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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?

I'm Tiffany Connors, and I've been a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder since 2018. Even though I work for The Penny Hoarder, all of the comments, reviews, and opinions I express on this website are all my own.

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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!

Last edited by KellyFromKeene

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,

Last edited by Maryann

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.

Last edited by PiNaY

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!

@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!!!

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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