I’d love to say I’m a genius that knew pet sitting would complement my online business really well, but I just got lucky.
The Hot Months
With blogging and online ad sales, the hot months are usually December and February-April. The rest of the year has good and bad months but those are the best. With pet sitting, May-August and November have been my OMG months.
That means that most of my year is covered pretty well by one of my businesses even if the other one is slow. But do you notice the missing months?
The Slow Months
January, September, and October are generally slow months. Not a lot of online ad sales (though January is generally decent) and pet sitting is slow because those are not traveling months. How do we get by during the slow months? Those are the ones we base our budget on so that we can afford our lifestyle during any month. We also have emergency savings and an account with income padding from good months.
Complementary Businesses For the Win
If pet sitting and my online world were both amazingly busy during the same months, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with both of them. My 33 year old self does not have a limitless supply of energy. But the schedules are only crazy hectic a couple of months a year (for example, November is a pretty decent online month AND the busiest pet sitting month because of Thanksgiving travel), and that is doable.
Without pet sitting or some secondary business, we’d be living pretty tight. Our average monthly income is around $8000, which is awesome and I have no real complaints. But we’ve painted ourselves into a pretty high monthly nut as well at around $6000. That includes our income taxes, property taxes on two homes, all insurances (homes, cars, life, and health), our mortgage, all of our basic living expenses (food, utilities, etc), and our monthly splurges like Netflix (which is cancelled right now but we always go back, lol) and Massage Envy.
That means that we are using the remaining 25% ($24,000+ a year) for savings and budgeted goals. $11,000 goes right into our Roth IRA’s, we usually spend $5000-$7000 a year on vacation travel of all sorts (cruises, board game conventions, visiting friends, quick weekend trips, etc.), and the rest is squirreled away for other investments like individual stocks and funds like home improvements on both properties.
Overall, complementary businesses are one great way to stay ahead if your main job or business isn’t quite enough. Holiday hours in resale stores or local shops can help balance out slow holiday income from seasonal work. Seasonal work like lawn care can be an excellent side hustle to any job with flexible hours. Any job with flexible hours can be worked around a classic day job. You can see there’s a little something for everybody.
In fact, if you can find one main income source that is more than enough by itself and you enjoy it, I’d still suggest a great side hustle just as a backup and as a way to stay busy if you have the time. I have a feeling that life sometimes makes it impossible to work two jobs (or even just one), so it’s nice to capitalize during the times you have the time and energy.
Are your jobs/hustles complementary?