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Hold on or let go? Choosing the quick cash vs. the slow burning route

Life has felt a lot more relaxed lately. In the past month I’ve had several free weekends and they have been glorious. There is less of a rushed mindset and it all has to do with quitting my side job.

My main side job for the past several months has been English tutoring. I worked at a language center teaching classes of 2-6 kids. It was fun but the workload started to really take a toll on me. You know, the kind of toll where even getting up to eat food is a chore. 🙂 

A bit of a background on this. In Thailand there are three main ways parents have their kids learn English. The first is to have them go to a school where there are English teachers that teach them 2-4 hours per week. This is the most common scenario. The second option is to sent them to a fancy school that has a dedicated English program where they get the majority of their lessons taught in English. This is a pricey option that requires a semester tuition payment. The third option is to send kids to an evening and/or weekend language center where they learn English in a small group for two hours per week. A lot of English learning Thai kids have a combination of options one and three.

The school I teach at for my full-time job has a dedicated English program where most lessons are instructed in English. They also have lessons in Thai and two Chinese classes.

My school pays a very good salary in comparison to many other schools, so I feel lucky. But I knew that in order to save up some more money and also pay down more debt, I would need to pick up additional work. Enter tutoring and various side hustles.

In terms of side hustles, I have done some basic design and website management work for people.  It hasn’t been a lot but it was something.

Tutoring, the other extra money making endeavor, is one I originally only did two classes per week of. The language center I worked at was new and I was one of only two teachers. I liked the classes I taught. Very quickly as more students started to enroll, my boss gave me more classes. I was excited at first! More money!

New students and classes kept pouring in and my tutoring paychecks started to become a very good sized amount. There was just one problem: I never had any time off.

Mondays through Fridays during the day I would work at my full-time job. Then on Mondays and Wednesday nights I would have private classes at the language center. On Tuesdays and Thursday nights I would do blog work. Over the weekend I would work up to 14 hours tutoring several classes.

Let me tell you, hearing 3-6-year-olds screaming and jumping around for several hours a day really makes you think about whether you want to have kids or not. I would always be super worn out. On Sunday nights I would come back to my apartment, climb into my bed, and try to write while sighing every few minutes. When Mondays rolled around, I had to do it all again for my full-time job.

I felt constantly “on” all the time and it was so draining.

I wanted to quit and work less hours but I kept thinking about building up my savings and paying off debt. How bad do I want it?

I’m still currently in debt (only student loans) there isn’t a ton left on them but I do want them gone as fast as possible. The question I ask myself is How fast do I want to pay them off while still having some sort of life?

Working 7 days a week is good in the short term but it isn’t sustainable. Eventually, a crash will happen. Last month I finally quit my language center tutoring job. It was difficult to do but I knew it needed to happen.

I was at a crossroads for a while deciding whether to hold on or let go. Did I want quick cash or the chance to really build something I liked (which is this blog). 

Is it better to chase quick cash or go the slow burning route? For me, I want the latter. Doing a quick cash side hustle is fine if you’re main purpose for the money is to pay off debt or ramp up savings. However, if you want to build something that allows you to learn new and practice new skills and satisfy your personal development, choose the slow burning route.

Which one would you choose? 

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Colin // RebelwithaPlan

Colin Ashby is the writer behind Rebel with a Plan, a website dedicated to people who choose to rebel against the norm of living in debt and feeling financially unenlightened. He believes everyone has an eccentric quality to embrace and that lattes are sometimes a necessity (despite what the personal finance community tells you).

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5 Comments on Hold On Or Let Go?

  1. Amanda
    February 7, 2017 at 4:41 pm (4 years ago)

    As someone who used to work 60+/hours, 6 days a week I strongly suggest taking a step back, if you can. Like you said – eventually, a crash will happen. Even giving yourself one day off a week would make a huge impact on your own well being, but you’re still bringing in extra money.

    I used to work with kids too, and had to laugh at the screaming kids comment. It’s soooooooo true!

    Reply
    • Colin // RebelwithaPlan
      February 13, 2017 at 7:36 am (4 years ago)

      everyday I think about it, like geez, do I realllly want kids? haha.

      Reply
  2. Tonya
    February 7, 2017 at 8:30 pm (4 years ago)

    I like to read between the lines, and if I had to do that, it sounds to me like you’d like to take a step back.

    Reply

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