The 2018 Budget Speech delivered by finance minister Malusi Gigaba left us questioning how our pockets will be affected. While we can look forward to some improvements nationally, things may be slightly dim for our personal finances. According to Jenny Gordon of Alexander Forbes, ‘Our money will not go as far due to government taxes squeezing more from the consumer.’ These changes in the economy may spark the need for you to have a side hustle outside of your 9 to 5 in order to stay afloat, on multiple streams of income. Here’s what you need to know.
Budget 2018’s impact on our finances
From 1 April there will be a 52c per litre increase in the levies on fuel, increases in alcohol and tobacco excise duties of between 6% and 10%, and an increase on luxury goods from 7% to 9%. Smartphones will also now attract extra duties, and government is considering raising taxes on cosmetics, among other things. Yikes.
What this means is that South Africans will have to start training for a pecuniary marathon that is mentally and physically taxing. Jenny advises that we ‘tighten [our] belts as we settle in to assist the government chart a path out of economic stagnation.’
It’s therefore no wonder young professionals are working 12-hour days and 6-day weeks in order to chase the amount of month left at the end of their salary. These are 12-hour days where the hours between ‘9 and 5’ are spent at the office from where your primary source of income comes, and evenings are dedicated to a side-hustle of sorts. We’re cultivating a new movement of modern day superheroes, whose weapons are caffeine and smartphones. We call these superheroes slashers.
What are slashers exactly?
Medical doctor/photographer. Lecturer/band member. IT technician/make-up artist. Editor-in-chief/DJ. Sales consultant/YouTuber. Investment banker/wedding cake maker.
‘Slashers’ are people whose job titles are punctuated using a forward slash to denote another stream of income. These long job titles are the result of what is commonly known as a side hustle. Side hustles are often (but not exclusively) creative escapes independent of your day job, which also bring in extra income at the end of the month.
However, collecting cheques from several sources should not be misconstrued as a mere ‘get rich quick’ tactic – it’s actually not even about getting rich. It’s more about the pursuit of financial comfort, not having to count down the days until payday, and even having a little change to treat yourself every now and then. With rent, car instalments, fuel price hikes, phone bills, medical aid, gym membership fees (for some), and ‘black tax’ as major responsibilities for a lot of young South African women, getting a chance to actually enjoy the money you work tirelessly for is a feeling as rare as a local hip-hop artist who hasn’t ridiculed fans for being broke on Twitter.
Our reality is that of a gender pay gap as well as a racial wage gap, which ultimately places black women, who are ironically breadwinners for their families, at the bottom of the food chain. So no matter how much extra coin you’re making, it still doesn’t feel like enough.
But what does ‘enough’ mean?
The word ‘enough’ can refer to more than just finances. While money is one of the leading causes for people working more than one job and the main focus of this article, it’s not the sole reason. While we all love money, there’s also a euphoric byproduct that comes with having a side hustle.
A 2017 Old Mutual Savings and Monitor Investment survey found that of the 943 people surveyed:
24% were true slashers (i.e. their jobs were unrelated)
13% had a secondary job related to their primary one
53% of respondents would prefer to make a career of their secondary job
63% enjoy being a slasher
17% indicated having more than one job can negatively impact on family life
24% may not be a large number, but it indicates a percentage of people who seemingly have had to take on an extra job for the sole purpose of making money independent of how related it is to their primary source of income or not. For example, I tutor language (isiXhosa) after hours to a few American, Portuguese and even local Cape Town clients, and besides the monetary satisfaction, there’s also a sense of fulfillment that comes with teaching someone else my mother tongue, although tutoring is totally unrelated to my job.
It’s therefore not surprising that a large number (63%) of the above survey respondents actually enjoy wearing two hats. This probably speaks to how multi-skilled people have become in this digital age we’re in, and the fact that earning multiple streams of income has become increasingly attractive.
Essentially, ‘enough’ is a holistic overview of what we gain from our employment and external activities beyond a bank notification on the 25th of every month.
The benefits of a side hustle
Multiple streams of income create a sense of security (however temporary) because if you’re someone who budgets well, it enables you to allocate certain amounts to specific costs. Your monthly salary may cover rent, car instalments, groceries, family responsibilities, and the likes. And your side hustle covers your savings and a few luxury expenses if you can afford to. Taking us back the point made earlier with regards to side hustling being hardly about accumulating immediate ‘wealth.’
Case in point is how even the presumably ‘wealthy’ folk have projects bringing in cash outside of their main source of income. And I’m not talking about booking multiple gigs under the same title, but rather pursuing creative or entrepreneurial projects.
Famous slashers we know
DJ Zinhle is a club DJ by profession and also owns ERA by DJ Zinhle – a watch and accessory online store. She launched it in 2013 and has managed to garner a lot of support from fans over the years.
Actress, club DJ, 5fm host, and Ciroc ambassador Thando Thabethe recently launched her Thabooty’s Underwear & Shapewear range, which caters for women of all shapes and sizes and is available on Zando and Spree
Local actress Amanda Du-Pont launched an online clothing store in January called Tribe Capitol – a casual-chic clothing range modelled by the Skeem Saam actress.
Miss South Africa
The current reigning Miss South Africa, Ade van Heerden is a medical doctor and lieutenant at 2 Military Hospital in Cape Town.
This Cape Town-based fashion and beauty influencer is a radiologist by day, whose keen interest in make-up and fashion is now earning her a bit of money too.