Where There’s a Want There’s a Job

Aaron AvatarI was fortunate to grow up in a family where I wasn't given everything that I wanted.

Sure, I had my needs met and I certainly didn't lack for many “wants”. Most of the clothes I wore were “in fashion” or fashionable, so I didn't need to worry about the things many teens worry about: fitting in and not sticking out (too much).

And when we did want something that was out of our price range – we just got a job that could help provide it.

For example, one of my brothers was big into tennis. He wanted this uber expensive tennis ball serving machine so he could go to the courts any time he wanted to practice. He certainly wasn't going to get it for Christmas or birthday.

So, he worked and saved. Worked and saved some more. Soon enough – he had the money he needed to buy the machine.

Being the younger brother, I was inspired by his saving prowess and it showed me that if you want something bad enough – you can work for it.

As I've looked back on my life, I've applied this strategy in various ways:

  • When I wanted to play golf for free – I got a job at a local course helping out the teaching professional
  • When I wanted to learn about graphic design – a design firm allowed me to be their “helper” in return for the ability to use their design software / see their job in action

jobs for the benefit it can afford

Jobs for wants

This isn't rocket science. Most of us go to work so we can have what we need to eat and sleep.

But I've thought more and more about how to apply this for BIG wants or things that are out of my reach, financially.

As I've mentioned, I love to golf. But it is still not the cheapest sport to play. One of my BIG wants is to get a membership at a private club. This is one of those wants that I'd likely never shell out money for because it is quite expensive (even if I had the money, I probably wouldn't do so because it seems like a “waste”).

At a private country club, you're likely to pay an upfront initiation fee (which could set you back about $15k or more), plus monthly dues (in the hundreds – if not thousands of dollars).

Needless to say, you need a fair amount of disposable income to afford such a luxury.

But, I'm planning on getting a “temporary” membership this season at a private country club by working there, part-time. I've already secured a position and will be on the weekend, early mornings for a few hours.

It will be an interesting experiment for me because I'm still working full-time and still want a life. Yet, if I can manage to work a limited part-time schedule, I think this benefit of free golf (plus pay) will pay some extra dividends.

All of this has gotten me to consider other ways to afford those wants that may seem unattainable. It's also gotten me thinking more outside the box about how I can trade time or my skills for things I want OR need.

Are you working any part-time gigs to afford things that may be out of your regular budget?

hustle-debtSpeaking of jobs for wants, our blogger friend, David Carlson of Young Adult Money has written a book to help folks hustle away their debt. It is scheduled to be released early May – but you can pre-order it now for about $5 less than retail. Here's to getting out of debt!

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  1. This is a brilliant way to get some of your desires covered. A dear friend volunteers some admin time at a yoga/dance studio for free class times. Not something I’ve pursued yet, but it is a great idea.

  2. I love the idea of working at the country club to play golf for free! My friend is my role model for retirement. She works 1 day at the tennis center so she can play for free. She works 1 day at a chiropractor’s office so she can get a free treatment every month. She doesn’t make much money but she doesn’t need to! She is retired. She plays tennis at least 3x week so it is well worth it to her. I have been raking lawns and doing spring clean up as my side gig. I am happiest outside so it works for me!

  3. Seems a part time gig or side hustle has become pretty much a necessity for middle class people who hope to retire, ever! What I like about turning a hobby or passion or interest into a side gig is that it just might pave the way to real prosperity as a business owner and no more slave wage labor. Tough to reach financial independence working for someone else all of your life.

    • I would agree Kurt. Seems to be getting more and more of a necessity to “make ends meet”.

  4. As a kid, I watered the neighbor’s plants for about $3 an hour. Scored some sweet football cards with that cash.

    As an adult, I worked locum tenens jobs for about $3 a minute on my weeks off to pay down a mortgage.

    Debt free and FI, I’ve given up the side hustles. The next thing I’ll buy is my freedom, via an early retirement.


    • Smart idea!

  5. Thanks so much for mentioning my book, Aaron! While I’ve worked a side hustle primarily due to student loan debt, it has inevitably freed up money for things like travel that are definitely “wants.” It’s also supplied money for practical things like having an emergency fund, being able to do some house projects (and even outsource some of the work!), and things like electronics that we simply couldn’t justify otherwise.

  6. I work 2 additional jobs on the side for extra. One is at a local assisted living, where I get to take home left overs. So I don’t cook or grocery shop anymore. I also dog sit, which helps pay for vacations.

    • Wow – you must be busy Allison. The food alone may just be worth the gig though – that can be a huge expense.

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