The Gig Economy offers an incredible amount of freedom but it is not for the faint of heart. The lack of security and safety scares many, while others end up fleeing back to the cubicle farms because they cannot make it.
Since basic income and single payer healthcare are not available, yet today’s gig economy workers are often left to their own devices. Fortunately there are a lot of resources and support systems for gig economy workers who are willing to look for them out there.
Some Gig Economy Survival Tools you should be Aware of Include:
- The Freelancer’s Union. This nonprofit organization offers insurance, political representation and a support system for gig economy workers. It is also organizing community events for freelancers to show that they are not alone. They even publish a Freelancer’s Bible and provide lists of professionals such as attorneys that are dedicated to helping gig workers.
- Payfully. Payfully is a factoring platform that pays cash for Airbnb bookings. That gives hosts extra money without the need to borrow from friends or use credit cards. There is no loan or balance to pay back, no interest charged and no effect on your credit rating. Its’ management hopes to expand the service to other gig economy workers in the future.
- Nerdwallet. This well-informed website provides comprehensive financial information on a wide variety of topics. One of the most useful tools is the credit card rankings which can help you get better credit at a lower interest rate. If you’re in the gig economy you’ll need the best credit card around and Nerd Wallet can help you find it.
- Upwork. If you need to find a freelance gig or freelance help fast Upwork is one of the best places to go. It is a little hard to use but the pay rate is harder than for competitors. I find the site which is a combination of two defunct sites; Elance and Odesk a great source of freelance writing work.
- Apple Pay and Android Pay. These popular apps allow you to make a wide variety of payments directly from your credit-card balance or bank account via a smartphone. The big drawback is that they are not accepted at many popular retailers including Walmart and Kroger supermarkets.
- Square. This company offers a variety of tools that lets you accept credit cards almost anywhere. You can even accept card payment via your phone by using Square. It charges a 2.75% per swipe, dip or tap and a 3.5% or 15¢ for keyed in transactions.
- PayPal. America’s most popular digital wallet offers a wide variety of services including online payments and invoicing, mobile and instore payments, and loans. PayPal charges 2.7% for mobile and instore payments and 2.9% and 30 cents a transaction for online payment processing. Its Braintree subsidiary offers a number of solutions including payment via cryptocurrency.
The key to surviving and thriving in the gig economy is to shop around and find the tools and services you will need to succeed. There are lots of great gig economy products and services out there for those willing to search for them.