More Americans turning to a ‘side hustle’ out of necessity

May 24, 2023, 2:20 PM | Updated: 2:30 pm

side hustle necessity...

Phillip Slaughter, who served in the U.S. Army for 18 years, works in his home office Nov. 10, 2022, in Clarksville, Tenn. (Photo/Mark Humphrey)

(Photo/Mark Humphrey)

More Americans are embracing the ‘side hustle’ as a way to put a little extra cash in their pockets.

Ted Rossman, Senior Industry Analyst at BankRate.com, says nearly two in five Americans are picking up extra work for money. So what is a side hustle?

Inflation rates remain high in Seattle, especially food costs

“We’re basically talking about a second income source,” Rossman said.

Increasingly, a side hustle is no longer just a passion project or a way to get cash for a special night out. It’s becoming a necessity.

“People are generally using this money just to get by, which I think on one hand is admirable that people are putting in the extra time and effort to make this extra money, but I do think it’s a sad reality it’s just going to day-to-day bills,” Rossman said.

BankRate’s survey found that 33% say they’re using their side hustle to pay for regular living expenses.

Nearly 44% believe they’ll always need an extra job to “maintain their lifestyle.”

“Side hustles have become more common, but like so many things in this inflationary environment, people are working harder but not necessarily getting ahead,” Rossman said. “Side hustlers are much more likely to view this extra income as essential, rather than a passion project or a way to get ahead financially.”

Younger generations, including 53% of Gen Z (ages 18-26) and 50% of millennials (ages 27-42), are more likely than their older counterparts to have a side hustle (40% of Gen X, ages 43-58, and 24% of boomers, ages 59-77).

“Even though almost everyone who wants a job has one – and even though most people have gotten a raise over the past year or two – it hasn’t been enough to keep pace with rising costs in other parts of their life,” Rossman explains. “We’ve seen housing costs go up tremendously we’ve seen costs for food and gas and education and medical care and just about everything goes up.”

Rossman said that when it comes to what types of extra jobs people are taking on, it runs the gambit from crafts and childcare, to landscaping and ride-share driving.

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More Americans turning to a ‘side hustle’ out of necessity