I was sitting at dinner the other night with my friend Sherry and we were having a discussion on our work lives. She has a great job working at a clinic and finally has the stable 9-5 living that many wish they could also have. However, Sherry (like myself) is thinking about getting a weekend job AGAIN.
This got me thinking about how I don't have many friends who only have one job. This isn't to say they can't afford to live off the one good job they do have - but something about our lifestyles just keeps us having another one as a backup.
When I got this awesome job at U of T I was ready to scream from the rooftops 'THIS IS IT! I WILL RELINQUISH WORKING 70 HOURS A WEEK BETWEEN THREE JOBS. WOOOO!!' - yeah so, that definitely didn't happen. I make great money at that job, but I keep the second job at a condo because 1) this position is not full-time permanent yet and 2) to fund my constant travel.
Could I travel with just the U of T job? Absolutely. But it would be smaller trips like the U.S. or the Caribbean (minus carnival, because that costs waaaay more). In two weeks I leave for the United Arab Emirates and for the Maldives, could I have afforded this trip without the extra job? Absolutely not.
So what the hell is wrong with us? We can live comfortably with one job but we keep a second for what? Are we bad at money management? Do we want more than we can afford? But is it really 'more' if we find a way to afford it?
Are we greedy?
I can't speak for my friends, but I know all my extra shifts are specifically for travel. I keep the second job as a security net just in case I don't get a full-time permanent position, because the reality of contracts is they could end at any time. I said to my friends back in April that I would quit working weekends.....when in reality, my travel habits prevent me from such a grandiose statement. I say I'll only work weekends for when I have a trip coming up - but seriously, when DON'T I have a trip coming up?
Really beginning to wonder if all of us are just accustomed to working insane hours that coming off of such a lifestyle is unnatural for us. I have friends who have never worked a double shift nor an overnight in their lives and they seem perfectly happy with working a normal Monday - Friday schedule.
Perhaps we are masochists. We are monetary masochists. We put our bodies through double shifts and overnights to fill some capitalistic need. That must be it. But I can't blame us for wanting more. Getting-by and being comfortable just may not be good enough for some of us. If you earn more, you can buy/pay off more and travel more. Not sure if this lifestyle is healthy in the long term, but it feels REALLY good when I pay off a large credit card debt or when I leave on a lavish vacation.
As someone who has heard the stupid 'OMG why do you work so much?' about a billion times - I realized that I'm completely justified in telling people I enjoy an abundance of money. Because asking such a question is a private matter to me. You don't know if a person is paying down debt, helping family or maybe working towards a down-payment on a house. You just don't know. And quite frankly, it's none of your goddamn business.
So, to all my fellow monetary masochists - DO YOU and keep doing you. We just live at a different pace.