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You eventually want to take your side hustle full-time. It’s important to have enough in savings to help you comfortably do this.
I will admit that I took my side hustle full-time right away. It was never really a side hustle. I was unemployed and really had no choice as I tried to find a job. It quickly became a success, fortunately, so I was able to stop the job hunt. I do not recommend doing what I did.
You want to have a savings buffer before you consider taking this side job full-time. Now the question is how much you need.
At least three months’ worth of income
Start by looking at how much you have monthly right now. Add up your hustle and your main job. You want to multiple that by three at the very least. That is how much you need to have as a buffer for the next three months while you move from side income to full-time hustle.
I’d actually recommend a little more. Three months wouldn’t work for my anxiety, so I’d say six months’ worth of income. However, the general rule is to have three months’ worth of income saved up at all times.
This is just the emergency fund to move your hustle to full-time. You still want other savings to fall back on should something happen.
Yes, you are likely to cut out some of your spending when you switch out of your current job. You won’t have the commute or the drinks with colleagues. You won’t cut everything out though, so make sure you have enough to get by for the full three months while you grow your business.
Won’t your side hustle give you extra money?
Do you really need the three months of full income that you have now? After all, you’re not losing all your income, and you have the potential to grow your side income now that you’re going full-time. In fact, you should grow that income now you’re going full-time.
You could get away with making sure you have three months’ worth of your full-time job income. That will give you the buffer you need to bring your hustle up. I just like to have a little extra buffer.
As your income is growing, look at adding more to your savings in the future. You want to keep that emergency fund at three full months of income as much as possible. You just don’t know what will happen in the future.
MORE: Is it time to take your side hustle full-time?