Is A Second Job Worth It? (Benefits vs. Drawbacks)

By Zach Buchenau

Last Updated: December 28, 2020

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Is A Second Job Worth It? | Be The Budget

Are you wondering if getting a second job is worth it? In this post we will examine the benefits and drawbacks of working two jobs, so that you can decide whether it is the right financial move for you.

Let’s be honest, for most people, the idea of making extra money is rather appealing. On the flip side, for the vast majority of those people, the idea of working a side job sounds a little less than glamorous. Sure, $1,000 extra per month might end your financial struggles, but what’s it going to take to earn that money? I mean, it isn’t just going to appear out of thin air. The question is, do the benefits of working a second job outweigh the sacrifices?

In other words, is getting a second job worth it?

In many situations, getting a second job is worth it. In particular, when you are trying to achieve a short-term financial goal like, getting out of debt, saving for a car, or building an emergency fund, the additional income from a second job can make a significant, positive impact.

That said, there are a few things you should consider before you take on a second job.

So, stick around, because for the rest of this article I am going to dive into the benefits and drawbacks of working two jobs.

Benefits Of Working Two Jobs

I believe that if you want to go out and earn extra money, then that’s exactly what you should do. Whether that means working a second job, or starting a business of your own, there is no shame in wanting to improve your income.

In fact — in most cases — I believe the opposite. Earning more money in order to better support your family, or improve your lifestyle does not make you greedy. It makes you driven.

And since I tend to see things from a ‘glass-half-full’ kind of perspective, I would like to start with the benefits of taking on a side hustle. You see, beyond the most obvious benefit of working two jobs (i.e. making more money) there are all sorts of advantages.

The following are just a few of my favorites.

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Achieving Your Financial Goals Quicker

If you follow this blog, you know that I am a big advocate for setting inspiring goals, and carefully tracking your progress while you work to achieve them. I truly believe it is one of the most important things you can do in your financial life.

And here’s the thing, regardless of your financial goals — from getting out of debt to becoming a millionaire, or even just being more generous — increasing your income will help you get there faster.

Now, in the short-term, the goal-achieving benefits of working two jobs might not be that obvious. But over time, the extra income you make from your second job can have a huge impact.

For example, let’s say your big financial goal is to become a millionaire. Let’s also say that while working one job, you are able to put $2,000 each month into a mutual fund that earns 10% each year. At that rate, it would take you 16.5 years to become a millionaire.

However, if you were to work a second job that made you an extra $1,500 every month until you became a millionaire — investing every penny of it in that same mutual fund — you would achieve your goal in 12.25 years. That’s over four years of time savings!

Improving Your Financial Security

One of the best parts about working two jobs, is that it provides you with income from multiple sources. So, instead of having all your proverbial eggs in one basket, you are more prepared to weather the financial storm of losing a job.

Think of it this way, if you were to lose your job tomorrow, would you still have an income source? If not, working two jobs might be the way to go.

Decreasing You Financial Stress

If you have any kind of financial stress, from overwhelming debt to bills you can’t seem to pay, then working two jobs could help relieve a lot of it.

Trust me, I know what that’s like. When I was living in my first apartment, I could barely make ends meet. On a good month, between all the debt I had taken on, and my monthly bills, I was lucky to put $50 into savings. It was a stressful financial time in my life, to say the least. Looking back, the only thing that got me through, was earning extra income.

And every extra dollar I earned, came with a decrease in financial stress.

If you feel like you are buried under a mountain of financial stress, you should really consider finding a second job.

Learning New Skills

I don’t care what kind of second job you take on, there are always new skills you can learn. From learning how to use a new kind of software, to improving your people skills, or even just learning to stand up for yourself (this is one of the most important business skills you can learn) taking on a second job can help you grow as a person, or in your career.

Expanding Your Network And Opportunities

I truly believe that one of the best ways to advance your career is to just go above and beyond in everything you do. It shows the people you work with, and for, that you aren’t just some schlub, and One of the best things about working multiple jobs, is that you typically get to work with a bunch of new people.

Drawbacks Of Working Two Jobs

In personal finance, every decision you make requires some form of sacrifice. For example, if you want to save more money, you have to sacrifice frivolous spending habits. If you want to get out of debt, you may have to sacrifice dining out at restaurants. And when you decide to work two jobs, there are sacrifices that come with that too.

So, as I mentioned in the beginning of this article, there are a few things you should take into consideration before you get a second job. And that’s what I’m about to cover.

You’ll Have Less Free Time

If you are working full-time, and then decide to take on a second, part-time job, the first thing you will be sacrificing is your free time. For many people, this isn’t that big of a sacrifice. If you are a busy-body, or like the idea of being busy, and always having something to do, then a lack of free time might just be the ticket.

But, if you really enjoy hanging out with friends, spending your weekend sitting by the pool, or just sitting down to read a book every night, then two jobs might be tough for you.

Now, I will add that many people like to fill their free time with wildly unproductive habits. So, if your biggest objection to finding a second job is that you’ll have to sacrifice all the time you spend binge-watching TV, then you might need to re-evaluate your life choices. In fact, a second job might do you a lot of good.

It Can Be Exhausting

If working two jobs means you will be grinding for 80 to 100 hours per week, stressed out and exhausted all the time, then a second job will end up being more of a blessing than a curse. I hope I don’t need to tell you that this is not the goal. Beyond that, it’s not sustainable.

That said, if you are making a big push to get out of debt, or achieve any other short-term goal, and a couple months of exhaustion doesn’t scare you, then I’m not going to stop you. Like ripping off a band-aid, sometimes faster is better, and less painful.

Though, if that’s your plan, then set an end date. Exhaustion doesn’t usually end well.

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You Have To Be Careful Of Conflicting Interests

If you are going to work two jobs, then you need to make sure there aren’t any conflicts of interest with your biggest source of income. For example, if you are a graphic designer that works for an advertising agency, then don’t go moonlighting for a competitor. That’s an easy way to get yourself fired.

Also, if working a second job will keep you from performing your best at your full-time job, then it’s probably best that you stick to one or the other. For instance, if you currently work from 8 to 5, then don’t take on a bartending job that will keep you out past 2 AM. The lack of sleep would be terrible for your productivity.

It Can Be Hard On Your Relationships

One of the biggest dangers of working two jobs, is that it can be hard on your relationships. I’m talking about your spouse, kids, family and friends. If you are spending all your time working, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to foster the important relationships in your life.

Of all the drawbacks of working two jobs, in my opinion, this is the one you should take into consideration the most. I don’t care how bad you want to earn more money. If it means sacrificing your relationship with your family, then it isn’t even close to worth it.

Final Thoughts

Working multiple jobs can be majorly beneficial for a lot of people. If you find yourself stressed about money, feeling a little financially insecure, or just want to achieve your goals faster, then it might be a great option for you. Just remember to consider the sacrifices and drawbacks that might come with it.

Oh, and if you enjoyed this post, and would like to receive Be The Budget posts sent directly to your inbox, be sure to subscribe to our email list! We would love to have you join our community of frugal living, side-hustling, budgeters.


Is Getting A Second Job Worth It? | Be The Budget

Zach Buchenau

About The Author:

Zach Buchenau is a self-proclaimed personal finance nerd. When he isn't writing about budgeting, getting out of debt, making extra money, and living a frugal life, you can find him building furniture, fly fishing, or developing websites. He is the co-founder of BeTheBudget, and Chipotle's most loyal customer.

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