According to a survey, nearly 50% of all Americans reported having a second income stream.
Of those people, 30% claimed that they needed the extra money to make ends meet. The rest claim to be using that money for extra savings or more room for spending.
For some, working two jobs at the same time means getting a part-time gig somewhere outside the regular 9 to 5.
Making extra money can’t hurt, but there can definitely be other parts of your life that are affected from working a second job.
With all that being said, is a second job worth it?
If you’re considering one, stick around until the end to see the pros, cons, and all the inbetweens of working two jobs at once.
Let’s start with some of the basics…
Benefits Of Working Two Jobs At Once
Reasons for starting a second job can vary, but they all seem to circle back to one main factor… money.
And although it’s not entirely true that everyone finds extra work for money, it seems that the majority have that in mind.
After all, if you’re going to use up more time in your day to do extra work, it’ll be quite hard to do it without getting paid unless you truly enjoy it.
Now, unless you can get a quick raise at your current job or find a windfall of cash, you have no choice but to put more hours in at work.
Considering this simple fact, here are the six main reasons you may want to start a second job…
1. Get Out of Debt
Mortgage, credit card bills, overspending, medical issues, student loans, and other personal loans are all examples of ways you can get into debt.
Whatever the case, getting out of debt is a major goal for many.
Now, it doesn’t matter if you use the debt avalance method, snowball method, or some other form of debt payoff strategy; all of them could benefit from some extra monthly cash.
Therefore, working a second job can be a great way to accelerate how quickly you become debt free.
If you use the money you make from your job to pay off debt faster, you’re actually saving money in the long run because you end up paying less in interest.
Plus, even if the extra money doesn’t directly affect your debt, you can at least have some extra room to spend on things that you normally couldn’t because of those debt payments.
So, is getting a second job worth it?
Well, if you’re struggling with debt, the sacrifice might be worth it for at least a few months!
2. Start Investing More
It doesn’t matter if you want to start investing as a young adult or simple prepare for retirement faster, like paying off debt, extra cash can always help.
Plus, with the rise of the FIRE movement, more and more people are also looking to accelerate the rate at which they invest their money.
Investing is one of the best ways to build wealth, but if your full-time income doesn’t leave much discretionary spending, it can be tough to get ahead.
Therefore, investing more money is a common reason to want to start a second job.
Even an extra $500/month can help completely max out a Roth IRA ($6000/yr limit).
That could amount to nearly $600,000 after 30 years of investing assuming a 7% annual rate of return:
This is insane!
No matter how much of your extra earnings you can invest, you’ll still end up with plenty more than you would’ve if you never took on the extra work.
If you want to start investing and don’t know where to start, consider trying a free online brokerage account like:
- M1 Finance – A great way to start investing since there isn’t an account minimum!
- Webull – Webull is another awesome online brokerage account, and new account openers earn free bonus stocks as a signup gift!
3. PreparE for Emergencies
Did you know that 60% of Americans would struggle to pay off a sudden expense of at least $1,000?
A lack of an emergency fund is an unfortunate reality for many people.
The simple fact is that you should have an emergency fund that can cover expenses for a few months or random emergencies, like your water heater going bust.
Plus, if you don’t have an emegency fund, a forced expense could force you to get into more debt or result to costly loans.
So, before even stepping a foot in the door of investing, you should always make sure you have money in case of emergencies.
If you don’t have an emergency fund, working two jobs at the same time is a great way to quickly build one.
As long as you diligently put the money towards this fund, you’ll be prepared for when bad luck strikes.
Trying to get to that first $1000 in your emergency fund should be the first step. This usually covers any basic repairs or emergencies, and you can grow it from there.
If you need somewhere to park your emergency fund, you should also look into the CIT Savings Builder!
This savings account is much better than any basic savings account you’ll find, and your emergency fund will actually generate interest while it sits there.
Plus, you just need a $100 minimum to open your account!
4. Fulfillment & Joy – You Can Have Fun!
While money is usually the main reason for starting a second job, you might simply want to do something you love.
If you love sports, try becoming a coach. If you love writing and are passionate about something, maybe starting a blog is the way to go.
You know what you love to do and what jobs would be truly fun for you.
If anything, I’d recommend trying to find a job that is actually enjoyable.
That’s what I did, and it turned into a super fun way of making money.
Keep in mind, this reason may not apply to you if you’re trying to make ends meet or need extra money for more crucial necessities. This is more for someone who can live without the extra income.
5. Learn New Skills
Finding a second source of income in order to learn a new skill is a double positive.
Not only are you making extra cash, but you’re also advancing your career by adding more qualifications and skills to your resume!
Just make sure you look for a job that you would actually see yourself doing again.
What I mean by that is… don’t learn a new skill if you’re never going to use that new skill again.
Starting out with freelance writing is one example, but really, any second job is useful if it teaches you something that makes you more employable.
