Pet Sitting or Feet Pics? How The Cost Of Living Crisis Made Side Hustles a Necessity

Passion Digital Passion Digital 28/03/2023 3 minutes

In the last few years the ‘side hustle’ has gone from eye roll-inducing, inspirational LinkedIn fodder to something most people will need just to turn their oven on. Thanks to the cost of living crisis, there is a greater need to generate extra income and, with the rise of platforms like OnlyFans, we wanted to look at where these new means of income rank amongst other side hustles in the UK.

What Is a ‘Side Hustle’?

People working more than one job to make ends meet is nothing new, but the concept of the ‘side hustle’ is. It used to be an entrepreneurial venture that allowed you to follow your dreams. Essentially, the side hustle was that artisan candle business your mate always threatened to start because they had to work over the weekend once. Now, it’s filling out online surveys and sitting the neighbour’s skittish pitbull so you can afford to have a shower. 

The cost of living crisis has facilitated this change and has caused more and more people to look into side hustles. In the UK, there has been an 84% increase YoY for people searching online for ‘side hustle ideas’, with Cardiff topping the list of UK city-dwellers searching for ways to make more money in the last 12 months.

But which money making activities are people looking into? Is the UK public looking into walking dogs and selling unwanted clothes, or are they jumping on more — *ahem* — unorthodox methods of making money?

Which Side Hustles Are People Searching For? 

The typical ‘low barrier to entry’ side hustles like pet sitting, online surveys and selling unwanted clothing are still popular, but since the rise of OnlyFans and FeetFinder, content creation has become an easily accessible way for anyone to make money. This has meant more people have been looking at it as a viable way to make extra money.

While pet sitting and paid online surveys have seen a rise in people searching for them, the search term “sell feet pics” has seen a 267% increase in the last 12 months, making it the side hustle with the biggest increase in search. 

The second biggest side hustle in terms of search interest was OnlyFans, with a 69% increase in people from the UK searching for how to set up their own channel. “Selling used underwear” also saw an increase in interest, coming in 4th in our list, with a 56% increase. 

Which Cities Are Searching For Side Hustles The Most?

We wanted to dive into a few of the most popular side hustles to see which cities were searching for them the most. 

Side hustle: Feet pics

Good news if you’ve got a Brummie foot kink, because when it came to being proud of their trotters, Birmingham residents topped the list of cities looking into selling photos for extra cash, with an increase of 600% for the search term ‘selling feet pics’. Interestingly, Birmingham also saw the biggest increase in people looking into starting OnlyFans channels with an increase of 200%. Manchester came second with an increase of 450% and the country’s capital came third with an increase of 418% amongst Londoners searching for ways to sell photos of their feet.

Side hustle: Selling unwanted clothes

Selling your old clothes isn’t a new concept, but with the rise in popularity of apps like Vinted and Depop, there has been a 24% increase YoY of people in the UK looking to sell their unwanted clothes. Out of all the cities in the UK, Cardiff came top by a large margin, with a 200% increase in people searching for ways to make money from their unwanted clothes. Leeds and Glasgow came second in the list with a 67% increase in searches amongst residents.

Side hustle: Paid online surveys

Completing online surveys for money has also been a way of making extra money for people for a long time, with brands offering money to find out how you rate them. But with the cost of living forcing people to look for new avenues of income, searches for ‘surveys for money’ have increased by 50%. Cardiff also came top in this list with a 200% increase in searches, with Edinburgh coming in second place with an increase of 125%. 

It’s never been easier to make extra income, with more and more accessible ways to make money from home. The rise of content creator platforms means all you need is high self esteem and a smartphone in order to make extra money.  On the flipside, with the way things are going, it’s just a matter of time before you have to trade your old socks for petrol. If you’re interested in finding out more on our research please get in touch with our team.