Cutting expenses is one thing, but the best way to end up with money left over at the end of the month is to figure out ways to bring in more than you currently do. You can do this with a formal second job, freelancing, side work, overtime, selling stuff, etc. An added benefit is that the more time you are working, the less time you are spending If you go to work on Friday night and earn $200 instead of going out with friends and spending $200, you end up (simplified) $400 better off in saving the $200 and earning an extra $200. I know that all work and no play make Jack a dull boy and all that, but if you can even trade out six nights of play out for six nights of work in a year you’ll be up $2,400. And probably be healthier for it as well.
I don’t pretend that the second jobs or freelancing will make you a fortune. When you hang out your own shingle, you have to find your customers. It’s hard to find those regular paying customers, as I well know from my own second jobs. I have written several books, blogged regularly, edited college applications, wrote resumes for others, created online courses, etc. but have not been able to find sustained paying customers for those services. You might say, snarkily, “Well, she must not be any good.” Well, that’s as may be, but few customers even hired me that I could even have a chance to show them whether I am good or bad. Those skills of mine, developed and paid for under the employment of established companies, were well rewarded there, but hanging out a shingle as one of the probably tens of thousands of other writers doesn’t guarantee customers or sustaining income.
Some considerations about a second job to make sure it’s worth it and you are actually making money in getting the extra job without ruining your health include:
Sleeping enough and regularly is so important to good health. You don’t want to take a second jobs with weird or stressful hours that ends up messing up your sleep and decreasing your good health. Poor health will cost you much more in the long run than you’ll earn making a few extra bucks.
If it takes you a long time and some cost of gas/public transportation to get to a job where you are working 2 or 3 hours for $10 bucks an hour where you make $30 (less taxes), you’re not going to add substantially to your income. Gas is cheap right now, but there is wear and tear on your car to consider and the time it takes you to get there and back. The recent increase in remote or telecommute jobs can be a real benefit because you just work from home.
You probably don’t like your main job that much, so if there is a way you can add in a second job that you sort or – or really like – that’s good. I live across the river from Augusta National Golf Club where the Masters Golf Tournament is played. Many people in my area work there during that week or rent out their homes. What a fun way to earn extra dollars! And if you love kids or dogs, you can be a sitter, make money, and enjoy yourself at the same time.
You want to be sure to “do the math” both with the financial part and the emotional/physical part before you take a second job. Tomorrow we’ll look at websites that offer tips and advice on finding that extra job. Thank you for joining me.
Kathryn Hauer, a Certified Financial Planner™, adjunct professor, and financial literacy educator has written numerous articles and several books including the “11-Step, DIY, Comprehensive Financial Plan Workbook” and “Financial Advice for Blue Collar America.” She works to help clients and readers understand and act on complex financial information to keep them and their money safe. She functions as a strong advocate and guiding light for her clients as they move through a murky and unfamiliar financial world. Learn more at her website.