Financial Health: Get a Second Job

Posted By Mandi Lindner on Mar 23, 2017 | 0 comments

In the last post I talked about setting up your budget so that you can save for retirement, build an emergency savings plan, and pay off debt all at the same time. What I didn’t mention is that when I have a plan I am a very impatient person. And even with my budget designed to do all three magical things at once I wasn’t paying off my debt as quickly as I would like, which led me to…getting a second job.

The real reason I’ve been able to save so much money by not going out as much is because I don’t have as much time to go out since getting a second job. To be honest, I was just getting sick of chipping away at my debt and I wanted to get it over and paid off as quickly as possible. I considered several options until I got a kitten, and then I wanted to find something where I wouldn’t have to be out of the house 12 hours a day. Luckily, it was just around this time last fall that I started following The Penny Hoarder on Facebook and learned about opportunities with Appen Global and Leapforce. Both of the opportunities are very similar, but I ended up going with Appen because they contacted me right away and the on-boarding process only took a few weeks. For comparison, I only heard back from Leapforce about a month ago and their compensation was 25 cents less per hour than Appen is paying me.

So what’s the job? My official job title is “Social Media Evaluator,” and while consultants sign an NDA when they start – so I can’t reveal too much – I’ll share what’s in the job description.

Basically, my task is to help “improve the relevancy of the newsfeed for a leading global social media client.” It’s pretty easy and somewhat mindless once you get the hang of it. You can be contracted for 1, 3, or 4 hours a day for 5 days a week. Appen provides a training program (unpaid) and will test you on your ability to follow the guidelines before you begin work. If you can consistently meet their standards, keep pace, and fulfill your contracted hours you’re good to go. This onboarding process took me a few hours over one week, so don’t worry too much about that part not being paid.

The only caveat to this opportunity is that you’re technically an independent contractor, not an employee. So while the pay is quite good, you must remember to sock away some of it each month for taxes. I didn’t last fall since I was only being paid the last 2 months of the year, but even that small amount affected my 2016 tax returns. My refund was quite a bit less because of this extra work. On the other hand, if you’re doing your taxes and withholdings correctly you don’t want to see a huge refund every year anyway since it means you’re just giving the government an interest-free loan. That money could be put to better use in your own investments over those same 12 months.

Stepping off the tax soap box now. If you’d like to know more about the Appen or Leapforce opportunities, I’ve linked them above. My plan is to take the next two years and pay off all of my debt solely with this income.

What do you think?