Brian @ Luke1428 says:

    I’m an advocate for earning money aside from your full-time job. It’s a great way to improve your financial health. Life balance is key though. I don’t want be focused on making money every minute of the day. That will detract from things that are more important, especially family time.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      You are right there Brian. Keeping the balance in a good spot is important and can be hard to accomplish when you first start.

  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    For me it’s important because I have some financial goals that may not be possible solely from my full-time job. I also have an entrepreneurial “itch” that definitely is not satisfied by full-time job.

  • Chrissy Cutting says:

    I have been interested in finding a good side hustle too. Seems the folks running niche sites have it nailed down with passive income. But for now I have been doing freelance writing to earn extra money. Hopefully I can make enough to pay down our mortgage faster. Side hustles rock!

  • Holly@ClubThrifty says:

    My old “side” hustle is now my full-time job, so I suppose I don’t really make any money on the side anymore. I do take on additional work when it comes…so I guess that counts =)

  • Travis @debtchronicles says:

    I think I’ll always think I would like to earn more money. I currently earn a significant amount of side income as a freelance writer, but sometimes I wonder if the effort I’m putting into my writing is impacting how quickly I could advance at my day job. There’s likely a happy medium where I can do my day job as well as I possibly can, and still do some writing for side income – I just fear I’m not at the right balance at the moment.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      I make sure that I focus on my main source of income first. That is what got me here and that is what I truly like. The side income can go away at any moment, so I need to make sure I have my main job nailed down.

  • Michelle says:

    I definitely think that making extra income is important. My extra income is now all my business income, and it really helped me pay off my debt and make the switch to being full-time self employed easier.

  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde says:

    Extra income is like the answer to a formula when you are trying to solve for a missing variable. I have clients who get bummed when we talk about the “fun” money they have leftover after we complete their budget. And to get them less bummed, I suggest earning extra money where they can, and then this extra income will me extra fun for them. When I worked for a bank, I was not “allowed” to earn extra income without jumping through a million compliance hoops, now that I have my own company, I love earning extra income whenever possible.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      I am glad that I don’t have a job that doesn’t allow me to earn on the side. The two are different from each other, so I don’t think it would matter. I don’t like when companies stifle your ability to earn more money.

  • JC @ Passive-Income-Pursuit says:

    I earn a little bit of extra money on the side but I’ve started branching into some other opportunities. Another advantage to earning a side income is in case you happen to lose your job you’re not completely without an income source coming in. Most side hustles can be scaled/ramped up if you have the time to devote to them and who knows if you enjoy it enough you just might want to go at it full-time if the possibilities are good enough. I’m going after side income to allow me to save/invest more. I’m in a similar situation where there’s not a whole lot more I can cut on the expense side so the only real option is to look for other income sources.

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    Grayson – the truth of this is so profound! Extra income took Rick and I from being $1000 short every month, to being able to pay the bills and also add a little bit extra toward debt each month. ” if you want to see results, then you need to dig in and dedicate yourself to whatever goal you have.”. Grayson, this line is crucial to reaching goals. It’s not always fun, but it is doable, and I haven’t met a person yet that said, after working hard to reach their goals, said “It wasn’t worth the effort”.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      That is a great story Laurie and you should be proud of that. You didn’t wait for something to happen, you made it happen.

  • Michael Solari says:

    If you have the motivation then yes do it! What kind of side jobs do you have?

    • Grayson Bell says:

      I have many side jobs. I do a lot of freelance writing, I run my blog, I do blog maintenance, I code, and I help others with Excel issues.

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    We would probably still be paying off credit cards without extra income from contract work I was able to do with a government clinic. My side job has now turned into 1/3 of my income, so I’d say it worked out pretty well. I always think I need to earn more money, but sometimes time is more important. It’s hard to find the balance.

  • Broke Millennial says:

    “If you want to earn more money, then go out there and get it done.” This makes me want to yell PREACH! It’s so true. A friend of mine constantly complains about wanting more money and I’ve helped her brainstorm side hustles on numerous occasions and yet it always comes back to “I’m busy, I’m tired, I don’t want to deal with doing x,y or z.”

