Yep, I just picked up a part-time job. An official one that for now looks like it’ll be happening fairly regularly.
I’ve got mixed feelings about it, so let’s just jump right in, shall we?
Why another job?
First up, I’m going to say it: I’m resentful of feeling the need for another job in the first place because my 9-5 barely pays me enough to live in this city. We are not having the conversation right now about me needing to get a better-paying job because I cannot just waltz right out and find another job in an hour. That shit takes lots of time and effort*, and I’m tired of seeing it thrown out as a casual suggestion for saving more money (which is why this post is so refreshing). My mother may be convinced that going door to door and handing people my resume is still the way things get done, but she’s wrong. Plus I’ve already said I’m going to wait out the reorganization to see what happens.
In that reorg process there have been some very pointed comments by junior staff to the tune of “I love my job for x, y, and z reasons, but it does not pay me enough to live here. If I didn’t love and respect my colleagues so much, I would’ve been gone a long time ago.” I have not made those comments, but I wholeheartedly agree that this is a larger issue our company needs to address.
No, I’m not making minimum wage or needing to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet—I end up with some money leftover each month, and even when I don’t I’m still at least contributing to my 401(k) pre-taxes (and getting an employer contribution), which is awesome. Is my petty self still resentful of the fact that I’m taking another job on weekends because I feel like having more money would improve my life? You fucking bet. If that makes me a whiny and entitled millennial, so be it.
Also I live a pretty frugal life. If I’m feeling underpaid, I can only imagine junior level coworkers who spend lots of money on things I don’t are feeling way more underpaid (although most of them are no longer living the single life, so they’ve at least got splitting expenses in their favor).
Another reason I got another job—remember that time I told you I have credit card debt? It’s interest-free, but I feel a pit of anxiety in my stomach every time I see my biggest credit card balance. I feel like I’ve been throwing all my available money at it (not true because I’m also throwing it at Vanguard. But that’s much more out of sight, out of mind), and that feeling sucks. The amount is so very manageable as far as debt goes, only a very few thousand, nothing actually scary. But a) even that amount is hard for me to deal with on my limited budget, and b) I feel like a shitty personal finance blogger for sitting on consumer debt!
Buying my freedom
Remember that financial independence thing I keep talking about? I’ve been mulling over getting another job for months, and the decision to finally do it was not actually primarily fueled by a motivation to repay debt. When it comes down to it, my reason for increasing my income is for FI. I need to increase my savings rate because I’m way too impatient to wait the 20+ (30+?) years to get to FI at my current rate. I’ve said before that I’m too scared to actually sit down and figure out how long it’ll take me to be FI because I know it’s going to be way longer than I want. Working for another 20 years (or even 15**, ugh) is pretty much my worst nightmare, but I do know that there’s no way it’ll be less than that with my current numbers. I’m not okay with that.
I’m pretty good at watching what I spend, but ultimately there’s only so much I can cut out (even if I’ve spent ages not wanting to hear that). There’s absolutely still more I could do on that front, but I don’t want to cut it down to the absolute bare minimum. A girl’s gotta live a little, and no, I’m not getting rid of my barre or Costco memberships either! That means growing my income. Hello, my name is Erin, and I am finally, finally accepting that fact.
What job should I get?
So if the first step was accepting that I needed another job, the second step was finding one. I’ve babysat before, so I thought I’d dust off my care.com account and logged in for the first time in two years. And was promptly completely overwhelmed by how many changes they’ve made to the website. It felt like I now needed to essentially fill out an application for babysitting by way of my profile: upload a video saying what a great babysitter I am? Uh when did that become necessary? I understand needing a background check, but I just wanted a very part time gig and am not looking to become a full-time nanny. Can’t some neighbor just pay me cash to keep an eye on their kids once a week instead of us having to do this song and dance through the website?
It occurred to me that dogsitting might be a better route, especially since setting up a profile there is slightly less work than setting up one for babysitting. Besides, getting paid to hang out with other people’s dogs since I don’t have one of my own? Fuck yeah, sign me up! I set up a profile, paid for the background check, filled out my availability on the calendar and proceeded to wait.
Someone messaged me! We set up a time for a meet and greet before the gig was supposed to start at the beginning of October! This was great! That someone then told me 45 minutes before I was supposed to meet him that something had come up for him and his wife and they couldn’t meet that night. Could I meet Saturday? Nope, I was out of town that weekend, so how about Monday (the job was supposed to start on Wednesday)?
