Is burnout inevitable when you work multiple jobs?

Hi Penny Hoarders!

Hope everyone’s having a good Thursday. I’ve been going through a money situation for the past year, and I was wondering how the rest of you handle this kind of thing.

Early last summer, my husband and I realized we needed to replace our bathroom tub/shower and window — they were in really bad shape. The contractor gave us an estimate that was within our budget, but of course nothing ever goes as planned with home renos. The total cost ended up being 50% more than the estimate (also, we had some unexpected medical bills during this time). I was panicking and started looking for a side gig.

I was lucky enough to get a temporary freelance writing gig — it didn’t pay great but at least it helped me make extra payments on the bathroom reno. The company liked my work enough that they kept offering me more assignments, which I was really grateful for. Every dollar went toward our bills.

I tried to work on the weekends and early in the morning before I started my regular job at The Penny Hoarder, but I was falling asleep by 8 p.m. every night. By March, I was burnt out, and my middle school daughter was complaining that she never saw me.

Unfortunately, by telling that company I needed to pull back for three weeks to take a break, I stopped getting offered assignments. I’ve contemplated trying to find additional jobs, but part of me is glad that the gig is over because I was so exhausted all the time.

Wondering if anyone else has had this kind of experience working side gigs and what you do to find balance. How do you juggle family and multiple jobs without burning out?


Wow, great question!

I think it is VERY difficult to juggle multiple jobs when you have children. In fact, I have not been able to do it, and it is why I left a higher paying job that required more of me for a lower paying one with stable hours and was family friendly. So I think that if the side gig is not time-limited and all are on board, that there will be burn out. I know there are some people that thrive on that, but I am not one of them. I may choose to go back to my contracting when the kids are grown and/or gone, but for now we make due.

A bathroom reno is a short-term goal and can be time-limited. Hope it turned out just how you envisioned it!


It’s funny that you should say that you may go back to contracting work when your kids are gone, @kellyfromkeene — I made the decision this morning that I wouldn’t look for an extra gig in July so I could spend my free hours with my daughter. I can make minimum payments for now and re-assess in the fall when she’s busy with middle school activities.


Sounds like you will have a fabulous summer then!! Enjoy.

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Get another job, they said. Multiple income streams, they said. ?

That is until burnout comes knocking at your door! Thanks for bringing this up because I don’t think people really stop to think about how tiring managing multiple jobs is.

I am a huge proponent of side hustles and believe strongly in its role in achieving financial freedom. I am also realizing how easy it is to burn out especially when managing a full-time job and trying to build a life with your friends and family.

It sounds like you took the right approach, including identifying pockets of time that worked for you to do your freelance work. I think that’s step one. One thing I’ve done in the past is to really take stock of the kind of gigs I took on. Admittedly, I’ve taken on lower-paying side gigs in the past and now I am completely rethinking that approach because I’ve learned the clients who nickel and dime tend to be most challenging to work with (read: challenging clients = burn out). In addition, you wound up having to take on more assignments just to hit your income goals.

I have some friends who have been successful in maintaining high-paying side gigs and because they pay well, they can minimize the number of assignments they take on and thus, avoid burn out. In truth, it’s something I am thinking a lot about as I reassess my own strategy.

Curious to hear what others thinks! Tagging in some members who I know have managed side hustles. What say you? @moore.income, @jeremym, @leighofmar, @pinay & @pamgb,


Not sure that I can help much with this situation. I’m 63, live alone, and right now don’t have a steady job to compete with my side gig. I did have a weekend-only position until March of last year and I did the mystery shopping during the week. I am currently looking for a new job and, because of being on disability, can only work part-time. I have done well with the mystery shopping, with June paying out over $800. But I haven’t really had other obligations to keep up with. I do know that even with the side gig being only part-time, I have gotten burnt out with it at times. I’m ready for something else right now so that’s why I’m in the job hunt right now. I wish I had some better solution or advice for you but my situation is a bit different than what you’re dealing with. Best of luck with your decision and best of luck with your life. HUGS!!!


@maryann Thanks for the tag!

