It seems like everyone has a side hustle these days. With the advent of the gig economy and app-based platforms to take on extra work, side hustles can be a great way to make extra money.
Learning how to make money from home, outside your day job has never been easier. So who is side hustling, what are they doing, and how much are they making? Find out all that and more with these surprising statistics.
5 Surprising Side Hustle Statistics
All statistics are taken from the Bankrate 2019 Side Hustle Survey unless otherwise noted.
1. 3 out of 10 people who side hustle need the income to make ends meet
Did you know 30% of side hustlers do so just to be able to pay the bills?
While 50 years ago it was common for a family to get by on a single income, now it often requires two incomes, and maybe even side jobs to make ends meet.
Since the 2008 recession, it’s also become more common for people to take on multiple part-time jobs and side hustles, especially younger Millennials. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as the other 70% of side hustlers use their extra income to have more discretionary spending money or to save for the future.
2. For Millennials who side hustle, 40% of them make at least half of their income from it
This was probably the most surprising statistic to me. Whether through the gig economy (Lyft, UberEats, TaskRabbit, etc.), contract work on the side of their day job, or other entrepreneurial ideas, 40% of Millennials with a side hustle make at least half their income from it.
This speaks both to the many opportunities available for side hustling and also to the fragmentation of jobs in the modern economy. While you can make a good income with side jobs, they often come without the benefits or stability of a full-time job.
Many side hustlers hold down a full- or part-time job to get health insurance and other benefits, while earning extra money on the side.
3. Over 25% of Baby Boomers have a side hustle
While it’s no surprise that almost half of Millennials have a side hustle of some kind, it was somewhat of a shock to discover that 40% of Gen X and nearly 30% of Baby Boomers earn income on the side as well.
And, more and more are pursuing creative passive income ideas to help build a continuous source of cash flow without a lot of effort.
While side hustles used to be the domain of the younger generation, it’s gone mainstream.
There are opportunities in every area of the economy, and even at different age levels to earn extra money through side jobs.
As the Baby Boomer generation retires from the traditional workforce, it has opened up many possibilities for them to pursue passion projects that may not pay as much, but bring more meaning and still help contribute to paying the bills.
4. The average side hustler earns $1,122 per month
If you had asked me what your typical side hustler would earn, I would have said maybe $500 a month at the most.
Even learning how to make an extra $500 a month would be a great contribution to the average American’s budget.
Most people are busy with careers, family, and other activities. Squeezing in extra work on a side job and earning more than that seems difficult. But surprisingly, the average side hustler earns $1,122 per month and works about 12 hours a week on their side projects.
That is an average income of almost $22 per hour, though this is before expenses.
For example, if you are an Uber or Lyft driver, you would have to subtract out gas, maintenance, and other expenses to arrive at a net income figure.
Just to put that figure into perspective, that is an extra $13,464 per year. If you were able to save that amount each year and invest it with an 8% return for 20 years, you’d have over $665,000! That is an enviable nest egg to jump-start your early retirement or invest in your kids’ college education.
The power of side hustling combined with compound interest can provide limitless possibilities for your future financial position.
5. Wealthier households are more likely to have a side hustle
While it might make sense that those earning a lower income would be more interested in earning money on the side, it is actually wealthier households that are more likely to have a side hustle.
43% of households earning $80,000 or more have a side job, compared with 37% with incomes below $30,000.
The possible reasons for this are interesting.
Perhaps those with more assets have more access to the gig economy (such as a car to drive for Uber, or marketable freelancing skills from a high-paying day job).
But with 30% of those with a side hustle needing the income to pay the bills (going back to our first statistic), it is also clear that some of those earning $80,000 or more are still only making ends meet, whether due to consumer debt or trying to keep up with the Joneses in their income bracket.
It’s clear that just having a side hustle doesn’t mean you are wealthy, but how you use the money you earn can certainly have an impact on your future financial success.
Side Hustle Statistics – The Final Word
If you’re encouraged to take action and start your own side hustle after reading the statistics of how many people are earning an income from it, I have great news… It’s not that hard to get started! There are so many ways to earn extra money on the side, even without any prior experience. Here are a few of my favorite:
- Participate in the gig economy (Uber, Lyft, even Craigslist gigs)
- Freelance for private clients with skills you already have (such as being a virtual assistant, bookkeeper, graphic artist, software developer, marketing, etc.)
- Learn how to invest in real estate with no money (real estate is multi-faceted and depending on how you approach it can be an investment or a side hustle or both)
- Sell items on eBay from garage sales or thrift stores for a profit (several people I know make $500-$1000+ per month doing this)
There has never been a better time to take up a side hustle, and I hope that seeing the success of others encourages you to take a harder look at either starting or doubling down on your own side hustle!
Andrew blogs about all things personal finance, and has a passion for helping people pursue financial freedom through saving money, making money, and building wealth. He documents his family’s journey to financial independence through side hustles while raising 2 kids on a single income.