Why Your Sources of Income Matter

As a first generation American, I grew up in an immigrant family where working more than one job is the norm. In fact, if you google Caribbean people and multiple jobs, there are sufficient jokes on that topic to lend some credibility to the stereotype.

Watching several people in my family and close friends juggle their side hustles often temps me into seeking additional sources of income. However, what makes me different from most of those who modeled the weekday-weekend job lifestyle for me is that it would be a choice and not a necessity. As a highly educated and well-paid young professional with limited debt and a two-income household, I do not fit the profile of my elders who moved here with limited skills, no education or support system and no knowledge about their right or ability to negotiate their salary. They often had no choice but to pick up a part time job to bridge the gap left by the low-pay of their full time job. But that hasn’t stopped it. Since I’ve graduated college, I’ve worked part time on the side, not once, but twice because there are some real advantages to working 2 jobs. I’ll address my experiences in more detail at a later date. But first I want to talk about the limitations.

Besides being continuously busy, one of the other downsides to relying on a second job to either make ends meet, is the fact that you have officially maxed out your earning potential from a labor perspective.  If you work 5 days a week at your office job, and put 2 days in at the mall, you have no more time and energy to trade for money. At least, not if you want to sleep, have a good family life, and prevent your health from deteriorating.

On the other hand, if you invest in the stock market, write a book, or own rental property, you can increase your sources of income indefinitely, regardless of the time of day. Your options become limitless, save for available capital to invest.

Does that mean you shouldn’t pick up a second gig if you can? Of course not! In fact I encourage you to. But that should be a short-term goal. Perhaps a job you do to build enough capital to invest into building alternative income streams. Or maybe you can do something seasonal so you can indulge during the holidays without dipping into your day-to-day funds. Either way, my point is that a second job should never be a long-term or permanent strategy as it does not build wealth. It is merely a stepping stone to something greater as it creates disposable income to be put to good use.

My goal is to give myself 2 raises in 2017 that are not controlled by my full time employer. I will not accomplish that by get 2 side jobs. The first raise I’m going give myself will be in the form of a rent increase for my current rental property. My other raise will be once I acquire another cash flowing rental property where the income from rent will exceed all operating costs. I’m looking to bring in an extra $500/month.

Why do your sources of income matter? Because not many people can decide they will make an extra $6,000 a year without lengthening their work week. So you have to decide: how much more do you want to work?

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