Overtime Is The Most Underrated Side Hustles Ever


How to Save Money, Random Observations / Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Freddy Smidlap, came up with the idea that most of us generally overlook – that overtime is one of the most underrated side hustles ever. He got me thinking a bit about this after reading one of his posts when he was still working in manufacturing. I received his permission to elaborate further on the idea.

A lot of us easily get frustrated and yanking our hair out trying to earn more money, when the solution is staring at us straight in the face.

No! Not everyone will have this opportunity to take advantage of this (sorry salary people – I felt your pain working long hours for no extra pay years back). For everyone else who are hourly, try not turn down overtime work!

The employer is essentially paying you a premium for declining productivity – just to stay at work a bit longer!

fred flintsone clocking out for work
Most of us when the clock strikes 5 pm.

1. Certain to be paid (and on time)

Many occasions when you are doing side work, people might skip out on paying you or they take forever to settle your accounts. This is quite irritating having to dedicate more time to follow up with your accounts to in order for customers to make their payments.

Some companies prefer to wait until the 30th-day ere they make payment. When you allow net 30, they will definitely take advantage of holding their cash as long as possible. Of course, that is if they even pay on time, or at all.

Unless your company you are working for is going out of business, you will be almost certain to receive pay. If your company is on the brink of collapse, they reasonably wouldn’t need you to work overtime anyway.

You would understand your own employer’s financials the best.

2. No commute time

You’re already there! Zero additional transportation time and cost!

How’s that for efficiency and no commuting?

If anything, you might even have less of a commute time by working OT since you are not going to have to drive in traffic when everyone else is going home at the same time.

Yes, there are exceptions if you are a field tech or something. For many people, they tend to work in just one location the majority of their time.

3. Extra compensation for producing the equivalent task

You are doing the exact identical work but at 1.5x pay rate.

What more could you ask for?

How about double time if you managed to struggle past 12 hours?

pinterest overtime side hustles

4. Zero upstart cost required

No additional skill training or education is required. You don’t need to be certified to work overtime.

There is no monetary investment obliged to make more money. Come on people!

What other side hustle can you say that you don’t need to invest any money or time into getting business? Even an MLM scam requires you to spend time recruiting people.

5. More contributions towards retirement

For those who do not hit their yearly 401k max, this is the chance. By earning more, you are also contributing more. In some cases, this will mean further matching from the employer as well.

It is such a damn good deal – more money on top of more.

For others, you can simply put the money away in an investment account or max out your IRA. The difference is that it won’t be tax sheltered.

6. If you have debt, this is a great way to put a huge dent in it

This will keep you from spending money while you are too busy working. It will also help you pay off your debt quicker by earning extra money.

If you can cut back spending in combination with aforementioned, you will pay off whatever loan in no time!

7. Management may even think you are a go-getter

It’s hard to not recognize someone when you see them all the time. And the fact that each time they see you, it’ll look like that you are busting your hump for the business.

Bosses like that.

Plus, if you do something a lot, you tend to get much better at it. Dare I say, even good?! Don’t you think those extra hours of paid practice will amount to anything? The more time you put towards anything, the more the trade will be perfected.

You betcha management will notice.

8. Free dinner

Some companies offer this. People working overtime are usually fed so they don’t die of starvation.

You just saved yourself some dough by eating work food and saved time not having to cook yourself. And that time is used to gaining more cash.

In addition, your urge to eat out will diminish since most of the food is likely catered in from a restaurant.

It’s like getting free takeout! YES!

A story of BART janitors utilizing their OT potentials to the max!

Being a janitor definitely isn’t a glamorous job. However, 3 janitors tried to maximize their earning potentials the best they could.

For those unfamiliar, BART stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit. They are a transportation authority in the Bay Area that operates electric trains. 3 of its janitors earned over 100k, just in overtime, by taking shifts that no one wants to take on.

Before anyone says that they are merely just “taking advantage” of the system, come to the Bay Area and ride BART. You will see some of the grossest stuff on the trains and in the restrooms.

Someone has to clean that up. I am certain most people wouldn’t do the job, even for an additional 100k, much less ask for more shifts.

The janitors were merely making money that no one else was willing to take. No one else voluntarily took the extra shifts offered to them. If the opportunity presents itself, you take it.

They merely knew that overtime is unquestionably the most underrated side hustle ever.

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36 Replies to “Overtime Is The Most Underrated Side Hustles Ever”

  1. cal, you nailed it. we had a guy on the factory floor here who make about 150k for years on end just as a process operator because he said yes to every OT shift. i paid off a 35k student loan and our house mostly with overtime. thanks for the shout out.

  2. A guy I worked with at a golf course when I was in college was living the dream. He was a train driver, hustled super hard for a few years doing overtime, and was making over 130k doing that for a few years. As a bonus, his pension was calculated based on his last four years of earnings, so he got himself a huge pension as well before he retired.

    For a lot of us today, it seems like overtime from work is basically gone, since most of us are exempt employees. That’s why with a lot of side hustles, I think of it as creating your own overtime!

    1. Employers definitely know that they got the upper-hand and put most workers as exempt salaried employees. At most tech places, almost everyone is salaried. After doing some math, I realized how badly I was getting hosed on those 14 hour days and extra Saturdays.

