Working two jobs is an excellent way to add more income into your life. Whether you are saving up, or trying to get out of debt, however, working two jobs is not always easy. Taking good care of yourself is a complete necessity if you want to avoid burn out.
On and off, for years, I have worked two jobs. I have done so either to just make rent, while still pursuing career aspirations, or to pay off debt faster (which is what I am doing right now). Here are my suggestions to succeed at more hours in your work week so that you can be more productive and accomplish your financial goals:
Suggestion #1: Don’t lose sight of yourself
You have decided to finally pay off those student loans, save for a vacation, or build an investment portfolio! Working more is a great way to accomplish these goals. However, you are a person today with people who you love and other (non-financial) goals. Continue to meet friends for board game night and work on perfecting your Downward Dog. It is all too easy to get swept up in work mode, while congratulating your savings account. It can become addicting—and fast. If you are offered what would cumulatively be your 9th day of work or overtime—think about it before jumping to the numbers in your checking account. Sometimes (when you can) say no, and go home or meet friends for pizza. Your work will actually benefit from it.
Suggestion #2: Stick up for yourself (to piggyback on Suggestion #1)
If you have already made plans and you get a call to come into work, don’t skip out on those plans just to add the hours to your paycheck; you will know the situations when you’ll HAVE to skip out of plans and head into work—but it should never become the norm. Get time for you, no matter what it is that you’d like to do.
Suggestion #3: Know that you will be tired
You will not be tired all of the time, I promise. But knowing that tiredness will happen at some point will help you better deal with it when it does eventually hit. Pretending that you are always the superhuman will result in extra energy wasted. When tiredness does hit, make yourself aware of it, stay on top of your game, do the best you can at work, confide in co-workers that you trust, and when you have a moment, try Suggestion #1.
Suggestion #4: Don’t lose sight of your financial goals
Your immediate response to that title is probably: how could I lose sight of my financial goals when I am working so much more for…my financial goals? You are going to be working more, getting home later, waking up earlier (or some combination of those). You will be tempted to skip making coffee in the kitchen and stop in at Starbucks on your way to work instead (that way you can also grab a panini and avoid making lunch at home, right?), or you will want to grab an extra large French fry and a half pound burrito on your way home so that you can watch House of Cards instead of making dinner. The more that you allow yourself to do that, the more that you will spend, telling yourself, “Well I deserve this—I’ve been working so hard and I am making more money now so I can afford this without messing up my plan”. Save up a little, enjoy a meal out with friends on your next day off, and put the rest towards that credit card debt. Stay on track with your budgets and everything you have learned on your path to financial freedom. You’ve made it this far.
Suggestion #5: Drink water
How does this fit in? Again, you are going to feel tired. Water will pick you up much better than that Monster drink or sixth cup of coffee (and it is much cheaper too).
Suggestion #6: Know that you can do this
Initially when your calendar fills up with work hours, you may feel panic set in. Don’t worry. Adrenaline will hit in the beginning, and once it wears off you will be used to the new schedule. You can do this.
Mostly, take time for yourself, congratulate yourself on a job well done, and take notice of the goals that you are accomplishing.
Are you working two (or more jobs)? How do you find balance? What has working multiple jobs allowed you to accomplish?
This post is by Lindsey Cook. Lindsey is on a path to become credit card (and then all debt) free. One of her two jobs has her working in the theater industry as a stage manager. She enjoys learning languages, cooking, reading about people’s frugality, and simplifying her everyday life.
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