Downsize and Cut Costs, or Work at a Second Job?

If you had limited income, would you downsize and cut costs, or work at a second job?

As modern Americans, we are the least qualified of all societies in the world to go down a notch (or many notches) in our acquired lifestyle. We have been spending more than we make for several decades. The 50’s are probably the last period when people tried to live within their means. We don’t even have small farmers any longer, the keepers of the healthy way of living.

But now we may need to start paying the piper: these days, we must take a hard look at where our money’s going, especially if we’re one of those sitting on less money today, compared to how things were just a few years ago.

downsize, cut costs, work at a second job
Image by Little People

Would You Work At A Second Job?

Ron Dicker of CNN Living published an interesting article about office workers (most of them professionals with college degrees) who have had to combine two jobs in one, literally. He says: “Brian, a 30-something salesman from New York City, uses bathroom breaks to handle the demands of his second job.” Imagine keeping up with a demanding job in the restroom, a feat only a Blackberry carrier can do!

We would love to hear from our readers about their own or some friend’s experience with (or penchant for) successfully juggling two jobs in one day at the same place of work. Is this ethical? No, it’s not. But it’s pretty common. Someone pulling this off, especially during actual work hours, is shortchanging his or her employer. This guy Brian could live very well on his regular job ($80,000 a year), but chose to maintain a lavish lifestyle that demands a lot more cash.

If you are lucky enough to have a good paying job and the future looks solid for the next 12 months, you should dedicate your heart and soul to it. Brian is running the enormous risk of being fired if discovered, thereby losing most of his income. There is nothing wrong, however, with making extra income with a part time job, on your own time. I am proud to be one of these professionals who works double time handling more than one job. A teacher’s pay doesn’t go very far, and what better place to work than on the Web as a freelance writer.

Will You Downsize or Cut Costs Instead?

As the title of this incendiary piece implies, we have lived a life of deceit by believing that our houses would keep appreciating, and that going into debt was being as patriotic as saluting the flag. And yet, judging by the crowds at the mall and in expensive eateries, many of us refuse to live more frugally (at least in my neck of the woods, South Texas).

Reality has not yet hit people who have a job and who can still afford to pay the mortgage. If this economic recession lasts more than 12 months, many of us will eventually suffer the urgent need to cut down on our expenses.

Many practical articles on the subject of saving have been written, and may now come in handy!

Now if you can afford a $9,000 hover chair for some special occasion, our advice here won’t be necessary. Luxury shoppers won’t feel cramped by the economic crisis, but a major slice of the American population will likely be affected this year, during this deep recession. We have to learn very quickly how to adjust our habitual lifestyle downwards. From dining out to spending $40 to watch a movie at the theater, middle-class Americans are going to have to downsize (maybe these restaurant discounts will help!). Now let’s hope that our new government will do the same.

11 thoughts on “Downsize and Cut Costs, or Work at a Second Job?”

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  2. I do both. I seriously cut my spending AND picked up a second job (one that I could work from home in the evenings). I was able to pay off almost $5,000 in credit card debt last year. This year, I’m concentrating on building up savings and then when I’m out of school (finally) I’m going to work on that pesky $56,000 in student loan debt (at a whopping 8.25% interest rate!) Who knows how long I’ll continue to work 50+ hours per week—it definitely cuts into the social life, that’s for sure! But being out of debt sounds too fabulous not to do everything in my power to get there.

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  4. “We don’t even have small farmers any longer, the keepers of the healthy way of living.” We do, in fact, still have small farmers. Not nearly as many as we used to, but they do exist, and thank goodness for that!

    I am cutting costs and working on raising income. Nothing is sacred, that’s for sure!

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