Side Hustle

For months I have been working hard at my current job, making pretty good money and chunking away at our student loans. We started the year with about a $22,500 balance on my own undergrad loans from Azusa Pacific. Through a lot of hard work, dedication, focus, and God’s provision, we’ve been able to drop that total to just under $9,000 here at the beginning of November. Pretty crazy!

At the end of September, I was working 40-45 hours per week, which was fine. But I felt in the back of my head that I had a little bit of extra time and energy every week. I wanted to make a bigger dent in the loan progress, so I looked around for side gigs. I’ve always done computer jobs on the side here and there. A cleanup, hard drive replacement, whatever it may be. But those jobs are very irregular. I wanted something a little more predictable and steady.

In looking for good side jobs, I kept reading about delivering pizzas. Seemed like something reserved for young high schoolers. But I read more, and I was intrigued with being able to work independently, get to spend time in my own car with my music and work at my own pace most of the time. On top of that, pizza delivery is a tipped position, so there is potential for making more than the standard wage for an entry level position like that. I also had another asset in my corner: a Prius.

I applied to one of the national pizza chain companies here in Forest Grove, less than a half mile from our house. I lucked out here in the Portland metro area, as the minimum wage is actually a very healthy $12.00/hr. As I’ve worked, I’ve found that if I really hustle and keep a smile on my face, tips can be pretty healthy. In my rough math, I usually make $6-9 per hour in tips, pushing the hourly wage to around $20/hr. Really not bad at all!

This has taken a large amount of humility, however. One of my first weeks, I delivered to the local university and stepped into the campus center building and was met with smirks and giggles from some of the college students as I stood there with a few pizzas in hand with my dorky hat on. I was kind of embarrassed, but in the back of my mind, I actually sympathized with those students who are racking up greater student loan debt than I ever did. They will learn soon enough, I suppose.

This side hustle has been challenging. I usually work 2-3 nights per week, usually right after my day job I head there and work until close at 11:30PM or so. It’s not glamorous, it’s not sexy, but it is getting the job done. I’m pocketing $300-$350 in wages and probably $200 or so in tips every two weeks.

Moral of the story is: put your pride aside, or take that step of faith, and try it! Whatever “it” is, you can do it!

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