On Not Getting A Second Job

by Nicole · 10 comments

in Money & Spending

In the personal finance community, getting a second (or third) job is a really common thing people do. They are a good way to use free time and be able to save extra money faster.

Times where I’ve been most successful at side husles were when my two (and at one point three) jobs were all completely different. I did data entry for a newspaper full time, social media consulting nights and weekends, and adult education teaching one night a week. All relating to computers  but different enough that it felt like a bit of a break to go from one to the other. But I couldn’t keep up that pace indefinitely so I gradually let them go (except for my business of course!). Money from teaching in particular was not money I could count on, as sometimes not all the classes I offered to teach had enough enrollment for them to be offered. In other words, side hustles seem to be a bit uncertain by nature when I had a full time job.

I looked at things a little differently a bit later on that year. After quitting my full time job to grow my business, I took a part time job at a bed and breakfast three evenings a week through the summer. I figured it would help to have a steady smaller paycheck while I ramped up work with my business. It worked out great in that it was in a beautiful spot with an ocean view, I was allowed to take my dog with me, and all I really had to do was answer phones, fold towels, and be nice to people.

I live in a summer tourist town. The seasonal economy is apparent everywhere, from the empty storefronts you see in the winter to the quadrupling of the town population between Memorial Day (May) and Columbus Day (October). If I am going to be making extra money, I have to decide now whether to get a second seasonal job.

I know what the personal finance folks would tell me to do: Wait tables and make enough cash to pay my rent for a year.

And I know what small business owners would tell me to do: Use this time to grow your business.

I’ve been thinking really hard on it the last few weeks and have decided not to get a summer job. It certainly is a gamble, but so was quitting my full time job to start my own business.

That said, I am diversifying my income within my business: offering workshops, renting out equipment, and looking beyond consulting to generate different forms of revenue. I think it’ll end up feeling like a second (and possibly third) job but the efforts will be spent growing my business’ streams of income. I’m feeling lazy only having one job but I think in the end, this approach is looking further ahead, and less about my well being and more about my business. Here’s hoping my gamble works!

What about you, Almost Frugal friends: Do you have a side job? And is the extra energy/time/money worth it?


1 Kris April 29, 2010

I have waited tables part-time in the past and am going to be going back to it again shortly. I’ve been luckier than most when it comes to this part time job though. My boss ADORES me and works with my incredibly irregular flying schedule (I’m a flight attendant) and gives me as much time off the schedule as required if I feel a bit burnt out from working all the time (provided I give him enough notice to distribute my shifts to any staff looking for extra work). The pub I work at is laid-back with a crowd that is composed mostly of regulars and the rest of the staff are fun to work with. In short, when I go to work at the pub, I don’t really feel like I’m working. I don’t tend to work on the crazy-busy nights as I’m usually flying on the weekends but the little bit of extra money from my wages/tips helps.
.-= Kris´s last blog ..Menu Plan and Ramblings =-.

2 GC April 29, 2010

I'm probably not nearly as frugal as you but I've thought about getting a side job. That might help with my overall goals. It's just I'm disinclined to part with the spare time I've come to fill up with various pursuits. . . all work and no play as they say.
.-= GC´s last blog ..eventful =-.

3 Tara April 30, 2010

I have three jobs in addition to being the primary caregiver of my two young sons (my partner has a corporate job). It doesn’t actually feel that hectic even though the three jobs add up to more than a full time job in addition to taking care of my children. I teach private music lessons (almost 30 students), teach four early childhood music classes each week, and play in an Irish band (2-3 gigs per month, weekly practice sessions). I think if I loved any of my jobs less, it might be harder. The band one especially is something that could be considered a leisure activity as well as a moneymaker. Although all my jobs are in music, they’re different enough to keep different parts of me satisfied. We wouldn’t really be able to afford me working less than I already do but at the same time we’d never be able to afford me working a 9 to 5 type job due to daycare expenses. Life is weird that way.
.-= Tara´s last blog ..Spring =-.

4 Kelly April 30, 2010

I'm impressed that you manage to make all three of your jobs about something you love like music!

5 Guy G. April 30, 2010

I have a full time job, a part time job where I fill my friend and business partner’s candy machines once a week (180 of them), I am partners with him on our blog, and I also am a financial consultant. They all pay except for the blog, which is just something I enjoy doing. You know how fun it is to talk about things that matter to you and offer sound advice and tools. It’s also great to meet new people from sometimes around the world.
The candy gig is great too, as I not only add about $400-500 extra dollars to my pay each month, but he’s made me a 10% partner for helping it grow and expand. Oh, and while I’m working I can eat as many M & M Peanuts I can stomach. 🙂

Talk to you soon,
.-= Guy G.´s last blog ..How To Manage Money Tips has joined the Yakezie Challenge! =-.

6 Kelly April 30, 2010

This is a great example of how a second job doesn’t have to be regular, or even something you’d consider doing full-time to be worth it!

7 Kate April 30, 2010

keep focused on your business. having too many distractions will only ensure that you keep your income low for longer meaning that you have to find other incomes this can become a vicious circle.

So good for you, you have taken the bull by the horns.

best wishes KAte
.-= Kate´s last blog ..Apr 29, Save $1.50 Classico Sauces Today’s Coupon =-.

8 Kelly April 30, 2010

I have three jobs, if you think about it (which is one of the reasons I brought Emily, Nicole and Beth onboard!).

I work four days a week at my 'real job', then I have my fledgling consulting business and finally I have this blog. All three bring in money, but most importantly, satisfaction and growth. I've worked jobs I hated before, and I feel so lucky that i don't have too do that right now!

9 ConsciouslyFrugal April 30, 2010

I have a hellish commute out here in Los Angeles (2-3 hrs each day), so a second job isn’t really on my radar. But I do freelance work on occasion–grant writing and the occasional magazine article that will toss me some cash. Back in college, I used to work 2-3 jobs while going to school full time. How did I do that? Ug! I know frugal folks are all about accumulating wealth so that we can retire early, etc., but there’s something to be said for a decent quality of life in the here and now.

Having said that, here’s my favorite side gig: Taking a nice chunk of my husband’s paycheck. Marriage has its perks! ahahahhah
.-= ConsciouslyFrugal´s last blog ..Tuesday’s Tip: Free Journal Articles =-.

10 Ashley May 6, 2010

Good luck with your decision! I have two jobs. I’m a bartender/server at an expensive steakhouse five nights a week. There, I’m the go-to girl–I work extra shifts, have a flexible schedule, and my boss can always count on me. My second job is hostessing at a different, more laid-back restaurant. I only work two days a week in one position. It’s super easy and I make an extra $250 a month. I also take whatever freelance-type work comes my way–alterations, petsitting, etc. My quality of life is excellent. I can pay my bills, have extra money, and still have free time (I work about 30 hours a week with all the jobs). I applaud those who are willing to work to achieve their goals, be it by working two jobs or working extra hard at one.

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