The Side Hustle. It’s a well-known concept in modern life, but it hasn’t always been that way. The idea of supplementary income is not new, but it is more widespread than ever. Today, 40% of Brits have an extra source of cash to help them top up.
If we want to understand why this sudden trend has emerged, we need to look at the wider environment. The job market today is more insecure than it ever has been. The turbulent economy and political situation has left many in a financial rut.
The question is: just why is there so much instability, and how can a side hustle help with income security?
Austerity and Poverty
Austerity, zero-hour contracts, and universal credit has made it near impossible to guarantee long-term financial security. As cuts in spending and funding hit businesses across the country, fewer staff are hired, wage growth stagnates and our personal responsibilities at work increases.
These conditions are forcing more and more people out of traditional career fields. Over 200,00 nurses have quit their job since 2010. Similarly, a survey unveiled that 40% of teachers are thinking of quitting due to “huge workloads and excessive accountability”
As less money is going into the pockets of the country, more money is coming out. The housing crisis demands more expenditure per person. The average UK house now costs eight times the average salary. As banks will typically only lend 4.5 times your gross income, it’s clear why so many people are scrambling for extra cash.
Changing Social Climate
Once upon a time, after school you’d go straight into a trade or study for a specific career at university. However, times are changing. The “job for life” concept isn’t one that’s held in high-regard by Millennials and younger generation.
Instead, different priorities exist. Work-life balance, freedom, flexibility and a sense of purpose now rank much higher than job security. This shift translates to more job-hopping, career breaks and nomadic lifestyles, which are not conducive to the traditional employment path.
The changing social climate has been the perfect incubator for the “side hustle.” The concept of a passive or extra income can provide you with the freedom you need to follow your dream and live a life of purpose. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that nearly half the population have invested in this option.
The Digital Workspace
As far as the social climate and political pressures affects work patterns, one single influence has had a greater effect than any other. As the internet becomes the main operation hub for most companies, the ability to work online – for anyone and from anywhere – has transformed employment forever.
As of 2009, over 1.2 million jobs have been created by the internet in just a decade. That figure has only increased over the last ten years. Today, there are countless sites dedicated to advertising remote work and freelance jobs.
Instead of being forced to go to different workplaces, a single worker can manage several jobs from the comfort of their own home. This change makes it easier than ever to develop numerous income channels.
Side Hustle Options:
If you’re not one of the 40% who is also benefiting from the “side hustle,” then you might be confused about how it works. How it is possible to find work that fits around your full time job? How many extra hours should you invest?
These are good questions, and don’t have a simple answer. All side hustles have different requirements, but here are a few example so you can get an idea of what’s out there.
If you have a skill worth sharing, and a bit of extra time in the evening, freelancing is a great option. You can take on one-time projects and work them around your current commitments. Many websites, such as Upwork and Freelancer, advertise for these kind of roles. The types of job you can undertake include:
- Coding/website development
- Photo/video editing
- Virtual assistant
Investing & Cashback Apps
If you don’t have extra time to spare but still want to earn some extra cash, then there are many apps out there that can help you create new income channels for minimum effort.
There are two main types of these apps: cashback and investment. The former connects you with companies who work in partnership with large retailer brands. Every time you shop at the store, you get a cash reward via the app.
The latter takes a complex industry – trading stocks & shared – and makes it simple. With in-app advice, suggestions and market trackers, you can quickly and easily find the best place to invest your money and watch it grow.
Whether it’s handmade crafts, second-hand items or bulk buys, there’s always somewhere to sell it online. eCommerce holds the biggest share in online profits, so is a great “side hustle” option. You can use sites like eBay to shift old items in your house, or sign-up to Etsy if you’re a creative who loves to make art.
A lot of people also now make good money from Amazon. If you can find your niche, it’s easy to pick up cheap products and sell for more online. If you’re worried about the time commitment, Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FbA) initiative takes all the processing and shipping out of your hands – which will save you considerable hours.
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you probably already know that the recent cryptocurrency boom has left many millionaires. If you have cash for investment, putting your money into online currencies could seriously increase your savings.
If you don’t have cash upfront, you can still make money from cryptocurrency by mining or staking. Both processes are required to add new currency – or ‘blocks’ – to the block chain. You simply set your computer up to process the data, and you can end up with free money.