GOBankingRates

50 Cities Where You Need a Side Hustle To Get By

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The side hustle is more than just a way to make extra cash to pay for the things you want. For many Americans, a second job is essential to having enough money to pay for necessities.

A recent GOBankingRates survey found that nearly half of Americans need a side hustle just to cover basic expenses. These results suggest that plenty of people can’t get by on just one income. 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.

Related: 11 Best Side Hustles For 2021
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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. The study determined how many side hustles would be needed to cover that gap by considering the average income from a side hustle in the U.S., which is $12,609, according to The Hustle.

Follow Along: 31 Days of Living Richer

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.

Last updated: Aug. 24, 2021

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50. Houston

  • Per capita income: $30,547
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $15,192
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,129.41
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,618.71
  • Annual utility cost: $3,817.54
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,955.51
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$4,166.17
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1

Read: 22 Side Gigs That Can Make You Richer Than a Full-Time Job

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49. St. Paul, Minnesota

  • Per capita income: $28,535
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $14,213.14
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,129.41
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,323.27
  • Annual utility cost: $3,857.10
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,265.87
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$4,253.79
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1

See: 100 Ways To Make Money Without a 9-to-5

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48. Tampa, Florida

  • Per capita income: $32,869
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $17,610
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,565.02
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,717.19
  • Annual utility cost: $3,809.63
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,443.21
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$4,276.04
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1

Degrees: 15 College Degrees That Won’t Make You Money

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47. Las Vegas

  • Per capita income: $27,650
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $12,100.29
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,316.10
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,653.18
  • Annual utility cost: $4,058.86
  • Annual transportation cost: $7,088.51
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$4,566.93
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1

Take a Look: Survey Determines the Best Side Hustles in America

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46. Mesa, Arizona

  • Per capita income: $26,535
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $11,463.43
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,244.98
  • Annual healthcare cost: $5,002.78
  • Annual utility cost: $3,959.96
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,443.21
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$4,579.35
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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45. El Paso, Texas

  • Per capita income: $21,120
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $8,535.43
  • Annual grocery cost: $3,889.38
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,362.66
  • Annual utility cost: $3,841.28
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,300.38
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$4,809.12
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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44. Norfolk, Virginia

  • Per capita income: $26,670
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $13,209.43
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,151.63
  • Annual healthcare cost: $5,770.93
  • Annual utility cost: $3,825.45
  • Annual transportation cost: $4,724.03
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$5,011.47
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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43. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Per capita income: $25,876
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $11,796
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,129.41
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,963.39
  • Annual utility cost: $3,512.93
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,492.47
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$5,018.19
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1

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42. San Francisco

  • Per capita income: $59,508
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $42,649.71
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,925.06
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,579.32
  • Annual utility cost: $3,857.10
  • Annual transportation cost: $8,709.17
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$5,212.36
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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41. Irving, Texas

  • Per capita income: $28,670
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $14,777.14
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,129.41
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,653.18
  • Annual utility cost: $3,963.91
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,512.17
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$5,365.81
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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40. Nashville, Tennessee

  • Per capita income: $31,109
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $17,568
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,013.84
  • Annual healthcare cost: $5,288.38
  • Annual utility cost: $3,928.31
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,709.23
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$5,398.75
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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39. San Antonio

  • Per capita income: $24,325
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $11,802.86
  • Annual grocery cost: $3,942.72
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,490.69
  • Annual utility cost: $3,754.24
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,758.49
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$5,424
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1

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38. Memphis, Tennessee

  • Per capita income: $23,629
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $9,497.14
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,013.84
  • Annual healthcare cost: $6,406.12
  • Annual utility cost: $3,809.63
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,418.60
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$5,516.33
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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37. Jacksonville, Florida

  • Per capita income: $27,486
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $14,132.57
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,298.32
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,776.28
  • Annual utility cost: $4,066.77
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,773.27
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$5,561.21
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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36. Paradise, Nevada

  • Per capita income: $25,605
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $12,288
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,316.10
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,653.18
  • Annual utility cost: $4,058.86
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,847.14
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$6,558.27
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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35. Phoenix

  • Per capita income: $26,528
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $13,239.43
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,244.98
  • Annual healthcare cost: $5,002.78
  • Annual utility cost: $4,027.21
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,586.06
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$6,572.46
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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34. New Orleans

