How Seasonal Work Can Help You To Pay Off Debt Faster

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Those of us who have debt are always keeping an eye out for ways to reach that debt free date sooner. We’ve previously talked to people who used side jobs to pay off their debt faster, and while it’s not something that everyone can do, it might be an option for you. In fact, it could enable you to pay well above your minimum payments each month. As you work towards lowering your principal, your accrued interest will decrease. The result? Less money spent on interest — and that’s something we can all appreciate!

Amazon, the ubiquitous online retailer, recently revealed that they’ll be opening upwards of 70,000 seasonal jobs during the 2013 holiday season. This is a big increase from the 50,000 seasonal jobs opened by Amazon in 2012. Although not all big name companies are following suit (companies like Target, and Toys-R-Us are actually cutting back on seasonal hiring this year), the extra jobs are still an opportunity for people looking to cushion their bank account and add oomph to their debt repayment.

Finding ways to expand on what you currently earn is a way to pump up your payments. And as the holidays approach, seasonal hiring could be just the place to score that extra revenue.

So if you’re thinking of jumping into the seasonal workforce, here are some tips to help you get you started in your hunt:

Revamp Your Resume and Online Presence

Your online presence can be one of the first place that a hiring manager checks when considering your application. Take a few hours to clean up your LinkedIn profile, your social media accounts, and any online presence that may be scoped by potential employers.

Don’t forget about your resume! Though the method of hiring has continued to evolve, not everyone is hired via Twitter. If you’ve let the dust gather on your resume now is also the time to jazz it up by updating your qualifications and work history. If you plan on applying to positions in a specific job arena – such as culinary or retail – then you might also consider creating a specialized resume to highlight skills that pertain to the needs of those specific areas.

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Check Out Multiple Sources

Besides using job compilation sites like, you can also go directly to the source of hire. For instance, knowing that Amazon is hiring seasonal work you can go directly to the career tab on their company website. They’ll have all listings by location and expertise. You can look for jobs at companies of interest using the same method.

Additionally, the gigs section on Craigslist can also be an excellent place to find temporary jobs as a way to add a boost to your income – particularly around the holidays. Whether it’s helping out with holiday parties or freelancing for seasonal writing openings – you can earn a bit of extra income for each short term gig. It’s particularly useful if you can’t commit to a longer-term job. Send a personal inquiry and follow any specific instructions for applying listed on the post.

Personalize Your Application

You’ll likely be against some stiff competition when applying for a job. It’s tempting to send out a “one size fits all” inquiries, but most employers shuffle through applications quickly. Unless you give reason for them to pause right up front, they may not read enough to realize what a fitting candidate you would be. Make sure you stand out by specifying your strengths and why you would be a great fit for that particular company.

Putting in the extra half hour to write a short cover letter that focuses specifically on the company’s needs and how your skills fit within their requirements can be an important factor in a hiring manager’s willingness to put you through to the interview phase. It will also showcase that you put in the same respect for a person’s time that you would hope to receive.

Setting a tone that matches that of the job posting can also increase your chance of hire. If the listing is stiff and formal, you may want to keep the professional tone in your response. On the other hand, if the listing uses pirate jargon, you may want to respond in kind!

Set a Realistic Schedule

Before you commit yourself to an increased work schedule, make sure you can realistically balance additional working hours in your life. Here at ReadyForZero we advocate for making changes that can be a sustainable and positive part of your life. If a seasonal job will exhaust you and demoralize you then it’s probably not a good idea for you or your finances. Unless you’re in an absolute pinch, filling every hour of every day with work is a sure way to burn out and is not recommended.

Set out a workable schedule and assign what kind of hours you feel you could manage effectively. Err on the side of less than more, especially at the beginning. It’s important that you have time to regroup and recharge. After all, when you’re tired or stressed you’re more likely to be tempted to eat out or splurge on purchases you’d normally refrain from buying.

Redefine Your Financial Goals

Set goals for your extra income and also write out the timeline to fit in with your financial plan.

Holidays can be a very spendy time. If you’re considering taking on a second job to support the extra expenses, then plan out what you hope to earn and what you expect to pay. If you’re looking to use the extra income for larger goals – like paying off debt, or contributing to retirement – then redefine your financial goals, and make sure they fit within your overall financial goals.

They’ll help you to keep on track with your finances and ensure that you’re achieving what you set out to attain – a sense of financial security and financial freedom.

Focus Your Extra Income

Making extra money can also result in spending extra money. The financial cushion gives a feeling of security and more potential flexibility in your budget. Especially during the time of year when shoppers are in a consumer frenzy and the stores are on their a-game for tempting ads and buying lures.

Find a way to hold yourself accountable for the extra income – whether that means opening up a savings account specifically for your extra earnings or depositing your extra income directly to your debt repayment.

Even a single shift on the weekend could help you to put hundreds more towards debt repayment. Though it’s not realistic for everyone, it’s something to look into — especially with the recent announcement of seasonal job openings by Amazon.

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