Money Mic: I Choose to Juggle Three Jobs—and Love It


businessmanjugglejobsIn our Money Mic series, we hand over the podium to people with controversial views about money. These are their views, not ours, but we welcome your responses.

In his last essay for LearnVest, Sean shared his master plan for paying off a large chunk of his home loan in “How I Paid $100,000 Off My Mortgage in Under 2 Years.” Today, he talks about how income from two side gigs is helping him to further put a dent in his mortgage—and why he relishes every moment of his jam-packed work life.

It’s 5 A.M. And although the sun hasn’t yet risen, I’ve already started my workday. Around this time, you’ll usually find me typing away on my laptop because mornings are when I’m most productive.

Why am I up at the crack of dawn when I could be catching some much-needed shut-eye? It’s because I have three jobs—and not because I have to, but because I want to.

My regular nine-to-five has me working as a pension analyst at a global pension and benefits consulting firm, where I make about $49,000 a year. But I also work two side jobs: I have a part-time, weekend position as a meat-department clerk at a supermarket, and I write freelance articles about finance at night and on weekends.

My family and friends often ask me why I choose to work three jobs when many people struggle just to keep up with the hectic pace of one—especially since my salary can sustain my current lifestyle. But I’ve always had a strong work ethic, plus I have financial goals that won’t happen on their own. And my extra income helps me form a game plan to achieve them.

Why Having Three Jobs Is Worth It (Really!)

One of the goals I’m working toward is to pay off my mortgage by age 31—and that’s only about three years away. As such, I route much of my side-job income directly toward paying down that loan, and at the rate I’m going, I expect to meet my timeline.

I’m able to do this thanks to a couple of moves I’ve made. For starters, I rent the main floor of my house for $1,550 per month, while I live in the basement. And since I know that the pay from my supermarket job is a reliable source of income, I increased my mortgage payment to include that amount.

Last year, I earned $10,000 from my supermarket job, and brought in an additional $20,000 from my freelance writing—making it my most successful year to date.

RELATED: 5 Money Lessons I Learned From Part-Time Jobs

  • sallybrown12

    Good for you! Good luck. It will be worth it. I work a full time and part time job and I just became a registered yoga teacher and hope to teach a few times per month so I’ll have 3 jobs too! My goals are less ambitious than yours, I’m currently saving for my next car so I can pay cash for it and then my goal will be my mortgage, I just hope to have it paid off in the next 10-15 years.

  • Mark Ugolini

    Nicely done, Sir! Get it!

  • Donna

    ” And if I can still manage to find time to cook dinner and spend time with loved ones, you can make it work too.” You mean as long as my personal life is like yours: no SO and no kids. Big caveat there.

    • tokenadult

      I don’t think that is fair, because he makes that clear that is part of what enables him to do this. And as someone who has worked three jobs while single and while married, I would actually say it was easier while married. With a partner, you can cook dinner together, have those times in between jobs to connect, etc. When single, you don’t see anyone unless you plan a social occasion, which can be difficult to do constantly ahead of time.

  • The Domestic Administrator

    Good job. I worked three jobs until I was in my late 30s. At first it was because I was in debt. Then I got out of debt and was able to save the maximum pre-tax. I still didn’t make as much as high-end professionals in one job and I was tired but It was worth it now that I am in my 50s. I also see the writer has a variety of skillsets which only improves future chances of career mobility if necessary.

  • Ansley

    The author would not have to work 3 jobs to pay down their mortgage quickly if they didn’t have such a big mortgage compared to their full-time job. Live within your means and you can have a social life!

    • Kary

      The author clearly states that they can afford their lifestyle with the salary they make at their 9-5. He has made an active decision to tackle financial goals faster than the obligatory payment period. Again, it’s offered as another perspective. No need to be negative. FYI, he also says he makes time for his social life with loved ones.

      • Ansley

        Thanks for your inpute Kary. Maybe we have differing views on what “afford” and “social life” mean.

