I’m a huge believer in having a second job/gig… when necessary. I say “when necessary” because there is a step I want you to take before you jump to a second job.
Let’s say you are in a tough financial situation. You owe so much of your take-home pay to debt, you’re practically insolvent. You’re desperate. So you decide to get a second job. You work weekends or nights and you bring in a couple hundred extra a week. Time passes and your situation hasn’t changed much. Something isn’t adding up. It’s that you missed a step. You forgot to evaluate how resourceful you are with your current income before you started bringing in more.
Adding more resources to an un-resourceful person will only highlight their inability to use their income wisely. Un-resourcefulness tends to show it’s face where lifestyle meets your present financial situation. Are you spending a significant chunk of your budget on dining out even though you have major debt? Are you going on several vacations a year even though you’re overhoused? These are signs you aren’t resourceful with the income you have. When you add more income into this situation your lifestyle creeps up to match it. This leads to you working more hours, yet still being stuck in your desperate financial situation.
At some point, though, after you’ve attempted to make the most of your current income, you may find a second income is truly what your situation needs. Good for you. The world needs more hustlers like you. Here’s the thing, though, you have to give your second job a job. By that I mean, penny for penny whatever funds you bring in from being a bartender/barista/Uber driver need to go directly toward the debt you’re trying to pay off or the goal you’re trying to fun. Don’t absorb the income! Absorbing the income and increasing your lifestyle will only make you dependent on the income, and your temporary job will become a permanent necessity.
Taking on a second job when times are tough is a good sign you are willing to do what it takes to fix your financial situation, so don’t let resourcefulness trip you up. Evaluate how you manage your income first, then when you do get a second gig make sure you give the income a specific job.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.