Millions of people in the UK are taking on a second job to supplement their income. But at what cost?
Research this week confirms three million people in the UK have, in the last six months, taken on a second job in order to have more security at home, enabling them to cover their monthly costs. According to Direct Line Home Insurance this amounts to 6% of the country. The report also confirms 1.5 million people across the UK (4% of the population) have launched their own side line business to help supplement the income they receive from their primary job.
Salaries stay stuck in the UK
As news last week confirmed UK salaries were dropping quicker than anywhere else in Europe, it’s not surprising people have been feeling the pinch. What I think is remarkably impressive, is that rather than sitting and waiting for the situation to improve on its own, many of us have done something about it.
Even within ClearDebt we have many staff who have decided to embark on a side line/freelance business of their own. Amongst our team of 150 staff, we have a photographer, sports writer and artist.
It seems that whilst many of us are fully committed to our daytime jobs, we realise the key to financial security is utilising personal skills with business sense to offset the missing areas of income.
According to the Direct Line research, this “extra work” generates an average of £2,500 extra a year. This is a hefty sum for much of the nation who have been experiencing salary freezes during the recession.
But is it worth it?
Whilst the money is needed – and self assertion being a much better approach than going further into debt, I ask, at what price are we giving up the work life balance we’ve strived so long to achieve?
In the 1990s the emphasis on burning the midnight oil at the office was the standard expectation from many employers. Over time, a reasonable work life balance has become acceptable where employers appreciate and acknowledge how this contributes positively to performance in the office.
But with so many people now taking on a second job to make ends meet, it seems the scales are tipped once more.
How long will it be before the stress of managing both careers takes its toll?
Does a second job affect your work life balance?
Around 55% of people running a side line business, do so in the evenings after their normal day is complete. A further 39% admit to working their second job when the family have gone to bed as well as on the weekend.
Making the connection between family stress, incoming bills and salaries is something I am sure we’re all very aware of – so of course a second income can help make a difference, not only financially but also mentally – knowing you are able to contribute more to the household income and relieve some pressure. [polldaddy poll=7183378 align=right]
But at what price? Are we so consumed with paying the bills and covering our monthly costs that fear of not keeping our heads above water has overpowered all other social skills?
If you’ve taken a second job or launched a side line business, please vote in our poll and comment below to let us know how it affects your family work/life balance and where you think it’s going to take you in the future.