Finance

2 out of 3 Americans earn up to $500 a month on the side

Couple counting dollar bills together at home.

Image source: Getty Images

Talk about a nice salary.


Key points

  • Some side gigs are more lucrative than others.
  • You might be surprised how much yours end up paying you.
  • The extra money coming in could help you top up your savings account, pay off debt, or save for a big financial goal.

If you’ve been tempted to get into a side hustle, you’re no doubt in good company. And if you decided not to make that leap, well, that’s understandable too.

The reality is that working on the side can mean quite a lot of commitment. And when you already have a full-time job, finding the hours can be a challenge.

You might also be hesitant to get into a side hustle because you’re not sure it will pay off. And the reality is that some gigs aren’t as lucrative as others.

But in a recent Neighbor.com survey, two-thirds of Americans who have a side hustle earn up to $500 a month from it. And that’s not a small amount of money. So before you write off the idea of ​​a side gig because you’re convinced there won’t be enough financial benefits, you might want to think again.

A side hustle could do wonders for your finances

You may not be able to make $500 a month from your side hustle. But what if you’re currently struggling to pay your bills and adding $100 a month to your already growing credit card balance? Even if you’re only making $200 a month on your own, that could be enough to help you avoid piling up debt and start digging yourself out of the hole you’re in.

Plus, a side hustle could allow more money to be pumped into your savings account. That might give you some protection in case unplanned bills come up when you’re not in a good place to carry them.

Even if you’re doing pretty well financially, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go on vacation or spring for concert tickets on a whim? Your regular salary may not allow it. But your side hustle can allow you to spend money on the things you love without worry.

How to earn more on the side

Making a decent side hustle income could come down to a few things:

  • Choosing the right gig
  • Putting in enough hours
  • You become really good and efficient at what you do

So let’s say you decide to make jewelry as your side hustle. If you’re only able to make about $5 a piece and it takes you an hour to make each piece, then you’re not going to make much money. But if you pick up a gig like digital editing, where you can get, say, $25 an hour, you’ll increase your income a lot more.

Meanwhile, some gigs become more lucrative if you put in the time. Driving two hours a week for a shuttle service may not help you much financially. But if you increase it to 10 hours a week, it’s a different story.

Finally, it will help you find something you are good at. If you’re charging $300 to update a small business website and you can do it in three hours, well, that’s a good hourly rate to look at.

All said, there is money to be made in the world of side hustles. You just have to adopt the right approach to get it.

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