A second job can bring much-needed money into the household to help get out of debt, pay off specific bills, or even save up for large purchases or vacations that are important to you. Before you dive in with dreams of a financial Easy Street ahead, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
Making More Money vs. Spending Less
The big question is, can you do more good for the household budget by spending less money rather than taking on that second job, hoping to make more? How much extra money do you need to make each month to ease your budget concerns and solve the bulk of your financial problems? Alternatively, can you find a way to cut $200 per month in spending? $400?
Some places you might find easy savings are:
- A daily / weekly coffee shop habit. Buy a travel mug and bring coffee from home.
- Buying lunch instead of bringing it from home. It takes a bit of extra time and dedication to make your lunch but it can be much cheaper and far healthier than other options.
- Evaluate your mobile phone plan and whether you need all the features you pay for. Could you get by with a prepaid plan?
- Expensive cable or satellite TV plans. Consider a cheaper option like Netflix or save even more money by only borrowing DVDs from your local library instead.
Consider the Added Costs of a Second Job
Don’t forget to take into account important things like the added costs involved in taking that second job. Things like child care expenditures, added vehicle expenses, the potential interference with your current job, impact on your health and health expenses, and the costs of convenience meals and food because you do not have time or energy to cook all need to be factored into the equation.
There are also costs that don’t show on a spreadsheet. These are things like the costs of time lost with friends and family, the costs of the drudgery of working two jobs, and the cost of quality of life when you sacrifice sleep and entertainment because you are too busy working to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Other Pros and Cons
While the promise of a second income certainly sounds attractive, it is an excellent idea to consider the pros and cons below before making your final decision.
Pros of a Second Job
These are just a few of the benefits you might enjoy when you take on a second job. They are not inconsequential in the least.
- Additional income for your household.
- The satisfaction that comes with accomplishing financial goals.
- Children see a good role model for honoring financial obligations.
- Nothing beats the feeling of paying off your debts.
- Financial security is its own reward.
Considerations for a Second Job
However, there are some things you must consider before making a weighty decision like this that can take time away from your family, like those listed below.
- The income from your second job might end up in a higher tax bracket, keep taxes in mind when you’re looking at how much extra money you could be taking home with a second job.
- You will lose precious moments with your family – especially important if you have young children at home.
- It can cause a strain on your marriage because you never have time for each other.
- Health concerns related to working long hours and getting less sleep.
Depending on how great your financial need is or how crucial your goals may be, you might find that you need to cut costs rather than make more money. One good option might be to work with a financial planner to help get your budget under control and look for ways to cuts costs while getting more mileage from the money coming into the household budget. In the end, deciding whether or not to get a second job is a decision that only you (and your family) can make after considering the pros and cons, alternatives to cut expenses and finding other ways to make ends meet.