Before prices at the pump and supermarkets started taking off, economists noticed a growing number of Americans putting money toward credit card debt or building their savings.
Now, according to a new survey by Bankrate, 41 percent of Americans need a side income just to help pay for monthly expenses from housing to utilities to food.
Halfway through her senior year, 23-year-old Shaina Bourne felt the need to drop out of college due to her tight budget.
"When prices started going up and inflation started happening, I really had to take a step back and I realized I wasn't going to be able to finish the semester out," Bourne told CBN News.
After becoming a full-time nanny, Shaina soon realized she would need more money to make ends meet. That forced her to turn a hobby into a second job.
"I had a camera. I would go out with friends and shoot or I'd go on vacation, but I realized that was a skill set that I did have and the Lord blessed me with great clients and I've been able to utilize that as a source of second income," Shaina said.
As the cost of living continued to go up, Shaina then picked up a third job.
"The extra money is going towards my immediate bills," she said. "I've gone through my finances over and over and over and it's like there's a little extra needed in each place. Whether it is gas or groceries, even rent has actually taken an uptick in the last few months."
Shaina is not alone.
According to Bankrate, inflation is driving more than a third of Americans to increase working hours due to rising prices.
Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst for Bankrate, said that any additional income is often going toward putting food on the table or paying rent.
"Fewer people are using this money for discretionary expenses," Rossman told CBN News. "Fewer people are boosting their savings. Not that many people are paying down debt. It's primarily a day-to-day expenses story."
Shaina says that describes many people she knows.
"I think everyone is kind of struggling right now," she said. "I think everyone's looking for ways to make ends meet. It would be a stretch for me to try and think of a friend or family member who is not trying to get additional income."
Rossman said the problem underscores the financial burden many are carrying.
"It's just too bad because I would hope that if you're doing that you're getting ahead," Rossman said. "You know maybe the prize at the end of the rainbow is a vacation or you're going to knock out your credit card debt or that you're going to boost your retirement fund. It's tough when you're doing this extra stuff just to kind of stay on that treadmill."
Meanwhile, Shaina is trying to keep her college degree hope alive as she continues to do what she can now just to stay afloat.
"I'm trying to build that income for whatever is to come, but I'm not sure how long I'll be doing this," said Shaina.