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Making It in San Diego: Side jobs help families make ends meet

Posted: 12:16 PM, Nov 30, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-30 20:16:51Z
Woman working at computer
woman playing with dog

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - As San Diego families struggle to make ends meet, new numbers from a Bankrate.com survey show more and more people are turning to "side jobs" to help their bottom line.

Different from a part-time job, like a few shifts at a fast food restaurant or office, a side-job is often web-based and allows people to make their schedule and feel self-employed.

"It's kind of the only job I can do without having to turn around and hand most of my paycheck to childcare," said Cathy Murphy. She teaches English to kids in China, through a website called VIPKids .

"It would be really tight financially if we didn't have this," Murphy added. "We could make the bills, but there isn't money for a vacation or Legoland for the kids' birthday or going out to eat and kind of the fun things that you want to do."

According to Bankrate, 37% of Americans now work a side job. From that, they make an average of $8,000 per year. The most popular ones include home repair (12%), online sales (7%), crafts (7%) and child care (6%).

Other options that people have found include driving for rideshare services Uber or Lyft, managing a second home as an Airbnb property, and taking surveys or doing taste tests for local market research firms. 10News even found one person on Facebook offering to do people's laundry to make some extra money.

Kassy Otis decided to become a dog-sitter. She uses  Rover.com to find and book clients.

"It's great because I make some money and have a lot of fun," said Otis.

Fun is the main ingredient that Otis and Murphy say is necessary to be successful. They say you have to find something you're passionate about and would love doing anyway. That makes it easier to stick with it for more than just a few months.

"You have to really love it," said Otis. "If it's something you love, it's an easy job."

Conversely, a study by JPMorgan Chase found that more than half of the people working side jobs will quit within a year.

Murphy said she used to teach swim lessons and would help kids with homework when she worked as a nanny, so VIPKid came naturally to her. Otis said she loves being around dogs and started dog-sitting as a way to find a playmate for her dog, Melissa.

Both women say they consider being a stay-at-home mother as their "full-time" jobs. This helps them contribute to the family finances as well.

Although working online is ideal for many San Diegans, career websites offer options including food delivery and healthcare.