I Would Do Anything for Cash, But I Won’t Do That

There is no poison in ambition alone. I have found in the last year, however, that I have at times been blinded by my desire to earn enough money to repay my debts, further my education, and build the life of my dreams.

There is no poison in ambition alone. I have found in the last year, however, that I have at times been blinded by my desire to earn enough money to repay my debts, further my education, and build the life of my dreams.

In the past year I have changed jobs twice in pursuit of a bigger paycheck and worked as many as 75 hours a week between my career and second jobs. To be sure, the efforts have improved my financial situation. Though I am not yet free of debt, I am able to pay more than minimum payments each month while living comfortably.

While this fact is reassuring, I also think my efforts over the past year have had negative consequences on my life.

The stress of working so much, transitioning between jobs multiple times in a year, and focusing so much effort on earning money has prevented me from eating well and sleeping, exercising, and even relaxing adequately.

Not having enough money can be stressful. But there comes a time when working hard enough to have enough money becomes even more stressful.

So I’m cutting back.

I have almost stopped working a second job. For now I’ll try one night a week. I’m prepared to give it up all together in time.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to relax again and concentrate on doing my best in my career and living healthier.

It is a shock to my system. I am used to being on the go all the time: Sleeping and eating when I could and rarely making time for anything but work.

But I’ll let you know how it goes.

Have you ever caught yourself working so hard towards your financial goals you neglected other parts of your life?

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.


  1. Good for you! Finances are only one piece of a happy, balanced, and “wealthy” life. Relationships, health, spiritual reflection, friendships, family, intelectual pursuits, and hobbies take time and energy too–and some of these things are certainly more important than having debt paid down. Good luck!

  2. I completely understand how you feel. Last year, I was working full-time as a teacher, taking Graduate School courses to obtain my Master’s, and working multiple extra jobs (tutoring, chaperoning, babysitting, etc.) to pay the mortgage, tuition, and other bills. I NEVER got a full night’s sleep, felt ill because I never had time to exercise, and rarely saw my friends/family. Feeling completely burnt out, I’ve started saying “no” to some of the extra jobs and am trying to scale back my too-hectic schedule. Having a few extra dollars really doesn’t matter if you’re too tired/stressed to enjoy it!

  3. im 20 years old and ive been working in jobs i hate just to pay off dept. ive been working 12 hours a day for 2 years and im so unwell but all i care about is money.

  4. I too am a teacher who takes on all the extra jobs at school, grant programs at the university, and I am a single mom of 4. Every time the extra money comes in from any of these sources there also pops up a new expense. For example, I just received the extra pay from curriculum writing this summer and the check engine light came on again in my car. I would not have a problem working a retail/service job on the weekends to help pay down some debt and maybe get ahead. I’m positive it will happen because we have cut back as much as possible and I’m still working when extra work comes up; I just don’t want to miss out on my family and life in general trying to get there.

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