The message he sent back said “let’s touch base after October.” Not “after we get back to town next week,” but rather in a month. Because…that made sense and I apparently was no longer dogsitting for them (did I get broken up with via dogsitting app message??). Cool. No one else on the app has messaged me, either, so my brilliant plan of making money by hanging out with dogs is apparently on hold. PAY ME TO SPEND TIME WITH YOUR DOGS, PEOPLE.
The easy route
I mentioned in my last post that I was on the same flights to/from Portland with my friend K, and given our extended travel time, we had plenty of time to talk. She picked up a part-time job over the summer and mentioned that if I wanted to work there too, she could talk to her supervisor. What did I have to lose? So I asked her to please do that, and she gave me her supervisor’s email address.
I sent an email with my resume and a general paragraph about my experience, and got a “great. When can you come in for training?” response literally two minutes later. K told me her supervisor wouldn’t read the email too closely, but I wasn’t expecting that! An “I’m free this weekend” reply resulted in me showing up for training on Saturday and ending up training/working seven hours, all of which I’m going to get paid for. I have a job!
(Yes, I’m grinding my teeth at this proving that it’s all about who you know. I loathe
schmoozing networking with a passion and would really love if maybe it would be possible to get a job without knowing someone with some connection to the higher-ups.)
The major downside right off the bat is that I’m technically a contractor, which means I’ll get a 1099 form at the end of the year (and will need to take out my own taxes, sigh). This is going to ruin my previously nice and easy, single W-2 tax situation!
I don’t think I’ve entirely thought through the time/energy implications of this. I said I was available most weekends now through the end of November, and lo and behold, I got put on the schedule for at least one shift a weekend! Right now I’m excited about the extra money all of those shifts will mean, but given that I do struggle sometimes with having energy at the end of the day after just my regular job (and it’s getting colder and darker earlier, ugh. I hate this time of year, and having seasonal affective disorder sure as hell doesn’t help), I’m sure it’s going to be tiring.
I suppose the only good thing about being on our way towards winter*** is that it means I won’t be trying to hike every weekend anymore. Yes, I’m a wimp when it comes to hiking in extreme temperatures. And yes, my definition of “too cold to hike” is very likely at a warmer temperature than most people’s. I grew up in the south and have thin blood, what do you want from me? So I might actually have some free time during weekends if I’m not hiking AND working.
I do realize the irony of giving up the most precious resource (my free time) in exchange for more money. But I’m sacrificing time now (y’know, while I’m young and supposedly have more energy for working multiple jobs, not that I really have that) in order to have more of it later.
I’m approaching this as a challenge to maximize my time better since it’ll be limited. For the sake of my bedtime, I’m hoping this works and I don’t end up falling even more behind on writing posts or need to stay up late batch cooking for the week/doing laundry/dealing with all those obnoxious responsibilities that come with being an adult if a quarter of my weekend is no longer mine!
Making it rain
What am I going to do with the extra money? Throw 100% of it (minus the 1/3 I’ll put in a savings account for tax time, sigh) at my credit card debt until that sucker is paid off. Then I may potentially send a couple extra hundred dollars to the student loan account of mine that has both the highest balance and highest interest rate. But I’m already paying extra each month to my loans, and both the interest rates and the balances are so relatively low that I’m pretty much just going to let them ride, despite my impatience to pay them off (besides, they’re some of my oldest accounts on my credit report so they’re at least doing me some good that way!).
After that I’ll probably split it about 50/50 for building up my emergency fund and for my Roth IRA and taxable accounts. Nope, that’s not as sexy as throwing it all into a travel fund, which is totally what I’d do if I didn’t feel the need to be responsible (it’s so the oldest child in me that feels the need to be responsible all the time). But as I mentioned earlier, I’m too damn impatient to wait decades to become FI.
I’d like to think of this money as icing on the cake if I’m already doing a (fairly) decent (okay, sometimes not) job saving in any given month. I’ve been surviving and (gasp!) even having some fun on my 9-5 income, and I’d like to keep that up instead of letting lifestyle inflation take over. For all intents and purposes, my 9-5 income is what I’m going to continue to live off of, and the extra money will go towards buying my freedom faster—and since it’ll be out of my checking account and living at Vanguard instead I won’t be able to miss it.
Although I totally might blow off just a tiny bit of responsibility in a few months by opening a new savings account for a travel fund and putting maybe $50 or so towards it a month with my newfound income. 😉
[*]Just finding a part-time job has been months in the making, let alone a different full-time job.
[**]Even five if I’m being honest… I want FIRE now!
[***]Okay, I know it’s still fall, and fall in general is delightful. However, no sunlight and cold weather are not delightful, and unfortunately that’s part of the territory with fall.