  • Per capita income: $29,275
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $16,328.57
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,129.41
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,347.89
  • Annual utility cost: $3,453.59
  • Annual transportation cost: $7,635.30
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$6,619.76
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1

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33. San Diego

  • Per capita income: $37,112
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $24,277.71
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,609.47
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,205.10
  • Annual utility cost: $4,066.77
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,600.84
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$6,647.88
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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32. Sacramento, California

  • Per capita income: $28,671
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $16,067.14
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,609.47
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,436.52
  • Annual utility cost: $3,892.70
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,541.73
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$6,876.56
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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31. Buffalo, New York

  • Per capita income: $22,294
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $10,885.71
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,222.75
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,367.59
  • Annual utility cost: $4,236.88
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,674.75
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$7,093.68
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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30. Orlando, Florida

  • Per capita income: $28,117
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $15,954.86
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,298.32
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,820.60
  • Annual utility cost: $4,046.99
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,349.61
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$7,353.37
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1

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29. Fresno, California

  • Per capita income: $21,286
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $10,422.86
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,360.55
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,180.48
  • Annual utility cost: $4,446.54
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,354.56
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$7,478.98
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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28. Boston

  • Per capita income: $39,686
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $26,297.14
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,698.37
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,106.62
  • Annual utility cost: $4,620.61
  • Annual transportation cost: $7,472.74
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$7,509.47
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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27. Chicago

  • Per capita income: $32,560
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $19,791.43
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,173.86
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,628.56
  • Annual utility cost: $3,671.17
  • Annual transportation cost: $7,871.75
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$7,576.76
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1

Related: 27 Most Lucrative Side Hustles for People Over 50

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26. Glendale, Arizona

  • Per capita income: $23,496
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $11,047.71
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,244.98
  • Annual healthcare cost: $5,002.78
  • Annual utility cost: $4,039.08
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,768.32
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$7,606.87
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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25. Milwaukee

  • Per capita income: $21,627
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $10,281.43
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,031.62
  • Annual healthcare cost: $5,189.90
  • Annual utility cost: $4,003.47
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,783.12
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$7,662.54
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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24. Aurora, Colorado

  • Per capita income: $27,077
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $15,010.29
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,244.98
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,835.37
  • Annual utility cost: $3,801.72
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,965.36
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$7,780.71
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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23. Cleveland

  • Per capita income: $18,844
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $10,020
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,133.85
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,052.45
  • Annual utility cost: $3,754.24
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,172.30
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$8,288.85
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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22. Fort Worth, Texas

  • Per capita income: $27,191
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $16,000.29
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,129.41
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,766.43
  • Annual utility cost: $3,975.78
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,689.51
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$8,370.41
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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21. Baltimore

  • Per capita income: $28,488
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $16,604.57
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,396.11
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,781.20
  • Annual utility cost: $4,244.79
  • Annual transportation cost: $7,123
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$8,661.66
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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20. Garland, Texas

  • Per capita income: $23,164
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $13,804.29
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,129.41
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,653.18
  • Annual utility cost: $3,956
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,950.59
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$10,329.46
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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19. Stockton, California

  • Per capita income: $21,747
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $12,780
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,609.47
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,727.04
  • Annual utility cost: $4,308.08
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,970.31
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$10,647.90
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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18. North Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Per capita income: $21,499
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $11,953.71
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,316.10
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,653.18
  • Annual utility cost: $4,086.55
  • Annual transportation cost: $7,152.55
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$10,663.09
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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17. Honolulu

  • Per capita income: $34,613
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $20,738.57
  • Annual grocery cost: $6,174.11
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,569.47
  • Annual utility cost: $6,974.43
  • Annual transportation cost: $7,024.48
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$10,868.05
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

16. Laredo, Texas

  • Per capita income: $16,642
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $10,078.29
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,276.09
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,456.22
  • Annual utility cost: $3,880.84
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,551.60
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$11,601.03
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

15. Long Beach, California

  • Per capita income: $29,586
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $19,855.71
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,462.78
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,195.25
  • Annual utility cost: $3,841.28
  • Annual transportation cost: $8,980.10
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$11,749.12
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 1
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14. San Jose, California

  • Per capita income: $40,275
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $31,274.57
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,925.06
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,613.79
  • Annual utility cost: $3,829.41
  • Annual transportation cost: $8,408.68
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$12,776.51
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2
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13. Chula Vista, California

