One in three Americans, and more than half of millennials, have a side hustle to bring in an extra $686 a month on average
These jobs are anything but odd.
Having a side hustle has become the norm for many Americans. In fact, 37% of people have a gig on the side, according to a new Bankrate.com report, and more than half of millennials have a side hustle.
What’s more, the average side hustler is raking in an extra $686 per month, with the most popular gigs including home repairs, landscaping, online sales, crafts and childcare. Fifty-nine percent of those polled by Bankrate say they are earning money on the side of their full-time jobs to have more disposable income, while 38% say it’s so they can even just meet their regular living expenses.
CNN reported that nearly half of Americans say their expenses are equal to or greater than their income, and for those ages 18 to 25, the percentage is even higher at 54%. And because most Americans haven’t gotten a raise in a while, according to Bankrate, having a side hustle can bump up your cash flow while you hold out for that wage increase. “If you want to boost your income as quickly as possible instead of waiting around for your next performance review, getting a side hustle can be a good idea,” Bankrate analyst Amanda Dixon told Moneyish.
And a recent report from global marketplace Udemy revealed that 60% of millennials don’t feel fairly compensated by their employers, and 20% foresee needing some sort of side hustle in the future in order to make ends meet.
That was the case for Kate Johnson, 27, who works full-time as a leisure travel agent. But after moving from New Hampshire to Los Angeles three years ago, she realized that with rent, bills and student loans, the money coming in wasn’t covering the money going out.
“I started looking for side jobs so that I could cover the bills I had each month, and found a position as a waitress on the weekends,” she told Moneyish. “The money right now is only enough to keep my head above water, unfortunately. I still don’t make enough to start building up my savings again.” Johnson said she depends on the extra $1,000 or more per month she gets from her weekend waitressing job — but her paychecks vary depending on tips and shifts.
Sara Archibald, 26, another millennial in the travel industry, spends Monday through Friday working 40-plus hours as an account representative for a luxury travel company in New York City. In her down time, she puts in another one to 10 hours per week as a stylist for Stella & Dot, an online purveyor of clothing, accessories and jewelry. “I do it to get some extra cash flow and for the discounts on jewelry,” she told Moneyish. “I hosted a trunk show around the holidays and made about $500. I hold onto the money for the future like flights or travel, or use it towards whatever I’m doing that week, like going out to eat or drink.”
Still, others invest in a side gig because it fulfills them in other ways. Kerri W., a regional sales executive for an insurance carrier, started selling Beautycounter products three years ago, because she’s passionate about getting safer beauty products on the market. A typical week consists of 40 to 50 hours at her day job, with an extra 8 to 10 hours at night and on the weekends devoted to Beautycounter. “It’s not uncommon for people to do this as a side gig and make six figures,” Kerri said. It’s given her enough money to cover her kids’ preschool tuition.
For Dan Falaleyev, a 27-year-old associate at a Los Angeles-based real estate private equity shop, having a side hustle as a site director at social fitness club Electric Flight Crew lets him workout while making some extra money.
But balancing work and your personal life is tough enough with just one job, let alone a couple. So Dixon and the other side hustlers share their tips to rocking multiple gigs.
Define what success means for you. What do you want to get out of this? “If you have a side hustle because you’re trying to earn extra money, success might be raking in as much cash as possible. But for some people with side jobs, success could be gaining a new skill,” Dixon said. “Are you looking to use the side gig as a way to enter a different industry?”
Keep your two jobs separate. Kerri never lets her side gig cross over into her day job. “Time blocking is essential, so I have hours specifically dedicated to Beautycounter that are outside of my normal work week hours, like weekends and evenings,” said Kerri. The mom of two manages to squeeze in coffee appointments, one-on-one meetings and Beautycounter events after her kids are in bed, or on the weekend. “I typically follow up with clients during those hours too and send out samples and coach my Beautycounter team.”
Stick to a schedule. Having a side hustle means creating a routine. “It involves working harder and smarter in the ‘9-to-5,’ and staying up a bit later on weeknights or waking up earlier to get the side hustle work done,” said Falaleyev. “When I drove an Uber, I’d either wake up at 5 a.m. to drive for a few hours before work, or I’d drive at night after work.”
Prioritize some personal time. “Just like you would schedule time to work on your invoices, make sure you carve out time to relax or do something you enjoy,” Dixon said. Put it in your calendar to give it the same importance as a meeting. Johnson makes sure she hits the gym a couple of times a week, and every few months she calls out sick to take a mental health day.
Take breaks. “If you have multiple jobs and you don’t want to burn out, take a break,” said Dixon. “A recent Bankrate study shows that half of Americans aren’t taking a summer vacation. That’s a problem. Even if you can’t afford to travel, opt for a staycation.”
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved