This summer has been one of higher spending than I would like while we are trying to pay off this debt. Some of the spending is unnecessary and out of alignment with our values and focus on frugality, and we are always striving to reduce that spending. We continue to make progress on this front all the time, but the last couple months of running a bit over (from the travel to the roof replacement) were causing some despair.
Once we had cut all we are able (or willing) to cut, it was time to acknowledge that it would take longer than three years to pay off the debt with our current income. And that is assuming there are no more major housing/transportation/medical/family emergencies in that time–a big assumption. We had to increase our income if we wanted to make additional progress, but there were not many opportunities to do so without significant changes to our present lifestyle.
I spoke a bit about my return to volunteering with the crisis hotline. Well, with the start of school (many of their part time workers are students), several workers either gave notice or reduced their hours, leaving some openings in the schedule. They offered me a switch to part time status in exchange for a greater commitment to weekly hours (I’m scheduled for 12/ week regularly now, though I can pick up extra shifts) and an obligation to fill in for other shifts when understaffed or for an emergency opening and work a holiday or two.
This is work I love doing so much, I would (and have) done it for free. Getting paid for greater commitment does reduce a little of my personal and family time. However, Dave Ramsey’s famous quote about second jobs kept running through my head: “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” The idea there is that if you are willing to make some sacrifices now to accomplish your goals of becoming financially secure, you can enjoy that security at a time when others are panicking about poverty in retirement or never being able to retire.
I believe very strongly in balance, but here was an opportunity where minimal sacrifice of time would yield incredible benefits towards accomplishing our goals more quickly. I think this is the heart of intelligent frugality–be sure the things you sacrifice are worth the gains for your goals and future. In this case, they are. Especially because the second job is something I love so much and feel is making a greater contribution to our society, not just to our family’s situation.
This week, I have started my additional hours as a part time worker, in addition to the full time job. It has been a little stressful, but I feel great about how this will work with our lives and schedule once we all adjust. Financially, I think the progress I will be able to make in September will be a good gauge of how this decision is contributing to our Debt Elimination goals! I look forward to this opportunity.
Have you taken a second job to pursue financial goals? Was it worth it?