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?