Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten countless questions on how I was able to quit my day job. I really value stability but even more than that, I value freedom. Two qualities that sometimes don’t mix well when we’re talking about a job. I knew that at a certain point I wanted to quit my job but would have to do it in the least risky way possible. It took some planning and months of saving up for the right time! I thought now would be a great time to share with you all exactly what steps I took to quit my day job (as comfortably as I could).
Calculate your monthly living expenses
I summed up my monthly mortgage, credit card balance, car payment, utilities, groceries, and my average monthly miscellaneous shopping expenses. This is so important to know the minimum you need to make in order to live for a month. I also further broke down the miscellaneous expenses into separate categories – meals out/entertainment, beauty (for example, eyelash extensions, mani/pedi), clothes, and home supplies. Once I laid everything out, it was eye-opening to see exactly where my miscellaneous money was going. So much was spent on FOOD. Once you actually see where your money is going each month, you become a bit more mindful. I know I did!
Which brings me to point two…
Reduce your miscellaneous expenses
Knowing that food was a big expense for me, for several months prior to quitting, I started cooking more. I genuinely love cooking but sometimes I get a little lazy in the kitchen! So even when I was tired, I would cook at home instead of order delivery from Postmates (deleting the app helped!) or buy quick food. Over months, I saw my food expenses go down by thousands. Spending $15 at sweetgreen or on a poke bowl – it all really adds up!
Find ways to be able to cut costs. This will not only help you save so you can quit but also teach you better spending habits once you do quit. Keeping costs as lean as possible means maybe I won’t go out to every social occasion, or spend frivolously when I’m shopping. Time to rethink the $6 matcha!
Play games with yourself
I actually used to create games or challenges for myself. For example, today, I will spend $0 and let’s see how many days I can go without eating out, without buying something unnecessary at Target, etc. If $0 is hard, give yourself a minimal budget each day. For me, when I made it a challenge to myself, it was more fun and less about what I was missing out on.
Save at least 6 months worth of living expenses
I thought I could do it with 3 months of savings but I’m glad I was patient and saved up more. A month goes by quick in freelance/entrepreneur world. Six months is really a minimum. I would even save closer to a year’s worth of minimum living expenses to truly feel comfortable and give yourself time to excel in your next endeavors.
Eliminate your credit card debt
The last thing you need is credit card debt with a high interest rate to worry about. Take care of your credit cards and zero out the balances before you even think about quitting! I’ve never shared this but many years ago, I had up to $15,000 in personal credit card debt. At the time it was so stressful to know that I had such a large balance but now it’s such a relief to know I don’t have to worry about seeing that high number on my credit card statement! As unhappy as you may be at your job, it’s even worse when you don’t have a reliable job and have debt!
Diversify your income sources
Outside of your main salary or paycheck, have additional income coming in already. I was making money from brand sponsorships on social media and also bringing in consistent income with my own independent digital marketing consulting before I could even think about quitting.
It’s scary enough as it is to quit your job but it’s even more scary if you quit without having other money come in. A savings is great but you’ll need income coming in right away so you don’t deplete your funds within a few short months.
Now I’m also making supplemental income from Shop Your Element. Diversify! If one income source were to ever drop off for whatever reasons, I know I’ll be ok because I still have other revenue streams.
Have an emergency fund
I have a separate savings account where I have 3 months of emergency money. You never know when a huge expense could hit you so it’s best to be prepared and not take money from your living expense savings.
I hope these tips were helpful to you! I know these helped me along the way and got me to a point where I’m now pursuing my passions in health and wellness, as my job.
Always feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions! I’m happy to help you achieve your goals! xo