How-To Make a Second Job Work

by Ryan Yates

I get asked all the time how I can work two jobs and still have a family life. 

Anyone who is interested in destroying their debt by getting a second job needs to understand one thing, it’s not easy.  There is no magic pill, there is no easy way. 

It will take sacrifice and dedication to do it, but if you want something bad enough things can happen.  I want to be debt free more than anything else right now.  In the grand scheme of life, this short period will be worth the effort.

Follow the link below to see a video post I made on my thoughts about making it all work.  I can’t use Vimeo or YouTube from work so couldn’t embed it here. 

I’ve never done a video post before so please forgive me if it doesn’t work right.  I’ll get a YouTube feed started if you’d like to continue to see/hear me.  If you are repulsed please leave a comment and I’ll either put some makeup on or stop doing video.

HowToMakeASecondJobWork (Click me, I’m a video)


If you are married or have a close partner, you need to be on the same page.  If one person is focused on saving and earning money while the other is focused on spending it, then you are doomed to failure.  The two of you need to set up your roles and work hard to perform them.

In my family, my wife has the hardest job.  Her roles include; caring for the kids, taking care of the house, being the point person for everything in the family, and being a great role model for the little ones. 

My roles include working the two jobs, blogging as a third job, bathing the kids, cooking half the meals, relieving my wife after work, playing and reading with the kids, and being emotional available to my family at all times.

Our family would fall apart if we didn’t have our roles.  There is almost no arguing, and working through our debt has brought my wife and me closer than ever before.  Who would have thought being away so much would have brought us so close.  I love it.

Setting Boundaries

You need to establish some type of boundary system to effectively manage all the different roles required in the family.  My day job requires me to be on call, meaning that I can be contacted anytime to “take care of business.”  I have a work phone and a personal phone. 

The boundary I’ve established with my off shift supervisors is quite simple.  Unless you have exhausted EVERY other possible option, I’m not to be contacted.  The people who work for me are very smart and capable, empowering them to make their own decisions has allowed me to relax when away from job #1.  Sometimes you have to let go in order to get ahead.

The second and most important boundary I have is the NO blogging at home while the kids are awake.  I usually take this a step further and don’t use twitter or email either.  This allows me to focus on my time to enjoy the kids.  They are growing up so quickly I can’t imagine NOT spending all my free time with them.

Don’t Waste Time

There is only 24 hours in a day and wasting time doing non-value added activities doesn’t make since if you are trying to balance work and family.  Sitting on the couch watching TV can erase a valuable chunk of time that can be spent doing better things. 

I get sick of people saying that they don’t have time to do this or that, but they can watch 2-3 hours of TV a night.  They call it there time to “relax”.  I call it an excuse to not make their dreams happen.

The only shows I will make time to watch are Lost, 30 Rock, The Office, and Modern Family.  All are DVRed and watched after the kids are asleep.  The total time investment in these shows is just over 2 hours per week.

Video games are another HUGE time waster that should be avoided if you are working a second job.  The point I’m trying to make is that you can do a lot and still have a life while working your butt off.  You just need to budget time like you budget money.

Use Technology

I love technology and use it as much as I can to help me get everything done.  My Sprint Hero is one of my best friends.  I use Google Talk to chat with my wife throughout the day. 

I monitor Twitter on it as well as use Google Reader to scan all the blogs I subscribe to.  I use Evernote to capture my reminders and thoughts, and Thinking Space to mindmap my blogging activates.  Oh yeah, I’ve used the smart phone to even make a phone call before.

I’m a mobile person and I’m required to be away from a desk 90% of the time for job #1 and 100% of the time for job #2.  Using the cool gadgets can really improve your ability to get everything done, as long as you don’t make them a time waster.

Thank you

I just want to take a minute and thank you.  Thank you for reading DeliverAwayDebt.  Thank you for writing comments and interacting with me.  Thank you for helping me with all your support and kind words.  This would be a boring place without.

Please offer up some advice for my video is you’d had time to view it.  I’ve been starting work at 2am this week and the video was taken at 1:50 this morning before I started, please forget the tired look 🙂


Mysti May 19, 2010 at

Great job! I hope you went to bed right after that. I agree with Jolyn that the volume was a little low. And don’t be so nervous….we are all friends. 🙂

My hubby has worked 2 jobs since our kids were born (they will be 8 in August). And it is alot of sacrifice. He works odd hour shifts, and I work the opposite schedule so we don’t have child care issues. I just keep reminding him that once our financial life is better, we won’t have to do this anymore, and we will have the time to be a “family” again.

Big kudos to you for acknowledging your wife in this process. I was a stay at home mom for 5 years (and remember, I had special needs twins!), and it is the hardest job that you will ever do. I am glad to see that you recognize that it is you as a team who are working your way out of debt…..
.-= Mysti´s last blog ..It has been brought to my attention…. =-.

