Back in the day, people used the term “moonlighting” to describe second jobs that typically were done at night, after the regular workday. Today, those jobs are usually called side hustles. Some people are finding ways to increase their side hustle earnings through a strategy called side hustle stacking.
Keep reading to learn how to maximize your income by stacking your hustles.
What Is a Side Hustle Stack?
A side hustle stack is a combination, or stack, of different side hustles that boost your earning potential. While side hustlers have been stacking for years, the term is a relatively new one that has become popular on platforms like YouTube and TikTok — not to mention Side Hustle Stack, the massive earning-opportunities database that helped popularize the term.
You can create a side hustle stack by working two or more unrelated side hustles or by creating two or more streams of income from a single side hustle or category of side hustle.
An example of the latter is ridesharing. An Uber driver might increase their earnings by also driving for Lyft, and perhaps even a delivery service such as DoorDash. By working all three platforms at the same time, the driver uses down time between Uber rides to earn more money.
How To Build a Side Hustle Stack
Building a side hustle stack can be easy when you research and get creative with your skills and products. By knowing what works for you, you can build numerous stacking opportunities and reliable income streams. Here are four steps to help you get started.
1. Find Your First Side Hustle
A stack starts from one side hustle. Your priority is to find your first side hustle based on your skills and what you like to do. Many factors influence the choice of your side hustle, but the main ones are your:
And, of course, it should have the potential for at least one additional stream of income.
2. Make a Plan
Now that you know what you want to do, it’s time to figure out how to do it. Map out your vision for the initial hustle, setting realistic goals and a timeline for achieving them. Then come up with a task list for executing your primary idea. If, for example, you select raking and mowing lawns as your primary hustle, you might list the following to get started:
- Create a Facebook page for your services.
- Sign up on Fiverr, TaskRabbit and other freelance platforms where you might find opportunities.
- Make flyers to hand out in your neighborhood.
- Buy the equipment you need to get started.
3. Take Deliberate Action
Be consistent in your efforts until you build a habit around the pursuit of your hustle. When your first side hustle is thriving, you can implement your ideas to make your side hustle stack from your main gig.
4. Borrow Inspiration From Successful Side Hustlers and Online Creators
You can model them and create something unique and similar. If you can find a mentor doing what you want to achieve one day, follow them and learn as much as you can from them. Most importantly, be keen to know how they have built their side hustle stacks and see if you can apply them in your situation. Look at your mentor’s:
- Promotional strategies
- Products they are promoting
- New freelancing sites
Is a Side Hustle Worth It?
If you could use the extra money and you enjoy what you’re doing, a side hustle is definitely worth it. That’s especially true if you stack hustles to maximize your earnings by making more efficient use of your time.
Just steer clear of hustles that sound too good to be true. Gigs like writing product reviews or filling out surveys for what literally amounts to pocket change are not worth your time.
Why You Might Need One
About 44% of Americans have a side hustle, according to a November 2022 survey by LendingTree. The survey revealed that 43% take on the extra work to pay the bills, and 68% have become more reliant on the extra income because of inflationary price increases.
“Inflation has eased recently, but it certainly hasn’t stopped,” said LendingTree chief credit analyst Matt Schulz. “Most everything has gotten more expensive, and that’s eaten away at most people’s financial margin for error.”
But it’s not all about survival. For more than one third (36%), side hustles provide discretionary income or money to pay off debt (22%), and a sizeable percentage (16%) used the money for holiday expenses last year.
What kind of money are we talking about? Side hustlers earn an average of $473 per month, according to the survey. That’s nearly $5,700 per year, which isn’t bad for work side hustlers spend less than 10 hours per week doing, on average, according to a Zapier survey — and that’s for one side hustle, before stacking.
What Is the Most Successful Side Hustle?
Family assistance is the most lucrative side hustle, according to Bloomberg, citing data from ZipRecruiter. Individuals doing this hustle earn $24.35 per hour, on average, for helping families with childcare, cooking, household chores and coordinating schedules.
This is one hustle you can do with no money, and it lends itself perfectly to stacking. You might offer to house- and pet-sit for the family when they go on vacation, for example. Or with their approval, accept an Instacart order while you’re doing their grocery shopping, or write for pay while the kids are sleeping.
How To Make Money From a Side Hustle Stack
A well-developed side hustle stack is powerful for generating multiple income avenues. However, managing them requires conscious, deliberate efforts. Naturally, you’re not supposed to be constantly working. If you have a full-time job, adding a side hustle can be quite overwhelming.
It’s advisable to take one idea at a time. Progress once you have grounded one side hustle. You’ll be more effective if you approach your side hustle-stacking journey with an open mind. Consider it an opportunity to creatively explore and see what you can do to earn more money while living a well-balanced life.
Building a side hustle stack is a great way to amass income that could potentially lead to a standalone business. With more and more side hustles created every day, stacking side hustles will likely be embraced by many people.
Lydia Kibet contributed to the reporting for this article.