Most of us have some debt. But there’s good debt and there’s bad debt.

Taking out a mortgage or student loan are examples of good debt, because both will generate money over time.

Credit card debt is an example of bad debt. And most of us have it.

According to USA Today, “Americans owe a record $1.04 trillion in credit card debt — up from less than $854 billion five years ago.” On average, each of us owes $6,354 on our bank-issued credit cards.

Paying off debt is hard. If you have a little extra time, energy, creativity and motivation, you should strongly consider starting a side hustle.

Paying off that debt can be tough — especially when you have bills to pay and mouths to feed. But it has to be paid off lest it burden your finances for the rest of your life.

We all could use a little extra money to pay off our debts. But how can we make it?

Starting a side hustle

Easier said than done, right? Actually, it’s pretty easy to start a side hustle. All you need is a little extra time at the end of the day or on weekends, an imagination, and some motivation.

Ask yourself: What am I good at? What do I love? Everybody has something they’re good at that can make them a little money.

Three side hustles for creative people

1. Freelance writing

There’s enormous demand on the internet for skilled writers who can produce polished, engaging content. Businesses around the world know how important good writing is to their marketing strategies, and many are willing to pay decent money for it. You can start a side hustle by finding writing gigs on Upwork and similar sites.

2. Photography

If you’re sitting on a pile of attractive photos, you can sell them to stock photo companies such as Shutterstock and iStock by Getty Images. Set up a Facebook page to advertise your services. Your business will boom during wedding season, and new parents will flock to you for photos of their newborn little ones.

3. Graphic design

New businesses need talented designers to help them with brand development and advertising. You could focus your graphic design side hustle solely on branded logos for new businesses and never run out of work.

You’ll need an attractive portfolio to showcase your talent (and so will you, photographers). Consider setting one up with Behance, Wix, or Fabrik.

Three side hustles for hustlers

1. Drop-shipping

Drop-shipping is a fun, affordable, low-risk business model. That makes it a solid choice for starting a side hustle.

In a nutshell, drop-shipping involves selling products to customers without carrying stock yourself. Suppliers store your stock at their warehouses, and you market your inventory, build a relationship with your customers and close your sales. You keep part of the profit from each sale you make.

2. Virtual assisting

If you have talent for bookkeeping, project management, social media advertising and administration, you’d probably make a great virtual assistant.

Most business and independent professionals are too busy to manage all these things themselves. Many of them would gladly pay you to take care of the “office stuff.” 

3. Affiliate marketing

Some companies will pay good money for new customers, and they’ll partner with experienced independent marketers to expand their customer reach.

Find a brand you believe in and help proliferate it in the marketplace for an extra few hundred or thousand dollars each month.

The bottom line

Paying off debt is hard. If you have a little extra time, energy, creativity and motivation, you should strongly consider starting a side hustle.

Business might be slow at first, but if you’re consistent and do a good job, your business will grow. And your debt will shrink.

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