I’ve written other articles about how work stress isn’t worth your time. It has so many health problems attached to it and has a nasty way of seeping into your personal life too.
However, not everyone can just up and quit their job.
Today, I’m going to discuss options for those of you who hate your job but are locked into it for one reason or another. There are plenty of ways you can destress, bring in some extra income, and save money. You just need to know how to get it done.
1. The Benefits of the Side Gig
There are two schools of thought about side gigs. Some promote getting a side gig to bring in extra income. Others think you should work harder and longer to be promoted at your current place of employment.
But the second option isn’t really viable for everyone, is it? If you’re working a low-paying job, chances are pretty good it’s also a dead-end type of career, with little opportunity for advancement and poor or no benefits. Or it’s a low-paying job with great benefits and that’s why you feel locked into the position.
You get off work, you’re tired and stressed, and the last thing you want to do is work more. Finding the perfect side gig will change your mind. You will actually be less stressed if you can find something to do in your downtime that you enjoy. Something you’re passionate about doing. And maybe more important, something that can bring in much-needed extra income.
So what do you like to do? What has a low barrier to entry, or low startup costs?
The answer is different for everyone. Maybe you want some exercise, so you start walking dogs or learn to become a personal trainer. Like to eat healthy? Why not start a blog, post pictures and recipes, and offer to create meal plans tailored to individual readers’ needs?
Or maybe you have a really dull or physically demanding job. You want extra income, but a side gig needs to challenge you mentally. You might try freelance writing, or something easier like online data entry. Those are types of part-time work you can do from the comfort of your own home, with a cold beer or glass of wine in easy reach.
There is something out there for everyone, something that can make you happy and give your life some meaning outside of a cubicle. Figure out what that is for you and don’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
2. Saving Money
Earning extra money is great, but saving money is much easier.
Go with a cheaper cell phone plan, like Straight Talk. Call your insurance providers and see if you can negotiate cheaper premiums, for example by raising your deductibles. Once you have some more money coming in, you can always change them back.
If you want to make a serious impact right away on your finances, cut the cable. The average cable bill is now more than $100 a month. Go with a streaming service and you’ll save $50+ a month.
Another tactic: Get into credit card gaming, maximizing your points and cash back so that you actually profit from credit card usage. (My blogger buddies and I refer to it as credit card “hacking” so we feel extra naughty about taking advantage of the credit card industry.) It’s what first showed me how powerful passive income and smart living can change my life. You can rack up a ton of cash back and miles if you know what to look for. On average, I bring in $20-$30 a month this way.
3. Relax and Destress
You don’t have to throw a bunch of money at a yoga guru or on expensive supplements to relax and get rid of some of that extra stress. I found this list which has some great ideas and I recommend giving it a read.
One of the first things you want to do is cut back on the caffeine intake. Drinking too much can keep you from getting enough sleep and increase anxiety. Switch that last cup of coffee out for some chamomile and you’ll see a difference in just a few days. Over the years, I’ve slowly cut back on my caffeine intake. I used to spend a ton of money on expensive coffee. Now I drink one cup of organic green tea a day. I get a box of 100 bags from my local Wal-Mart for $3.50 and it lasts me over three months!
One of the many problems with stress, especially occupational stress, is the impact it has on your personal relationships. One of the best ways to help with stress is to stop thinking about it. Hanging out with your best friend or spending time playing with your kids will help to control your stress levels.
We all know you should exercise. If you’re strapped for cash, go for a walk or a run. If you want to get into meditation or yoga, watch YouTube tutorials. And there are plenty of gyms out there that aren’t too expensive. Planet Fitness will let you get a membership for only $10 a month.
Saving and earning money and being healthy don’t have to be hard and they don’t have to break the bank. All it takes is some willpower and a bit of creative thinking.
Get up, get moving, and come up with ideas to improve your life.
If your career has you in a rut and you can’t leave, you owe it to yourself to pull yourself out of the hole and to do it for yourself. Your loved ones will thank you for it.