Two Jobs

As mentioned in my last post, I have two jobs – a full time “career” job as an Arts Educator/Administrator, and a part-time/seasonal job as a Bar Manager – both at the same theatre. For the most part, I like both jobs, but it’s become clear in the last 6 weeks that I just can’t do this anymore.

“Working a PT job to make extra $$ is counter-productive when it causes you to miss work at your FT job.” – My Twitter

I’ve been sick with this chest cold for over a month now because I haven’t had much time off to rest and recuperate. So I called in sick on Monday (FT job), knowing that I’ll be working an extra 20 hours this weekend (PT job). In other words, I lost 1 day of FT pay ($100*) in order to work an extra 2.5 days of PT pay ($180*). Is it really worth it?

* Note: I don’t actually want to disclose my income, so I just picked a round number to illustrate my point

Another issue I have with this part-time job is how often the jobs overlap – and not in my favor. For example, I spent most of my day on Tuesday sorting out Bar Manager things while on Education time. Now I’m behind with the Education things and did not make any “extra” money – which really is the whole point of the second job. And this happens A LOT. If the Bar Manager was someone from outside of the building they would have been paid to come in and do all those things, but not me.

In my last post, I wrote: “I probably end up spending close to the same amount that I’m bringing in from this extra job. Ok, probably not, but I certainly spend more and pay less attention to my finances when I’m working both jobs than when I’m only working the one.”

Well, this weekend when I was stuck in the airport, I actually started to crunch the numbers.  Turns out – between the fast food, the wasted groceries, the extra gas (I have to use my car to do the bar shopping), the unused gym membership, and the sick days – I DO end up spending close to the same amount that I’m bringing in from this extra job.

I’ll admit that I’m worried that money will be tight if/when I do give up this second job; that I’ll still eat mostly fast food and not go to the gym, etc. But so far in October, I’ve done a really good job of tracking my spending. Next comes budgeting and figuring out if I could survive on just one income happily or not. For the next 2-3 months, I’m going to try my best to live solely off my regular paychecks and the money I make from the second job (including tips) are going directly into my TFSA. If I can survive this (and the Christmas season), there is no reason I couldn’t survive the rest of the year. But if I really can’t do it, I’ll have to reassess my priorities.

Amanda Kay

Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.

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