Almost 70% of Americans need extra cash to make ends meet | finder.com

Almost 70% of Americans need extra cash to make ends meet

Online selling, moonlighting and finding a better job are top ways we plan to bring home the (extra) bacon.

Americans are in need of extra cash, with a recent finder.com study finding some 66% of us are looking to bring in a little extra income in the coming 12 months. That’s about 162 million US adults hoping to supplement their income.

Make money, money, make money, money, money

If you’re planning a side hustle in the next 12 months, chances are that you’ll see if others will buy the stuff you don’t want. We found that the No. 1 way Americans plan to earn extra money in the next year is by selling unwanted items either online or through a good old-fashioned garage sale.

That’s not all we intend to do. The second popular option with Americans is moonlighting with those who are looking for a second job to make ends meet. Our survey found 13% of responses were in favor of this option. This was followed by people who plan on leaving their current job in search of greener pastures (10% of responses).

Other popular options included completing tasks on job sites such as TaskRabbit and selling homemade objects on sites like Etsy.

Not so popular options included (surprisingly) driving for a ridesharing company like Uber or renting out a spare room

Adittional income statistics image

Other top ways to earn a buck include completing tasks on a platform like TaskRabbit and selling homemade objects on sites like Etsy. The least popular options were driving an Uber (or other rideshare car) in one’s spare time (3% of responses) which finder analysis revealed net up to $63,128 per year followed by renting a spare room (1% of responses) which can add an additional $5,000 of income.

Method for Additional Income % of responses
Selling unwanted items (eBay, garage sale) 20%
Plan on getting an additional job (second job) 13%
Plan on leaving my current job and getting a higher paying one 10%
Do small jobs on sites such as Task Rabbit 9%
Plan getting a promotion 8%
Selling items they make (at markets, Etsy etc) 7%
Professional freelancing (copywriting, design etc) 6%
Investing in shares 6%
Retraining in current role to boost my income (or get a pay rise) 5%
Other 5%
Retraining in a new field to get a new job in a higher paying field 4%
Investing in cryptocurrency 3%
Driving an uber in spare time 3%
Renting out a spare room 1%

*Source: Finder.com, table reflects responses not unique participants. Participants in our survey could select more than one response for making additional income.

How do men and women differ on making more money?

Gender

Men and women both say the top way they plan to make extra dollars over the next 12 months is by selling unwanted items. However, women (24% of women responses) are slightly more likely to sell unwanted items than men (17% of men responses). Men and women are also equally confident they’ll get a promotion in the next year, with men (5% of men responses) expecting a bigger paycheck as well as women (5% of women responses) .

Method for Additional Income % of Women responses % of Men responses
Selling unwanted items (eBay, garage sale) 24% 17%
Plan on getting an additional job (second job) 15% 11%
Plan on leaving my current job and getting a higher paying one 8% 11%
Do small jobs on sites such as Task Rabbit 10% 9%
Plan getting a promotion 7% 8%
Selling items they make (at markets, Etsy etc) 9% 6%
Professional freelancing (copywriting, design etc) 6% 7%
Investing in shares 3% 8%
Retraining in current role to boost my income (or get a pay rise) 4% 5%
Other 5% 4%
Retraining in a new field to get a new job in a higher paying field 4% 4%
Investing in cryptocurrency 2% 5%
Driving an uber in spare time 2% 4%
Renting out a spare room 1% 1%

*Source: Finder.com, table reflects responses not unique participants. Participants in our survey could select more than one response for making additional income.

Your age may affect how you plan on making extra dough

Generation

Baby boomers are the most industrious generation when it comes to peddling their unwanted items to others. 33% of boomer responses were related to how they plan on making extra dough, compared with only 23% of Gen Xers and 17% of Gen Y responses.

Gen X is more likely to lend a hand to others in their ‘hood, with 11% of Gen X responses directed at planning to sell their services on sites like TaskRabbit, compared with just 5% of baby boomers and 9% of Gen Y responses.

Gen Y’s plan for success is simple: 11% responses were about getting a better job that pays more. Compare that to only 6% of boomers and 7% of Gen X responses who say the same.

Method for Additional Income % of Baby Boomer responses % of Gen X responses % of Gen Y responses
Selling unwanted items (eBay, garage sale) 33% 23% 17%
Plan on getting an additional job (second job) 10% 13% 14%
Plan on leaving my current job and getting a higher paying one 6% 7% 11%
Do small jobs on sites such as Task Rabbit 5% 11% 9%
Plan getting a promotion 3% 6% 10%
Selling items they make (at markets, Etsy etc) 8% 7% 7%
Professional freelancing (copywriting, design etc) 5% 6% 7%
Investing in shares 10% 6% 5%
Retraining in current role to boost my income (or get a pay rise) 3% 5% 6%
Other 9% 5% 3%
Retraining in a new field to get a new job in a higher paying field 2% 3% 5%
Investing in cryptocurrency 4% 4% 3%
Driving an uber in spare time 2% 3% 3%
Renting out a spare room 1% 2% 1%

*Source: Finder.com, table reflects responses not unique participants. Participants in our survey could select more than one response for making additional income.

