82% of People With a Side Hustle Got One Due to Inflation. Should You Keep Yours if Inflation Cools Off?

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  • Higher living costs have been up since mid-2021.
  • Even if they start to come down, a side hustle could still work to your benefit.
  • Having an extra source of income can help you pad your savings and still have money coming in if you get laid off in a recession.

Higher living costs are a good reason to get a second job.

Living costs have been soaring since mid-2021. And while there are different factors that can explain that, one obvious one is that Americans received an influx of stimulus aid at a time when supply chains were having issues. That created a disconnect between supply and demand. And any time you have a situation where the former lags behind the latter, there's the potential for living costs to rise.

It's not so surprising, then, to learn that 82% of people today who have a side hustle got one to cope with inflation, according to a Neighbor.com survey. And if you did the same, that was a smart move.

But at some point, inflation levels are apt to cool down. And at that point, you may start thinking that it's time to dump your side hustle.

But is that the right choice? Or should you hang onto that gig even if inflation manages to cool?

The case for keeping a side hustle long term

Whenever you have a situation where you're spending more than you're comfortable with, whether it's due to inflation, wedding season, the holidays, or circumstances specific to your life, it's a good idea to take on a second job. Doing so could help you avoid costly credit card debt and the unfavorable consequences that tend to come with it.

As such, it pays to hang onto your side hustle when inflation is soaring. But even once living costs come down, holding onto that second gig could do a lot of great things for your financial picture.

For one thing, a side hustle can just plain buy you more breathing room. You never know when your cable bill might increase, or when utility rates might rise. So the more you earn, the less you have to worry when it starts costing extra to be you.

Plus, you never know when a major home or car repair might become necessary. If you have a side hustle, you can use that extra money to boost your savings balance so you're covered in the event of unplanned bills or emergencies.

Finally, there's talk that a recession could hit in 2023. And to be clear, that could happen even if inflation drops to a more moderate level. So in that case, a side job could be a very important thing, because if your main employer is forced to downsize, you'll have a back-up income source to rely on.

Don't be so quick to dump that side hustle

If your side hustle makes you miserable, then you may want to ditch it once inflation cools off. But if you're reasonably happy with the work at hand, then it pays to think about holding onto that second job, even if you don't need it as much as you once did.

Having extra money is never a bad thing. And in the absence of a massive raise at your main job, a side hustle could give you the breathing room you need, both during periods of economic uncertainty and otherwise calm stretches.

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