Low Paying Part Time Jobs are Worth More Than You Think

Posted by Adrienne on July 9, 2012

Something that is often recommended to people who are in debt is to get a part-time job. Many disregard this advice as not being worth their time. The thinking is “I make $40 an hour at my regular job. It’s not worth my time to get a part-time job for $10”. I would argue that it often is worth your time and here is why.

photo source: andjohan

Additional Money is Different

If you’re in debt (or struggling to save) most of your monthly income is already going somewhere. If you’ve already made changes in your life to lower your spending then the bulk of your money is probably going to things like housing, food and transportation. So most of the money you bring home from your regular job is already budgeted somewhere. Money you earn from an additional job isn’t earmarked for some cost. You can use all of it to pay off debt (or save). This makes it much more valuable than you probably thought.

This is not to say you shouldn’t try to get paid well for your part-time work. If you can that’s great and it will accelerate your progress even further. I would just suggest you not overlook those lower paying jobs. If you’re in a tight budget they can be worth more than you think.

Ego gets in the way

I think often what keeps higher paid people from taking lower paid part-time work is our egos. We’re worth more! Instead I suggest you think of it this way. “I’m a smart person who understands the math behind this part-time work and it will get me out of debt that much faster. Woo-hoo!”

Do the Math

Let’s assume our $40/hour person above works 160 hours a month and the most they’ve been able to put to paying off their debt is $320 each month. That comes down to $2/hour for debt repayment. What if they then got that $10/hour job part-time? Even if they only bring down $8/hour after filing taxes that is 4x as much debt repayment per hour as their regular job! So every hour spent working at the additional lower paying job pays off four times as much debt as working at the regular job.

If they’re working an additional 40 hours per month that is another $320 in debt repayment. Working a lower paying part-time job allows them to DOUBLE the amount of debt repayment.

What if they were only paying $160/month toward their debt? Then the lower paying part-time job allows them to TRIPPLE their debt repayment.

Take a few minutes and figure out what your debt repayment per hour is (monthly debt repayment divided by monthly hours worked). It’s pretty low right? Much lower than you probably thought a few minutes ago. Maybe that part-time job isn’t looking so bad right now.

Set a Time Frame

I don’t suggest working a billion hours forever. Working those extra hours on top of a full-time job is tough. Do the math and figure out how long you’ll need to work extra hours. Having an end date in mind can make things not feel so hard. Good luck!

Part Time Income Generating Ideas

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Comments to Low Paying Part Time Jobs are Worth More Than You Think

  1. It all depends on your situation but could be worth considering. Debt really is a form of bondage when you consider the time, stress, and resources it takes from us. That’s why I’m very cautious to take it on.


  2. Liked your point on ego. I once had $40K in debt and those extra part time, low paying jobs is what helped me pay it off in 3 years.

    Katie Christianson

  3. Another savings is that free time tends to cost money. Well, it depends on what you do with your free time… but short of shopping online or something it’s hard to spend money when you are at work. On the other hand, if you usually make dinner but opt to eat out because you are too busy with your part time job, that’s a consideration.


  4. I’m currently working a part time job on the side because we’re trying to build up our reserves since I want to stop working when we have kids to stay with them when they’re young.


  5. I do a job that reward me base on my performance as a part-time job…


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