Published On: Sun, Jun 16th, 2019

All About The SXM Side Hustles

All about the SXM Side Hustles Graphic

In an effort to bring awareness to the many ways you can make a little extra money here on St. Maarten as a side hustle besides your regular paying job, StMaartenNews.com decided to post a topic on this subject matter on its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/StMaartenNewsDotCom.

The post itself reached 4,600 people directly and generated 135 engagements with 56 people reacting to the post with Likes, Loves and Wows. The post generated 13 shares which boosted the total reach to 5,331 people with a total of 328 engagements. Fair to say, there are a lot of people interested in knowing more about side hustles.

The title of the post was “Name your side hustle”. We explained how our publisher was once said to have been seen on the side of the road on the L.B. Scot Road selling peanuts. It was not him. It was another side hustler. Our publisher’s side hustle is making money online with the internet, but we know he would sell pens for a dollar every day as a side hustle if he had to.

The peanut hustler on the side of the road is an excellent example of how you can have a good side hustle selling peanuts, coconuts, fruits, vegetables, bottles of fresh homemade juices and even cold water. It can even be a full time side hustle (like selling food in a truck on the side of the road) or as a way to supplement your income for an hour or two during the day hustling your products.

With the Facebook post, we asked people to name their side hustle with the intention to compile a list of all the side hustles people have on St. Maarten for an article to be published online on StMaartenNews.com. This is the article. We have our own list of side hustles, of course. But we wanted to see if people would post any new side hustles we had not thought of.

The majority of the people publicly posted their answers under the Facebook post. Some people chose to send their answer in a private message to our Facebook inbox.

The answers ranged – in the order they were submitted – from giving advice; doing errands for individuals; recruiting; giving classes; Forex trading; trading in stocks; cleaning services; house cleaning; yard cleaning; landscaping; tax filings; paperwork filings for opening a business (with the notaries, chamber of commerce, business license applications and tax Crib number registrations; chat messaging; being an influencer (on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twtitter, etc.); serving on boards; letter writing; baking; braiding hair; painting houses; performing gigs as a singer; photography; selling DVDs with music, movies and tv series.

Stand-up comedian, Andrew Dick of the Late Night Show with Andrew Dick, forever being the comedian, wrote that his side hustle is stand-up comedy but that he needs “to find a new one because it doesn’t pay.” Photographer, Julie Alcin, immediately advised him to create a Youtube channel with his show recordings and monetize it that way. We don’t know about that solution because Andrew will have to edit out all of the bad words from his shows. But just last month we learned about monetizing video content online in the MasterClass Media workshops. Hopefully, they will organize another series of media workshops soon.

Leon E. Lake posted that he is into sourcing and purchasing custom made windows, doors, bathroom enclosures, railings, rolling shutters and much more. He should be a great partner for KwikFix.com, that specializes in handyman services and always need special supplies for clients.

Another person, Elvis Levenston, posted that he ships fish, lobster and land-crab from Saba to St. Maarten. He says that during carnival he also does a lot of ‘good business’. This proves that there are indeed legitimate ways to have a side hustle and make a little extra money on the side here on St. Maarten, but elsewhere as well, of course.

Before we discuss the many ways you can make a little extra money with a side hustle, which we will be doing in a special way, let’s first discuss some of the issues that were raised in our Facebook post.

Legalities
In various ways the question arose whether a having a side hustle is legal or if you would even be allowed by your employer to have a side hustle. The answer is everyone is allowed to render personal services to others as they see fit as a side hustle. As long as you have a side hustle that is in your own personal time and not on your employer’s time, there should be no objections to having a side hustle in your own private time.

Obviously, we do not condone nor will we promote side hustles that are clearly of an illegal nature. We are in no way in favor of stimulating inappropriate behavior. All side hustles we will be mentioning and listing are legitimate activities you can undertake to make a little extra money on the side.

Tax issues
Another issue that popped up is the issue of the tax man being able to track down side hustlers and tax them for their activities. Irma C. Gumbs even expressed the hope that the tax department will not be using the information provided. This thought was seconded by SCDF President, Alston Lourens, whose main hustle is his marketing agency, St. Maarketing. The turnover tax (TOT) was the main concern at this point. However, we consider this a luxury problem. Why? Because the TOT is only 5% of your total side hustle revenues. If you can’t afford to pay 5% in turnover taxes, then you need to find a new side hustle with better gross or profit margins or  one with better cash flows.

