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Moonlighting: The Art of Working a Second Job

By: Steve Johnson

3/4/2008 - 79 Comments

Having a second job was more common in the 40’s because of the paranoia of losing your job that was on everyone’s mind after the Great Depression.

Moonlighting is the idea of working a second job for income and security. Today, the idea of a second income is a working spouse.  But, many families are already financially committed to a dual-income.  Both parents need to work just to cover the monthly bills. Moonlighting can provide additional income and security against one parent getting laid off or an unexpected bill.


Moonlighting has its tradeoffs.  Juggling a side job can add stress to a family as time together is reduced. The second job also needs to work around the primary job which is providing the majority of your income.  The key is to manage the second job without damaging your primary job. Sometime the guidelines or schedule of your first job do not allow room for a second job.

After determining that your first job allow room for a second job, you need to decide how much time you can truly spend on your second job. The most likely time to work your second job is right after your first job or at night or on the weekends.  If you need x hours of sleep each day, then you can to figure out what times during the week will work best for your schedule.

Reference Article: Moonlighting: The Art of Working a Second Job While Keeping Your First One


The best part about moonlighting is that it can be a temporary adjustment to your life.  Once you reach your financial goal, you can quit – and it’s always fun to say, “take this job and shove it”.  The experience may also help keep you from getting into a financial position of having to take a second job in the future.

Other Solutions

If you need the money, but don’t like the idea of a second job, than perhaps you’re willing to make other changes or cutbacks to your budget instead of moonlighting.  This may include selling your vehicle or downsizing your house or just cut back on eating out. Whatever you can adjust in your budget maybe your best alternative.


If you need ideas of what to do as a second jobs, you can look at your training in your first job as possible leverage for a second job.  But, maybe you are sick of doing your first job all day and can’t bare the idea of doing it at your second job.  If you just want an easier job, consider the basic services of food and gas that are always needed. You could work in a bakery or at a gas station with little skill and flexible hours.  It’s important to not get overwhelmed by stress, so consider trying a low stress job first – and if you seem to handle it ok, than you can always try another job.  My favorite low stress job would be a dog walker. 

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