    I love generating extra income. It makes me feel financially secure and gives me some wiggle room to splurge every-so-often.

  • Pauline says:

    Thanks to extra income I was able to double/triple my day job’s salary and stop working decades earlier. It is really worth the time investment, even if you are not an entrepreneur, you can have an extra shift at minimum wage here and there and easily make an extra $200 per month.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Awesome Pauline. I agree there. Most people don’t realize that they can pick up a little minimum wage work and bring home just a little extra.

  • Raquel@Practical Cents says:

    Motivation is key and setting goals is part of that. I’m earning a little side income right now but would like to earn a lot more now that I see it’s possible.

  • Matt Becker says:

    I’m right there with you on the idea of earning more. I actually think that it can be healthier, to an extent, to take the earn more mindset rather than cut out. You’re opening your life up to opportunities rather than cutting them out, which is an incredibly powerful thing. I will say though while I think the side hustle can be incredibly powerful, especially if you’re trying to escape your current job, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the possibility of simply earning a raise. For people who like their work, that can really be the best way to do it.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Interesting perspective Matt. I can agree to that up to a point. I do think cutting out should be a step that you take in order to get your finances up to shape.

  • Jason B says:

    Extra income is definitely important. I have been making some decent money off Ebay the last two months. That money has helped me knock some debt down.

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach says:

    Well I wrote a post on why everyone needs a side income so yes, I agree. 🙂 I’ve had side jobs on and off my whole adult working life, even when I worked full time. Some were more time consuming than others, so if you are in a good financial position, I don’t think you need to kill yourself making extra money, but it’s a good idea to keep up with side “skills” just in case you need to jump back into something.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      You are correct on the point where you don’t need to kill yourself to make extra money. There is always a balance that one should find.

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says:

    I understand that some people don’t want to take on side hustles. Doesn’t bother me, as long as they’re not the same people complaining that they don’t have enough money.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Spot on assertion there Stefanie. Not everyone has to take on extra income opportunities, but don’t complain if you don’t have enough money.

  • Anne @ Unique Gifter says:

    When I was making substantially less, I picked up anything I could find. Now that I made a lot more, I’m looking to get things going that are more passive, or that build a more residual income flow.

  • Marvin says:

    I absolutely agree! If you want extra income you can definitely go out and make some. If you lose your full time job you won’t be completely down and out. Not to mention you can learn a whole other skill by working part time.

  • Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says:

    I love extra income. My regular income goes toward retirement, the mortgage, bills, and all of the boring stuff. My extra income goes toward travel… and other fun things (mainly travel).

    • Grayson Bell says:

      I plan on using some of my side income to travel and do fun things. Right now, I am focusing on selling my house and using it to buy another one.

  • The First Million is the Hardest says:

    I think it’s important to earn money on the side. I don’t make much from my side ventures, but in a way it still acts as its own “emergency fund” where I know I’ll at least have something coming in if I lose my main job.

  • Canny. Calgarian says:

    In my eyes the ideal 2nd job is to do something that you enjoy. For me, that’s teaching kids sports – I do it for free but if I needed a 2nd job that is exactly where I would start. Thanks.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      I think it depends on one’s financial situation. If you are struggling to make ends meet, then side income should be whatever it can be.

  • kk@ student debt survivor says:

    Good points. People have a lot of excuses when it comes to money (making it and spending it). If you really want to make more money most folks can find a way. I make a little money through the blog, but mos of my side hustle is from pet sitting, dog walking, freelance writing etc.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      I certainly agree with you KK. It is those that make excuses are typically ones that don’t get ahead. Excuses don’t get you anywhere!

  • PC says:

    I’ve had a part time job since 2008 to help supplement my low income. At first, I worked four nights @ 4 hrs a week. It took a toll on me, as I slack off at my full time job and it showed. I was tired and just didnt care as much anymore. My relationship with bf hurt as well as I didnt have much time to spend with him not to mention friends as well. Luckily, I found another higher paying job 1.5 yrs ago so I can cut my hrs down dramatically at pt job. Its nice to have extra income but sometimes it affects other aspects in my life.

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