Can one job be better than two?

Stack of Bank Note and Pen Calculator On Note Book
AJ: Having one job is often more than most of us can handle, but what happens when life throws you a curve ball and you need to find a way to make more? Many families find themselves in situations where they’re forced to choose the function of multiple jobs in order to make ends meet – but is another job really the right answer?

Over the years Kirby and I have come across a varied and fascinating lot of successful people, all of whom have lead very unique lives that took very different paths. I like to think we’ve learned a thing or two from their experiences, so here goes!

Before you get a second job, consider what the cost of that second job will be.
– How much time will it take you to get from your first job to your second job?
– How much gas will it take you to get from your first job to your second job, and then back home?
– How much of your sanity and physical well-being are you sacrificing in the amount of time it takes you to transition from job one to job two?
– And finally, is there a better way?

Opportunities within opportunities
Many companies offer opportunities for a second job within a first job, if you will, by way of overtime. Even individuals who are salaried can sometimes be eligible to work and receive payment for overtime hours without having to commute at all, so before looking outside of your current role, seek additional opportunities to find value in the position you currently hold.

Milk your benefits!
Kirby and I work for fundamentally different companies that offer drastically different benefits, both unique and beneficial in their own ways. Look for additional cost savings in the benefits you already have:

– Does your company offer free or subsidized meals? Kirby’s company provides free fruit, which seems insignificant, but cut my fruit-buying need in half which adds up.
– Does your company offer incentives for carpooling or riding your bike to work? We have several friends who receive ride share and bike-to-work benefits in the form of cash back on their paychecks – that’s an incredible area of free money that most individuals don’t take advantage of.
– Can you drop your outside personal trainer or gym membership in exchange for the at-work facilities?
– Bring your lunch! This seems simple but think about it – when you leave for lunch every day you’re spending more than you would were you to make your lunch and you’re presumably using additional gas to get there. See what happens to your wallet and your waistline if you bring your work to lunch for a month instead of eating out. You’re welcome!

So what if your situation is more about two incomes costing you more by incurring the cost of child care, a costly commute or your health & well being? Few people have sympathy for those dual income families who are faced with the issue of having two jobs but struggle to make ends meet due to circumstance, but this is a huge burden for a lot of families. If you make $35,000 pre-tax and the child care costs for your two children are over $25,000 a year, your job may actually be COSTING you money over staying home with your kids. Of course there are all kinds of considerations in this scenario, but truly put pen to paper with regards to the input and output of dollars when considering whether two incomes really are better than one.

    What career/life balance decisions do you struggle with?
    What do you value most about your job?
    Can you find additional benefits in your job that are currently untapped?

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