Should I get a 2nd Job?

October 31, 2009 at 10:13 am (work) ()

Part of the reactionary planning I’ve done since finding out about my pending SBA loan maturing is considering whether or not to get a second job. I realized I had been slipping on my debt repayment plan. I had to bring it up a notch to stay on track and handle paying off as much as I could before the deadline comes. My options are to either reduce expenses and/or increase income. That’s really the bottom line.

I don’t have all the fat trimmed from my budget. I could get rid of my personal cellphone (I also have one for work that I can use personally). I could cut netflix. I could cut the gym membership which to be honest, I don’t use all that often right now. I could eat more ramen. But I’m not quite ready to cut any of those, at least right now. So that leaves increasing my income. I can’t really increase my hours or pick up shifts (it’s an office job). If I’m not willing to cut expenses and I can’t increase my current salary, that leaves other work.

I’ve had a second job before. About 3 years ago I decided to get a weekend waitress job working brunch. I pulled in almost nothing for salary but averaged about $100/day in tips. That’s about $900/month. This was right after I landed my current job, so I was working 7 days a week. I was really money hungry at the time, after being unemployed for a few months. See, I’m not afraid of hard work!

What I remember most about that time is trying to deal with the complete lack of free time. I also was dealing with a very sick, old, blind dog (hey, he was 17). I was also single at the time. I also had a full-time 40+ hr a week job. I remember never getting enough sleep, not having a social life to speak of, and after several months, going crazy from not being able to get away from it all!

I love my down time. I love my privacy. I like to sit and read a book for an entire day on occasion, and I just couldn’t do that. Fast forward to now.  I’ve been thinking quite hard about the trade-offs. Making a few hundred extra a month vs. the loss in quality of life. I think I’ve decided for the moment that a second job is not maintainable, or valuable enough to have. So I’ve become used to the idea of my journey being more maintainable, but longer than it could otherwise be.

I’m not completely closed to the idea, of course, but for now, it is the right decision for me.

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