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Why You Should Set Goals For Your Side Income

108403132_25ee192050_zThere are many reasons to start a side hustle. I began a new side hustle in July 2014: freelance writing online. Some of the reasons why I decided to try my hand at making money online included using writing as a way to express myself, using writing to help and motivate others to get their finances in order, and using writing to occupy my free time with something productive instead of wasting away in front of the TV. 🙂

But of course, the main reason I decided to start a side hustle was to earn more and accelerate my progress toward my financial goals.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make the best use of my side hustle income in 2014. Most of it was used for things like shopping, going out to eat, and paying for entertainment instead of going toward my financial goals. Then I decided to get more serious with my finances for 2015. One way I’m being more serious with my finances is by tracking ALL of my spending, including the spending I do with my side hustle income.

In order to help me stay motivated to continue hustling, I’ve also set some goals for how much side hustle income I’d like to earn each month. Here are just a few goals I’ve set with my side income.

Side Income is Part of My Budget

Due to some changes in my full-time employment status and income, I’ve had to make my side income a part of my budget for 2015. Making my side income part of my budget is a good way to keep myself motivated to work hard and earn more.

For example, if I need $100 from side income to cover expenses in my budget, I know that I have to earn at least $130 from side hustling (because of self-employment taxes). If I don’t earn enough to cover my budget shortage each month, I’ll have to find a way to cut my expenses instead, which is never a fun thing to do when you’re already living on a strict budget. Making my side hustle income a part of my budget gives me an income goal to work toward each month.

Side Income Will Help Me Meet My Other Goals

When I set up my main personal and financial goals for 2015, they were heavily reliant on my side income. For example, one of my goals in 2015 is to quit my full-time job. In order for this to happen, I’m going to have completely replace my full-time job’s income by side hustling.

In reality, this means I will have to earn at least 30-35% more by side hustling each month than what I am currently making at my full-time job thanks to self-employment taxes. Keeping this end goal in sight helps me to continue seeking new client and opportunities to make more money from my side hustle.

Side Income Report Goals

When I first started reading blogs, I loved how some bloggers shared a monthly report of how much they made by side hustling. Since I started side hustling, I too have been sharing a monthly report of my side income and experiences. I find these reports very motivating and now it’s my goal to grow my side income and always beat the month before.

Incorporating side income into as many goals and aspects of your life as possible is a great way to make sure you stay motivated to keep hustling when times get tough and you get tired. This will inevitably happen and when it does, you want to make sure you have good goals in place to help you keep going so you can reach your final outcome, whatever that may be.

 

Do you set goals with your side income? Do you make it part of your budget or do you put it towards a certain category? Why do you try to make side income?

 

 

Photo courtesy of: wetwebwork

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Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

18 comments

  1. I agree that setting goals for side income is important. Right now our monthly budget can be covered with one full-time and one part-time salary. So the side income I make through blogging goes back into the blog. As it (the blog and income grows) we will use it to fund things in our personal life like travel and other hobbies.

  2. Once I became self-employed, my “side income” became my full-time income. I have a few side projects in the works but I still count it as my regular income. Maybe one day I will have some side income again =)

    • That’s a good point Holly. I am working to grow my side income too so that it will become my “regular” income too. Then I’ll look at it differently again I’m sure. 🙂

  3. I have no set target for my side incomes but it looks like that putting one is an effective way to motivate one’s self.

    • Having a set target for each month helps me to work hard to meet it, especially now that I need at least a little bit of it to live on in my monthly budget.

  4. I save the majority of my side income money and reinvest a good bit back into the businesses too. Because of this, I don’t budget the money. I pretend like I never made it in the first place. But with that said, I do have goals every year to increase my side income. It helps me to stay motivated and striving for more every year. I’d love to get to a point to where I could comfortably live off of the side income. The only way to do that is to grow it and you need goals to be successful in that regard.

    • Everyone does it differently and if I weren’t using it to cover my living expenses (so I can transition away from my current FT job) I’m sure I’d look at it differently too. Thanks for telling us how you view side income.

  5. When I had debt, I immediately put any and all side income towards it so that I didn’t think about the extra money I was bringing in. That way I didn’t have a chance to spend it!

    • That’s a great idea Michelle! I have switched to making extra payments to my credit card as soon as the side income comes in, instead of waiting until the end of the month. When I waited to make extra payments, I usually ended up spending the money on other things instead.

  6. I actually set goals for my side income last year because I wanted to use my side income money to pay for my trip to FinCon. It was a great motivator for me and I loved that I side hustled my way to FinCon.

    • I am using my side income in my monthly budget, and using a portion to pay off extra debt. In addition, I’ve been saving some of it to pay for FinCon15. I know my progress is slowed by splitting priorities, but this way I can work on multiple goals at once.

  7. It’s like come what may, when it comes to my side income. I can work as much as I can depending on the mood. But, I acknowledge the benefits if I set income goals.

    • I do know what you mean. There’s only so many hours I can commit to working on my side hustle (in addition to my FT job) to meet my goals. It can be overwhelming at times.

  8. I always tried to set a goal for side income. It was always easy to fall back on the “well this is just extra money” which caused a couple of problems.

  9. I made the mistake last year of spending some of my side hustle income before I actually got paid, which is why I didn’t quite reach my goal to have my CC debt paid off by the end of 2014. So this year, I’ve set some tougher goals which will require me to do some serious hustling and no spending to meet them. So far so good, I’m operating under the goal that each month I will make more than the previous month with side hustling and then an overall average throughout the year. Since my side hustles before have been sporadic, I think trying to constantly improve is a better goal than a set amount each month.

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