As the cost of goods and services has continued to soar across the world, many U.S. workers are finding themselves relying on side-hustle money more and more as a way to be able to make ends meet.
For many, the typical business day may consist of clocking in at 9 am and then heading out the door by 5 pm. Lately, though, the day does not end there. Many are increasingly finding themselves having an additional side gig to head off to.
Fortune reports that per a new Bankrate survey of around 1,000 respondents, 41% of American side hustlers need the additional cash to cover everyday expenses. This is up from 31% of workers who said the same thing in 2019. With more citizens dipping into their savings, they’re also attempting to refill their bank accounts with supplemental income to rise to the occasion of paying the costs of air conditioning, housing, gas, groceries, and more.
“Working extra hours just to make ends meet feels like a negative story about inflation and represents a difficult situation,” says Ted Rossman, a senior industry analyst with Bankrate.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, side hustlers had been using the extra work as a means to save some more money or pay off debt. Now, it’s almost becoming a necessity. As a comparison, in 2019, 36% of side hustlers used the money for fun, and 24% saved it. Now it’s down to 26% and 17% doing the same thing.
Curiously, the percentage of those with side hustles dropped from 38% in 2019 to 31% today. Bankrate figures this to be due to inflated fuel prices, with popular side-gig jobs like ride-shares and delivery services becoming more costly.
Is The “Great Resignation” A Factor?
Bankrate defines younger millennials as those aged 26 to 32 as side hustling more than any other generation. 43% of this demographic is working a side job, compared to 34% of their older Millennial peers and Gen Z’ers.
They’re bringing in $400 in extra cash monthly as a median, compared to the $250 older millennials earn. On the flip side, fewer of them report the need for income for expenses versus older millennials, maybe due to more minor dependents and investments.
Women are also hurting as well. They’re earning half of what men typically make a month – $250, compared to $500. Men’s side jobs are not as much about scraping by and more about saving, with only 33% putting their side-gig earnings toward living expenses. Nearly 48% of women are doing the same.
However, not all of this side cash is going toward living expenses. Rossman claims that some people are using this side income to finally pursue their passion projects without the need to exert much financial risk. “I suspect many people used the pandemic and the associated Great Resignation as an opportunity to rethink their careers and how they’re spending their time and energy,” he said.
With that, I’m curious readers. How many of you have used the last couple of years to be able to pursue your passion projects? Do you find yourself reading more? Writing more? Creating more? Have you had to resort to side gigs to cover expenses? I would love to hear your stories and comments below!