How to Start a Side Hustle on a Shoestring Budget

Over the last week, I had the chance to talk to a few people over email about the struggles they’re facing as they get started with their side hustle and I noticed a recurring theme with a few basic problems.

One is not having enough time to get things done, another doing too many things all at once, and the final issue of not having much money to get started.

To be honest, I’m not someone making huge amounts of money with my side hustles, in fact, I usually earn around  $200 to $500 a month but I feel the more important thing is that I didn’t let that stop me in the beginning as I’m getting started.

So in this article, I’m going to share 3 things you can do to start your first side hustle on a shoestring budget.

Don’t Build Your Website First

First off, don’t build your website first.  I know this sounds a bit backward to most people but hear me out on this.  The reason I suggest this idea is because building a website takes time to get up and running especially if you’ve never done it before.

More than that building a website slows you down in the beginning.  I remember starting my first website and I would get all caught up in writing great blog posts, designing my logo, and driving traffic to my site.  The problem with this is that none of this stuff produces an income for me.

More than that if you’re on a tight budget you can avoid the extra cost of buying a domain name, and hosting, by buying an email service provider to collect emails.  Now don’t get me wrong these things are all important but in the beginning, you don’t need them.

So what should you do first instead of starting a website?

The first thing you should be doing is creating the first product that you can sell.  Now you might be wondering how can sell a product when you don’t have a website and I answer that problem in my next tip.

Start With an Existing Platform

In the beginning, when cash is tight I recommend getting your start on an existing platform that is selling what you already have.  For example, if you want to write ebooks sell them in the Amazon Kindle store.  Want to create a digital course put it up on Want to sell your service online check out Fiverr.

The options are literally endless out there.  In fact if you’re not sure what kind of platform to get started on I put a list of them together to help you out you can check that out here.

I also recommend this because these platforms already have traffic coming to them and it also allows you to test your ideas and see if people will buy them before you decide to stick a whole bunch of money into to it.  I’m currently doing this with my first digital course which I plan to release at the end of them month.

Seek Out the Free Tools

Another way to save a few bucks in the beginning is seek out free tools to help you get the job done.  For example, I’m currently creating my first digital course and one tool I need to get the job done is Camtasia, which is a $300 video editing program.

The problem is I can’t afford it right now so I’m opting to use a few free tools to help me get the job done such as BB Flashback Express , Audacity, and Windows Movie Maker.  These tools are all free and can pretty much do the same exact job as Camtasia.

The only downside to doing this is that it may require you to take a few extra steps to get something done but none the less it can be done.

Another way I was able to cut cost was to borrow equipment.  One of the big problems I’m facing as I create my digital course is that I don’t have a very powerful computer to record my screencast.  Thankfully I have a brother who does have a better computer that I can barrow.  So if you don’t have the equipment consider borrowing it from friends and family.

Wrapping Up

One thing I want to mention as I wrap this article up is that working on a shoestring budget should be a temporary thing. Once you start to earn some extra money with your side hustle you’ll want to reinvest those first dollars so you can buy the right equipment for the job.

In the end this will speed up the process for you and eventually help you earn more money in the end.  So now that I”ve shared my thoughts on ways to start your side hustle on a shoestring budget what have you done to get your side business off and going when you didn’t have the cash?

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.


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