(Before reading the post, read the title again but this time, sing it to Samantha Fox’s “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)”. Makes it better, right?)
The Single Saver recently wrote a post that discussed why single people need a side hustle. I totally agree with her. Having that extra income does make numerous situations facing single people significantly easier. But I need to add that married people need a side hustle, too.
As one half of a married couple, I’m the first one to admit that married people, overall, have an easier time financially. If both partners are employed, that’s double the income which means more money to cover the bills that single people generally have to absorb on their own. And, if the couple can manage to avoid the lifestyle creep that tends to happen with increased income, it is possible for a family to live on one income and save the other (this hasn’t happened in my house but from what I understand, it can happen). These certainly give a married couple a significant benefit over a single person.
However, married couples do face similar challenges of single people. Married couples still need to pay bills and eat and save. We still need to pay a mortgage or rent. We still have pets and kids to take care of (well, some of us do). But even more than that, having side hustles helps married couples in a number of ways:
- Debt repayment. Two people sometimes means double the debt, either individual debt that’s brought into a relationship or debt that was accumulated together. In my relationship, we had both. We each entered the marriage with our own debt and then accumulated even more together. The fact that both of us had part-time jobs enabled us to pay down our individual and collective debt that much faster.
- Disposable income. At the beginning of our marriage, and for many years afterwards, we had very little income to go around. Almost everything we earned went straight to our debt repayment as well as our normal monthly bills. Every once and while, we’d work an odd job that we designated as our fun money. We’d use it to treat ourselves to a movie or to dinner. Now that we’re pretty much consumer debt free, it’s nice to have that extra income to put towards savings or retirement.
- Income insurance. Not in the sense of car insurance or homeowner’s insurance but insurance in the event that one person loses his (or her) full-time job for whatever reason (layoff, medical reason, injury). For instance, if my husband were to lose his job, he still has his part-time job that provides a decent amount of income. The additional income that he brings in would soften the blow of losing his full-time income.
- Death. Spouses die. It’s a fact. If a spouse dies, expectedly or unexpectedly, the financial consequences can be damaging (this is also why life insurance is so important and I’m yet again reminded that I really need to get some) especially if the spouse that dies is the higher income earner. That extra income can help offset the financial stress.
- Relationship problems. Speaking from experience, spouses cheat. There is nothing worse than the feeling that you can’t leave a relationship that you are unhappy with because you can’t afford it. By having a side hustle, or part-time job, it’s possible to build up a savings account or have the extra income necessary to leave. I don’t necessarily advocate this as an option but sometimes, a relationship cannot be salvaged. Having the financial means to terminate the relationship provides necessary peace of mind.
Readers: If you’re married or in a relationship, what do you think of having a side hustle or part-time job? Do you have one? How do you use the money?