Our advice when starting a side hustle, is to consult with those who are doing tax filings as a side hustle. If the income from your side hustle exceeds your tax-free threshold, then it is time to consider registering your side hustle as a sole proprietorship for the many tax write-offs and other tax benefits you can obtain. You can also incorporate your side hustle as a one-person company. The cost-benefits of doing that is a topic for another article in our Tax Topics series.

In a whatsapp discussion with local entrepreneur and owner of Simadon Trading and Services, Clifton Wilson, whose side hustle, among other things, is selling Rechargeable LED Light bulbs for $10 US Dollars each, we advise him on the issue of taxation that “One of your objectives in this life is to have more money in your bank account. Tax write-offs are one of the methods that wealthy people use to get ahead financially. Despite what you’ve been told, the best tax write-offs are not in home ownership. It is actually by owning a business wherein you can write off a significant percentage of your spending.” This is a based on a quote by American professor of finance, Dr. Boyce Watkins.

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Tax-free threshold
The topic of the tax-free threshold led to many being surprised and unaware that there is a tax-free base with a maximum amount a person can earn without having to pay any taxes on this threshold amount. So to be certain, we consulted with tax consultant, Jean James, developer of Easyfiling.sx. Easy Filing is an easy solution for your annual income tax filing. With Easy Filing you are able to fill out the form yourself online through a series of simple questions depending on your tax situation.

James informed us that in 2018 the tax-free threshold (belastingvrije som) in St. Maarten was NAf. 16,576 and, according to him, it hasn’t changed for 2019. This means that you can make over $9,200 in your side hustle without having to pay income taxes on that amount. However, it would be remissed of us not to point out that you are always required to report any and all income derived from your labor, side hustles, business activities, interest and from dividends earned.

At this point, we would like to interject with an editorial on this tax topic…

Here on St. Maarten people have every right to fear that the taxman will only come after the small man or woman with their side hustles and not go after big businesses and investors, but the small entrepreneurs need to arm themselves with knowledge, not only about taxes, but also about government rules and regulations and use this knowledge to their advantage. People need to stop fearing the tax department, government bureaucracy and the seemingly endless paperwork involved when dealing with government departments and institutions. The system can be used to their benefit without the need to hire expensive lawyers, consultants and tax advisers. They just need to use the side hustlers who specialize in these areas. People need to practice group economics. This is how side hustlers will succeed as small time entrepreneurs focusing on their purpose and on their side hustles.” – Publisher, StMaartenNews.com

Why the need for side hustles?
There are many reasons why you would want to have a side hustle to make a little extra money. No matter how good your main income may be, if you have a passion for something outside your regular job and you get satisfaction from doing that and you can earn an extra income from that passion or hobby, then power to you. That is the best way to go: turn your passion or hobby into a money-making side hustle. Like Eva De Flores Amador who wrote “My side hustle is baking and I absolutely love it. It’s my happy place!”

The many reasons people can have for having a side hustle is a topic for future articles. We can think of the topics of practicing group economics, crowdfunding, solidarity funds, investing and wealth building. All topics that are not taught in schools. Therefore having a side hustle is an excellent low threshold way to get into a business that does not require big investments, but can be a great way to start generating extra income that can fund your savings account, emergency fund, education fund, vacation fund and investment fund. Just to name a few good reasons for earning a little extra money on the side to supplement your regular income. If you have ever done a Budgeting Course with Emilio Kalmera then you would know about these funds that you need to have monies set aside for.

In order for local people to prosper they have to start practicing group economics. That requires a mindset change. That can only be stimulated through proven success cases about working together according to the principles of group economics. But we will get there. That is the ideological side hustle of this publication.” – Publisher StMaartenNews.com

Free Email Course
With this last quote above, we would like to invite you – since you have read this article thus far – to register for our free email course called “All About the SXM Side Hustles”. This is the special way we intend to discuss the many ways you can make a little extra money with a side hustle. In the email course during a series of emails, we will discuss in depth the various side hustles possible on St. Maarten, how fast you can set these up and where to get gigs for side hustles online and off-line. We are calling these email series “All About the SXM Side Hustles”. See below…

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Sign up to receive our email series “All About the SXM Side Hustles”.

When you sign up for our “All About the SXM Side Hustles” email series, you will receive more in-depth information about how to make a little extra money on St. Maarten with any of the many side hustles available to choose from. Click here to sign up now…