You Have a Right to Start a Side Hustle

NBC 7 Responds looked at how people are looking for side gigs as inflation increases

NBC Universal, Inc.

Prices of goods are going up, and there are only so many ways people can cut back on their spending. Now, some people are looking for side gigs to help pay for an increased cost of living.

"California laws protect their right to moonlight or to work a second job, or a gig," said Ory Lobel, a Warren Distinguished Professor at the University of San Diego. "That's as long as there is no legitimate business interest by their company to try and limit that."

She also runs the Employment and Labor Law program and says the gig economy is growing, largely because of the internet.

"A lot of online marketplaces have opportunities for people to use their human capital," said Lobel. "Sometimes very high skilled professions."

Lobel said gig workers are anyone who doesn't fit into a traditional job. Ridesharing and delivery apps like Uber, Lyft and Doordash might be some of the most visible examples, but they're not the most common.

According to a survey of U.S. households done by the Federal Reserve, 30% of adults earn money from gigs, but only 10% do so regularly.

The three most popular ways to earn extra cash were selling items online, followed by cleaning or yard work, then selling items at flea markets.

Other popular ways included renting out their homes or cars, walking dogs, or caring for someone else's children.

However, Lobel says our connected world is making it easier for people with particular skills to find gigs they are uniquely qualified for.

"If you're an architect, an attorney, or a graphic designer, online marketplaces allow you to get gigs rather than a full-time job," said Lobel. "These aren't just lower-skilled jobs, they're just not full-time employment."

You don't need to have special skills if you're looking for a side hustle, but you should consider ways to do so efficiently.

"I recommend being very organized and keeping track of what really went into it," said Lobel. "Both in terms of time and resources and then making sure it is worth someone's while."

Starting a side gig might cost you a lot upfront, so keep that in mind as well. You may need to buy technology upgrades, spend more on gas, or get equipment for specific jobs such as dog leashes and treats.

Also, remember you will have to pay taxes on income from other jobs. Keep track of your invoices and expenses to help make it easier for you when tax time rolls around.

Contact Us