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The Pros and Cons of Juggling Jobs

Written by Sean Cooper

Friday, October 6th, 2017

When I set myself the ambitious goal of paying off my mortgage in only three years, one thing that helped me accomplish that goal was having a side hustle.

Side hustles and job juggling are increasingly common in today's economy, where precarious employment is the new norm for many. Job juggling can be a great way to earn extra money outside of your full-time job so you can reach your goals sooner. For example, you could save for a down payment or reach retirement months or years earlier.

But you don't need a full-time job to benefit from a side hustle. Some people work entirely in the gig economy or work multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet.

While job juggling can be a good way to boost your income, it's not without its downsides. Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of job juggling.

Pros of Job Juggling

Diversification: When you job juggle, you're better diversified. You don't rely on any one source of income too much. Instead, you have multiple streams of income (i.e. side hustle, part-time jobs, etc.). If you lose your full-time job (if you have one) or one of your side gigs, you have one or more other sources of income to fall back on.

Goal Setting: The main incentive for job juggling is to earn more money. When you're job juggling, you can use the extra money you earn to reach savings goals or pay off debt sooner.

Change of Pace: If you're looking for something different outside of your full-time or part-time job, taking on a side gig can provide that opportunity. For example, I worked an office job during the day and at a supermarket during evenings and weekends. Try to find something that you're passionate about outside your full-time job, such as writing or web design, and see if you can turn it into a side business.

Employee Discounts: Who doesn't like to save more money? Depending on where you decide to work, you might get an employee discount. For example, if you like to renovate your home, you could work at a home improvement store, where a potential employee discount could help you save a lot of money on materials.

Cons of Job Juggling

It Can Be Tiring: Working extra hours at a part-time job or freelancing could make you less productive elsewhere. And if you're not performing at your top level, you could miss a bonus, be passed over for a promotion, or lose an opportunity that presents itself. It could be a case of "penny wise, pound foolish," if losing an opportunity ends up also causing you to lose money in the long run.

Added Expenses: Not only could you spend more time commuting to a second job, you may have to pony up extra money for job-related expenses, such as transit fares and work clothes. This can mean you're not earning as much as you first thought you would be.

Tax Implications: Although earning extra income can help you reach goals sooner, it can also put you in a higher tax bracket. And if you're doing something where income tax isn't deducted at the source, you'll need to set aside extra money to help cover that at tax time. On top of that, it could also lead to higher deductions for CPP and EI.

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