Getting a second job or moonlighting has been a popular thing for a while to bring in extra income.
Whether you do it help you pay down debt, save for the future, or even to just get by, there are plenty of options out there.
But this doesn’t mean working two jobs comes without negatives.
In this post, I explore the pros and cons of working a second job.
It’s important you read through the negatives, as they can be enough to make you think twice about getting another job.
10 Pros And Cons Of A Second Job You Need To Know
5 Pros Of A Second Job
When considering working two jobs, you need to know the positives.
Here are the biggest benefits of working a second job.
#1. Increase Income
The first benefit you will see working another job is an increase in income.
There are many different reasons why people choose to get another job.
Maybe they are in debt from credit cards and want to pay it off.
Or maybe they want to build and emergency fund or reach long term savings goals.
Or their day job might not pay enough, so they need an additional job to help make ends meet.
Whatever the reason, you will earn extra money working a side job to help you meet your financial goals.
#2. Save Money And Get Discounts
One overlooked benefit that a lot of people miss is the potential to save money and get discounts.
When I worked a second job, I found my discretionary spending dropped considerably because I has less free time.
I wasn’t out shopping or binging Netflix, so I wasn’t being tempted to buy more things.
This helped me save more money and pay off my debt faster.
Also, the store I worked offered employee discounts.
I could buy just about anything we sold at cost.
For items with a small markup, this didn’t make much of a difference.
But with items that had a large markup, it made a huge difference.
I remember upgrading my television and saving $500 off retail price.
Depending on where you work, you might be able to buy gifts where you work and save money on them as well.
#3. Additional Benefits
One good thing about a second job is the potential for added benefits.
Depending on where you get hired, you might have available to you some excellent benefits.
More and more companies are offering benefits now to part time workers, not just full time workers.
These benefits include a 401k plan, health insurance, medical insurance, paid vacation, and more.
Some companies are even offering to help you pay for school or pay down your student loans.
Be sure to ask about what benefits are offered to part time employees and how many hours you need to work to be eligible.
In terms of tuition reimbursement, ask what the requirement are here too.
Many companies want you to stay working for them for a set amount of time after you get this bonus otherwise you must repay them.
#4. Multiple Streams Of Income
Another overlooked advantage of a second job is diversifying your income streams.
Here is what I mean by this.
Most people work one job and rely on that income to pay their bills and get ahead financially.
But if you lose your job, you are suddenly in trouble.
You have no income coming in and have to scramble to find another job to bring in money to pay your bills.
With a side gig, you no longer have a single stream of income.
You have multiple income streams and some peace of mind.
If you lose your full-time job, you still will have some money coming in.
It might not be enough to pay all your bills, but it will pay some of them and that will make a stressful situation a little less stressful for you.
#5. Potential New Career
Depending on where you get a part time job, it could lead to new opportunities for you.
You might find you love working there more than your main job.
Or you might find that you can take some aspects of this job and start your own business on the side.
At the very least, you might learn new skills that will benefit you in your 9-to-5 job that could help you earn higher raises.
This could be enough to no longer need to work a second job.
5 Cons Of A Second Job
There are a handful of drawbacks of a second job you need to be aware of.
In many cases, these cons make working a second job not worth it for many people.
#1. Low Hourly Rate
When it comes to working a second job, the most popular type of work is found in the retail or service industry.
While it is great to have the option of working and earning more, these jobs typically pay low wages.
In fact, most service jobs pay less than the Federal minimum wage.
This is because you are able to earn tips to make up the difference.
However, in order to earn the most tips, you usually need to be working during the busiest times of the week.
This ends up being Friday and Saturday nights.
This isn’t to say you won’t earn decent tips working other hours, but chances are you won’t earn as much as you can during these peak times.
And there is one more part of bad news here.
Since these hours are in high demand, some restaurants and bars have issues with employees doing whatever they can to get on their managers good side in order to secure working these hours.
#2. Lack Of Free Time
When you are working two jobs, you are going to have a lot less spare time.
Even if you only work 20 hours a week moonlighting, it still takes away a large part of your free time.
For example, let’s say without a second job you typically get home by 5pm and go to bed by 10pm.
This gives you 25 hours of free time during the work week.
On the weekends, if you get up at 9am and go to bed at 11pm, that gives you another 28 hours.
You have 53 hours of free time in a given week and you are going to use close to half working a second job.
If you have a hard time getting everything done now, it will be even harder time working two jobs seeing as you have less time to get it all done.
#3. Higher Stress Levels
There will be added stress to your life working a second job.
Take me for example.
When I was younger I was trying to pay off credit card debt, so I took a job at a retail store.
I was up by 5am to get to my full time job. I left there at 5pm and had to go right to my other job which started at 7pm and was an hour away.
I worked there until 10pm and got home and in bed by 11pm only to do it again the next day.
Stress slowly crept in as I was working a lot and didn’t have time to take care of things at home.
By the time Friday came, I had a massive pile of laundry to wash, had to go grocery shopping, get caught up on bills, and more.
It was extremely stressful.
Another downside to having a second job is it is physically draining.
If you are working in retail or the service industry, you will be walking and standing during your entire shift.
And working all those extra hours are going to add up too.
At my job, during the holidays we stayed open later.
For the nights I worked, most times I was responsible for counting the cash registers and making sure everything totaled up correctly.
Since we were open until 11pm the week before Christmas, and I couldn’t count the registers until after closing, I wasn’t getting home until close to 1am.
I was up 4 hours later to go to my job, still exhausted from the day before.
Come the weekend, I was sleeping until noon because I was so tired.
#4. Conflict Of Interest
One big issue people overlook is if their new job is a conflict of interest with their primary job.
Depending on the type of job you get, you could be seen as a competitor to your current employer’s business.
As a result, they might not allow for you to work it.
Your first step should be to read through your employment contract to see what it says about working a part-time job and if it is allowed.
If you are unsure, it is best to speak with human resources.
#5. More Monthly Expenses
Finally, when you work another job, you have more expenses.
First, you are going to see an increase in the cost of operating your car.
More money spent on gas, more frequent oil changes, and more wear and tear to name a few.
Then there are other expenses.
Do you need specific clothes to wear? If so, you might need to spend money to buy them.
Depending on your work schedule, you might see an increase in eating out expenses as you don’t have time to drive home and make a meal.
And you might be so drained, you don’t have the energy to cook or grocery shop, so you end up spending more money dining out.
This is one area that most people underestimate, so it is important you consider it since you can essentially offset the extra cash you earn with increased expenses.
There are the pros and cons of working a second job.
While there are benefits, mainly additional income, to me the drawbacks outweigh them.
You would be better served finding a side hustle you could work where you can control your hours better.
And you can be pickier in what you do, making it not feel like a second job.