Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Count the Cost

This week is slated to be a better week than last week was.  If all my payments hit on time, we’ll make almost twice the progress of last week, and we have a whole extra week to keep paying down.

I’m beginning to adjust to the new work schedule.  Its rough, and has me extremely tired, but if I can just continue to tough it out, then it will speed our process of eliminating credit card debt.  But how much will it speed the process?  And at what cost?

One thing that I didn’t take into account with the extra jobs was extra expense.  I immediately assumed that all monies earned could go directly against the debt, which is, in fact, false.  Due to our schedules being so packed, we are spending more on food because we are eating out more.  We are also spending more on gas (mainly me, since my wife’s second job is on the way to her first), but these are factors I hadn’t considered with the extra job.

So instead of putting an extra $800 or so a month against debt, I’m only able to contribute about $600 a month.  That’s $150 per week, for an extra 28 hours of work.  That means that I’m making less than $5.50 per hour of work to get debt paid down.  I’m not sure that it is worth it.  Given the amount of energy it takes to hold down the second job, I know that my performance at my primary job isn’t quite what it was before the second job.

So, if you were in my situation, what would you do?  Would you keep the job, since it is decreasing my debt, even at a slow pace, or would you turn in your notice, and be done with it?


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  2. I wouldn't do it. But then again, you are probably half my age, or at least ten years younger. It is admirable what you are doing. I think you should just do it for as long as you can without burning yourself out. It is true that working so much ends up costing more. Have you also considered your tax bracket? If you've bumped yourself up into a higher category that won't be any good. I'd probably open Excel and really calculate everything down to the penny and see if it's really worth it. Let us know what you decide to do!

  3. I understand what you're trying to do and commend your ability to do it. There is a big difference in working harder and working smarter. The matter of a tax bracket jump might be reaching since regardless of what you make you'll be taxed on it. You need to find a balance between work and life though. I think if you're overdoing it and the costs are going up, it might be hindering your progress.

    I was under the impression both of you were working at paying off the debt just fine before these second jobs came about. Your cars are also rolling along with monthly payments. I don't know what you pay per month for your cars, but it is eating into the speed you can pay off your other debt. You can only do what works best for you though. If you're feeling like you're working so much that your primary job might be in jeopardy, you need to adjust.

  4. Is it possible for you to get a second job that is on your way home from work or closer to home so you aren't going so far out of your way? Also, can you cut your food expense by eating out less and packing lunch/dinner instead? I would think that a sandwich or two and some fruit would help cut the eating expense. Since you are making progress (which is better than no progress at all), keep with it as long as you can. That's what I would do in your situation.