Jeffrey Kosola May 19, 2010 at

Shy? You are the first person to ever say that to me. I will take care of that in the next video 🙂 I woke up at 1 this morning to be at work by 2. I’ve been on a 2a to 2:30p schedule lately. The OT is really helping out my cause.

I proud that you guys are making the sacrifice to get out of debt. I left you a LONG comment the other day on your GBU post but I don’t think it ever made it through. Let me know if you got it? Otherwise I’ll email you one. I have some ideas for you to blast away that debt.

Without my AWESOME wife I would be nothing. SAHM are the hardest working people around and I need to make sure I tell her that everyday.

I’ll work on the volume for the next one. I’m working on my ING/Budget system post-video for all to see…

Mysti May 19, 2010 at

I didn’t say shy….I said nervous! 😉 OT does help the cause…..wish ours was more consistent.

Didn’t get your comment….but would love to hear your thoughts.

Jeffrey Kosola May 20, 2010 at

My bad Mysti, I’ll share my thoughts in an email later 🙂

Jolyn@Budgets are the New Black May 19, 2010 at

One-fitty in the morning? You look pretty darn good. You fit a lot of truths in there, common-sense and core values and the no-nonsense of setting priorities. Quality-wise, the volume was low on my end, but that could just be my computer.Great job.

Jeffrey Kosola May 19, 2010 at

Thanks Jolyn, I’ll work on the volume. It was early and didn’t want to bother anyone, I’ll speak up next time 🙂 Common-sense isn’t so common anymore 🙂

Jeff @ sustainablelifeblog May 19, 2010 at

I dont have speakers on this computer, So I’ll have to return to the video later.

Thanks for posting this, many of the finance articles talk about how to get rid of your debt fast you need to get a second job, and then they really don’t go into it much further. My guess is because they don’t have a second job (like you & I do) and don’t understand the challenges. Like you said in the article: Make no mistake, it’s hard.

I also completely agree with you on this, especially on the time management side. If you’ve got 2 jobs + blogging, then wasting time really isn’t that much of an option. I’ll definitely be using some of your tips.
.-= Jeff @ sustainablelifeblog´s last blog ..Green Washer Fluid =-.

Jeffrey Kosola May 19, 2010 at

Hey Jeff, don’t worry about the speakers sounds (haha) like the volume is a little too low anyway 🙂 Anything can be accomplished with the right priorities and time frame. I like your point about some writers not understanding having a second job. Some people feel that you can just flip a switch and the second income will just start coming in. It takes time and research to locate a great second job that will provide enough income to offset the time you are spending away from your family. Some jobs just aren’t worth it, but some definely are worth it.

MFO May 19, 2010 at

Wow this was a very insightful post. I always wondered how you managed to work two jobs, blog, and have a good family life all within the constraints of a 24 hour day. I do spend at least 1 hour each night playing video games, I guess I could cut that out and devote it to more blogging time. You story is an inspiration to anyone with a full plate already. What you are going through now is certainly great material for an eBook down the line. Just your story itself will help motivate people I am sure. You are working hard now to reap the rewards later, very admirable!

Money Smarts May 19, 2010 at

Having a second job does mean you sacrifice a lot of things, but on the other hand, you’re working hards towards making a brighter future for you – and your family.

As you mention – having your spouse be on the same page as you when having a second (or third) job is key, especially when you have kids. Without your spouse’s help nothing will get done.

We’ve paid off all the debt at our house, but now that we have no debt (except mortgage) we still take the income generated from online activities, and now instead of paying off debts, we’re saving up and investing for our future. Much more fun when you’re building instead of just paying down! As hard as you’re working – you’ll be there soon too!

Great job on the video – you sound different that I would have thought – in a good way.
.-= Money Smarts´s last blog ..What Type Of Retirement Account Should I Choose? Traditional IRA, Roth IRA And 401k =-.

Jeffrey Kosola May 19, 2010 at

I’m looking forward to the wealth building/saving part of life 🙂 I’ll be there soon enough.

It’s funny how we all look or sound different in real life than in our minds. In my mind I’m a lot cooler than I appear. But then again I think I’m biased. Thank you for the comment

Kevin@OutOfYourRut May 19, 2010 at

Jeff – You hit it with your comment, “this short period will be worth the effort.” Any time I’ve juggled two jobs, telling myself it was temporary was one of the main ways I was able to do it.

I don’t know how you’re able to handle two jobs, a family and a blog, but my hat is off to you. I’ve pretty much given up TV as a way to free up my time, but right now I don’t have a 2nd job either, and the schedule is still pretty tight.
.-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..Health Savings Accounts (HSA) – Can They Help You? =-.

