Who wouldn’t want to make some extra money at the end of the month?
Forty-four million Americans do, with a side hustle — an extra source of income besides a main job. Younger millennials are more likely to have one than any other generation, says a new study from personal finance website Bankrate.
But, define extra: They’re still earning less than everyone else. Only 25 percent of 18- to 26-year-olds earn more than $500 a month from their side hustle compared to 50 percent of Gen X and baby boomers.
Of millennials as a whole (18- to 36-year-olds) only 19 percent earn that kind of money from their side jobs.
Ninety-six percent of younger millennials (18- to 26-year olds) working a side hustle do it at least monthly, compared to 83 percent of those who are older.
Millennials were the first generation to grow up in the digital age, says Bankrate’s Sarah Berger. It makes sense to her that they are more familiar with apps and technology that many of these side hustle gigs like Uber, Etsy, Airbnb and TaskRabbit use.
“A side hustle can be a great way to help pay the bills or pad your savings account on your own schedule,” Berger says. “It’s important to be smart about any extra income you earn. Pay down debt and take care of your monthly expenses first before adding anything to your shopping cart.”
Millennials and side gigs
Millennials have been progressively outpacing other generations in working side gigs.
A study released last year from CareerBuilder showed similar results of more younger workers turning to side jobs for extra money.
CareerBuilder considers side hustles to include anything from blogging to bartending. For younger workers, side hustles can prove to be a good way to get your foot in the door at a traditional salary job.
“Side hustles not only provide financial benefits to workers, but they make them more attractive candidates to employers, especially in a competitive job market,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. ” If you bring more skill sets to the table and have a unique perspective on how things can be done, you’re sure to stand out from the crowd and be seen as a valuable potential hire.”
Side hustles and the rise of the “gig economy”
Gig economy is a term being used more frequently to describe the increase of workers turning to temporary work and freelance jobs. More companies are hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees.
A recent study found that the gig economy has increased by 27 percent more than traditional jobs over the past two decades.
Most side hustle jobs like Uber and others are considered “gig work” and are contributing to another source of income for Americans.
These workers are their own bosses and are paid for individual tasks. They’re responsible for paying their own taxes on their income, unlike traditional employment.
Almost a quarter (24 percent) of American workers have “gig work,” says a study from Pew. For some it is extra money on the side, but for others it’s a necessary source of income.
Some praise the flexibility and freedom this type of work provides. Others claim these jobs can lead to financial instability and burden workers to ensure their own pay and benefits.
Whether Americans are working a side hustle for extra money at the end of the month or they rely it to pay their bills — it looks like gig work might be here to stay.
It’s important not to let your side hustle affect your day job. If your gig work is your main source of income, it’s important to value your time as your money. Spend it wisely to maximize your profits.
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