The reality of the today’s labour force is that, at some time or another, most people will experience part time work.
Generally, everyone starts out their working lives working part-time- Maccas, Subway and Kmart being usual suspects where I’m from. And increasingly job-sharing and a part-time work load are the norm for working parents. So part-time has become a big part of our everyday work environments.
But what effect does that have on us saving money?
Part-time As Extra Work
Generally, personal finance writers only approach part-time as an opportunity to make money on the side of your dominant career. Turning your hobby into an earner, or picking up a couple of extra shifts at night to give your credit card bill a bit of a shove. These are all great ideas, especially if you can find something you enjoy to earn a bit of extra cash. But what if part-time is your sole source of money?
What effect does that have on your finances?
Part-Time Jobs, Full-Time Load
In an age of increasingly eclecticism about career choices (and the longevity of those choices) having multiple part-time jobs may not be restricted to something that you do when you’ve got a big trip to save for.
Nowadays, it’s a genuine option for a lot of people who are tired or feel unproductive in one job 5 days a week. Lots of my peers, myself included, work several jobs as a long-term sustainable method of staying engaged with our work opportunities and to save money.
Saving Money on Part-Time Jobs
The great thing about having a couple of different jobs is it allows you to direct each payment in a different direction. Of course, you can (and should) do this with one income stream, but it seems easier with several. Use one job’s income to live off, and direct the other immediately into debt repayments or savings (or both). If you get paid in cash, even better. Use that as your expenses budget for the week and automatically put all your other income sources into savings.
If you have it in cash at the start of the week, you’ll have a heightened awareness of how finite it is. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, so you might even bring down your weekly spend as well.
Sometimes our ‘work’ decisions are not just financial. We hate our jobs, or feel like our hobbies fulfill us more. We’ve got kids and we want to spend more, and better, time with them. While there are people who can manage to work part-time for full-time incomes, a lot of us aren’t working in that kind of industry.
Either you can retrain for the kind of job that’s low hours and highly paid, or you can restructure your life around your new work-life balance.
Saving Money, Working Less
There are two options when you want to save money- either you earn more, or you spend less. Obviously, for people working fewer hours, the second option is the more likely. So how can you save money on a smaller income? Get brutal. Cut out expenses that are eating into your budget and your savings. Address your debt, so you lower your income repayments.
Put everything in the margin between expense and income into a savings box, doesn’t matter how small it is to begin with. If it’s hard, that’s because you chose something different to just making money. Remember the reasons you made that choice and you’ll stay motivated to make it work.