If you’re not working, you’ve got plenty of time to sell your s#!t

Employment status

A high 40% of retiree responses stated the top pick for extra income over the next year is unloading their unwanted items online or at a garage sale.

And while part-time work’s got many perks, it may not be cutting it for everybody, given the 14% of the responses from those employed part-time were about planning on looking for a new job to bring in more income.

Method for Additional Income % of Casual worker responses % of Full-time worker responses % of Part-time worker responses % of Retired worker responses % of Student reponses % of Unemployed responses
I plan on getting a promotion 0% 12% 6% 0% 6% 3%
I plan on leaving my current job and getting a higher paying one 5% 11% 14% 1% 9% 7%
I plan on getting an additional job (second job) 11% 13% 20% 6% 17% 8%
Retraining in my current role to boost my income (or get a pay rise) 2% 7% 4% 2% 4% 2%
Selling items I make (at markets, Etsy etc) 10% 6% 6% 11% 10% 9%
Retraining in a new field to get a new job in a higher paying field 1% 3% 5% 1% 4% 7%
Professional freelancing (copywriting, design etc) 9% 7% 6% 5% 8% 6%
Driving an uber in my spare time 5% 3% 4% 2% 3% 4%
Renting out a spare room 2% 1% 2% 2% 1% 1%
Do small jobs on sites such as Task Rabbit 13% 8% 7% 7% 13% 13%
Investing in cryptocurrency 6% 3% 2% 4% 3% 4%
Investing in shares 6% 6% 4% 9% 4% 6%
Selling unwanted items (eBay, garage sale) 28% 17% 17% 40% 19% 23%
Other 5% 2% 5% 10% 2% 8%

*Source: Finder.com, table reflects responses not unique participants. Participants in our survey could select more than one response for making additional income.

Two people accumulate a lot of stuff to sell

That’s right, people who’ve been in a domestic relationship (22% of responses) are more likely to say their No. 1 way to earn extra money over the next 12 months is to sell items they no longer want.

Free-and-easy singles are most likely of all adults to opt for helping out with odd jobs on sites like TaskRabbit (10% of responses).

Start out with even a small side gig, and you may be surprised at how quickly it takes off. It just could become your main source of income.

Ask the experts…

Megan Robinson

Author
Financial Coach & Personal Finance Expert
DollarSprout.com

Teach English as a second language online with VIPKID. I tried this one out myself and found it was a great way to make extra income when I was working as a freelance writer. VIPKID teachers earn $14-$22 per hour teaching 30-minute virtual classes. In order to apply, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and to be a native English speaker. Since most of the student are in China, the highest-demand class times are usually early mornings in the U.S. and Canada. This is an especially good income-earning opportunity for teachers and stay-at-home parents.

John Shieldsmith

Content marketer, Freelance writer


Even if you have little professional writing experience, you can slowly work your way into being a professional freelance writer. There are numerous free resources available that can give you tips on the latest in content marketing or professional blogging. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can take on small projects posted on local job boards, Craigslist (be careful with that one), Indeed, or even FlexJobs. Fiverr and Upwork are both popular routes for freelance writers, and can be a great way to get some basic experience. Once you have any level of experience, however, I’d suggest leaving those two behind due to the low pay.

Dallin Preece

Business Development


Earn extra cash by renting out your empty space. Neighbor is an online, peer-to-peer self storage community that allows homeowners with unused storage space to rent that space to people in need of storage. Demand for self storage has never been higher in the USA and supply is limited, which means high prices and inflexible contract agreements. Homeowners can rent out their garages, RV pads, sheds, basements, attics, or any space they can think of that is safe. The average homeowner that signs up their extra space tends to list 2-3 spaces and makes anywhere from $100-$400 per month in passive income.

Andrea Woroch

Personal Finance Expert


Enjoy time with pets. To get away from stressors and maintain some freedom, spend some quality time with fun-loving pets. Sites like Rover.com can connect you with good paying dog-sitting and dog-walking opportunities in your area. Sitters are able to choose their own rates and have the flexibility of scheduling around their availability. Rover sitters/walkers can easily earn over $1,000 per month, which definitely makes a difference.


For media inquiries:

Jennifer McDermott

Consumer advocate helping people improve their personal finances.

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