After a year of inflation pushing up the price of everything from food, to gas and housing, Americans are turning to side hustles to fill financial gaps. According to a recent LendingTree survey, 44% of Americans say they have a side gig — up 13% since 2020.
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LendingTree asked 2,100 US consumers about side hustling habits and found that younger generations and parents with children under 18 were more likely to have a side gig. Approximately 43% said they have a side hustle to pay primary expenses or bills, and 68% said they rely more on the extra income because of price increases.
According to the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI), the all-items index for the 12 months ending October increased by 7.7%. While inflation is showing signs of easing, it continues to hurt the middle class and the poor, according to John Catsimatidis, chairman and CEO of Red Apple Group and Gristedes & D’Agostino’s Supermarkets, as previously reported by GOBankingRates.
On average, Americans are earning $473 a month — or $5,700 a year — from their side gigs, according to LendingTree. Those making less than $35,000 a year use side gigs to make up about 12% or more of their income. If that money were to disappear, 71% with a side hustle said they don’t know if they would be able to pay all of their bills.
The most popular side hustles? The LendingTree survey showed that making and selling items on sites like Etsy (8%) is the most popular, followed by 7% babysitting, pet sitting and caretaking. About 6% deliver food or groceries with services like Instacart, DoorDash and Uber Eats.
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“I think the onset of the pandemic emboldened a lot of people to try a side hustle, and that has just continued to grow,” said Matt Schulz, LendingTree’s chief credit analyst. “And now that inflation has gone wild, more and more people have embraced side hustles out of necessity. Life is really expensive today and many people need that extra side hustle income to make ends meet or to provide themselves with a little bit of financial wiggle room.”
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Inflation Has Led to 44% of Americans Taking Up a Side Hustle, Up 13% Since 2020