    • Margaret

      He did mention that he lives in the basement and rents out the top floor for $1500/month. A 30-year fixed $425K mortgage at 5% (going rate) amounts to a payment of about $2300/month. The remaining $800 on the payment is well within the means of a $50K salary.

      • a_s_a

        I have excellent credit, a decent down payment, and a $50K salary, but I would never get approved for a mortgage that large. And also, I wouldn’t want it because I would not be able to afford the payments on my own, just as the author isn’t. I think this author left out some details…

  • Dani

    This is super motivating. I am in my twenties and work three jobs for various reasons. It not only keeps me busy while my SO works night shifts but is also allowing us to save money for our
    Travel dreams and to plan for an eventual retirement. It’s
    Great to hear that this lifestyle is shared by others.

  • flours

    The mortgage requirements must be very different in Canada, or did I misread – a $425,000 mortgage on a $49,000 base salary with the best year being $79,000…I can’t imagine such a large mortgage on that salary…I think it would eat at my nerves

    • a_s_a

      That’s what I thought.

    • Allie

      I was thinking along the same lines- Bless Canada, if this author’s salary allowed him a $425k mortgage! Also wondering what the down payment was for the house. Hope to hear back from the author of this piece.

      • Monica

        Depending on where in Canada that’s completely reasonable. Especially in Alberta, Ontario & BC where the cost of living is that ridiculous. $400k house where I live would buy a very modest house or a house on the edge of town (usually the ghetto).

  • lskn

    I had three jobs in my early 30s and also loved it. Saved a lot of money. But the human body can exist on 5 hours of sleep (or less) per night for only so long. The bottom fell out for me when I got sick with a massive ear infection that took 3 months to heal because my body was so worn down by lack of sleep. Remember, good health is priceless and depriving yourself of sleep to earn money may just result in you spending that money on medical bills.

  • Mara

    Cool! I am no the same boat and I don’t mind it. First it was to pay debt which is done..then it was to save money to pay cash for a car and cash flow our wedding. The three jobs have actually being a blessing passed the income part…great to get paid for exercising and changing people’s lives in the process…I would do it for free considering I get my own fitness classes and gym membership with no out of pocket money. Tutoring is great too because I miss teaching and when I tutor privately it really pays off seeing someone improve right in front of your eyes. I also love my regular job and having everything else going on makes me be even more productive at it.
    Having a variety of income sources makes me think that if anything were to happen I will always have a way to make $$…I can decide on the workload as my life situation and goals change and one of the biggest perks is that when I am not “working” I am spending quality time with my husband or close friends…I found the busier you are the more appreciative you become with your close ones and the less you sweat the small stuff. no debt, quality living, extra money and a tuneable workload = freedom to me :)

  • Bunny

    What I found odd is that he is earning so little from his primary job. In a city where the housing costs are clearly not cheap, which is usually a good indicator for the general cost of living in an area, it seems like his job should command a higher salary. He sounds like a very smart young man, and I’m guessing that he’s well educated. Are there no jobs in Toronto that would pay considerably more for someone with his skill set? If he were making $15,000 more at his day job he could give up the grocery clerking and have more time for his writing – or for a relationship. Or to get more sleep, because as another poster said, you can’t get by on so few hours of sleep indefinitely without paying a price with your health.

  • Jack Bowie

    Not impressed at all except at the lack of insight. But there’s hope someday such insight might prevail. In the meantime consider learning not to pos such tiresome, unoriginal, uninspiring content.

  • cookie

    Wow you’re amazing! However, it is worth paying off your mortgage off so soon because for most Americans the mortgage interest helps them lower their tax bracket. Therefore, I really think it is important to look at every person’s situation. Sometimes, it may not be worth it to pay off too soon. Talk to your CPA and see what is the best situation for you.

  • Roger powell

    Cool! As a older gay man! I work at a perfume store, and macys women department. I also, do make up on the side. Here and there I do drag and can earn 290 a night!!

  • Ms.littlemakeup

    How did you fill out a W-2 form for all three jobs? I mean that is truly amazing because I known most people to have only two but, three seems to be very interesting. I just so curious to figure out how the tax-deduction for all three jobs works.