I’m the BURNOUT QUEEN! I’ve been following a few freelance writers/solopreneurs and I’ve learned that: 1) I can make money anytime, but I can never get my time back. 2) Get paid what I’m worth. 3) Focus on my talents. 4) Outsource.

In other words, working full time leads to overtime. Working part time leads to full-time hours. Giving so much to my full-time job caused me to lose time and energy for side gigs, hobbies, self-care and quality time with loved ones.

I’m also selling my home and moving to another state this summer. Since I’m burned out, I don’t have a desire to sell on Poshmark or Facebook Marketplace for extra cash. To save time, I might just give away or donate items. Or maybe I’ll convince my niece to sell and she can get a percentage of the sale.

With this transition, I’ll devote more time to expanding my own business and having a work/life balance.


Hi @pamgb, sometimes it helps just to know I’m not alone in the struggle. It sounds like the mystery shopping is going well, but I get it — sometimes I think managing part-time jobs can be just if not more stressful than having a full-time one. I worked part-time when my daughter was an infant, and it was a constant stress wondering if this gig would hold or if I’d need another one. I can’t imagine trying to do that while dealing with disability, too. We might be in different situations, but I appreciate the support. HUGS back!

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@tiffany.connors Thanks for the feedback. Yes, unfortunately, disability doesn’t pay enough to exist on, even though I live in public housing and most of my bills are covered that way. There’s still groceries, insurance, car costs (including gas, which just keeps going up,) and so many other little things. I only get around $1,000 a month and it doesn’t go far enough. I’ve got a few leads on a new job and I’m hoping I can find a weekend job again so that I can still do a few mystery shops during the week. We’ll see what comes along. Hope you find something that suits you and it’s something that you enjoy. Have a wonderful holiday, HUGS!!!


From job burnout, the first to suffer is your family because working takes you away from them.

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I get it about burnout, and if I had children at home, would definitely limit time working. Sometimes, you can do too much juggling. Just last week I had to request fewer hours for a side gig because of burnout, exhaustion. Their idea of part-time and my idea of it differed. Fortunately, the manager said it was okay to pull back, so I’ll keep working it. I do mystery shopping as well but once I started this new gig in April, I pulled back to do those only on weekends. I do have a rental I manage, but that doesn’t require much time, not even monthly really. However, I am single, well over 60, with health issues myself and a sick pup, so I try to limit the stress?.

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I’ve experienced burn out from one job, let alone multiple lol. Being exhausted and stressed out chronically isn’t worth any amount of money, to be honest.

I think it might be cliche to say this but:

Burnout comes from working on something you don’t really believe in.

There’s some things I can do and work on endlessly without being burned out. For example, side projects/businesses I can just work on all day, everyday without feeling burned out or tired. But there’s a lot of stuff (i.e. my full time job) that I can do a standard 40h week and get extraordinarily exhausted from.

I’d say one can minimize burnout with the following:

  1. Being self-aware and stopping doing something you don’t want to do when you’re exhausted. No need to push the exhaustion to burnout. Take time to recover. Our culture focuses on ‘hustle’ / ‘hard work’ and not enough on being self-aware and knowing when to take a step back, so one could take 2 steps forward.

  2. Doing more work that you love doing. Work that you love doing won’t feel like work so you won’t as easily become mentally exhausted.

Great question @tiffany.connors and completely on time! Work life-balance with one job is tough, let alone a side hustle. I just had this conversation with my wife after a friend of mine encouraged me to start Door Dashing. He was unemployed because he quit a job he hated and he shared with me the freedom of gigwork as a Dasher. I actually love it! I just started a week ago this coming Thursday 2/24 and it works great for me.

I have worked 2 jobs most of my life, but now in my second marriage. My wife asked if we could not trade time for money. I understood her gripe, but to your point. If you have a project or goal in mind. It makes sense to set boundaries for the sake of your family. We decided that I would only do 3 days a week and that is our official agreement. My goal is to allocate the extra cash to fund our 6 month emergency fund and add a little to our vacations this summer.

Your family is most important. The renovation will be paid for, but your kids are young once and your marriage hopefully will be forever.