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SC workers scramble to pay bills as inflation rises | Company

Ryan Brantley is the epitome of a hard worker. He spends five days a week as an x-ray and lithotripsy technologist for urologists who work at a local surgical center, Roper St. Francis Hospital and East Cooper Medical Center.

He then returns home to work on not one but three side hustles.

The 43-year-old single dad started his first side hustle in 2013, teaching cardio classes at Bold Fitness and Pivotal Fitness in Summerville, where he lives, as part of his participation in group exercise classes.

In 2017 he started his second side job, running an aerial photography business, High Points Aerial Solutions.

Then, in 2020, he created High Points Kayaking as COVID-19 escalated and people started looking for more outdoor activities.

“I do these hustles to help pay the bills and grow the businesses,” Brantley said. “I work about two hours a day on all three activities combined and spend 40 hours on it as an x-ray technologist.”

Brantley adds about $1,175 a month to his budget, slightly less than the average additional monthly income of $1,492 generated by men who work on the side, according to a recent study by Bankrate, a New York-based financial services company. York.

He is among the 31% of adults in 2022 with an extra dose of entrepreneurship, starting small businesses or working on the side.

Juggling jobs, expenses

Surprisingly, the number is lower than in 2018 and 2019, when 37% and 38% of adults shoved, respectively. The Bank Rate attributed the recent downward trend in part to soaring energy costs.

Ride-sharing and food delivery services, for example, are being hit by high gas prices, said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst for Bankrate.

“I have to wonder if that’s part of the side hustles drop. It might not be worth it with the national gasoline average around $5 a gallon,” he said more early this month.

Another possible reason for the decline is the strength of the labor market. South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.2% in June from May’s estimate of 3.3%, according to a report released July 22 by the Department of Employment and SC workforce.

“Right now we’re seeing one of the lowest unemployment rates in half a century, and I think that’s another possible explanation for why fewer people can take side gigs, because that their main job can be more secure and more lucrative than at other times,” Rossman said.

“With the possibility of a recession on the horizon, however, and really only one way for the job market to go from here, which is down, we have to wonder if side hustles can rebound in popularity in months and years to come,” he said. added.

Either way, the number of secondary scammers is well above the level of 2017, when just 19% of American workers juggled multiple jobs.

And most today are using the extra money to pay for essentials, not for discretionary spending.

Bankrate’s recent survey of 1,000 respondents found that 41% of American adults with a side job this year need that income to pay for daily living expenses, up 10% from 2019.

Two years ago, 24% used the money earned from side work to save, and 36% used the money for luxuries, such as travel and entertainment. The latest survey found that only 17% accumulate the extra income, while 26% spend it on discretionary items.

“Those who do side hustles are more than likely to do so for necessary reasons,” Rossman said. “A lot of people who hustle each other use this just to get by.”

Again, Rossman pointed to inflation, which has surged. Rising gas, food and rent prices catapulted US inflation to a new four-decade high in June. Consumer prices rose 9.1% from a year earlier, the government said.

This was the largest 12-month increase since 1981 and an 8.6% jump in May. On a monthly basis, prices rose 1.3% from May to June, another substantial increase after prices jumped 1% from April to May.

Rossman said about 37% of secondary hustlers are spending more time on their secondary gigs, mostly due to the rising cost of living.

Peter Ludovicy, a retired U.S. Postal Service employee who moved from Connecticut to Ladson, is among the 21% of baby boomers who earn an average of $500 a month in side jobs and among the 40% who need money for their living expenses.

The 66-year-old said he soon tired of retirement and started mowing lawns to earn extra spending money. Then, with costs rising, he took a job at a rental car agency at Charleston International Airport for discretionary purchases.

“I took work to keep myself busy, and we separated the money from what we were using to pay the bills,” Ludovicy said. “Now, with the prices of everything going up, the money I make from my side businesses is actually going to pay bills.”

do the job

A side hustle is different from a part-time job in that the worker makes the decisions about how much to work and how much to earn.

“I actually think the most lucrative side hustle is something you can do from home, if possible, whether it’s something on the internet or some kind of home-based craft business,” Bankrate’s Rossman said. .

Morgan High is an artist. The 23-year-old recently graduated from cosmetology school and is waiting to pass her state board exams and get a full-time job.

Morgan High steps back to examine a commissioned piece of art depicting a landscape of flowers and grass in Ladson. Henry Taylor/staff

To get by, she sells her paintings for between $50 and $500 depending on the size and complexity of the work, on websites like Facebook and Instagram and does commission work to earn extra money to pay expenses such as car insurance and phone bills.

According to Bankrate, it joins 34% of Gen Z, ages 18-25, who earn an average of $200 a month from side hustle and the 32% who use the money to pay bills.

While Gen Zers work hard, according to survey responses, millennials between the ages of 26 and 33 are the busiest when it comes to hustling. The survey showed that 43 percent have a side job, the highest percentage of any age group. The median income is $400 per month.

Megan Llewellyn, 30, a 2021 College of Charleston graduate, is among the group with an entrepreneurial spirit and a need for extra income to get by.

Llewellyn interns for modest pay at a public relations firm and waits for a full-time position at a higher rate of pay to open up.

The money she earns from her part-time day job is barely enough to pay her phone bill and put gas in her car. She turns to hustling to supplement her income. She has served tables, worked as a barista and is currently considering online tutoring.

“I like it because it’s a 24-hour tutoring center. I can choose when I work based on my availability and how much money I need to earn,” Llewellyn said.

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