Gone are the days when your typical 9–5 was enough to cover your living costs: new research from OddsMonkey has shown that increasingly cash strapped Brits are taking on casual work on the side to make ends meet. Peter Watton, a Spokesperson with the company, told us more about the rise of the side hustle.
Do you work full time, but still struggle to cover the cost of living each month? You’re certainly not alone. We surveyed over 2000 British adults to learn more about the nation’s finances and work habits, and found that a staggering one in three people (36%) are struggling to make ends meet.
As a result, more of us are now choosing to top up our earnings with a secondary income from freelance work — in fact, we discovered that one in four Britons now have a side hustle of some kind. Here, I’ll explain why side hustles are on the rise, explore the reasons for this change, and talk about which jobs are most popular.
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is any kind of work that is done outside of a person’s regular salaried day job, with the intention of making a little extra pocket money. Exactly how much you make will depend on what you choose to do, and the amount of time devoted to that activity.
We found that the average income from a side hustle was £230 per month, although this fluctuated depending on where you are in the country. Side hustlers in London had the highest earnings, with an average second income of £285, while those in the South West earned £163 a month.
Why are people turning to side hustles?
Put simply: because they want to earn some extra money! With high living costs and inflation rising faster than wages, it’s little wonder that so many working Britons are strapped for cash.
Rising debt may be another underlying issue, with more than three quarters (76%) of respondents admitting they had some form of outstanding debt, such as a personal loan, bank overdraft, or car finance plan.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. While it’s certainly true that some people take on freelance work to help cover their living expenses, many side hustlers pick an activity they enjoy.
For photographers, bloggers, and those who sell arts and crafts, a side hustle is more than just a bit of extra income: it’s also a passion project which gives them a sense of fulfilment outside of their 9–5.
In fact, 19% of respondents said they were doing it purely as a hobby, and any extra cash they earned from their side hustle was a bonus. One in three (36%) even said they preferred it to their day job!
What sort of work are people doing?
There’s no doubt that the internet has been instrumental in allowing people to take on a side hustle. Many of the most popular second jobs are done over the net, including selling unwanted goods online (20%), blogging (3%), and social media promotion (5%).
Gambling and betting, including new techniques such as matched betting — a low-risk method of earning money using the ‘free bet’ promotions offered by bookmakers — are also popular, with 6% of respondents making on average £214 per month placing bets.
Not all side hustlers work online, though. Our survey also found that more traditional second jobs, such as dog walking (2%), babysitting (2%), bartending (3%), and taking in a lodger (5%) are still going strong.
Passion projects and artistic vocations, like photography (5%) or selling arts and crafts (8%), also cropped up in the survey, netting on average £389 and £220 per month respectively.
With our survey finding that 22% of us were planning to seek extra work in the future, it looks like having a second job could be the new norm. And, given that so many people seem to enjoy their side hustles (and not to mention the extra cash they bring), this is by no means a bad thing.