Record-high inflation has forced many Americans to consider taking on a second job to help pay for their living expenses. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 38% of US employees have looked for a second job, while another 14% have considered doing so. That means over half of working Americans have thought about pursuing a second income.
If you’ve thought about getting a second job, you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons to determine if it’s right for you.
Pros of getting a second job
- Make more money – The most obvious benefit of getting a second job is that you’ll bring in more income. That’s money that you can put towards paying down debt, buying essentials, building a savings account, and creating an emergency fund. Income from a second job can also reduce the stresses of not being able to make ends meet and give you some financial stability and breathing room.
- Learn new skills – A second job can teach you new skills and provide you with new experiences that may help your future career path. You may discover a passion for a different industry or gain new capabilities that could help you become more marketable for better paying positions.
- Grow your network – When you take on a second job, you’ll meet new people, make new connections, and expand your network in the business community. You never know when someone you work with might be able to eventually help you make the career moves that will change your life.
Cons of getting a second job
- Expenses might outweigh additional income – Before you take on a second job, you need to consider what costs are involved and whether they outweigh the new income you’ll be bringing in. A second job may require you to pay additional childcare costs, transportation costs, and other incidentals. For example, you may not have time to cook meals anymore, so you’ll have to pay for take-out or eating out. You may find that after those costs are added up, a new job isn’t worth it.
- You might end up in a higher tax bracket – There is a danger that the income from a second job could push you into a higher tax bracket, in which case, you could be taxed almost double on your new combined income. Once again, a second job could end up hurting you more than helping.
- You could jeopardize your primary job – Many jobs have policies against moonlighting. Be sure you aren’t violating the terms of your employment by taking another job. Even if your main job allows moonlighting, understand that the additional work stress and exhaustion from holding down two jobs may affect your work performance and put your primary job at risk.
Valley associates can help
Be sure to weigh the pros and cons before taking on a second job and realize there may be other ways you can pay off debt or grow your savings. At Valley, we’re here to help you have a stable and healthy financial future – even during challenging times. To learn more about the financial tools that we provide to help you, visit our website, access our learning center, or contact us.