GOBankingRates

20 Cities Where You Need a Side Hustle To Get By

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While some people can use a side hustle to bring in extra income and add to their savings, for many Americans, extra money is essential just to pay for necessities.

To find out where this problem is most pronounced, GOBankingRates evaluated the 100 largest U.S. cities to identify where Americans need at least one side hustle to cover their costs and used the average income from a side hustle in the U.S. ($12,609) to determine the number of side hustles to get by.

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The study considered the per capita income — which is the average income earned per person — of each city. Then, it examined the average annual cost of groceries, healthcare, utilities, transportation and rent for a one-bedroom apartment. GOBankingRates added up those costs and then subtracted them from per-capita income to determine whether there was a gap between income and cost of living.

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Plenty of cities with a high cost of living made it on this list of places where you need a side hustle to get by. However, several places where the cost of living is relatively low also made it on the list — that’s because the per-capita income in those cities is low. As a result, those people need to find ways to make extra money to cover bills.

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20. San Antonio, Texas

  • Per capita income: $26,328
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $12,516
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,003.73
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,129.41
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,516.99
  • Annual utility cost: $4,830.14
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$4,484.80
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
traveler1116 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

19. Rochester, New York

  • Per capita income: $24,916
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $11,192
  • Annual transportation cost: $4,565.33
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,833.28
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,830.14
  • Annual utility cost: $4,291.06
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$4,795.81
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

18. Fayetteville, North Carolina

  • Per capita income: $25,659
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $11,732
  • Annual transportation cost: $3,885.07
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,645.48
  • Annual healthcare cost: $6,119.21
  • Annual utility cost: $4,091.47
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$4,814.24
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

17. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  • Per capita income: $24,1679
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $9,788
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,144.82
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,591.12
  • Annual healthcare cost: $5,373.73
  • Annual utility cost: $4,207.90
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$4,938.56
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1

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16. El Paso, Texas

  • Per capita income: $23,450
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $10,780
  • Annual transportation cost: $4,630.84
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,546.64
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,488.46
  • Annual utility cost: $4.037.42
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$5,033.36
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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15. Arlington, Texas

  • Per capita income: $28,904
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $14,068
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,774.69
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,848.10
  • Annual healthcare cost: $5,145.94
  • Annual utility cost: $4,158
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$5,090.73
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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14. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Per capita income: $29,644
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $13,152
  • Annual transportation cost: $7,150.34
  • Annual grocery cost: $5,065.55
  • Annual healthcare cost: $5.094.17
  • Annual utility cost: $4,478.17
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$5,296.23
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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13. Mesa, Arizona

  • Per capita income: $30,903
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $16,952
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,744.46
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,803.62
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,773.19
  • Annual utility cost: $4,162.16
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$5,532.44
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1

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12. Tucson, Arizona

  • Per capita income: $24,468
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $12,272
  • Annual transportation cost: $4,867.67
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,719.61
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,219.26
  • Annual utility cost: $4,133.05
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$5,743.59
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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11. Los Angeles, California

  • Per capita income: $37,143
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $20,904
  • Annual transportation cost: $8,329.47
  • Annual grocery cost: $5,144.62
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,628.24
  • Annual utility cost: $3,896.05
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$5,759.37
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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10. Spring Valley, Nevada

  • Per capita income: $31,886
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $17,488
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,298.75
  • Annual grocery cost: $5,080.38
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,778.37
  • Annual utility cost: $4,307.69
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$6,067.19
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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9. Long Beach, California

  • Per capita income: $33,607
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $19,000
  • Annual transportation cost: $7,956.58
  • Annual grocery cost: $5,035,90
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,628.24
  • Annual utility cost: $4,037.42
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$7,051.14
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1

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8. Fresno, California

  • Per capita income: $24,814
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $12,732
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,124.66
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,902.46
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,690.36
  • Annual utility cost: $4,673.59
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$7,309.08
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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7. Glendale, Arizona

  • Per capita income: $26,395
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $14,480
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,092.15
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,778.91
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,773.19
  • Annual utility cost: $4,245.32
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$7,974.58
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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6. Miami, Florida

  • Per capita income: $31,437
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $19,376
  • Annual transportation cost: $7,281.36
  • Annual grocery cost: $5,302.77
  • Annual healthcare cost: $5,114.88
  • Annual utility cost: $3,970.89
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$9,608.89
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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5. New York City, New York

  • Per capita income: $41,625
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $24,580
  • Annual transportation cost: $9,125.63
  • Annual grocery cost: $5,762.37
  • Annual healthcare cost: $5,829.30
  • Annual utility cost: $6,257.79
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$9,930.09
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1

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4. Detroit, Michigan

  • Per capita income: $19,569
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $8,332
  • Annual transportation cost: $8,984.54
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,398.38
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,364.21
  • Annual utility cost: $3,729.73
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$10,239.85
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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3. Anaheim, California

  • Per capita income: $30,122
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $21,432
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,946.02
  • Annual grocery cost: $5,065.55
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,964.74
  • Annual utility cost: $4,049,89
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$11,336.90
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

2. Newark, New Jersey

  • Per capita income: $20,924
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $10,708
  • Annual transportation cost: $7,856.88
  • Annual grocery cost: $5,124.85
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,705.89
  • Annual utility cost: $4,744.28
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$12,224.90
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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1. Riverside, California

  • Per capita income: $27,144
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $20,248
  • Annual transportation cost: $7,361.98
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,961.77
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,545.41
  • Annual utility cost: $4,407.48
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$14,380.63
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2

More From GOBankingRates

Jordan Rosenfeld contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the Cities in the United States Where You Need a Side Hustle to Get By, by looking at the top 100 most populated cities according to the United States Census Bureau along these criteria: (1) per capita income as sourced from the United States Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey; (2) average monthly/annual rent for a one bedroom as sourced from ApartmentList’s March 2022 data; (3) itemized cost of living index for groceries, utilities, transportation, healthcare and miscellaneous expenditure, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2020 Consumer Expenditure Survey, which were adjusted to each city’s local cost of living, sourced from Sperling’s Best Places. Factors (2) and (3) were then combined to give each city a (4) total annual cost of living, which was then subtracted from each city’s per capita income to give (5) difference between per capita income and total annual cost of living. If factor (5) was negative then it was deemed as a city that one would need a side hustle to get by, so GOBankingRates used the average income from a side hustle in the US ($12,609) as sourced from the Hustle’s: The most lucrative side-hustles, to determine (7) number of side hustles needed to get by. All data was collected and is up to date as of April 19, 2022.