Gig Workers Are Worried About Money -- and They've Skipped Out on These Things as a Result

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  • Gig workers' income can be unpredictable.
  • Between that and higher living costs, many self-employed workers are having to give up important things.
  • Sacrifices have included routine medical/dental care, car repairs, and home repairs.

Some people are making really hard choices due to financial concerns.

Although being a gig worker certainly has its perks, the financial flipside can be tough. Gig workers commonly can't look forward to a predictable income. Rather, their earnings often fluctuate substantially from week to week and month to month. That can make it difficult for gig workers to budget accordingly and build savings.

Meanwhile, these days, consumers across the board are struggling in the wake of higher living costs. And many are being forced to cut back on different expenses while inflation runs rampant. 

Gig workers are making their own sacrifices. But a Wonolo survey reveals that some of the things gig workers are skipping due to financial concerns are things that should actually take priority. 

Gig workers are compromising their health, cars, and homes

It's one thing to cancel a streaming service or cut back on expensive grocery items when money gets tight or financial worries arise. But gig workers are skipping out on some things that are really problematic to be missing out on. These include:

  • Routine doctor visits 
  • Routine dental visits
  • Mental health support 
  • Emergency healthcare visits 
  • Car repairs 
  • Home repairs 

First, let's talk about healthcare. Putting off routine care can not only have immediate repercussions, but also, long-term ones. Medical issues that are left to fester have the potential to escalate. When that happens, they can become more expensive and complicated to address.

The fact that gig workers have skipped out on emergency health services due to money worries is particularly scary. Not addressing urgent health matters can be very risky. And failing to get mental health support can also have serious repercussions.

Meanwhile, not making car repairs could result in a scenario where a car stops working. And failing to make home repairs could lead to costlier bills and other problems -- like not having hot water or heat. 

Emergency savings can help

It's easy to see why gig workers may be skipping the aforementioned expenses -- they can be costly. But those who have been forced to not get the help they need, whether with a health issue, a car repair, or a home repair, should make every effort to build an emergency fund. That way, there will be cash reserves to tap for these types of expenses. 

Meanwhile, some gig workers may have health insurance they buy themselves that's compatible with a health savings account (HSA). These accounts are worth funding, because contributions serve as a tax break. And also, HSAs are very flexible. They allow savers to carry funds forward indefinitely and use them to cover medical expenses as needed.

Funding an HSA could help prevent a scenario where medical issues are neglected due to the cost involved. And so gig workers with high-deductible health insurance plans should see if they qualify to put money into an HSA so it's there when they need it.

The fact that gig workers aren't covering all of their needs due to money worries is pretty alarming. But building savings can help prevent that scenario going forward.

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