      I think some even went one up by offering “unlimited PTO” which you can’t even utilized. They don’t even have to pay you out on the hours when you separate.

      I guess that’s a rant for a different day.

    1. That’s why when my current job wanted to pay me hourly instead, I was pretty stoked. So far, their “strategy” hasn’t worked in their favor.

  3. When I previously worked in the airline industry, I knew that some pilots and flight attendants liked to work on the holidays (especially Christmas and Thanksgiving) because they would get extra pay. Flight crews are restricted to working only so many hours a month, so they weren’t even required to work extra hours to get the holiday overtime pay. They just fulfilled their normal requirements on a day that paid extra!

    Thanks for sharing a perspective on overtime I hadn’t thought much about.

    1. Some jobs definitely should not allow OT like air traffic operators, pilots, drivers, surgeons and etc… Glad they had a restriction on the hours for flight crews which just paid them out.

      Thanks again for dropping by!

  4. Back in the day when I was paid hourly, I ALWAYS said yes to overtime. Not just more money, but at a higher rate than my normal pay! It was the best. Alas, now I just work more hours and get paid the same. Though occasionally I can take an extra day off without having to take PTO, so that’s appreciated.

    1. Hi Angela. Occasional days off are still good. Gives you time so could work on your other side hustles or unwind! Salaried employees, I feel always get the short end of the stick.

      Appreciate you dropping by!

  5. It’s true. My husband is salaried but actually does get paid when he has mandatory overtime. While it’s a pain in the a**, it’s a better alternative to having to find a completely separate side hustle. Sometimes I’d rather have him home and not have the extra money but he looks at it as just another step closer to FI for us.

    1. Hey Katie! Seems like your husband has the best of both worlds!

      The way I look at OT, it’s one of those short-term pain, long-term gain situations.

  6. Nice! I remember the days when this was a lucrative deal for me. Being salaried now, it’s the inverse. We try to get as much done and outshine our peers in salary cube land, so we can get to our side hustles.

    Very useful concept though, if you’re on an hourly compensation job.

    1. I went from salary to an hourly job, and it felt like a godsend. You get paid for what you work. I love that part about it.

      When I was salaried, I would try to hustle and finish things fast. However, employer caught on and kept piling on more and more before burning me out. That was probably poor career management on my part. Live and learn!

  7. Cal, I was just going to share your post with a witty one liner, but after getting to the bottom of your post, it inspired me to look at other jobs that also have that sort of “OT” hustle bit into it lol. Because while having predictable income fixed salary monthly is nice, it sucks to not get OT. Hence side hustling like Financial Panther said up top. (Was gonna say Black Panther…lol). How about an IronMan on FIRE persona?

  8. Yep. Back when I worked jobs that paid hourly, I’d always try to find people who didn’t want to work and work their hours for them!

    Then those same people who didn’t want to work would complain they weren’t getting any hours, even though they tried to find every opportunity not to work.

    1. I never understood why people don’t work the OT offered either.

      When I was working retail, employees complained to me all the time about the schedules regarding not getting enough hours. Then when I give it to them, they would call in. No one wants to work closing shifts on a short notice, so I would then need to go in to cover their shift. Thanks!

      Also Joe, congratulations to you and the Mrs. on your newborn son.

  9. Overtime if available is awesome. I started out as an eligible employee for OT and it helped me to accelerate student loan payments. Now those suckers are gone and so is the opportunity for OT in my current role.

    Anyone out there that can get some OT though should jump on it.

  10. In my part-time college days and early in my career, overtime was great, but I was always envious of the salaried members of my department who were salaried. Once I made the cut, I got to see the dark side – 90+ hour weeks with no compensation, recognition, or so much as a thank you. Ouch. Not always typical perhaps, but I know I’m not the only one who’s been in such a situation.

    If you’re compensated hourly instead of salary, just know that the grass isn’t always greener. Make hay while the sun is shinin’!

    1. Yeah. I definitely felt some resentment towards management for those insane hours during my salaried days. The lack of recognition is a huge part.

  11. I love this article!!!!!!
    I was considering side hustles and nothing suited me. My company offers regular OT tht is paid either 1.5 or 2 and yeah I’m already right there and know how to do the job!
    The one I’d do is come do like 8-10 hours on one of my days off and make 200€. Way more efficient than a couple of hours every day. Also I work on sundays and get 150€ more! I love it cause it’s quiet and i get to have my days off during the week and go see my doctors or shop when no one is!
    I have decided to get as much as i can and that money will be used for a deposit for a house!

    1. Hi Celine. Glad you enjoyed the article!

      You keep working those OT hours and you will have the deposit in no time. I am jealous that you have so many OT hours available to you!

  12. You bring up a great point, and it highlights something a lot of people forget, too – Don’t let your side hustle affect your career! If working overtime and putting in more effort will pay off in a bigger paycheck today or bigger raises in the future, don’t throw it away just to make a couple extra bucks as a taxi driver!

    1. I constantly debate this myself. Should I focus more on studying for more certifications (spending tons of money for testing and materials) or being a food delivery boy (making money immediately and letting it compound long term)?

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