Do I Need a Second Job?
When money is really tight, there isn’t much wiggle room in your budget, or you just want to pay down debt as fast as possible, it’s tempting to just decide to get a second job to fix your debt problems. A second income can seem like the perfect way to earn more money to reach your financial goals sooner, but there can often be hidden concerns that come with having a second job. There are many things to consider when deciding to get a second job. Making sure you’ve thought through these issues for yourself is paramount in whether or not a second job is right for you to help pay down or get out of debt.
Why A Second Job May Not Be The Best Option
If you already have a full-time job, you’ll most likely have to work your second job either on nights or weekends. This can leave you in a working environment where you rarely have a day off or time for yourself. Working in this way can not only lead to burnout, it can be detrimental to your health (no time for doctors’ appointments or time for regular exercise). Both of these things can lead to spending unnecessary money as there is less time to cook your own meals or go shopping, and burnout often leads to mindless spending. Additionally, second jobs are often lower paying gigs, meaning you are working away your free time with not much to show for it.
Factoring In All The Details
First: do the math. Figure out your free hours and then try to match those with the kinds of jobs available during that time that you might want for your second job. Next, try to figure out what that job might pay per hour so that you can calculate how much a second job might bring in. Factor in taxes and you’ll know about how much extra you would have if you took on a second job. Other concerns to remember when considering a second job include drive time, wear and tear on your vehicle, and gas money. A hidden concern with second jobs is impulse spending while at the job. Extra work, less free time and less time to sleep often leave us reaching for coffee several times a day. Considering that our coffee habits are becoming increasingly expensive, it is worth it to factor in all those coffees and snacks and meals away from home that you wouldn’t have bought otherwise.
Does this seem like a fair amount for giving up your free time? How much of that income will you put toward paying down your debt? Consider how much of your energy will be spent working. Are there other ways to make that money by cutting unnecessary items from your budget instead?
When A Second Job is a Great Option
If you’ve done the math and factored all the concerns and have decided that a second job is the best option, make sure to stick to these practical tips. Try to get a job as close to home as possible, reducing stress on you, your car, and your wallet. If your second job requires different clothing from your primary job, try to stick to the cheapest options and remember that thrift stores often have many options. Avoid money leaks like those pricey cups of coffee, meals out and other splurges you might justify because you work all the time and you deserve something nice. Make sure you make the most of your free time by planning cheap outings with friends.
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