Why Side Hustles Are a Necessary Evil for 32% of Workers

second job

We hear so much about side hustles. They’re the new thing. They’re fun. They’re trendy.

But recently, the darker side of side hustles has started to reveal itself: the unexpected costs, the low wages, and the lack of benefits.

CareerBuilder survey of nearly 4,000 people across the U.S. provided further perspective. Although 32 percent of workers have a second job, those side gigs likely aren’t passion projects.

A second job isn’t always fun

Of those surveyed, 67 percent said they didn’t want to turn their side gig into a full-time job. And 71 percent said they didn’t plan to own a business.

That’s contrary to much of the conversation about the supposed freedom and excitement of side hustles.

Furthermore, 42 percent of respondents said they were more passionate about their day job than their side hustle. Only 32 percent said they were more passionate about their side hustle. And 25 percent said they weren’t passionate about either.

Here’s who is working a second job

The reason people work a supplemental job is simple: to earn more money.

Why? Because of rising housing costs. Because of crippling student loan debt. Because of an inability to earn enough money at a single job.

“While we continue to be at what is considered full employment, the quality and pay of jobs isn’t always what workers want, causing them to seek out new ways to supplement their full-time income,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder.

Many people who work a second job are members of populations that face more economic challenges than others.

For example, 36 percent of people earning less than $35,000 have second jobs — compared to 19 percent of people earning more than $100,000.

Then there’s women: 35 percent of women have second jobs, but only 28 percent of men do. That might be because women carry two-thirds of the nation’s student loan debt, head nearly 80 percent of single-parent households, and earn less money.

As for race, 46 percent of black workers have a second job — compared to 26 percent of white workers.

A likely explanation? The chart below and stats like this one: Four years after graduation, black borrowers have almost twice as much student loan debt as white borrowers, according to a Brookings Institution report.

second job

Image credit: Pew Research Center

So maybe it’s time to change the conversation about side hustles.

Maybe it’s time we stop lauding them and instead acknowledge the fact that, for most people, they’re a necessary evil, not an outlet for empowerment.

What to do if you’re struggling financially

None of that really matters, though, if you’re struggling. If that’s the case, you probably care less about the conversation and more about ways to keep going.

Here are a few ideas that might help:

That said, there are only so many hours in a day.

So if you don’t have time for another gig, you’ll need to consider earning more money during your 40 hours. That might mean job hopping, gaining new skills, or asking for a raise.

As the 32 percent of Americans working a supplemental job know, life in the current economy is tough.

We can hope things will get better and vote for people who support our interests. But in the meantime, take care of yourself and remember you’re not alone in the struggle.

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1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Finance Lender Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
  2. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 5.49% APR to 14.24% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.29% APR to 11.44% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of December 1, 2017 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.29% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.34% plus 4.20% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2017, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.23%. Variable interest rates range from 6.02% – 15.97% (6.02% – 15.97% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of your loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Fixed interest rates range from 5.99% – 16.24% (5.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Lowest rates shown are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with Citizens Bank at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, Citizens Bank checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Benefit: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.39% - 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
5.29% - 14.24%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
5.99% - 16.24%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
5.99% - 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.25% - 14.24%$2,000 - $50,000Visit Earnest
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