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News Article

Do you work a second job to make ends meet?

Published 12 January 2015 by

You’re in good company if you do, as recent research* carried out for us has found that a third of 18 to 24 year olds hold down a second job, and a third of these said they did so just to survive financially. It’s not just the younger generation though - one in six adults across the UK have more than one job to help give their finances a boost.

Working all hours

According to the research, a third of second job-holders say they have an additional income so they can make sure all their costs are covered. Meanwhile, half claim that they work two jobs so they can make some extra spending money. Only 15% of the respondents say they have more than one career simply because they enjoy it.

The most popular second job choice is freelancing (17%), which may suggest that people are keen to put their already-established skills to profitable use. Freelancing is particularly popular among older respondents.

Another popular second job is bar work, while admin, retail and cleaning round off the top five

Stretched expenses

New research released by the Office for National Statistics has found that in 2013, the average UK household paid £517 a week covering all their outgoings – everything from their rent or mortgage to trips to the cinema and TV packages.

The largest chunk of families’ spending was taken up by the essentials, like housing, energy bills and fuel, as well as transport. Ensuring they have the money they need for these essential expenses may explain why people are spending less on leisure activities like meals out and weekend breaks, and more on entertainment they can enjoy at home, like TV subscription packages.

It might also provide a clue into why one in six have opted to work a second job. While there are those who simply enjoy it, the majority work additional hours either to make some extra cash or so that they have enough money to cover their most important bills.

Budget know-how

While working an extra job is one way to give yourself a better chance of covering your costs, another is budgeting. And the great thing about this is that you don’t have to work extra hours or miss out on spending time with your friends and family.

By carefully planning everything, you know how much of your income you need to keep safe to pay for your most important bills, and how much you’re free to spend.

And if you work a second job, a budget can be even more useful, as having more than one income on top of multiple outgoings can be hard to juggle otherwise.

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 21st November and 28th November 2014, of whom 636 were Scottish residents.