Roughly 70 million people have a side hustle. Self-made entrepreneurs participate in jobs ranging from photography to food delivery. In today’s gig economy, what part do you play?
What is the definition of a gig economy?
A gig economy refers to the abundance of contract workers who take jobs on-demand. To make ends meet, people have either cut their monthly expenses or increased their income by freelancing. The “gigs” equate to small, temporary jobs, such as delivering groceries or providing a Lyft. However, it’s quick, legitimate money for someone in need.
Fifty percent of Millennials have a side hustle. Additionally, those on the servicing side of the spectrum earn an average of $686 per month. Since some offices face the reality of never holding employees again, finding ways to secure one’s monthly income has become vital.
Consumer statistics of on-demand products
In 2016, the on demand economy attracted more than 22.4 million consumers and $57.6 billion in spending. And that was well before COVID. Needless to say, if you’re partaking as the purchaser, your desire for take-out is surely padding another person’s salary.
You see, the system only works if both sides play. There must be as much supply as there is demand. While consumers should monitor their expenditures, it’s good to know that the money flows somewhat freely.
The role of the gig worker
If you’re a gig worker, you’ve probably learned a few lessons along the way. Taxes hit hard for first-timers. (Also, on-the-job accidents.) There is still a lot of debate concerning the classification of gig workers and their rights as employees. Only time will tell. Here’s what you can do in the meantime:
1: Prioritize your full-time job. Even if you consider your side hustle lucrative, you should put priority on the job that pays you the most and provides benefits. Don’t let your freelancing interfere with your regular 9 to 5 unless you’re ready to cut ties.
2: Set aside emergency cash. Having money stored away for home emergencies will alleviate stress. When you first start gigging, set aside a portion from each job as a contingency fund.
3: Read the fine print. Those joining the gig market as a servicer should examine contracts closely. Many companies providing the platform for contract workers require fees and other stipulations.
Alternatives to gig working
The best alternative to gig work is learning to use referral programs. For example, did you know that Achieva Credit Union members have earned thousands of referral incentives over the years? Are you ready to earn rewards too?
Our Refer-a-Friend program allows members of Achieva to refer their friends and family. If your referral opens an Achieva Checking Plus account, you will both receive $50*. There are other ways to earn, so check out www.achievacu.com/refer to learn more.
Opposition to the gig economy
There are always two sides to every story. While freelancing provides a boost for those needing income, some say that the scales are unbalanced. Providers reap millions in profit, while an insufficient gig worker can make less than minimum wage. It’s a narrow tightrope recently shortened by the pandemic.
Right now, on-demand orders are booming. Companies like Uber and Instacart have no choice but to cater to their contractors as much as they do to their customers. Regardless of the role you play, it’s clear that there are enough orders to go around. Everybody has a chance to come out better than before. And that, within itself, will continue to push the gig economy.
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