Jeffrey Kosola May 20, 2010 at

@Kevin knowing that working extremely hard for a short period will yield great results is a great motivator. Thanks for reminding me. One lesson I’ve learned the hard way was that no matter how hard you work, you still need a plan. I worked my butt off for many months without making any progress in paying down my debt. I was just treading water. It wasn’t until I had a plan that the hard work began to pay off.

Kevin@OutOfYourRut May 20, 2010 at

“I worked my butt off for many months without making any progress in paying down my debt. I was just treading water.”–that made me think that one of the caveats with a part time job is that if you somehow get too comfortable with it, it can lead to lifestyle inflation, rather than solving a specific problem.

It’s so easy to get used to additional income, but then you’re just working harder for more stuff!
.-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..Health Savings Accounts (HSA) – Can They Help You? =-.

Jeffrey Kosola May 20, 2010 at

@Kevin Yes sir. The first 11 month of delivering pizza only supported out current life style. I wasn’t until I hired a financial coach who kick my butt, that we were able to live on less than we made. At that point all the pizza money was able to be spent on debt repayment. Tough lesson to learn, but one I will NEVER make again.

You are correct, lifestyle inflation can really screw things up. I now know that lifestyle inflation is just a mask for “keeping up with the Jones.” And I’ll be damned if I give a crap about the Jones anymore.

Have a super duper day Kevin…

Ryan @ Planting Dollars May 19, 2010 at

Like the video Jeff! TV and video games used to be my vice… now it’s the beach and scuba! I like that you mentioned it can be fun in a way though since you’re working towards something. I give you kudos for sticking with it and having your debt target locked in your sights.
.-= Ryan @ Planting Dollars´s last blog ..Thoughts on Walking Away From Your Home Mortgage =-.

Jeffrey Kosola May 20, 2010 at

@Ryan yeah I can only imagine how the beach and scuba can be a time waster. Haha they sure don’t sound bad to me. My debt target is the same as your travel site target. We are both doing things now so we can kick butt later.

Evan May 19, 2010 at

My Second job is more of a side referral business so I have had a tough time trying to get myself out there while balancing my day job, it is cool that you seem to have it all worked out with kids!
.-= Evan´s last blog ..Using Ellis Island Records to Find Relatives for Free =-.

Jeffrey Kosola May 20, 2010 at

@Evan I still want to spend more time with the kids which helps to make me work that much harder and faster. I don’t want to be one of those people who sit around and regret not spending time with loved ones. The quicker I destroy the debt the better.

What kind of side work do you do?

Evan May 20, 2010 at

VERY Small Side Law Practice which focuses on Wills and Trusts
.-= Evan´s last blog ..What is Your Day Job or Profession? =-.

Financial Samurai May 19, 2010 at

First of all, great job putting yourself out there in a video post! Your face just lights up at the 2 minute mark once you start talking about your wife 🙂 That’s healthy and should tell you something… your wife and family are the key to everything happiness!

60 hours full-time + 22 hours part-time + 10-15 hours blogging = A LOT OF WORK!! My only hope is that you don’t burn out. So, if you start feeling a little tired, take a step back and relax.


.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..“The Happy Loser” Archetype By Clotaire Rapaille =-.

Jeffrey Kosola May 20, 2010 at

@Sam Thank-you sir. Yeah, my wife does that to me 🙂 I guess that’s a great thing. The only advantage I have with the hours is that I’ve been working that many for almost 10 years now. I’m kinda use to it. Before the Auto industry tanked we worked 7 days 12 hours for many weeks a year. Now I just need to begin shifting some hours to free up a little more time for a new and exciting project coming my way soon 🙂

Christine | Money Funk May 20, 2010 at

I noticed that too… your face does light up when you talk about your wife. That’s a great thing. 🙂
.-= Christine | Money Funk´s last blog ..The Best Recycling Websites =-.

Forest May 20, 2010 at

Hey Jeff, excellent post and I really enjoyed seeing you on video. I have my YouTube channel all set up and waiting for me to finally do a video…. Maybe today is the day!

I don’t have a smartphone for the point that I spend so much time on the computer, but the more I think about it the more I think it could actually free up my time away from the computer a little more.
.-= Forest´s last blog ..Insanity Week 5 Fit Test Results =-.

Jeffrey Kosola May 20, 2010 at

@Forest I’ve been thinking about a video post for a long time. I finally just did it. That’s why is wasn’t on youtube. I did the video just before I posted it and I can’t access video sites from my current location (w. o. r. k.) Next time it will be done from H. O. M. E. and posted the correct way 🙂

Make your next post a video!

Jeffrey Kosola May 20, 2010 at

@Red I will be using Vimeo and YouTube next time so everything should work better.

