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Am I Close to the Point Where I Just Need to Earn More?

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I received a comment from a visitor:

“I looked through your income. You definitely need to work on that. I see the problem as income, not expenditures here as you’ve reached a point where you can’t cut many more expenses out and still have a huge debt to pay off.”

With taking a look at how much we’ve spent, I think this visitor has a valid point. When you take away what we are spending as a cost of our debt (the finance charges and interest expense – things I can’t do much about until they are paid off) we are spending around $2,186 a month for our family of three on “living expenses.”

There is spending that can be reduced, such as groceries and dining. I know there are people that skip all dining and can pay very little to feed large families. Perhaps we just can’t get to that point because we lack time. Often, the meals out are from the local fast food place because we need something fast and we don’t buy many regular groceries that are fast to make.

The cigarettes of course can go, and I am still getting ready for that. I have a stressful event coming up – and I am waiting until after that is over to give quitting my best shot.

I guess after looking at our spending, we are overall doing quite well (I believe) for our family size. There probably isn’t much more we could cut before we drastically reduce our quality of life. I already buy most things used or cheap, when possible, so the only way to reduce expenses like that would be to not purchase things at all.

As this visitor said, that means that we are close to the point where we just need to earn more income. I’ve thought about this greatly, and I think I have a solution that will help.

What I am doing right now is working three jobs, each with different pay. My highest paying job is my full-time job. With working the three jobs, I am working over 40 hours a week and I’m getting pretty burnt out. My house is also clutter-central because I lack the time to do anything about it. With a 4-year old in the house, it seems as though when I clean one room – the next one is dirty. I’m sure those out there with little ones in the house can relate to that! LOL!

What I am going to do is quit all of my jobs except for my full-time job. I am going to further my education so I can earn more and I am going to put all of my effort into working my way up with the company. It’s a great place to work and if I mess it up because the other smaller jobs are pulling at me I don’t know if I could forgive myself for that. If they need someone to work extra hours – I need to be able to say yes. I want to be the worker they can always count on to do what needs to be done. That is a trait that has always made me an asset to employers.

Another avenue I think I need to really look into is earning passive income. But for some reason when I think of passive income I think “scam”. Probably because it’s money you earn for doing very little. Perhaps I will look into it more and see if anything could work for me.

I have a lot of thinking/researching to do, and I have to summon up the courage to quit two jobs this week. Wish me luck!


14 Comments

  • Reply 2¢ Worth |

    Personally, I don’t think you should quit the jobs right now – unless the amount you make from there is so small that it won’t significantly change your monthly cash flow. From your posts on monthly expenses, you’re able to pay off about $1,200 – $1,500 per month – any loss of income will reduce that, and with the total still at $26,000+, it’s going to take anywhere from 15 – 18 months to close it off.

    Instead, look around if you can find something else which can substitute – either pays better so you can do one instead of two add-on jobs, or pays similar but is easier to handle.

    Furthering your education sounds good, but check out what it’s going to cost. You don’t want to mess up the good going so far, by cutting your income and adding expenses simultaneously.

    Best wishes.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Hi 2 Cents,

    Luckily, furthering my education will be reimbursed 100% by my employer once I finish the program. I do have to shell out the money myself first, but they are a great company to work for and they will reimburse me. I also know that I will receive a nice raise once that program is completed. That raise will completely cover the income I earn from my one part time job and a part of the second.

    The problem is…I just don’t have the time to work three jobs, study and take care of my son and household. I’m getting burnt out and I’m not even studying right now.

    I guess I am looking at it from the viewpoint of what will increase my future wages. Is the income hit of around $150/month (with quitting the part time jobs) worth it to try to make more later?

  • Reply Kim L. |

    For only $150 a month, I think it makes a lot of sense to go with your plan. You seem to have a very clear vision of what you want your future to be and I think that’s wonderful. Go for it!

