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How Many Americans Have a Side Hustle?

By Daniel B. Kline - Updated Jun 25, 2018 at 7:40AM

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It might be more than you think, but many aren't making much money.

The term side hustle comes at least partly from the nature of how people perform these types of jobs. Part-time or second job doesn't really cover it because this is work that involves hustling.

Whether you drive for a ride share service, have your own website, or do something more traditional, side hustlers are generally working hard for their money. And, side hustles aren't rare. Nearly 4 in 10 (37%) of Americans have a side hustle, according to a new Bankrate.com report.

"Many surveys suggest that Americans are making poor financial decisions, so the fact that many people have a side hustle is refreshing," said Bankrate.com analyst Amanda Dixon in a press release. "Having more than one source of income is a smart move and having a side gig is a great way to boost your savings and meet other financial goals."

A woman drives a car.

Driving for a ride-sharing service is one type of side hustle. Images source: Getty Images.

Side hustles: Inside the numbers

Millennials tilt the numbers when it comes to side hustles. More than half of those surveyed from that generation said they have a hustle.

Nearly 6 in 10 (59%) of those with a side hustle are taking on the extra work in order to have more disposable income to spend. That's followed by 38% of the 1,006 respondents who said they use their side hustle income to cover ordinary living expenses.

Side hustlers aren't getting rich. The median income for a side hustler is $200 per month while the average is $686. Those numbers mean that some high-earners are pushing up the average while more than half earn less than $200 a month.

Nearly 75% of people with a side hustle make extra cash at least monthly. When you look at the group of those who fall into that category the median monthly income climbs to $300 and the average jumps to $836.

Men are more likely to have a side hustle than women, according to the report, and they make more while doing so. Male side hustlers earn an average of $989 per month with their secondary gigs, nearly triple the $361 earned by women.

"The most popular side jobs are home repair/landscaping, online sales, crafts, and child care," according to Bankrate.com.

Is it worth it?

If you're working a side hustle because you want or need money, it's important to make sure you are not wasting your time. Break down how many hours you are working in order to figure out how much you are earning per hour. You should also factor in any expenses you incur.

It's possible that you may discover you're hustling a lot with little to show for it. If that's the case it may be time to consider a more traditional second job or other ways to earn extra money.

Yes, making money takes hustle, but you want your effort and work to pay off. Examine what you're putting in and what you're getting out and make sure the transaction comes out in your favor.

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