Published in: Banks | July 15, 2019

4 Signs You Really Need a Second Job

We are committed to full transparency as part of our mission to make the world smarter, happier, & richer. You should know that offers on The Ascent may be from our partners - it's how we make money. That transparency to you is core to our editorial integrity, which isn’t influenced by compensation.

Working a side gig may not seem ideal. But if these scenarios apply to you, it’s time to consider one.

A woman walks a bunch of dogs.Image source: Getty Images

Side hustles are all the rage these days, and people work them for many reasons. You may not be thrilled with the idea of getting one if you work full-time. After all, a second job eats into your downtime.

But if your finances are in a bad state, it may be time to take on a second job. Here are a few signs you really need to make that happen.

1. You have no emergency savings whatsoever

You need emergency savings to protect yourself from unplanned bills like home repairs, car maintenance, and medical expenses. Similarly, having an emergency fund could tide you over if you lose your job and it takes a while to find another one.

Without money in a savings account, you risk racking up loads of credit card debt to cover unanticipated financial hiccups. Not only does this cost you, but it can also damage your credit score in the process.

Have you struggled to build an emergency fund? Do you have no money in the bank whatsoever? Consider it a wakeup call to get a second job and establish some level of savings. Ideally, your emergency fund should contain enough money to cover three to six months of essential living expenses. But if you’re starting with nothing, any amount of savings will be a vast improvement.

2. You've tried cutting back on expenses but still spend more than what you earn

Many people overspend on a regular basis because they don’t follow a budget and don’t make an effort to keep themselves in check. But if you’ve tried budgeting, cutting expenses, and making sacrifices and you’re still spending more than what you bring home in your paycheck, you might need an income boost to bust out of that cycle. In the absence of a raise at work, a second job is your best bet.

3. You're loaded with debt

Many people rack up student debt in the course of their studies and accumulate credit card debt at various stages of life. If you’re saddled with debt to the point where you have no idea how you’ll ever dig out of that hole, a second job could be the answer.

The sooner you’re able to start chipping away at your existing debt, the less interest you’ll accrue. That helps break the vicious cycle you’d otherwise stay trapped in.

4. You're constantly stressed about money

It’s natural to be concerned about money from time to time or when hefty bills land in your lap.

But if you’re stressed about money to the point where it keeps you up at night, impacts your performance at work, and puts a strain on your personal relationships, it’s time to find yourself an additional source of income. Remember, undue stress isn’t just aggravating to deal with; it can also be harmful to your health.

Though the idea of working a second job may be unappealing, you don’t need to sentence yourself to nights locked up in a call center or weekends spent bussing tables and hauling food from a restaurant kitchen to hungry patrons.

You can find something you enjoy and turn it into a side hustle, whether it’s baking, crafting, writing, designing websites, or caring for animals. In fact, some hobby-based side gigs can be quite lucrative. For example, if you’re a skilled photographer, you might easily earn upward of $1,000 for a wedding shoot.

Don’t assume that a second job will be torture. If you play your cards right, you’ll get more out of it than just money.

Savings account rates are skyrocketing -- Earn 23x your bank

Many people are missing out on guaranteed returns as their money languishes in a big bank savings account earning next to no interest. Our picks of the best online savings accounts can earn you more than 25x the national average savings account rate. Click here to uncover the best-in-class picks that landed a spot on our shortlist of the best savings accounts for 2019.