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February 19, 2014
Is Your Career Keeping You Financially Afloat?
 
It can be incredibly challenging to support yourself and your family on one, or even two salaries. This leads many Americans to work both a full-time and a part-time job. People may work in an office Monday through Friday, then work a few nights per week or on weekends, too.

Though this will help you make ends meet, it can be very difficult to be able to balance all of this work plus any sort of personal life outside of work. Just how many people are working more than full-time?

A study conducted by Rasmussen Reports found that 40 percent of Americans work more than 40 hours per week and 9 percent are working more than 50 hours per week.

How to Balance Your Life When Working Multiple Jobs
Whether you work two separate jobs or work one job with loads of hours, maintaining a work/life balance is hard.

First, ask yourself if you really need to be putting in all these hours or if there is some other way to find money when there isn't enough.

Could you possibly work from home in addition to your office job? What about downsizing your home or car? You could consider selling some of your items that you no longer have a use for. The more you can simplify your life, the less money you'll need to bring in each month.

If there's just no way around working two jobs, it's time to find some balance in your life so you're not simply slaving away at your jobs.

Among the ways to do that:
  • Set a schedule. If possible, allow yourself one day off per week to rest and rejuvenate. Create time in your day to take breaks, call your loved ones, and just breathe. Everyone gets a lunch hour — enjoy yours to the fullest by taking a walk outside, listening to your favorite band in your car, or socializing with friends.
  • Eliminate distractions. The time you have with your family is precious. Turn off the television and computer and enjoy cooking a meal with your spouse or chasing your kids in the backyard. Quality time is more important than quantity, especially if your time is limited.
  • Give yourself something to look forward to. Each week, plan something that you can look forward to. Whether it's watching a baseball game on TV, having an at-home date night with your spouse, or going to happy hour with friends, allow yourself this time to recharge and have fun. All work and no play makes for a pretty boring life!
  • Get enough rest and eat healthy. When working two jobs, it's easy to want to rely on a diet of fast food and caffeine, but that's actually going to have the opposite effect on you than you want. Focus on eating healthy meals that give you sustainable energy (high fiber, high protein foods) and making sure to get a full night's rest each night. If you're relying on sleeping pills to get you to sleep and coffee to wake you up, you're going to burn out rather quickly.
Unfortunately, working more than 40 hours per week is a necessity for some people. If this is you, try to find ways to enjoy your life and have fun as often as you can.

Look for ways to reduce your monthly expenses long-term so you won't have to work so much in the future.

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Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ with her husband and two daughters. She's passionate about writing, traveling, cooking and spending time with her family. Her writing topics include food and nutrition, travel, personal finance and small business. Sites she writes for include ripoffreport.com and those discussing college degrees.
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