The side hustle is particularly popular among Millennials, but it's not a new concept — the side hustle was coined in the 1950s to describe making money through a hobby, or personal passion.
Of course, secondary work in general has been around a lot longer, with freelance work noted in the 18th century to describe mercenary work.
In this article we will explore the trend of side hustles, as well as how to establish a side hustle.
The reason for a side hustle
Many people take on a side hustle out of necessity. It can be a way of providing some much-needed extra income and almost a quarter of the UK believe the average monthly wage is not enough. The cost of living has continued to rise in the UK, with inflation year on year rising by three percent in the last few years. This has meant that many have looked for different avenues to top up their main wage in order to have a better quality of life.
A side hustle can also help you start along the path of using your hobby as a potential career. Many secondary roles are used as a way into a creative or technical sector because you can showcase your skills to many companies at the same time while enhancing your CV, all from the comfort of your own home. Graphic designers and writers are prominent in the freelance world, with sites such as UpWork and Fiverr providing a great platform in which to gain work. This can help you get noticed in your sector as well as helping you build up the contacts required to eventually start your own full-time business.
But for many people, it's just a means to make a little extra money from something they enjoy doing anyway. Again, this is where the aforementioned sites are great, as you can bid on jobs that are of interest to you and you aren’t committed to a certain style.
Beginning your side hustle
You might be eager to start, but it's not as easy as just diving right in. For certain roles there are legalities you must follow if you intend to start a side hustle and make it a success and for any source of regular income you must pay that dreaded thing we call tax!
Keep in mind that the trading allowance allows you to make a turnover of up to £1,000 tax-free, but anything more than that is taxable. If you work as a freelancer, you are classed as self-employed and your extra funds that are earned will be taxable and it’s up to you to correctly pay these. According to a recent survey, 34% of those with a side hustle confessed to not declaring the earnings from their side projects.
Plus, you will need to be insured for certain side hustle roles. For example, dog walkers, which is one of the most popular side hustles in the UK behind making crafts and selling goods, must take out a dog walking insurance policy. While you may not automatically think of such cover when it’s just a side hustle, it can be crucial in protecting you if the dog gets hurt on your watch — after all, accidents do happen and the whole idea of the side hustle is to make money not lose it! Child care is another example of where insurance is a necessity.
What the future holds
More than 16 million Brits currently use the side hustle to help with living costs. If inflation continues to rise quicker than wages then this number is likely to rise further. Also, the days of ‘job loyalty’ appear to be coming to an end as we all strive to find our dream role and enhance our job satisfaction. Because of this, more people appear to be willing to begin a side hustle and this is having a major impact on careers across the globe as members of the workforce see this as a great way to starting their own business.
The side hustle has become a staple of the UK working environment. It can be a great source of secondary income, while also helping small businesses complete tasks without the need of hiring a full-time member of staff. However, if you plan to set up a side hustle, it’s important to fully research what is legally required in your chosen sector.
"More than 16 million Brits currently use the side hustle to help with living costs."
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