Simple Side Hustles to Fund Financial Independence: Overtime
This article is the third in a series explaining ways we have made some extra cash on the side to fund our goal of financial independence. Some have been more lucrative than others. None have had as much impact on our financial lives as downsizing our home and getting serious with saving and investing. However, every little bit helps as we work our way to financial independence (FI). Every extra dollar saved and invested in low cost index funds puts us several dollars closer to FI. In this article, we explore the impact that working overtime and private consulting have had on our progress toward financial freedom.
Working Overtime as a Side Hustle
I almost didn’t write about working overtime for extra money because, well, it seems so obvious. I think it’s safe to assume that working overtime is probably the most utilized side hustle there is, even for those who don’t have early financial independence in mind. However, working overtime and side jobs have contributed more extra income toward our goal of financial independence than any other side hustle. As a result, I feel it is important to discuss it based on its potential impact, even if it is an obvious way to make extra money.
What might not be so obvious is just how much of an impact overtime and side work can actually have. Just this past year, the wife and I accumulated a bit over $42,000 in extra income from putting in overtime and performing some private consulting on the side. We have been doing this for several years now. That is more than $160,000 of extra income over the last four years getting shoved into our index funds.
This played a huge role in contributing to our current net worth. Just how much? Plug that $42,000/yr. into our compound interest calculator. Assuming a 7% average return on our index funds, that $160,000 extra we made working our asses off turns into almost $250,000 over four years of indexing. That’s huge.
Additional Benefits of Working Overtime
In addition to extra income, there are several other benefits of working overtime that have presented themselves to us. My wife’s employer has certainly taken note of her hard work and dedication. As a result, she has been rewarded with some generous raises over the last four years. That’s even more FI money rolling in. Nice job honey!
I wish I could say the same of my employer. Unfortunately, my employer has not been nearly as generous. Despite my willingness to put in overtime, my proven dependability, as well as the dedication I showed getting to work through every hellish snow storm we have had over the last 12 years, the raises have been almost non-existent.
However, the benefits I have realized have more to do with the work and private consulting I have done outside of my full-time employer. I’m making connections and gaining more experience. These connections and experience will serve me well if I decide to keep working under my own terms when we reach financial independence. This is a nice option to have in my back pocket as some additional income and insurance.
Finding Work-Life Balance
Yes, our work-life balance is signficantly skewed right now. Yes, it is wearing on us. However, watching our F-U money fund grow as rapidly as it has the past several years keeps fueling the fire. That light at the end of the tunnel, what we refer to as financial independence, is getting so close we can taste it. As a result, we push as hard as we can until we decide its enough.
We don’t spend as much time with each other as we would like right now. This could potentially put a strain on anyone’s relationship. Fortunately, it hasn’t negatively impacted our relationship. Why? Because we are on the same page. We have the same goal and we are both fiercely dedicated to it. The time we do have together, we make it count… even though we spend much of that time talking about the kick ass job we are doing with our financial goals!
I’m not sure I would recommend everyone work as much as we do. We are probably slightly crazy… infected with the FI bug. As with everything else, you need to find your own balance. You need to decide how much of your current time your future financial freedom is worth. We have decided to hit it fast and hard, but not everyone is set up that way.
I do, however, encourage you to explore overtime and side work as very viable side hustles. I think the math I demonstrated above is enough incentive. You may discover a little extra work is not so bad. You may decide to be a workaholic for a little while like us. Look into it and explore what is out there for you, but don’t allow it to make you miserable. Just don’t write off overtime as a side hustle until you have at least explored your options. It’s the only way you can make an informed decision about it.
Hate to cut this short, but I need to get back to work.