I recently took on a weekend part time job for the holidays. We were hit with a rash of unexpected expenses that put a chokehold on our cash flow. As many of us know, when challenged with expenses, you can either try and cut them or earn more. There was little opportunity to reduce our expenses, so I did the next best thing, I took on a weekend part time job to increase income.
Sure my free time has dramatically decreased. I'm working an extra 25-35 hours per week, on top of my regular 9to5, but understand it's a short term sacrifice for the long term goal. I'm about five weeks into my weekend part time job, and so far, so good. I wanted to share what I learned by working a second job.
My Weekend Part Time Job
There are many ways to make extra money. The side hustle has been engrained in our heads by countless articles on the topic with ideas on how to make extra cash in your free time.
The thing with many side hustle is they take time to build or produce inconsistent income. I needed an easy win and applied to a local retail warehouse that hires holiday help each year. I was hired after two short interviews, and started immediately, at a $15 an hour. You can do the math, but that's $375 for 25 hours of work, and over a month will bring in an extra $1200.
For me, a weekend part time job was the fastest path to an extra $1200 a month. Sure, I don't have the flexibility as other side hustles, but I chose something that was close to home, close to my day job, and earn a decent start wage.
The first week or two were tough, working a 13hour day, but after a few weeks, it got easier. I replaced watching television or some chores around the house with working 5 hours on most evenings or 8 hours on the weekends. The part time weekend job is something I'd consider working longer to stay ahead of the additional upcoming expenses.
The People You Meet
My weekend part time job has been a bit of an education for me on how the general public handles money and paying for retail items. Here are some of the things I've witnessed during checkout.
Checks – I was surprised at the number of people that use checks to pay for their purchases. Some were for business accounts, but many were personal. Are checks still a thing? I use less and less of them for paying bills, and have never used one for retail purchase.
Is there something I am missing here? Why would you want to carry a checkbook around with you? It's is possible to have a delayed payment until the check clears?
Multiple Credit Cards – When I say multiple, I mean, I witnessed people having ten cards in their wallet or purse. So many that they fumble around to find the right one for their payment.
Difference between Visa / MasterCard – I lost count of the number of times customers mentioned they didn't realize the difference between Visa and Master Card. Many believe they are one company. Many would ask directly if there was a difference. I'd have to explain they are different companies.
Pin for debit cards – I say 10% of the people could not remember their pins for their debit cards. I mean they flat out forgot them or had to enter in a number 4 or 5 times to get it right.
Points – I hear phrases like “I want my points,” and “I need my points.”
Fingers Crossed – I wish I had a dollar for every time a customer swiped their credit card and said: “I hope it doesn't get declined.”
George Costanza Wallet – According to George – “Important things go in a case.” I'm sure some chiropractor is getting rich off the number of adjustments they're doing with the size of wallets and purses many customers carry. I've seen rubber band holding stacks of cards, and cash to back-breaking wallets, and big oversized handbags that things get lost in.
Dividing Items on the Belt – Many customers wouls separate their items into two groups, must-haves, and nice to have. Depending on the total cost for the must-haves, some nice to have might make the cut.
Many customers pay with the smartphone device or have cash organized, or debit or credit cards ready. It's been interesting to witness the full range of behaviors of how people manage their cards and cash.
Final Thoughts on my Weekend Part Time Job
So far, so good for my weekend part time job. It has helped bring in an increased and steady income immediately. Sure it has cut down on my free time but has forced me to be more focused and intentional with my time. I would highly recommend someone looking to earn extra cash to look no further than a classic part time job.
Unfortunately, the job was only seasonal, and before the new year, I was let go. I knew this going in, but it was still a little unexpected as many of the seasonal positions turn into permanent positions. I say roughly 12 seasonal positions were hired, and seven or eight let go, and the other stayed on. C'est la vie. I will certainly consider another weekend part time job to increase our income.
Brian is a dad, husband, and an IT professional by trade. A Personal Finance Blogger since 2013 who, with his family, has successfully paid off over $100K worth of consumer debt. Now that Brian is debt-free, his mission is to help his three children prepare for their financial lives and educate others to achieved financial success. He blogs at Debt Discipline.