In 2017, Bankrate released a survey showing that 44 million adults claim to have a side gig, or a second job in addition to their main source of income.
Perhaps not surprisingly, another survey from Betterment showed that people take on side gigs primarily for financial reasons, like making ends meet or covering a shortage in retirement savings. If snagging a side gig - and the extra money that comes with it - sounds like something you might be interested in, the below may help you decide if it makes sense for your situation.
Do you have time?
We’re all given 24 hours each day. The difference is in how we spend it. Assuming you have a primary job, ask yourself if you’re willing to commit some of what was previously free time to another gig. Also consider if your primary job hours are such that working a second job makes sense. If your hours tend to vary drastically, and your chosen side hustle is not entirely flexible, it may not be for you.
Do you have to do it?
Of course having more money in your pocket for saving or playing would be nice, but how important is it really? Is having more money critical to making ends meet or is there another financial goal that you can’t achieve without another job? If the answer is no, ask yourself if it’s worth giving up hours of your day or night or potentially spending less time with your family. For some people, exploring something they’re passionate about through a side gig might make it worth it. For others, the overall loss of time may be the deciding factor.
Does it make financial sense?
Before committing to a second job, it’s important to understand the pay to make sure the time and effort you’re putting in is good for your bottom line. For example, the hourly rate might sound good, but consider what the rate will be after taxes are taken out. In some side gigs, the company might take a cut of your pay. Knowing how much that will be and how much you’ll take home after that and taxes are taken out is important.
Does your employer allow it?
You don’t want to turn your side gig into your only gig, so be sure you know the policy of your primary employer when it comes to working two jobs. If your company policy states that you must be granted permission, be sure to follow the guidelines so that you don’t create more problems in the long run.
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