Aussies embrace the side hustle to tackle rising cost of living

Australian workers are willing to put a lot on their plate.

Australian workers are willing to put a lot on their plate. Photo: Getty

Amid the unrelenting pressure of the rising cost of living, many Australians are managing to pad their bank accounts by taking on side hustles.

Research by online services platform GoDaddy found 61 per cent of Australian entrepreneurs are running their side-hustle businesses alongside full-time jobs.

The effects of the pandemic propelled up Australia’s microbusiness community, with more than half of microbusinesses set up after 2020.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released on Friday shows the number of Australians holding multiple jobs steadily rose, after a sharp initial drop in 2020.

Between 1994 and 2019, the multiple job-holding rate remained around 5 and 6 per cent. From December 2022 to December 2023, the ABS found it bounced between 6.6 to 6.7 per cent. 

But research by Finder showed an even higher amount of Australians – 7 per cent – had taken on a second job to help deal with soaring food prices and cost of housing.

While juggling multiple jobs doesn’t always pay off, GoDaddy found many of those who started their own business cheaply had managed to turn tidy profits.

Almost a third of Australian side-hustlers said their venture had cost as little as $500 to start.

The majority spent less than 10 hours a week running their venture, yet more than half made at least $500 a month to supplement their main income.

One in five were making more than $2500 a month, which is probably significantly softening the blow of the rising cost of living.

Best-paying side hustles

Often the most basic of side hustles options can prove to be the most profitable.

Last month, Preply revealed removalists were paid the most out of side-hustlers, making $96.15 an hour on average.

Preply found the top side hustles and the average wage per hour were:

  1. Removalist – $96.15
  2. Delivery driver – $69.71
  3. Freelance writer – $45.67
  4. Handyman –$38.46
  5. Dog walker – $34.62
  6. Gardener – $33.65
  7. Cleaner – $33.65
  8. Uber driver – $28.85
  9. Freelance designer – $28.85
  10. Blogger – $24.04

But be warned; those earnings are still subject to tax.

The Australian Tax Office says all taxable income must be reported.

Side hustles engaged in a “repeated activity” or to turn a profit are running businesses, which means you’ll need to register for an Australian Business Number and potentially a Goods and Services Tax withholding.

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