With the global pandemic, everyone is feeling the pinch, and money is tight for a lot of people looking for a way to make some extra cash. Thankfully, the gig economy took off well before the current extenuating circumstances, and you have a wealth of options at your disposal to scrounge together some extra scratch to help you get by. Read on to learn everything you need to know to launch a stellar and potentially lucrative side gig, and make sure you’re always aware of The One Word That May Make You Spend More Money.
It’s simply a fact that the gig economy is here to stay and you can take full advantage of it. Upwards of 10 percent of all Americans, or more than 16 million people, were considered full-time gig economy contractors as of December 2019. Of course, with the rise of the coronavirus and the massive number of job losses following the various lockdowns, that number has almost certainly risen by leaps and bounds. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor expects that number to rise another 10 percent over the next couple of years.
That being said, there are a few things you should be aware of before you race to hang your new shingle and get started. Where you live plays a vital role in your ability to find gigs, with states and rural areas showing some of the lowest rates of contractors and available gig clients.
Also, know that the gig economy seems to be wonderfully age agnostic, as retirees make up the largest share of contractors at a whopping 24.1 percent—and those aged 45-64 making up another 26.5 percent—which means that more than 50 percent of gig contractors are over the age of 40!
Another thing to consider is how much spare time you want to put into your side hustle jobs and how much extra income you need. Because of some of the benefits a gig affords, especially as it relates to personal freedom, it can be tempting to get a taste of success in one gig and decide you want to do it full-time. While that is certainly an option, we recommend you take a gig as a secondary form of income to your traditional full-time job—at least until you establish yourself within the gig’s field. Part of the issue comes from the fact that many gigs, especially those with less oversight, can be a bit streaky.
Some weeks or months you may find yourself inundated with more work than you know what to do with and can make a lot of money in short order. On the other hand, other months may dry up and leave you with leaner prospects that can create a strain on managing your budget, especially if you live in a household with dependents or you are the primary breadwinner.
Finally, not every field is created equally, and there are plenty of gigs that tend to pay reasonably well regardless of the region or market competition. Most solid gig economy jobs have some type of app or website that makes finding and applying for gigs much easier than before the internet existed.
Depending on the platform, you might even be able to sign up for a website or app and get email notifications when a potential gig opens up to keep you aware of job openings. To help give you a jumpstart in your search for a great gig, we compiled a list of some of the best gig websites and apps on the online market. Pretty much all of these platforms have mobile apps that work on virtually any smart device (whether Android or iOS), making it even easier to get started in the high-paying gig economy. Just be aware that some of these platforms have a more thorough vetting process than others and have the necessary information on hand. Read on for the best places to get started, and for more great advice, know that This Is the Biggest Money Myth You Need to Stop Believing.