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Millionaire Money Habits

September 16th, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Why A Second Job May Not Be Right For You

In tough financial times, after selling all of your used items and exhausting every other possibility, you may consider getting a second job for some extra income.  It sounds like a relatively easy solution to help your finances, even temporarily, but you should explore all of the angles before you start filling out applications.  Here’s why a second job just may not be right for you.

Less Free Time

First, you’ll obviously be giving up most, if not all, of your free time, usually your nights and weekends.  Is there anything you’ll have to sacrifice by getting a second job?  Will you have to give up your usual Thursday night after-work social time?  Will you have to stop working out?  Will you have less time with your children?  And for that matter, will you have to find childcare?  That could negate any extra money you’re bringing in.  No matter what you’ll have to put on hold, the most important question is, are you willing to do so?


How tired are you after getting home from your full-time job?  Consider that you may not have the energy to make it through at another place, especially if your full-time job allows you to sit down but your part-time one would have you standing or in constant motion.  Even if you’re still energetic when you get home, if you begin working significantly longer hours, you may begin to wear yourself out.  This can come at the expense of both your physical and mental health, and cause your performance at both jobs to suffer.

Higher Tax Bracket

Income from a second job may toss you into a higher tax bracket.  Just like the babysitter, this could negate the extra money you’re making—someone else is taking it all from you!  This is definitely an important point to look into before taking on the second job.  You don’t want to be working for nothing.

Conflict of Interest

You’ll also have to make sure you don’t run into a “conflict of interest” with your full-time employer.  This can exist in two ways.  Not only might your hours conflict or run too closely together, but you may have to avoid working in the same field somewhere else if it’s part of your employer’s policy.  If the conflict is in scheduling, you may put either job in jeopardy by consistently arriving late or having to leave early.  Avoiding the same field may be easy, unless perhaps that’s the field where your strengths lie and you know you may have a hard time finding a job in a different one.

Of course, if the advantages outweigh any of these, then start applying.  You’ll get extra cash, possible employee discounts, and maybe even learn some new skills.  But if any of the above disadvantages struck a chord with you, you may want to reconsider—a second job might not be a good decision.

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  • Eric
    10:07 pm on September 16th, 2009 1

    I disagree with the tax part. While it is important to know what your tax rate is, making more money never, never, never costs you money. You might make have to pay a higher portion of your income to the government, but the marginal bracket system protects what you have already earned. It doesn’t matter if you earn $20,000 per year or $20,000,000. You still pay the same on the first dollar you make, the thousandth dollar, and the twenty-thousandth dollar. That is how the US tax system is built.

  • Ms. Frugalicious
    11:39 pm on September 20th, 2009 2

    This is an interesting point of view, Kerri, one that I had never really considered. For a lot of people, though, bringing in extra money each month is a lifesaver. I think that it’s really a question of choosing the right second job. I recently read an advance copy of Loral Langemeier’s latest book, “Put More Cash in Your Pocket,” and it had a lot of good advice about using your existing skills and talents to make extra money each month as an entrepreneur. For people who want to make some extra cash (and who doesn’t?), taking an entrepreneurial approach could be an exciting way to go. Loral’s book gave me a lot of good ideas. Would-be entrepreneurs can check it out at


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