About a month ago, I got very personal on the blog and shared my why I decided to quit my job. I've been thinking about that post a lot and thought it was a good time to reflect on the steps I took to make that decision. It was certainly not an easy decision and it was one that I did some preparation for.
When I moved to California last September, we predicted that it would take me a while to find a job. We had planned and saved for the move for almost a year so (luckily) there was no debt that accumulated from the move. When we started looking for an apartment, we based everything on a single income - his income. Looking back, this was a smart choice as it is ultimately what allowed me to quit my job.
We picked an apartment and made our budget around his income. Within a week of settling into living here, I found a full time teaching job (in October - I was shocked too). Instead of adjusting our budget, we continued to live frugally and banked a large part of my income (and took a trip or two but again - no debt). When I made the decision to quit my job (halfway through the year), I started banking even more. He was out to sea and it was just me at home. So, for the last four months of working, a lot of my money went into my savings account. This gave me the cushion necessary to feel comfortable taking a year off. (Well, partially off - I am planning to substitute teach a little.)
This experience has taught me that you're always better to live below your means if at all possible. It allows for the unexpected moments that affect your budget. I am constantly looking for sales and cheap things to do so that we can save money. (We splurge occasionally but I'm almost always looking at the price tag.)
Looking to make a major life change like quitting your job? Here's a few tips to make the transition a little easier:
1. Set a budget and stick to it.
2. Save as much money as you can. (Or pay off as much debt as you can.)
3. Think about alternate income sources. (For me, one of those sources is Beachbody Coaching. Feel free to email me if you'd like more information about coaching. The startup cost is very low but the earning potential is very high!)
4. Plan ahead. Look ahead to the future and figure out what expenses may pop up. Think about how long you can afford to take a risk.
5. Talk it all out - especially if you're married. Quitting was not a decision I made by myself. I made a pro/con list and shared it with my husband. We both agreed that keeping my job wasn't worth it in the end. Stress, happiness, and time should be included on your pro/con list in addition to money. It's true what they say - money can't buy happiness.
Have you ever made a major change? What steps did you take to make the transition smoother? I'd love to hear your experiences in the comments!