While some people might try out side hustles because they need more money, many gig workers might also be seeking out social interactions, a creative outlet, or just taking advantage of flexibility in their remote jobs.
"Side hustles have become more common, but like so many things in this inflationary environment, people are working harder but not necessarily getting ahead," Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate, said in a press release. "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."
In the April survey, 39% of US adults said they do something "to earn extra income on the side" outside of their primary income source. Some respondents reported they believe they will always have to have a side hustle to "maintain their lifestyle," according to a press release.
But aside from the money, there are plenty of reasons people take on extra gigs on the side. Below are financial and non-financial reasons people have pursued side hustles.
Jennifer Nahrgang, Palmer Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business, told Insider she thinks "the most common" reason behind people trying side hustle jobs is "just for increased pay." For example, people may want to make extra money outside of a main job to put toward paying off debt.
US inflation has been slowing down in recent months, but people with side hustles are still feeling its impact. A LendingTree post about a November survey stated that "68% of hustlers say they rely more on the extra income because of these price increases." In the April survey from Bankrate, "23% of side hustlers are spending more time on their side hustle because of inflation," per the press release from Bankrate.
"Freelancing is a really great option, or building a side hustle, because the economy is so unstable," Trisha Diamond, senior director of customer success at Fiverr, told Insider. "When you look at workers that are maybe employed at companies that are doing massive layoffs or if they're just hearing about it on the news even if it's nothing to do with their company, you start to ask yourself like, 'Am I secure in the position that I'm in?' And you start to think, 'What can I do to help make sure that I'm financially stable in the long term?'"
It's not just those who have pursued side hustles who have thought about other ways of bringing in money.
"When we speak to a lot of both independent workers, full-time workers, freelancers, the whole group, one thing that we hear very regularly is the importance of having multiple streams of income," Diamond said.
Diamond added this is particularly the case for millennials and Gen Z who are "savvy in this area, and they understand how important that is to diversify." Diamond noted that having a side hustle is "one of those great opportunities to do that."
"Obviously financial reasons are a strong motivator for why people pursue side hustles, but we also found that there's other reasons," Nahrgang said, who has done research on the impact side hustles have on the performance of full-time jobs. "A lot of people pursue it just because of the freedom and the autonomy that they get from side hustles."
That can include choosing your schedule. One full-time worker who tries side hustles told Insider he does his side hustle work during some nights. Work-from-home and hybrid schedules may be another contributing reason for people trying out side hustles.
"As more jobs are online and the connection between work and place has gotten weaker, it's just easier for workers to take on a side hustle," Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, told Insider. "If your side hustle is online and your job is online, well it's very easy to sort of jump from one screen to the next — to be trading Pokémon cards on one screen while you're responding to your boss on the other, to be selling your homemade purses on Etsy on one screen and corresponding with customers while also doing your HR job."
One non-financial reason people have turned to freelance work in particular, according to Diamond, is to develop skills or work on stuff they are passionate about. Similarly, Nahrgang said that "people maybe find it as a creative outlet."
Nahrgang said people may pursue side hustles because it can be a way to "interact with more people." Ride-hailing jobs like Uber and Lyft could be side hustles where people can interact with others.
Clarke Bowman, who has driven for Uber and Lyft, used to be scared of small talk with strangers but said "practice makes perfect, and I am now great at making small talk."
"I love meeting new people," Bowman wrote. "I love hearing their backgrounds, their stories, and their dreams. Some make me laugh, and some make me want to cry. Some become your best friend for 15 minutes. Some are so rude, you just can't wait until they get out of your car, but those make the nice people seem all the better."
Are you a full-time worker with a side hustle and have a story to tell? Reach out to this reporter at [email protected].2023-06-05T10:04:17Z dg43tfdfdgfd