If you are serious about not having debt for the long term then a second job is a must. You’ll only be able to squeeze so much out of a budget to pay extra on debts. Make sure that you look for a part time gig that will pay better than min wage. Anything less than $10 or $12 is probably not worth the time, of course only you can be the judge of that. It was a huge decision for me to work the second job, but it turned out that came out ahead by me working the 22 extra hours per week. If my wife went back to work the clothes, gas, and day care would almost completely wipe out any income. She would have been bringing in an extra $300-$500 per month by working (after all the costs). I more than make that up in a couple of weekends and she gets to be home with the kids.

Good luck,

Christine | Money Funk May 20, 2010 at

Great video, Jeff. I think its amazing how much progress you’ve made paying down your debt. And as always, its awesome to see that you and your wife make a great team to eradicate that debt.

And if you keep up your plan, you will have those pizza shops just building you some nice net worth. Then you can take that nice vacation with your wife and enjoy the profits. 🙂

BTW, if you happen to try Viddler over You Tube and Vimeo, people can leave comments placed throughout the video. Its kind of cool. See Vaynerchuk’s videos.
.-= Christine | Money Funk´s last blog ..The Best Recycling Websites =-.

Jeffrey Kosola May 20, 2010 at

Thanks Christine, I’m going to be sad when the debt is gone – I’ll have nothing to do. Haha NOT! Then comes the real fun, building and Empire of Pizza Joints. Since I’m from Southeast Michigan it only seems right; Dominos, Little Ceasers, Hungry Howies, Dolly’s, and Jet’s all start here.

I’ll check out Viddler this weekend. Sounds cool, if it’s good enough for the G-Man it must be good enough for me 🙂

LeanLifeCoach May 20, 2010 at

Love your view on the TV, anything is cool in moderation but its boggling that people would spend 10-20% of their day or more in front of the TV. More power to you and the wife. It would never happen with out the Teamwork!
.-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..Nothing Is Free – Everything Costs =-.

Jeffrey Kosola May 24, 2010 at

Thank LeanLifeCoach, yeah the TV isn’t just taking away a lot of valuable time it’s also making many people “larger” than normal. Ok, the tv isn’t making them larger it’s the food, but you probably see my point. There aren’t many good things that can come the TV.

James May 20, 2010 at

teamwork is and always will be one of the corner stones to ultimate success.

glad you spoke to this point.

Jeffrey Kosola May 24, 2010 at

@James Teamwork is a wonderful thing. There is a show that my kids LOVE to watch called WonderPets. It’s all about teamwork. I hope that my wife and I are setting good examples for my little ones, teamwork can make such a difference 🙂

Suzanne May 23, 2010 at

It is so great to see you dedicated to your family. Seeing someone actually talk about these kinds of experiences and seeing their motivation comes from their family is a beautiful thing! All of your hard work and efforts will pay off and you will become debt free by working together. I wish you the best of luck on your journey! Very inspirational post…thank you for sharing!

Jeffrey Kosola May 25, 2010 at

@Suzanne Thanks for nice comment. The journey is actually a fun, I would have never thought would be the case. Having a great family is helps when sacrifices need to be made.

Mrs. Accountability June 4, 2010 at

I think it’s great that you don’t blog until your children are asleep. That way they don’t think daddy’s just that guy in front of the computer. It sounds like you and your wife have a great partnership. I can’t watch your video right now, and to tell you the truth I would prefer audio only as I am always on the lookout for something to listen to on my hour commute to and from work. Can you convert videos to also be available in audio?

Single Mom Rich Mom June 25, 2010 at

Kudos to you Jeff !
Most people I know won’t do something as simple as working two jobs. If I can do it for over a year while being a single parent, I guess I don’t understand what the problem is – unless it comes down to the fact that they just don’t want what they say they want badly enough. I’m the same as you, it was very rare that I worked when my youngest was awake. Lots of getting up at 3 a.m. or staying up til 3 a.m. depending on my client’s needs and deadlines.

The only thing I was wondering was whether you could make one or both of your jobs more lucrative? I honestly think you could retire – or have a lot of different options – in 5 years with your work ethic if you did that.

Jeffrey Kosola June 29, 2010 at

@Single Mom Rich Mom, you are right. Most people are too “busy” to get a second job. But they are the first people to take time to bitch about their financially situation. It’s funny how that works.

I’m working on ways to increase other income streams, my current streams don’t have much growth. I’m in the upper tier at my day job and make a very good tip average for a delivery driver. Other sources are the quickest way to more income for me.

Benjamin Bankruptcy October 6, 2010 at

I’ve struggled to make 2 jobs work in the past. Now i have family commitments (and guilt) it’s even harder

{ 7 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: