The rise of the side hustle



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Would it surprise you to hear that there are now more than a fifth of workers in the UK considering the opportunity of an extra job, especially with the millennial generation,

The term ‘side hustle’ was originally coined in the 1950s. Its definition is  ‘a way to make money from your passion, interest or hobby’. However, the side hustle isn’t a new concept, with the idea supplemental work having been around for centuries.

Freelance work dates back to the 18th century, the phrase originally used to describe a mercenary for hire. Thanks to technology, freelance workers can come in all industries nowdays.

Finding a side hustle isn’t quite as straight forward as picking what you want to work as and doing it. Here, we look at why side hustles are popular and what is needed if you want to set one up yourself.


Why are side hustles popular?

For some, a side hustle is a necessity. With the rising costs of living, almost a quarter of the UK’s population believe that  the average monthly wage isn’t enough to cover the bills. A side hustle is a valuable way of providing some much-needed extra income. We have seen inflation year on year rising by three percent in the last few years, meaning that many people have looked for different avenues to top up their main wage in order to have a better quality of life.

Juggling another job can also be a way into your preferred profession, allowing you to either open doors at an established company or by helping you to become your own boss. Many secondary roles are used as a way into a creative or technical sector, enabling you to showcase your skills to many companies at the same time as enhancing your CV. Better still, remote working allows to you do this all from the comfort of your own home. Graphic designers and writers are prominent in the freelance world through sites such as UpWork and Fiverr. Platforms such as these 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.

As well as needs for some, for others it is simply a way to make a little bit of extra money from their hobby. Again, this is where the freelance sites mentioned are great, as you can bid on jobs that are of interest to you and you aren’t committed to a certain style.


How to start a side hustle

Unfortunately, it’s not always as straight forward as just taking jobs and legalities must be followed if you intend to start a side hustle and make it a success. Remember that for any source of regular income you must pay that dreaded thing we call tax!

The trading allowance was originally set up to help sellers on sites such as eBay and can allow you to turnover up to £1,000 tax-free. Anything over amount is taxable.  Working as a freelancer means you are classed as self-employed. As such, your extra funds that are earned will be taxable and it’s up to you to register with HMRC AND 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. Don’t take this risk!

Another consideration to take in mind is that certain roles will require you to be insured. For example, dog walkers,  the second most popular side hustle in the UK to 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. Accidents do happen, after all, 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.


The future of the side hustle

If inflation continues to rise quicker than wages then the number of Brits using a side hustle to cover their costs of living is likely to rise further. Also, the days of ‘job loyalty’ seem to be a long lost memory. Because of this, more people appear to be willing to begin a side hustle. As a result, 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 can be a great source of secondary income and also enables small businesses to complete tasks on an ad hoc basis, without committing to extra or increased overheads or additional expenses. However, if you plan to set up a side hustle in an effort to change your life, always make sure you do your research to ensure you meet everything that is legally required in your chosen sector.



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