Author Topic: This side hustle isn't worth it, right?  (Read 2842 times)

LadyStache in Baja

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This side hustle isn't worth it, right?
« on: August 24, 2015, 07:16:15 AM »
{{I've posted this twice, once in my journal, and once here, let me know if that's a forum faux-pas}}

I run a small farm.  I've also been mulling over taking a part-time teaching position.  Pros: we have no savings!  Well a few thousand in a retirement account, but no emergency fund, and considering that I'm 30 and our annual income is so low, well, we need to start saving a lot faster.  So a peso is a peso.  Cons: the hourly rate is way way way too low.

I'm leaning (now) towards not-teaching.  Ask me again in a few hours, and I'll have flip-flopped again.  The hourly rate is painfully low ($83 pesos which right now translates as $5).  I'm sure you're all screaming what!?  Value your own time!  Which is why I tend to quit.  And then take it again when we need the money.

To help me think it through, I made the following spreadsheet of our annual income:

Conservative estimates (currency in pesos):
rent income   47194      13.49%
farm annual   110000      31.45%
DH    annual   137600      39.34%
teaching            55000      15.72%
TOTAL            349794   

OK, so it's 15% of everything, which is something!  Not to laughed at!  But its not great.  especially considering that my time allocation would be 3 hours/day teaching for 15% of our income, and only 2.5 hours at the farm for 31% of our income.  Why not maximize the farm income instead?

Here's my optimistic estimates:
rent income    47194      9.40%
farm annual   200000      39.83%
DH   annual   200000      39.83%
teaching       55000      10.95%
TOTAL          502194         

I'm *pretty sure* we can double the farm income for various reasons I won't get into here.  I'm also *fairly* certain that DH's income will be greater since it's been good since we've started advertising, even in the off-season when many homeowners aren't home.

So, I'm thinking of forgetting the teaching, focusing on saving more money by having more free time to cook and therefore not getting tired and eating out.

And trying out elance and odesk for some writing experiments.

Another idea is giving Spanish lessons.  I'm fluent in a place where many Americans wish they were.  I've even started developing an e-course.  The idea is that they'll read lessons, watch videos, and do homeworks (that I've developed) for two weeks, and then have a class with me.  This way I can charge for a two-week mini course even though I only have to give an hour of my time.  This is the kind of side-hustle I'm interested in developing.  Something worth my time!  If I spend 3 hours a day earning $15 dollars, I'll never have the free time to make it happen. 

The thing that calls me back is that is $1125 pesos/week guaranteed.  Whereas a side hustle depends on me to get out there and self-promote.  For teaching, I just show up.  And I do LOVE working with the kids, and developing lesson plans and teaching!


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Re: This side hustle isn't worth it, right?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 07:34:06 AM »
Wow, Either I did my math way wrong, or the cost of living is very low where you are. Also I have no experience in your situation, so don't take what I say too seriously.   But heres my 2 cents. You didn't list what you thought you could make teaching spanish, or if you would enjoy developing that more then teaching children. You also make a good point about staying home and cooking more so your not tempted to eat out. Your practically making money in the kitchen if you eat out a lot....

So if it were me, I would first try and find a way to calculate what I would make teaching spanish, best and worst case scenarios and see if the demand is indeed high. Once you do that you have numbers you can use for comparison.

At the end of the day you gotta do what makes you happy.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: This side hustle isn't worth it, right?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 07:54:31 AM »
Hi Kroaler,

Yes indeed those numbers are very low, right!  Assuming you divided those numbers by 16, you did the math right.  (Although the dollar is high right now.  For the past 8 years it's hovered around 12.5)

COL is pretty low: annual property taxes are around 2000 pesos.  Electric 350.  Water 70.  We don't have a mortgage or pay rent.  Well, we do have a zero-interest loan that we used to build our house, but I'm not counting that because zero-interest.

What is expensive are the things we don't buy anyway: new clothes, gadgets, all consumer goods.  It's a good incentive to not buy stuff because I am always horrified by how expensive things are compared to the US.

To answer your question about what makes me happy: although I love teaching, it is also a job, and there are always pesky annoying details that can be really aggravating.  In a normal job, one would hope that the rate of pay is enough to make it worth it.  With this job, though, when that stuff comes up, that's when I pull out my calculator and am horrified at what I'm actually pulling in. 

What would make me happy?  That is such a hard question.  I'm not sure... If I were FIREd, what would I do?  I'm pretty sure I'd work anyway, part-time, at what I'm not sure!  I love teaching, but the boss lady is really really frustrating.  So I probably wouldn't put up with it.  As for farming, if I really didn't need the money, I would probably be happier coordinating some sort of community garden, or farm for soup kitchen kind of a deal.  Something no pressure, no clients to please.

I'll work on the Spanish tutoring calculations...


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Re: This side hustle isn't worth it, right?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 09:42:58 AM »
I feel you have a few options out there for you, enough to give them a try. I t also sounds like you've made up your mind on quitting your current teaching job.

Your options:
- spend more time on the farm, with the hope of increasing revenue
- Spanish lessons + potentially your online course

Both these options sound like they would give you a better hourly rate than your teaching job, plus both sound like you are more excited about them. I'd give it a try.


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