How Expensive is Life in Minnesota? Exploring Side Hustles to Make Ends Meet


The state of Minnesota is famous for its fabulous natural surroundings, hospitable residents and the strong economy which is supported by major industries such as healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing and technology. On the other hand, the cost of living while in the state has been quite high, especially in major cities like Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

The Rising Cost of Housing in MN

The housing cost is the largest expense for most Minnesotans. As per the Minnesota Housing Partnership, the median two-bedroom apartment rent in the Twin Cities metropolitan area was $1,227 monthly in 2023. For example, in the high-end Uptown area of Minneapolis, the average rent may cling above $2,000 monthly.

As a result, home prices are also out of the budgets for most people. During the year 2022, the center price for resident home sales in the Twin Cities was $350,000, which was more than 7% higher than the previous year. In small towns like Edina and Minnetonka that are known for their high-end housing, the median home value exceeds $500,000.

The fact that the housing costs along with the added expenses for utilities, groceries, transportation, and healthcare, is too much to afford for most Minnesotans, most especially those who are in the lower and middle class, which is why it is a challenge to make ends meet just with their regular jobs.

The Lure of Side Hustles

Many Minnesotans, who want to boast a higher income and cover their expenses, have found an alternative in the form of side hustles that bring them extra money. Many people have discovered great side hustles that include driving for rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft, delivering food through companies like DoorDash, and freelancing with skills such as writing, graphic design, and computer programming.

One cash-generating activity that has experienced an upsurge, albeit with some controversy, is online gambling via casinos’ online sites and applications. Online casinos may not be legally regulated in Minnesota, but Online poker sites found here work in Minnesota.

Online casinos offer the possibility for their players to win money and set their own hours for work and earnings, depending on their abilities in playing casino games such as poker, blackjack, slots and other games. In this regard, we must also consider the downsides such as the probability of gambling addiction as well as the risk of losing money.

The Minnesota State Lottery has been considering the increase in online gambling, and it has concerns about the fact that unregulated offshore sites do not put any consumer protections in place and may be engaged in illegal activities. Nevertheless, despite the fact that living cost for some Minnesotans is high at the same time, they are attracted by the platforms as potential sources of income.

Budgeting Carefully on Minnesota Incomes

The individuals with the conventional way of income earning depend badly on budgeting to make ends meet, especially for living circumstances and transportation.

According to the statistics from 2023, Minnesota’s median household income was $77,015 at that time. Moreover, income disparities are relatively high within the low-paying occupations and high-paying jobs.

In 2022 a DEED study, which is the employment agency of the state, found that there are jobs, such as cashiers, retail salespersons, and food preparation workers, which earn median wages between $25,000-30,000. Employees like clerks, customer service officers and teaching assistants made $35-40 thousand yearly.

On the other hand, the workers in high-demand professions such as health care, technology, business and trades earn higher incomes of $75,000 and above. The cost of living in Minnesota is high that such high-income earners at times have to budget and plan their finances very well.

The Good and the Bad of Living in Minnesota

However, these financial difficulties are not a reason for many Minnesotans to not consider life quality factors that are making it worth living in the state for them and their families.

Top cited advantages include:

  • Opportunities that come with attending public schools and universities of high educational standards.
  • Plenty of nature is available in the form of lakes, play areas, and hiking trails.
  • An ecologically clean environment with small environmental pollution degree.
  • Generally low crime rate across the state.
  • A flourishing sports and arts/culture district.

However, there are also drawbacks commonly mentioned in Minnesota living:

  • Harsh winters of long duration that winter clothing must be worn, and energy bills go up.
  • The economic and social issues are becoming more heated and polarized.
  • The situation with budget deficits results in a lack of funding for the maintenance of vital infrastructure.
  • Traffic congestion and absence of community transportation in some places.

Striking the Right Balance

In the long run, Minnesota remains an excellent place to live for people with adequate income who can afford the high cost of living through smart spending and budgeting. The state’s high quality public services, attractive job market, beautiful scenic nature and vibrant communities are the key reasons why people want to come here. While these jobs are accessible, factors such as high housing, transportation, and living costs that frequently surpass the wages, mean that more residents are getting inventive by acquiring side gigs as well as the multiple streams of income.

Whether it is driving for rideshares, employing their skills for freelancing, or through online casino play, we can expect more Minnesotans to engage in this kind of side hustles in the years ahead. While the chances of winning are high in risky pursuits, such as gambling, the more conventional options, such as gig work, are the safer ones for most people who are looking forward to maximizing their earnings and enjoying the desired standard of living in the State of Admirable Lakes.

Balancing spending and income will always be a challenge, but with the right determination and discipline that the residents of Minnesota have displayed, the problem can be solved.


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