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How Much Do Side Hustles Pay? More Than You Think

By Maurie Backman - Feb 28, 2018 at 1:18PM

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Here's what you might earn from a second gig.

Though Americans are doing a better job of saving today than in years past, most folks still have a fair amount of catching up to do. An estimated 57% of U.S. adults have less than $1,000 in savings, while 39% have no money in the bank whatsoever. It's no wonder, then, that more and more people are taking steps to compensate by working a side hustle.

It's estimated that 7.6 million Americans today hold down more than one job, and that secondary work can run the gamut from professional consulting to selling creative crafts online. How much can you make from a side hustle? It depends heavily on the nature of the work at hand and how many hours you're willing to put in. After all, it stands to reason that someone working a side gig for 10 hours a week will earn more than someone putting in just two or three.

Man walking three dogs in a park.


That said, if you're looking to get a general sense of what various gigs pay, CreditLoan compiled some data you'll no doubt find useful. Here's what the median monthly income looks like across 10 common side hustles:

Side Hustle

Median Monthly Income

Renting out property




Fitness coaching


Freelance work/consulting












Pet sitting/dog walking



Again, these numbers can fluctuate based on the amount of time you're willing to put in, so if you're desperate for money and don't have room to cut corners in your budget, it pays to consider taking on additional work.

Managing a side hustle and a full-time job

Of course, the one downside of taking on a second gig is having to somehow find a way to swing that additional work on top of your original job. Of those surveyed by CreditLoan, roughly 42% said they were forced to give up time with friends and family to manage that side hustle, while 39% had to cut back on sleep. But what's perhaps more disturbing is the fact that 13% of those with a second gig had to slash the amount of time spent at their primary jobs to swing both. And that's a problem for a couple of reasons.

First, while a side hustle can be a good source of additional money, you're still apt to get the vast majority of your income from your main job. And if your side hustle causes you to compromise that primary job, you could end up shooting yourself in the foot. It's estimated that about 20% of adults with a side hustle spend time doing that secondary work while on the clock at their main jobs, so be sure not to get into that habit.

Another thing to consider is that scaling back on your primary job to make room for a side gig could stunt your career progress. And if that happens, you might lose out on things like raises and bonuses, which could end up putting more money in your pocket than a secondary gig.

On the other hand, if you take on a side hustle you're truly passionate about, you might decide that it's the sort of thing you want to do full-time -- in which case, you might eventually quit your primary job to focus on your independent venture. But don't go in expecting to do something like that immediately unless you've spent months researching, planning, and saving for that opportunity.

There you have it: Your side gig could end up paying more than you think, so if you're low on cash, it's time to look into one. Even if you're not desperate for money, working a side hustle might give you the flexibility to travel, partake in more leisure activities, or do whatever else helps you better enjoy your life. And that's reason enough to put in the time.

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