Chances are, you’ve heard people talking about their side hustles. It’s a term that’s been thrown around quite a bit for years now, rising in popularity alongside the internet.
And while a side hustle used to be just a casual way to make some extra spending money, for many people, it’s become a way of life, and their side hustle (or side hustles) have even become their full-time source of income.
In fact, a study by Insuranks showed that a whopping 93% of all American workers in 2023 have a side hustle in addition to their day job, with 44% reporting that they need their side hustle to make ends meet and cover their expenses every month.
But just surviving isn’t the only reason to have a side hustle – there are many other benefits, from time and location flexibility to the potential to turn your side hustle into a career you’re passionate about.
So why should someone have a side hustle? Is it really that much different than a regular day job?
In this article, I’ll explore the reasons why a side hustle is important and why everyone needs a side hustle in 2023.
Summary: Why You Need a Side Hustle
Wondering why everyone suddenly seems to have a side hustle? There are a lot of reasons why you should consider starting a side hustle as a business, including:
- affording a better quality of life
- earning money on your own time and schedule
- empowering yourself to quit that job that’s been dragging you down
- paying off debt
- and learning new skills.
Life Ain’t Getting Any Cheaper
Why have a side hustle? Chances are, you’ve gone to your favorite cafe or restaurant recently, and your jaw has dropped over how much the prices have increased since you first discovered the place.
These days, having a social life is getting more and more expensive – and that’s to say nothing of basic expenses like rent, bills, and gas!
Many people are noticing that the paycheck from their day job doesn’t stretch quite as far as it used to, and it can leave individuals and families in a tough position.
For better or for worse, this is one of the reasons why you need a side hustle. It can help take some of the pressure off your living expenses and give you the extra cash you need to pursue the hobbies and activities you enjoy.
Whether you’re just trying to make a few extra bucks each week or eventually looking to quit your day job and turn your side hustle into a career, it’s worthwhile to take the time and put in the effort to get your side hustle off the ground.
You Can Earn Money on Your Schedule
Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? This feeling is familiar to most of us, but it can be especially relatable if you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad.
When you’re taking care of kids, you’re working on their schedule, which can make it hard – or even impossible – to hold down a regular job with a boss who expects you to show up at specific times.
This is one of the reasons why a side hustle is good for moms and other stay-at-home parents: you can earn money flexibly, on your own time, without having to worry about the restrictions and expectations of a traditional workplace.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out my guide to the best side hustles for stay-at-home moms.
Most side hustles can be done from home, and most don’t require you to be present at the same time every day. What that means is if you have Monday mornings free, but only a few hours on Tuesday evenings, it’s no problem – you can work whenever you want.
Generally speaking, you can also work wherever you want. Since many side hustles these days are online, as long as you have a strong WiFi connection, you’re good to go.
This also means that having a side hustle is a great way for teenagers and students to earn money since you can set your own hours and don’t have to worry about your side gig interfering with other aspects of your daily life.
If this sounds like you, then check out my list of the best side hustles for teens in 2023.
You Can Empower Yourself and Take Control
Everyone dreams about being their own boss, right? Well, with your side hustle, that’s basically what you are.
I won’t sugarcoat it: one of the downsides of a side hustle is that the income you make from it can be unstable and unpredictable from month to month.
However, having your side hustle (or multiple side hustles) as a secondary source of income can be majorly empowering when it comes to your relationship to your day job.
How? Well, if your only source of income is your full-time job, you’re totally dependent on it. What that means is that even if your workplace is toxic or if the job is negatively affecting your mental or physical health, you still have to stick with it. That’s a pretty terrible position to be in.
However, having a side hustle can give you the flexibility and freedom to walk away from toxic work environments.
Even if you can’t fully support yourself with just your side hustle yet, the money you earn from it can buy you the time you need to look for a better full-time gig.
You Can Pay Off Debt
Debt is one of the most difficult aspects of many of our lives. While many people may feel ashamed talking about their debt, you should know that you’re not alone: according to a report by CNBC, the average American owes over $90,000 in debt.
In fact, the total amount of personal debt in the U.S stood at an unimaginable $14.6 trillion dollars as of 2021.
While the debt crisis (and particularly student loan debt) gets a lot of attention in America, it goes without saying that debt is a huge issue for people all over the world.
And if it feels impossible to make a dent in what you owe with your paycheck alone, then a side hustle could be what you need to get out from under the weight of your loans.
Of course, you can put the money you earn from your side hustle towards anything you want. But if the stress of your monthly loan payments is causing you to lose sleep at night, then putting part or all of your earnings from your side gig towards paying it down can be a wise decision.
With that said, you shouldn’t expect a miracle: if you took out a $300,000 student loan to go to film school, you probably wouldn’t be able to pay it all off just by driving for Uber or working freelance editing gigs.
In other words, while a side hustle can be a great way to earn extra cash, it’s not a substitute for budgeting carefully and making smart financial decisions.
You Can Learn New Skills
To be clear, the benefits of having a side hustle aren’t only money-related.
For some people, their primary motivation is enjoyment – according to the Insuranks study, around 32% of people with a side hustle reported that they simply like their extra gig and that financial factors aren’t a major reason for them.
More importantly, your side hustle is also an opportunity for you to learn fun and useful new skills, explore what you’re passionate about, and even turn your hobbies into a profit.
Let’s say that you’ve always been passionate about ceramics. By turning this passion into a side hustle and selling your creations on an artist-centered platform like Etsy or Redbubble, you can earn money doing what you love while also improving your skills at it.
But you don’t have to be an artist or a creator for this benefit to apply to you.
Side hustles like teaching English as a second language (ESL) online can improve your communication and teaching skills.
Similarly, offering your skills as a freelancer – whether you’re a web developer, graphic designer, makeup artist, or anything in between – can help you bulk up your portfolio, build relationships with clients, and up your game in your field.
As you improve your skills and learn more, your chances of being able to turn your side hustle into a full-time career also increase.
The Bottom Line: Why Should You Have a Side Hustle?
As you can see, the benefits of starting a side hustle speak for themselves. You can learn new skills and/or perfect your hobby, all while earning some extra cash to put towards whatever you need.
If you’re a stay-at-home parent, your side hustle gives you the freedom to earn money on your own time and from the comfort of your own home.
Having a side hustle also makes you more independent and self-reliant, giving you the freedom to walk away from a bad job or work situation (hopefully) without facing financial disaster.
It also gives you a way to ease into a new career by starting out slow and seeing if it works for you before taking the leap and quitting your day job.
All in all, there are tons of reasons why you should start a profitable side hustle today. If you’re looking for some inspiration to get you started, I’ve provided a helpful list of the best side hustles you can do online from home.
- Side hustle statistics – https://www.gobankingrates.com/money/jobs/more-than-9-in-10-working-americans-have-side-hustle-2022-is-it-best-way-to-boost-income/
- Bureau of Labor Statistics chart – https://www.bls.gov/charts/consumer-price-index/consumer-price-index-by-category-line-chart.htm
- Side Hustle Nation Podcast – https://www.sidehustlenation.com/
- New York Times cancel student debt – https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/23/business/student-loan-debt-fraud-settlement.html
- Debt statistics – https://www.debt.org/faqs/americans-in-debt/demographics/
- Side Hustle Statistics for 2023