The grind is real: 55% have started side hustles to make ends meet

NEW YORK — Four in 10 people have asked their loved ones for money over the past year, to deal with the rising cost of living, according to new research. The survey of 8,500 respondents across 10 countries — including 2,000 Americans — reveals that 43 percent have asked for financial help in the past 12 months. Results also show respondents are relying on others for help with essentials, including groceries (40%) and their rent or mortgage (29%).

Their parents (57%) and their friends (42%) were the people respondents were most likely to turn to for money, but a quarter have turned to a co-worker, while more than one in 10 have asked their child for money (15%) in the past year.

Why do people need a second job?

Commissioned by Herbalife and conducted by OnePoll, the survey found the need for help isn’t a reflection of respondents’ lack of effort. Results found 56 percent of respondents currently have a side hustle or other form of supplemental income. This is compared to 40 percent of American respondents, specifically.

Millennials were the most likely to have a side hustle (61%), compared to 40 percent of baby boomers. Also, 55 percent of respondents with a side hustle shared that they started it solely to make ends meet.

Other top reasons for starting a side hustle included dealing with the rising cost of living (40%), being less reliant on a single source of income (38%), and wanting to have a disposable income (36%).

On average, those with a side hustle commit an average of about eight and a half hours per week to it. That time can vary, however, as 28 percent dedicate three to five hours a week to their side hustle, while 24 percent devote six to 10 hours per week.

“The increased cost of food, housing and natural resources have affected communities globally, causing people to search for supplemental income streams. This opportunity has existed for more than a century through direct selling, which provides flexibility and, more importantly, a support system,” says Herbalife’s executive vice president of distributor and customer experience, Ibi Montesino, in a statement.

American respondents with a source of additional income said, on average, they’d need to earn about $404 more per month to live comfortably.

couple money
(Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels)

People are getting creative to make money

When asked about expenses, 52 percent of all respondents said if they needed to cover a surprise $500 cost tomorrow, it would stop them from being able to cover necessities later in the month.

Millennials were more concerned about this hypothetical expense than baby boomers (54% vs. 46%). Millennials, compared to baby boomers, were also more likely to say their current financial situation makes it difficult to pay for necessities (62% vs. 41%).

Fifty-eight percent of respondents admit they have no idea what their financial future holds, and 51 percent said their financial situation negatively impacts their mental health.

When asked about their side hustles, selling products on e-commerce websites, content creation, and writing, editing, or proofreading were the most common — while direct sales (otherwise known as network marketing) came in as the fourth most common side hustle. 

“While having a side hustle can provide more financial flexibility, a sense of security and the means to make ends meet in this economic landscape, it’s important for individuals to choose a side hustle that’s right for them,” says Montesino. “Network marketing, in particular, can offer flexibility, low start-up costs and the opportunity to market a product or service you’re passionate about helping to ensure you’ll dedicate the necessary time and effort.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 8,500 general population respondents across 10 countries was commissioned by Herbalife Nutrition between Feb. 14 and March 15, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds’ Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

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  1. A lot of this falls into the laps of Democrats who tell people they don’t need to go to work, who shut down businesses, so people had to work from home now they don’t want to go back to work, then throwing government money at them to stay home, and telling them that if they vote for “them” they will take care of them. The chickens have come home to roost, literally.

    There are millions of jobs available, but they don’t want to work them. At one of my local fast food restaurants they are offering CASH incentives to come to work, in the form of a $500 bonus, which you have to stay 6 months to get. $100 for the first month, $200 more for the 3rd month, and $300 when you have been there 6 months. It;s not the only place doing this, some are offering free iPhones and such.

    A bunch of liberal, irresponsible people, who don’t want to work, and don’t want to pay bills and want to live off the government teet. Just imagine these are the same folks that are going to be in charge when the rest turn old and gray… euthanasia coming your way!!!

  2. The grind is real especially if inflation is becoming surreal. The economy nowadays is so much challenging. You just have to grind and blend with it. Short yet informative article! Love it!

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