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  • Writer's pictureVik F.

Americans Turning to Side Hustles to Make Ends Meet

Economic pressures are prompting many Americans to seek additional sources of income, and side hustles have become an increasingly popular solution. A recent survey by Marketwatch Guides found that 54% of working Americans have adopted side hustles in the past year to supplement their primary income. This statistic highlights the broader financial challenges faced by many, as half of the survey respondents describe themselves as broke, and 66% are living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Take Tricia Mills from Northeast Ohio, for instance. With a full-time job, Mills has turned to gig work through various apps to make ends meet. "You can't live off one income anymore," she shares. Juggling six different apps, Mills manages to bring in about $5,000 a month. However, she notes the increasing competition within the gig economy, where opportunities are often first come, first served. "You got to have your phone in your hand at all times and grab that order because it's gonna be gone within a minute," she explains.

The rising popularity of side hustles is not just a personal choice but also a response to the broader economic environment. Shannon Denton, co-founder of Wripple—a platform that connects freelancers with companies in need of digital professionals—predicts a continued rise in the number of people taking on side hustles. He points out that one-third of the U.S. workforce identifies as independent workers, and 94% of enterprise companies plan to increase their use of side hustlers and freelancers over the next 24 months.

While side hustles offer a valuable means to generate extra income, they also come with their own set of challenges. Mills emphasizes the need for motivation and organization, particularly when balancing a 9-to-5 job with additional work. She advises those considering side hustles to be prepared to work non-traditional hours, especially on weekends and evenings, when the gig economy is most active.

Denton also highlights the importance of careful time management to avoid overcommitting and risking one's personal reputation. "Plan your time. You don't want to ruin your personal reputation by signing up for work and then not having time to do it," he advises.

Despite these challenges, Mills remains optimistic about the potential of side hustles. Even with a single app like Poplin, she estimates she can earn between $500 and $700 a week. Her experience underscores the growing relevance of side hustles in today's economy, as more Americans turn to these opportunities to stay financially afloat.

In a time of economic uncertainty, side hustles have emerged as a lifeline for many, providing much-needed financial relief and a way to bridge the gap between paychecks. As this trend continues to grow, it reflects not only the resilience of the American workforce but also the evolving nature of work in the modern economy.

Whether you're looking to pay the bills, save for a vacation, or just gain a bit of financial breathing room, side hustles are proving to be an essential tool for many. So, if you're considering taking on a side hustle, now might be the perfect time to explore the opportunities available and see how you can boost your income and achieve your financial goals.



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