Forty-one percent of U.S. adults who have a side job in 2022 need the extra income to pay for everyday living expenses as compared to 31% in 2019 (the last year of polling), according to a new survey from Fewer are putting this money towards savings (17% vs. 24% in 2019) and using it for discretionary spending (26% vs. 36% in 2019).

“Unfortunately, due to high inflation and other financial burdens, more side hustlers are working a side job just to make ends meet. Instead of using this income to boost savings, knock out debt or pay for a vacation, there has been a big increase in people who simply need these funds just to pay for everyday living expenses,” says Ted Rossman, Senior Industry Analyst for Bankrate.

Why People Are Side Hustling in 2022
Need income for living expenses31%41% ?
Disposable income for spending36%26% ?
Income for boosting savings24%17% ?
Pay down debt(not polled in 2019)12%

Inflation plays a role: 37% of side hustlers are putting in extra time on these gigs due to inflation. 48% are working about the same and 16% say they’re working less.

Men are earning almost triple the average income from their side hustles and are less likely to need their income for regular living expenses:

The Gender Divide: Side Hustles
 Avg. IncomeUsing income to boost savingsNeed income for living expenses

Among all U.S. adults, 31% have a side hustle in 2022 vs. 19% in 2017, 37% in 2018 and 38% in 2019. The average income for a side gig in 2022 is $996/month, the median is $400.

Generational Trends: Who’s Earning and How Much?
 % Working a Side JobMedian IncomeNeed income for living expenses
Gen Z (age 18-25)34%$20032%
Millennials (age 26-41)38%$40046%
Younger millennials (age 26-32)43%$40039%
Older millennials (age 33-41)34%$25053%
Gen X (age 42-57)33%$40040%
Baby Boomers (age 58-76)21%$50040%

“I have to wonder if high gas prices and other inflationary pressures are making people question whether or not their side hustles are worth it,” Rossman added. “Driving people around and making deliveries has gotten really expensive with gas approaching $5 per gallon nationally.

Right now, the most lucrative side hustles are probably those that can be done from home. Even then, inflation could be an issue if you need to source materials for crafts or other activities.”


This study was conducted for Bankrate by SSRS on its Opinion Panel Omnibus platform. The SSRS Opinion Panel Omnibus is a national, twice-per-month, probability-based survey. Data collection was conducted from May 20-23, 2022 among a sample of 1,000 respondents. The survey was conducted via web (n=970) and telephone (n=30) and administered in English. The margin of error for total respondents is +/-3.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All SSRS Opinion Panel Omnibus data are weighted to represent the target population of U.S. adults ages 18 or older.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply