The Grind is Real: 55% Have Started Side Hustles to Make Ends Meet

By Sophia Naughton

Four in 10 people have asked their loved ones for money over the past year, to deal with the rising cost of living, according to new research. The survey of 8,500 respondents across 10 countries — including 2,000 Americans — reveals that 43 percent have asked for financial help in the past 12 months. Results also show respondents are relying on others for help with essentials, including groceries (40%) and their rent or mortgage (29%).

Their parents (57%) and their friends (42%) were the people respondents were most likely to turn to for money, but a quarter have turned to a co-worker, while more than one in 10 have asked their child for money (15%) in the past year.

Why do people need a second job?

Commissioned by Herbalife and conducted by OnePoll, the survey found the need for help isn’t a reflection of respondents’ lack of effort. Results found 56 percent of respondents currently have a side hustle or other form of supplemental income. This is compared to 40 percent of American respondents, specifically.

Millennials were the most likely to have a side hustle (61%), compared to 40 percent of baby boomers. Also, 55 percent of respondents with a side hustle shared that they started it solely to make ends meet.

Other top reasons for starting a side hustle included dealing with the rising cost of living (40%), being less reliant on a single source of income (38%), and wanting to have a disposable income (36%).

On average, those with a side hustle commit an average of about eight and a half hours per week to it. That time can vary, however, as 28 percent dedicate three to five hours a week to their side hustle, while 24 percent devote six to 10 hours per week.

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“The increased cost of food, housing and natural resources have affected communities globally, causing people to search for supplemental income streams. This opportunity has existed for more than a century through direct selling, which provides flexibility and, more importantly, a support system,” says Herbalife’s executive vice president of distributor and customer experience, Ibi Montesino, in a statement.

American respondents with a source of additional income said, on average, they’d need to earn about $404 more per month to live comfortably.

People are getting creative to make money

When asked about expenses, 52 percent of all respondents said if they needed to cover a surprise $500 cost tomorrow, it would stop them from being able to cover necessities later in the month.

Millennials were more concerned about this hypothetical expense than baby boomers (54% vs. 46%). Millennials, compared to baby boomers, were also more likely to say their current financial situation makes it difficult to pay for necessities (62% vs. 41%).

Fifty-eight percent of respondents admit they have no idea what their financial future holds, and 51 percent said their financial situation negatively impacts their mental health.

When asked about their side hustles, selling products on e-commerce websites, content creation, and writing, editing, or proofreading were the most common — while direct sales (otherwise known as network marketing) came in as the fourth most common side hustle.

“While having a side hustle can provide more financial flexibility, a sense of security and the means to make ends meet in this economic landscape, it’s important for individuals to choose a side hustle that’s right for them,” says Montesino. “Network marketing, in particular, can offer flexibility, low start-up costs and the opportunity to market a product or service you’re passionate about helping to ensure you’ll dedicate the necessary time and effort.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 8,500 general population respondents across 10 countries was commissioned by Herbalife Nutrition between Feb. 14 and March 15, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

Source: Study Finds

Image: Pexels

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