Will you be picking up a side hustle?

It’s been reported than a fifth of UK workers are considering having more than one job or taking up a ‘side hustle’.

A popular choice among Millennials in particular, the side hustle traces back to the 1950s where people would look for a way to make money from their hobbies or interests. It’s similar to freelance work, which derives from a 18th century description of mercenary work.

It’s not as easy as just diving right in though. Here to help with this popular path, we’re plotting a path through side hustling.

Why are people side hustling?

For many people, a side hustle is a necessity to cover costs. 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 be a means for people to get into an industry they’ve always dreamed of. 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.

Then again, some people take up a side hustle just to get some cash. 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.

Setting up a side hustle

There’s a couple of legal measures you need to be aware of before you start. 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!

It all depends on how much you’re earning. While the trading allowance, which was originally set up to help sellers on sites such as eBay, can allow you to turnover up to £1,000 tax-free, anything over 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.

You’ll want to check if you need insurance too. 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.

Where the side hustle leads

More than 16 million workers in the UK are using a side hustle to cover 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.

For better or worse, the side hustle has become a necessary part of the UK work culture. 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.

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