6. Decrease Stress
Did you know that 72% of Americans experience financial stress at some point?
The fact is that not having enough money is one of the worst feelings in the world.
Financial stress can eat away at you, so picking up extra work to alleviate the stress is definitely a major plus.
Drawbacks Of Starting A Second Job
Of course, everything has an opportunity cost, and the same is true for working for extra money.
Whether it’s physically or mentally demanding, here are a few drawbacks to look out for when finding a second job…
1. Conflicting Interests with Work
When finding a second job, keep in mind that conflict of interest can go against your employer’s code of conduct.
Working for a second company that is in the same field (or is a direct competitor of your first company) is extremely dangerous and can be illegal depending on the situation.
Make sure you discuss this with your original employer to avoid getting fired, or check your employment contract at the very least to see what you signed.
If your second job is a side hustle with little to no correlation with your first job, then this step isn’t necessary.
However, working a second job isn’t worth it if it risks getting you fired from your main job.
2. Less Free Time
It should be a given that working two jobs at once means you have less discretionary time.
Write down how much time you usually have in a day after work and think about how much of that time you’re willing to give up for a second job.
If you have a family to take care of or a significant other to spend quality time with, you might be limited to less hours of work.
Plus, even if you’re single or an introvert, it’s important to leave enough time in your day for self-care and relaxation.
Burnout is a real thing, and you shouldn’t start another job if you’re already stressed out by your main one.
Extra Reading – The 20 Best Jobs For Introverts.
3. Burnout & Relationship Problems
As mentioned, working too many hours in a day can take a heavy toll on your brain and mentally exhaust you.
Additionally, if you’re becoming exhausted from working so much, you might find that you start taking out work frustrations on the people around you.
This can lead to relationship problems, family conflicts, and lost friends.
If you want to start another job, it’s probably a good idea to talk it over with your partner to make sure you’re on the same page.
Making personal sacrifices to boost your income for a while can be a great idea, but only if everyone is willing to put in the effort.
Tips for Finding a Second Job
If you’re convinced by now that a second job is worth it, here are a few useful tips to help you before getting started.
Clear Things With Your Employer
As discussed earlier, failure to let your employer know that you’re looking for (or working at) a second job can go against your contract.
Make sure you clear things up with your employer to avoid any sort of penalties… including getting laid off and sued.
As mentioned, you should also double check your employment contract to see if having a second job goes against any of the disclosed agreements.
Finally, if you can get a gauge of your workloads over the next few months, you’ll have a better understanding if you can handle the extra workload from another job.
Set a Realistic Income Goal for Yourself
Knowing your worth, skillset, and amount of available time will all aid in setting a realistic income goal.
First, be specific about what you want to achieve.
Is there a certain number you want to meet to help pay off debt? Or are you saving up for a major purchase or downpayment for a house?
Whatever the case, pick a number and decide why you’re even working two jobs simultaneously in the first place.
If you have that number, you need to evaluate if you can actually reach it with the amount of free time you have and the value of your skills.
Be realistic, and don’t be afraid to start with a smaller income goal in mind and then reevaluate once you reach it.
Find Something Flexible
Working two jobs at once is nearly impossible if you constantly run into scheduling conflicts.
Ideally, find a job where you set your own hours or one that has set hours that are separate from your main job.
Gig economy jobs, blogging, or freelance work are all excellent options to go with for your second stream of income.
Alternatively, you can find a part-time job that pays well as long as it has set hours.
They require a decent amount of work, but the flexibility of choosing your own hours is an instant payoff!
Second Job Ideas To Consider
If you want to create a new income stream, here are some awesome second job ideas worth considering:
- Driving for food delivery apps like DoorDash or Uber Eats.
- Finding a part-time night job or weekend job (this won’t conflict with your 9 to 5 job).
- Teaching English online with websites like Qkids.
- Delivering groceries with Shipt or Instacart.
- Making money on YouTube.
You get the idea.
As long as you create a gameplan to make extra money each month without exhausting yourself or hurting your current job, there’s no reason a second job won’t work out.
Extra Reading – 27 Apps That Pay You For Driving.
At the end of the day, you don’t always have a choice if you work more hours or not.
If you have to make ends meet, working multiple jobs might be a sacrifice you have to make.
However, if you have a bit of wiggle room, you can approach this decision with more control.
If you think you’ll have a hard time dealing with the extra hours of work or fear running into relationship problems, maybe a second job isn’t worth it for you.
If you want to start investing more, learn new skills, and can afford to spend more time at work, then getting a second job is definitely worth it.
Again, evaluate your situation honestly and make your decision from there.
So, is a second job worth it?
Only you can decide.
Hopefully, this article helps clarify some of the pros and cons of picking up more work!
Daniel is a 20 year old blogger from Los Angeles with a huge love for everything entrepreneurship, finance, and investing. When he’s not blogging at Modern Teen, you can catch him playing volleyball, shooting archery, or finding new ways to make money.