Black Britain and other Minority Communities Take up Side Hustles to Keep up with Financial Obligations Overseas

January 14, 2024
2 mins read

By Shola Adenekan

Thursday, March 9, 2023.

For many members of UK’s immigrant communities, the rising cost of living is not only affecting their pockets, it is also having an impact on those they regularly send money to in their original home countries. This impact of the current global crisis is the focus of a study by  WorldRemit, a leading digital remittances company, as it announces the results of its second Cost of Living index. The organisation has sought to understand how the worsening inflation crisis has affected the lives of British remittance senders.

The survey found that 75% of UK remittance senders agreed that the cost of living for the people that they send money to has risen since the start of the year.  Highlighting the impact of inflation on people around the world, two-fifths (40%) noted they now only send money to immediate family, rather than friends and distant relatives. 1 in 9 people worldwide rely on money sent from friends and relatives who have migrated abroad for work.

British migrants are embracing the side hustle.

With several factors contributing to increased financial pressure, the study showed that 44% in the UK have taken up a side hustle (a job in addition to their main source of income). Three in five (62%) did so to keep up with soaring costs and commitment to financially supporting loved ones abroad – something their main source of income cannot cover,

“Of the respondents who cited having a side hustle, an overwhelming 87% reported that they would maintain their side hustle in the next 12 months, demonstrating the dedication to improving the lives and futures of themselves and their loved ones abroad,” the report’s authors said. “The most popular side hustle industries among British migrants were delivery, childcare, promotional marketing, teaching, hospitality and artisan and craft production and sales.”

Financial fears in 2022 spark behavioural and budget resolutions for 2023.

Looking ahead to 2023, two thirds (66%) are already making changes to their household budget in order to keep up with the daily cost of living and remittance obligations. Almost a fifth (18%) reported wanting to be able to allocate their budget differently, but cannot afford to.

As a result, Brits of migrant backgrounds are re-examining their spending habits. Almost half said that they are curtailing discretionary spending on entertainment such as dining out or going to the cinema or theatre. Nearly two-thirds  of people noted concerns regarding the cost of utility bills, highlighting the change in spending habits of UK households as a result of the energy crisis. Being able to afford rent or mortgage payments (42%), and factors such as household and essential goods (38%) are also weighing heavily on Brits’ minds, as well as travelling abroad to visit family or for holidays in 2023 (21%).

“The inventive solutions, such as side hustles, that we are seeing as a result of the current economic landscape point to the resilience of migrants and their commitment to financially supporting loved ones overseas,” said Karen Jordaan, Head of UK, WorldRemit. “These findings demonstrate the grit of economic migrants in adapting to wider financial stresses and the rising cost of living while still meeting the needs of their families at home, and abroad.”

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