The Good & Bad Of Gig Work On ‘How To Money’

Courier delivery food service at home. Man courier using a map app on mobile phone to find the delivery address in the city

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Gig work has gotten more popular than ever. A recent Gallup poll found that 1 in 3 Americans perform some kind of gig work, and the possibilities seem endless: Giving rides, packing groceries, delivering food or packages, performing household tasks, petsitting, even renting out a room on AirBnb are all ways to make money quickly and with the ultimate flexibility. But while there are tons of benefits to gig work, there are some downsides, too. On this episode of How To Money, Matt and Joel go over the pros and cons to the gig economy, and what to consider if you’re thinking of jumping into gig work.

Gig work is great because you get to choose your hours and the jobs you do. If you’re driving for a rideshare service, you can decide when to turn off the app and go home. If you want to take a vacation, there’s no one to tell you no. Plus, most gig work pays instantly, giving people immediate access to funds. It’s hard to argue with that benefit, especially if you’re unexpectedly laid off. Knowing there’s a way to make money right away while you’re looking for something new relieves a lot of stress and pressure. But gig work also doesn’t pay that well; most full-time Uber drivers, for example, make just under $30,000 a year – and the additional expenses from the job, like gas, car maintenance, wear and tear over time, and higher insurance costs will eat into that money even more. Gig work offers no healthcare or retirement benefits, either, or any way to build a career. 

For all those reasons, both good and bad, gig work should probably not become a full-time thing if you can avoid it. But doing it part-time in order to reach a savings goal or provide a bridge until you find a better, more permanent job maximizes the benefits – especially if it’s gig work that could possibly lead to you being able to start your own business, like doing freelance graphic design until you can build up a portfolio. So how can you decide what gig work is best for you? And how can you avoid some of the pitfalls of gig work, like no access to employer-based healthcare plans? Matt and Joel have some thoughts; make the most of the gig economy with their advice on this episode of How To Money.

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