Money doesn’t make you happy. Endlessly pursuing more money will likely rob you of your life and time and make you miserable. But sometimes, working a little extra at a part time job or freelance gigs for a temporary income boost makes sense.
If you don’t have an adequate emergency fund, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to the emergencies and curve balls that life likes to throw. Picking up an extra part time job for a little while so you can build up your emergency fund will give you that cushion you need to ride through tough times.
Paying Down Debt
Getting rid of debt is one of the best things you can do for your finances and your overall satisfaction. Being debt free makes you a lot more flexible and resilient to life changes. Furthermore, as long as you have debt, that debt is costing you in interest. Typically when you make minimum payments on debt, the majority of the payment is just covering the interest payment, leaving your balance minimally changed. Even paying a little extra on the debt can go a long ways in speeding up your pay down. Picking up some extra income and applying it all towards debt is a short term sacrifice for long term happiness and freedom.
Saving Towards a Goal
Avoiding debt altogether is even better than paying down debt quickly. But sometimes we want things that we can’t afford at the moment. Instead of going into debt, save up until you can pay for it in cash. Because you’ll be earning the interest on your savings, instead of paying interest on the debt, you’ll be paying a lot less in a shorter amount of time. Putting a little extra income will get you to your goal a lot faster.
The size of your goal doesn’t matter. When it’s all said and done, you’ll always be happier having paid with saved up cash instead of debt. And those part time jobs or side gigs that you worked in the distant past will just make the goal you’ve worked toward that much sweeter.
The point of picking up this extra income is not to turn yourself into a workaholic, endlessly working 80 hour weeks. Rather, it’s realizing that sacrificing your free time for a short while can sometimes have huge long term returns. However, it’s important to have a specific goal for your extra work so that you don’t end up permanently depending on that extra income due to the lifestyle inflation trap.
While I do strive to only write accurate information and dispense valuable advice, I am not a licensed financial adviser. All information is based solely on my personal experience and personal research and should be treated as such. Find out more.