5 tips to keep your second income sustainable

Taking on a side job can be great for your bank account and, in some cases, can give you the chance to pursue a new career with the added security of your primary income.

To make the best of both roles, you need to create a sustainable working model so that you don’t burn out. Likewise, life can’t be put on pause while you work, so plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss out for the sake of your second income.

Here are our five best tips for sustaining a second income, to help it all run a little more smoothly:

#1. Have a goal

Why are you starting a side gig? It could be financial, it could be career-motivated, or it could be something entirely different. Money-focused side hustlers could have an income goal in mind; career-focused workers might plan a career development path.

Whatever the inspiration, it’s important to set goals for yourself to ensure you create a sense of purpose and avoid simply producing without being productive. Thinking about it properly will help you prioritise what you need to do and keep you motivated.

#2. Embrace ‘busyness’…

Anyone starting a side business or wanting to make money from home must accept they’re about to become busier than before. Those who thrive while earning a second income don’t just accept this fact – they embrace it.

Welcoming your newfound busyness with open arms is easiest when you enjoy the work you do, as you’re earning money for something you’re passionate about. Don’t feel guilty about having less time to spend on non-work activities, and needing to prioritise your downtime for re-energising. Embrace your busyness and that this lifestyle works for you.

#3. …but don’t over-commit

If you’re good at what you do for a living now, everyone will want an extra slice of your time. If you work retail, you may be asked to cover extra shifts; if you freelance, clients may ask you to take on extra work. Whether it’s because you need the extra money, or you want to make a good impression, the temptation to agree to it all can be overwhelming.

Don’t over-commit your time. If you’re working too many hours in the week, your side gig won’t be manageable. Of course, the reverse is possible too: if you work full-time already, burning out because of a side hustle could put your position in jeopardy. Recognise when enough is enough and learn how to say no.

#4. Treat yourself

You deserve it. Seriously.

If your side hustle is solely to make extra money, perhaps for savings or to cover a big financial cost, you should absolutely put the hours in if you’re happy to.

At the same time, remember the motto ‘work hard, play hard’. Maintaining a busy lifestyle can be tricky when you’ve got no incentives to look forward to. Whatever small treat makes you smile – a night out, new clothes, a tub of your favourite ice-cream – don’t deny yourself a well-earned reward.

#5. Don’t forget about life

Life happens, no matter how much work you have to do. So, it’s important to prioritise and plan how you’ll manage your day-to-day routine to prevent chores and tasks from spiralling out of control.

Daily chores should be scheduled in between work, rather than left to pile up in the hope of a day off – it may be some time away. Delegate where you can, and where this isn’t an option, consider if there’s anything about your habits you can change to reduce housework. Then, when you do have spare time, you can use this to relax and recharge or socialise with friends and family.

Starting a side hustle is only the beginning; you need to sustain it to reap the real benefits. For more advice and tips for creating a second income, check out our full selection of side hustle guides.

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