I talk a lot about my five jobs here. My schedule is jam packed and I’m juggling a lot of things. Currently, I am avoiding doing data entry for my nonprofit job. Last night I got home from coaching a game at 9:15, showered and had to write two articles for my freelance writing job. This Saturday I’ll spend nine and a half hours catering. There’s pretty much always something to be done in my little corner of the world.
I have searched for full-time employment since graduation and hoped that a few internships would turn into that magical unicorn of paid work, but that hasn’t worked out for me. So now I make all my hard earned cash from a bunch of different places. Today I want to walk through those jobs. Here’s the list: Nonprofit development. This is remote work that I do from home, with a once a week meeting with my boss. I also attend our events around town. Coaching. Definitely my biggest time suck. It’s one of two jobs that requires me to be at a place at a certain time (practices and games) and the commute is 30 minutes each way. I like being outside and getting some exercise as a part of my job description though. Catering. Certainly the one I talk about the most here! Manual labor and customer service all weekend, almost every weekend. It’s not exactly ‘Party Down’ but it’s pretty good hourly pay, free food and I work with a lot of my friends. Freelance Writing. I write personal finance articles for the company Wherewithal. I’m currently on two articles a week. I’ve also written guest blogs on a few other spots around the web, so go read me elsewhere! Social Media Management. Another remote job, I schedule and manage social media platforms for local and statewide companies in Texas. It’s been good experience in the social media world and my boss is a chill lady, but it’s not a passion. When I say to people I have five jobs, they tend to be impressed and or shocked. I personally see it as kind of a failure- I don’t have five full time jobs, I have five kind of weird part time jobs. It’s only because I haven’t been able to find a full time job that I do this. If I had things my way, I’d be chilling at a 9-5, saving 50% of my income and crushing my debt. This way is not ideal but it’s what I’ve got! Five jobs certainly is a lot to manage and my schedule is a huge stressor for me. I’m always thinking about doing something else and I get worried I’m overlooking things. I want to do good work for all my jobs but when I have so many demands on my time, it can get hard. I’ve run into game times conflicting with nonprofit events and catering events. I’ve had a time sensitive, over scheduled day where things have to go perfectly, go wrong. Here’s how I ended up here: I work mainly for the nonprofit. The work is remote and I meet once a week in person with my boss. So, my starting schedule was pretty flexible for more work. Any additional side work I picked up could be remote, could be in a specific place- I wasn’t too limited. Coaching is a seasonal job. I only do it Feb-March. It requires about three hours of my time, Monday- Friday, with games on Sunday’s, at the fields. With this job, my afternoons are now accounted for. I have been catering for the last year and mostly it’s weekend work. Friday- Sunday are our biggest and busiest nights, as most people get married or host extravagant, catered parties on nights when they can nurse their hangovers the following morning. This works perfectly with my two other jobs (coaching and nonprofit) because I cater solely on the weekends. The first thing I ever remember wanting to be was a writer. It was briefly displaced by dreams of being the first female president, an actress and a lawyer, but writing has been a long time love for me. I also have a deep and abiding passion for personal finance. The personal finance blogosphere has changed my life and I’m grateful to it and obsessed with it. In a fit of inspiration, I tried to see if anyone would pay me to write about personal finance and someone did! Enter job number four: freelance writing. Again, it’s remote and the time commitment isn’t too big- however long it takes me to find a topic and write about it. Generally it’s a few hours a week. Finally, my fifth job is social media management for a local company in Austin. I work for a woman who sends me clients and their needs. I schedule their social media content on their chosen sites and using their chosen topics. It’s remote and is usually about twenty hours a month. I don’t have to be anywhere at any time, so it doesn’t conflict with practice times or catering and I just have to get my work done sometime throughout the week. As long as Friday comes and everything’s been posted, it doesn’t matter if I schedule all the posts Monday morning or if I schedule daily.
The key thing to all my side hustles working together is that they are flexible, smaller time commitment work. Most of my jobs are remote so I can do them however and whenever works best. Since my afternoons are currently eaten up by coaching, I do my work in the mornings and evenings. Saturday’s are included in my work week. The first three months of 2015 I have been pretty nonstop with my work. Any extra catering, social media or writing opportunity I’ve had, I take it. I know that once coaching ends and the hot summer hits, two sources of my revenue (coaching and catering) will either dry up or slow considerably. I will not be making the money I am right now all year long. So it was crucial to me to jump on every chance I got to make some cash-dollaz. The more money I made now, the more money I could shovel towards my loans. That way, my total debt burden would be lower in the months my income was lower. That means my minimum payments and the money I lose to interest would be lower as well. Just in case catastrophe strikes, my loans shouldn’t be the huge problem they were last summer. I wanted to push myself now so I can be set up with more of a safety net later. Coming from last summer, where my loans were on deferment and my life was in crisis, I wanted to go into this summer as far from that as possible. If I can’t, for whatever reason, continue making the large payment amounts I’m making right now, the minimum payments are at a place I should be able to meet no matter what scenario happens. That security is wonderful on an intoxicating level! So there you have it folks. My five jobs. Do you have multiple streams of income? How do you schedule your days?
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.