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What is the Santa Barbara Side Hustle? A Survival Guide to Affording Avocado Toast

It's no wonder why so many people dream of calling Santa Barbara home. However, living in paradise comes with a price tag. In this Santa Barbara survival guide, we will explore how to navigate the high cost of living and enjoy the finer things in life, like avocado toast, through the power of side hustling.

The cost of living in Santa Barbara

Living in Santa Barbara is a dream come true, but it's not exactly budget-friendly. The cost of housing is notoriously high, with rent prices that can make your eyes water. Additionally, dining out and entertainment options can quickly drain your wallet. It's important to be aware of these costs and plan accordingly.

What is a side hustle and why is it important in Santa Barbara?

A side hustle is a way to make extra money outside of your regular job or studies. It's an opportunity to leverage your skills, hobbies, or passions to bring in additional income. In a city like Santa Barbara, where the cost of living is high, a side hustle can be a game-changer. Not only can it help you afford the finer things in life, like avocado toast, but it can also provide a safety net for unexpected expenses.


avocado toast

Ideas for side hustles in Santa Barbara

With its vibrant community and thriving economy, Santa Barbara offers a variety of side hustle opportunities. Here are a few ideas to get you started:


Here are the top 22 side hustles according to Shopify.

  1. Participate in paid online surveys

  2. Get paid to test apps and websites

  3. Transcribe videos, phone calls, and other recordings

  4. Become a rideshare driver

  5. Deliver groceries

  6. Rent out your home to vacationers

  7. Deliver food

  8. Become an affiliate marketer

  9. Tutor online

  10. Walk dogs and pet-sit

  11. Start a blog

  12. Deliver packages

  13. Sell your photography

  14. Start a podcast

  15. Design and sell your own t-shirts

  16. Start a social media page and build income through sponsorships

  17. Give tours of your neighborhood

  18. Create and sell your own handmade goods

  19. Mow lawns and do other landscaping tasks

  20. Create a product line

  21. Start a YouTube channel

  22. Sell digital products


side hustle

Tips for starting and managing a side hustle

Starting a side hustle may seem overwhelming, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding experience. Here are some tips to help you get started and manage your side hustle effectively:

  1. Set clear goals: Define what you want to achieve with your side hustle. Whether it's making the rent or treating yourself to avocado toast every weekend, having a clear goal will keep you motivated.

  2. Manage your time wisely: Balancing a side hustle with a regular job or studies requires excellent time management skills. Create a schedule and stick to it. Prioritize your tasks and find ways to maximize your productivity.

  3. Network and market yourself: In a city like Santa Barbara, networking is essential. Attend local events, join professional groups, and make connections. Additionally, have a business card with your contact info at the ready and use social media platforms and craigslist resources to showcase your side hustle and attract potential customers.

Balancing a side hustle with a regular job or studies

Finding the balance between a side hustle and other commitments can be challenging, but it's not impossible. Here are some strategies to help you manage your time effectively:

  1. Prioritize: Identify your most important tasks and focus on them first. Delegate or eliminate non-essential activities to free up time for your side hustle.

  2. Time blocking: Set aside specific blocks of time for your side hustle. Treat these blocks as sacred and avoid any distractions or interruptions.

  3. Take care of yourself: It's easy to burn out when juggling multiple responsibilities. Make sure to prioritize self-care and set aside time for relaxation and rejuvenation.



self care


How to budget and save money while side hustling in Santa Barbara

When side hustling in Santa Barbara, it's important to be mindful of your finances. Here are some budgeting and saving tips to help you make the most of your side hustle income:

  1. Track your expenses: Keep a record of your monthly expenses to identify areas where you can cut back. Use budgeting apps or spreadsheets to stay organized.

  2. Cut unnecessary costs: Evaluate your spending habits and eliminate any non-essential expenses. Consider cooking at home instead of dining out, and look for free or low-cost entertainment options.

  3. Set savings goals: Determine how much you want to save from your side hustle income each month. Set up a separate savings account and automate your savings to make it easier.

Top Ways to Save Money in Santa Barbara

  1. Walk, use public transportation or check out bikes from BCycle

  2. Clip digital coupons for groceries and pharmacies, or buy in bulk from Costco

  3. Join birthday programs for stores and restaurants

  4. Connect to business' social media pages to stay on top of deals

  5. Create a google alert for "Deals Santa Barbara" or "Free Santa Barbara"

  6. Use Craiglist to buy furniture and comparison shop on Amazon first

  7. Subscribe to Twism to get all kinds of Santa Barbara Deals

  8. Get out and attend events and giveaways advertised in news outlets

  9. Offer a service to your landlord in return for rent reduction.

  10. Shop local thrift and vintage stores like Goodwill

  11. All of the best things in Santa Barbara are already FREE( Fresh air, beautiful sunsets, beaches, sunshine, art shows, etc) Get out and enjoy them!


Finding affordable housing and transportation options in Santa Barbara

Affordable housing in Santa Barbara can be hard to come by, but with some research and persistence, it's possible to find a place that fits your budget. Consider these tips:

  1. Roommates: Sharing a rental with roommates can significantly reduce your housing costs. Look for trustworthy individuals who are also looking for affordable housing.

  2. Explore different neighborhoods: Some neighborhoods in Santa Barbara may be more affordable than others. Expand your search beyond the most popular areas and consider the surrounding towns.

  3. Public transportation and biking: Santa Barbara has a decent public transportation system, including buses and trains. Consider using these options to save on transportation costs. Additionally, biking is a popular mode of transportation in the city and can save you money while keeping you fit.


Living in Santa Barbara may come with a hefty price tag, but with the right mindset and a side hustle, you can afford the avocado toast and so much more. Embrace the entrepreneurial spirit, explore your passions, and take advantage of the opportunities this vibrant city has to offer. By side hustling your way to financial freedom, you can savor the Santa Barbara lifestyle without sacrificing your bank account. So, go ahead and grab that avocado toast - you've earned it!

Remember that starting a side hustle requires dedication and effort. You'll need to market yourself, build a client base, and manage your time effectively. Choose a side hustle that aligns with your skills, interests, and schedule to make the most of your efforts. Be flexible, pivot when you need to and don't give up.


Start your side hustle journey today and enjoy the fruits of your labor (and avocado toast!) in Santa Barbara. You've got this!


GURU TIP: The GURU loves the hustle. In high school, through college, alongside a professional career and even today writing this blog, GURU maintains side streams of income while continuing to build new skills. If you keep learning new skills, YOU will always have a source of income. Albert Einstein is reported to have stated, “Once you stop learning, you start dying


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