  • Per capita income: $27,591
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $21,049.71
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,609.47
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,205.10
  • Annual utility cost: $4,066.77
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,955.51
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$13,295.56
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2
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12. Jersey City, New Jersey

  • Per capita income: $36,453
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $28,800
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,640.58
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,347.89
  • Annual utility cost: $4,426.76
  • Annual transportation cost: $8,901.28
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$14,663.52
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2
Kit Leong / Shutterstock.com

11. Riverside, California

  • Per capita income: $23,865
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $18,230.57
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,462.78
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,111.54
  • Annual utility cost: $4,193.36
  • Annual transportation cost: $8,216.57
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$15,349.82
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2
pawel.gaul / Getty Images/iStockphoto

10. Detroit

  • Per capita income: $16,433
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $9,828
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,031.62
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,180.48
  • Annual utility cost: $3,548.53
  • Annual transportation cost: $10,246.08
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$15,401.70
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

9. Newark, New Jersey

  • Per capita income: $18,357
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $11,168.57
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,640.58
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,810.75
  • Annual utility cost: $4,513.80
  • Annual transportation cost: $8,960.39
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$15,737.09
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2

Read: How One Person Turned a Side Hustle Into $100,000 Per Year

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8. Philadelphia

  • Per capita income: $24,811
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $18,291.43
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,449.45
  • Annual healthcare cost: $5,711.84
  • Annual utility cost: $4,260.61
  • Annual transportation cost: $7,999.82
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$15,902.15
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2
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7. Anaheim, California

  • Per capita income: $26,185
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $25,461.43
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,462.78
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,382.36
  • Annual utility cost: $3,853.14
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,329.91
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$18,304.62
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

6. Los Angeles

  • Per capita income: $31,563
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $28,449.43
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,462.78
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,195.25
  • Annual utility cost: $3,706.77
  • Annual transportation cost: $9,393.88
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$18,645.11
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2
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5. New York

  • Per capita income: $35,761
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $28,523.14
  • Annual grocery cost: $5,098.42
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,973.24
  • Annual utility cost: $5,953.78
  • Annual transportation cost: $10,418.49
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$19,206.07
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2
Davel5957 / Getty Images

4. Oakland, California

  • Per capita income: $37,256
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $36,826.29
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,925.06
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,805.82
  • Annual utility cost: $3,572.27
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,487.54
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$19,360.98
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2
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3. Miami

  • Per capita income: $25,067
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $23,998.29
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,565.02
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,884.61
  • Annual utility cost: $3,777.98
  • Annual transportation cost: $8,359.42
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$20,518.31
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2
Juanmonino / Getty Images/iStockphoto

2. Hialeah, Florida

  • Per capita income: $15,343
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $14,400
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,565.02
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,884.61
  • Annual utility cost: $3,841.28
  • Annual transportation cost: $8,191.94
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$20,539.84
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2
David Tonelson / Shutterstock.com

1. Santa Ana, California

  • Per capita income: $18,121
  • Annual rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $21,127.71
  • Annual grocery cost: $4,462.78
  • Annual healthcare cost: $4,382.36
  • Annual utility cost: $3,872.92
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,078.68
  • Difference between per capita income and total costs: -$21,803.46
  • Number of side hustles needed to get by: 2

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the cities in the United States where you need a side hustle by analyzing the top 100 most populated cities according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Cities were analyzed under the following criteria: (1) per capita income, sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey; (2) average monthly and annual rent for a one-bedroom, sourced from Zillow’s 2019 data; and (3) itemized cost-of-living index for groceries, utilities, transportation, healthcare and miscellaneous expenditures, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey for the third quarter of 2017 through the second quarter of 2018, which were adjusted to each city's local cost of living, sourced from Sperling's Best Places. Factors No. 2 and 3 were then combined to give each city its (4) total annual cost of living, which was then subtracted from each city’s per capita income to give (5) the difference between per capita income and total annual cost of living. If factor No. 5 was negative, then it was considered a city where a side hustle would be needed to get by, so GOBankingRates used the average income from a side hustle in the U.S. ($12,609, sourced from the Hustle’s "The Most Lucrative Side-Hustles") to determine (6) number of side hustles needed to get by. All data used to conduct this study was compiled and verified on Sept. 9, 2019.