  • Reply Kira |

    Wow, yeah, for $150 a month I wouldn’t have started the other jobs in the first place! =) Getting more education will pay off a lot more than the side jobs will now – and for the rest of your life.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Kim L – with furthering my education, I could possibly own my own business one day too 😉

    Kira – no, I wouldn’t have started them either. But, I had the two jobs before my current full-time job. I find it difficult to say “I quit” so I haven’t.

    The $150/month is what I consider the part-time jobs to be giving me in terms of guaranteed extra income per month. Some months it could be up to $350/month if the one job piles on the work (which thankfully hasn’t happened recently).

  • Reply mapgirl |

    hm. I recently asked myself this question too. I am not living as frugally as I could be, so I ask myself how best to increase my income. It’s tough because I recognize that I actually could afford my life if I wanted to economize. It’s an endless struggle.

    Good luck with trying to get yourself through school and internal promotions. That’s a really good strategy. Having the extra time from getting rid of your extra jobs will give you the flexibility to be a go-to person in the office. I know that helped me out a lot when I was willing to put in longer hours. (Actually, I haven’t stopped.)

  • Reply Maria |

    I feel your pain. I dont know how you do it with a small child, etc… I have a 20 month old and of course I could TRY to get a part time job but I would be missing out on his baby years, so for me it is just about reducing my expenses and trying to ride it out!

    Good luck!

  • Reply Kate |

    I always believe employees should take advantage of employer-paid education. I got my undergraduate degree as a single mom of four, while working full-time. All I paid for was parking. 10 years and another employer later, I got a master’s degree – again paid for by my employer. Go for it – you’ll be glad you did.

  • Reply Dawn |

    Follow your gut! You have a sound, well thought out plan. In my opinion taking a chance is the best way to make things better, wheter its income or family time. Doing nothing different is not likely to change your life! As for the debt reduction, you are doing awesome at paying off as much as you can each month, soon hopefully you will pay off an account and open up that money to put elsewhere. So, follow your gut and you will come out on top!!!

  • Reply 2¢ Worth |

    Yeah – $150 is too small an amount to make a significant dent. You did mention finding it difficult to say “I quit”, especially since these came before your full time job – but you can make it a positive experience for both, give them enough time to find a replacement. Much better to part on good terms rather than have it snap some day.

    About the paying first for education and getting it reimbursed later – all going well, that’s ok – but what if they hit a bad patch? While in general getting additional education can pay off, that’s long term – whereas you will have a short term hit. If it’s a sizeable commitment upfront or even monthly until you finish and get it back, think it through.

    Best wishes

  • Reply Tom |

    The one thing in your post that jumped out at me was that you mentioned that the cigarettes can go. I know that in my case it would save a lot of money to do that. Our household has three smokers and after doing the math, cold turkey sounds really good.

    I also understand about the “stressful events”, though. Quitting two jobs in one week can be stressful enough, though I’m sure you were talking about a seperate event.

    I’m definetly not at the income level (nor the debt level) you’re at, but it’s nice that we don’t “have to” have two incomes to survive. I hope that the passive income from your web sites more than makes up for those part-time jobs!

    Good Luck!

  • Reply Lazy Man and Money |

    I have heard of people quiting smoking right away after hypnotherapy. I know it sounds like a scam or something, but I think it’s worth exploring. I’d make sure that I’d get good references and that the person hypnotizing me would make me sick to take a puff (it’s their “big whamy” I guess). If you can smoke after the session, he should refund your money. If it works, you’ll have just saved a large amount of money.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Tom – yeah, the cigarettes can go for me. I do keep it as frugal as I can with it. I roll my own and my cost per month ($25-40) is for over a pack a day smoker. If you try quitting, blog about it, okay?

    Lazy Man – I have heard about hypnotherapy, but haven’t talked to anyone that it has worked for. It’s sort of scary to do something like that, though. I thought about trying acupuncture and actually got some literature about it. Probably in the end I’m just a cold turkey…go through the withdrawals…type of person. I just wish I could lock myself up for a few days after quitting LOL.

So, what do you think ?