Ben­e­fit to a bit on side

Moon­light­ing is not as rare as you might think, and it can pro­vide some real ben­e­fits

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

MORE than 760,000 Australians work a sec­ond job. That’s roughly the same num­ber as the to­tal Australians un­em­ployed.

And the num­ber of peo­ple moon­light­ing in a sec­ond job has been grow­ing at a faster rate than the growth in pri­mary jobs.

This phe­nom­e­non is a func­tion of many fam­i­lies need­ing to sup­ple­ment their pri­mary in­come be­cause of low wage growth, the boom in flex­i­ble jobs as part of the “shar­ing” econ­omy and the ease in start­ing your own part- time dig­i­tal busi­ness.

Just think about the friends and fam­ily driv­ing an Uber for ex­tra cash, or de­liv­er­ing food or sell­ing goods on­line. That Aus­tralian en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit and pas­sion for hard work is alive as well.

When we were rais­ing four young kids, money was al­ways tight. We de­cided from the start that Libby would be the home­maker ded­i­cated to the kids and David the bread­win­ner. We soon re­alised it was tough to raise a fam­ily on one in­come and we had to find ex­tra cash.

That was our de­ci­sion and it’s not for every­one.

There is no right or wrong in the mix­ing of work and home du­ties in a re­la­tion­ship, it’s up to each cou­ple.

While work­ing for The Aus­tralian, David was also the Aus­tralian colum­nist for The Economist in Lon­don. He pro­vided fi­nance re­ports for ra­dio break­fast shows and hosted a nightly ra­dio in­vest­ment pro­gram while work­ing at other publi­ca­tions.

That ex­tra in­come was not only in­valu­able to bal­anc­ing the fam­ily bud­get but also pro­vided a train­ing ground to es­tab­lish our fu­ture fam­ily busi­nesses.

Start­ing a busi­ness part- time is the first and most se­cure route to turn­ing that dream of be­com­ing your own boss into a re­al­ity. It means en­trepreneurs can get a taste with­out the sink or swim risks of div­ing in with big upfront costs to sus­tain.

The al­ter­na­tive is the riskier strat­egy of start­ing a busi­ness full- time and strug­gling to meet the over­heads when in­come is still volatile. Mis­takes are a lot more costly.

In ef­fect, moon­light­ing in a part- time ven­ture is pro­vid­ing the busi­ness with seed fund­ing to get started. The bank man­ager will be com­forted by the fact that all those early mis­takes were made with your money rather than theirs.

While the ex­tra cash from ei­ther a sec­ond job, or a busi­ness on the side, can be wel­come, don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the com­mit­ment and the dis­ci­pline you need to make it work.


Tell them you have an­other job and they may be more willing to work with your sched­ule. Re­mem­ber, it is im­por­tant you leave enough time for your fam­ily as well as for pe­ri­ods of rest. The worst feel­ing in the world is get­ting “burnt out.”


Gen­er­ally speak­ing, the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple who take on a sec­ond po­si­tion do so be­cause they have fi­nan­cial goals they are try­ing to reach. Maybe you are sav­ing for a home and know a sec­ond job can help you reach this goal sooner.

Or, an ad­di­tional po­si­tion may help you quickly pay off debt. Re­mem­ber­ing your em­ploy­ment is only tem­po­rary will make the sit­u­a­tion much more bear­able.


Rather than opt for a po­si­tion sim­i­lar to your pri­mary job, look for some­thing that will spice things up a bit. Even if the job does not ap­pear ex­cit­ing on the sur­face, a change in scenery can make things eas­ier on you.


If your pri­mary job re­quires you to work 9- 5, you need to find a po­si­tion that can be sched­uled around this.

Maybe you could work 6- 10 in the even­ing? Or on the week­end? Be open to all pos­si­bil­i­ties, but again, don’t choose a set- up that will de­stroy your life­style.

Illustration: TERRY PONTIKOS

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