Do you feel stuck in a career that you don’t enjoy? Or maybe you like your job but you postpone to live your dreams because you’re “too busy”?
Whatever the reason, you want to learn how you can escape the 9-to-5 and start to live your dreams?
If you do, then this blog post is for you.
Let me tell you a little bit about the transformation we have made.
2 years ago my boyfriend Tomer and I went to a work event of my former company. I had won a big award and I was going to get it officially handed over by the leadership team over a celebratory dinner. Big fancy thing! I remember that evening so well. We were all dressed up, it was a super nice location, delicious food, a beautiful speech about me by my manager.
I remember how I had to hold back my tears that evening.
I was emotional because I appreciated the gesture. But most importantly, I was emotional because I realized that I didn’t care about this award…
That’s probably the last puzzle piece we needed to understand it: We were progressing in our shiny careers but deeply inside, we knew that it was not us.
We knew that if we didn’t make a change, time will pass in a blink, and we’ll be left with regrets.
So, we took our crisis as an opportunity to strive to escape the 9 to 5, going from:
- … feeling stuck & uninspired in our careers ➔ experimenting with new things & starting an online business.
- … not doing things we’re passionate about because we’re too busy working ➔ being in control over our time.
- … a daily 4 hours commute ➔ being location independent and working from anywhere in the world.
We want to help you do the same because we know that living your dreams is easier than you think.
Want to know how to turn your day-dream into every day life?
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1. Create a vision of your freedom lifestyle
Every plan needs to have a goal, whether you want to successfully complete a project or – as in our case – escape the 9-to-5 and live your dreams. You need to know where you’re going to be able to get to the destination.
This might sound obvious but trust me, this is where most people get stuck.
Simply saying that you want to get out of your current 9 to 5, without having any Plan B, won’t create any incentive to do the work. And there’s going to be some work involved. About that more later!
However, instead of pushing to get out of your current lifestyle, you will be naturally pulled towards your greater vision. This will help you immensely to deal with obstacles that will come your way.
So, if you didn’t have your 9 to 5, how would your ideal lifestyle look like?
I know, this is quite a big question to ask. Maybe these prompts will help you:
- If you didn’t have to work for your money in the next 3 months, what would you do with your time?
- Who in your social circle or online world inspires you?
- Who are you jealous of?
- What is a life goal that you want to accomplish?
Did this help to create a clearer vision of your freedom lifestyle? Great!
Write down your goals and keep them in a safe place. Or even better, stick it on your fridge or anywhere else where it’s visible.
The next big step is to make your freedom lifestyle more tangible. This is what we’ll be covering next.
2. Set a money target to live your dreams
Now that you know how living your dreams looks like for you, you need to do some research.
The main question we need to answer is: How much money do you need to live your dreams?
Or in other words, how much will it cost you to escape your 9 to 5 a.k.a quit your job?
Now this will of course depend on what the vision of your freedom life is. For example, if to live your dreams means for you to quit your job and go travel around the world, think about:
Which part of the world do you want to travel to?
Keep in mind that cost of living in Asia, for instance, are only a fraction of the expenses you have in Europe or in the USA. Don’t forget to take into account flight prices.
What are the monthly cost of living in your dream destinations?
A good starting point for your research are the data from lonely planet. If you consider to stay longer at one place, you will find our list of 12 Cheapest Places to Live in for Digital Nomads useful.
How long do you want your trip to be?
You might think that the longer you’re away, the more expenses your trip will be. Yes and no. While you obviously will have to pay for more nights and meals, overall prices don’t need to be higher necessarily. Often, you will get better deals for booking Airbnbs for a month as compared to a couple of days or weeks. Also, having a kitchen and doing grocery shopping will reduce your cost significantly as compared to eating out every day.
What additional expenses will you have?
Here come in things like health and travel insurance, equipment, subscriptions, or expenses that you will continue running at home, and any other expenses for personal items.
What is your overall money target?
The final step is to calculate the total budget you need, your monthly expenses times the time away (plus any one-off cost). This number will be your overall money target.
Of course your definition of freedom can be different from traveling. Maybe you want to quit your job to follow a career that gives you greater passion and purpose.
In that case, list your usual daily, weekly, and monthly expenses. Add any start-up costs you expect to incur for starting a new career path or project. These could be costs for running a website or any training that you need.
Once you have a good idea about your projected expenses, you need to find ways how you can reduce your current spending. We’ll talk about this in the next point.
3. Manage your current money better, save more
Ok, now you have a vision of your freedom life and you have an idea of how much your dream lifestyle will cost you.
This means that we can finally move to the question: How will you get the money to make it possible?
The first step to creating additional income is to find ways to reduce money waste and save more on a regular basis.
This might not sound sexy, but it sure is the easiest way to get extra money fast.
Eliminating unnecessary expenses can often make you a couple of hundred $ each month without any substantial effort. It would be a shame to miss out on these quick savings.
Easy high-impact money saving tricks
In our 15 Money Saving Tricks we share a variety of frugal living tips. In that blog post, we have some recommendation how you can effectively set and manage a monthly budget. These are followed by a number of daily life hacks that saved us $500 a month.
After you browse through the 15 Money Saving Tricks, make notes which tips you can apply and how much you aim to save through them.
If you plan to escape the 9 to 5 to start a new career path in your usual home environment, reduce your projected budget by the amount of savings you can gain. If you plan to live your dreams while traveling around the world, put this money into your savings account for your trip.
Live your dreams by living off of savings – yes or no?
You might consider to escape the 9 to 5 by purely living off of your savings. I agree, it’s an option. However, in my eyes, it’s not the best option.
I explain more why you shouldn’t quit your job and travel on your savings in my blog post How to Quit Your Job, Go Travel, and Not Worry about Money.
I think it will be useful for you to read the blog post. But for now, let me just recommend you a smarter way to fund living your dreams. To get started, you need to reflect on your skills, knowledge, and interests.
4. Make an inventory of your skills & interests
There is a reason why you want to escape the 9 to 5. You either don’t like your job, your working hours or environment, or you decided it’s time to go after your dream job.
Whatever the reason is, you will need to find ways to make money that are more in alignment with your freedom lifestyle.
There are three criteria that I want you to take as guidance:
- You want to do something that you are passionate about.
- You can utilize your skills, knowledge, and experience to make money.
- Your income is not dependent on the amount of hours you work but on the results you get.
Let’s go step by step.
Why do you need to be passionate about what you do?
You will agree that this is a no-brainer, really. If you enjoy what you do, you have a smaller urge to escape it.
But there is another reason that is at least equally important: If you are excited about your job goal, you will put more effort into reaching it, and you won’t give up easily.
These 6 Self-reflection questions might help you find something you are passionate about.
Why and how use skills, knowledge, and experience to make money?
In today’s world, people seek to learn from people they can relate to. They want to learn from teachers that have specific skills and knowledge that they aim to obtain, or that have experiences that can help them. In other words, people trust you if you have hands-on experience with what you are teaching.
This can be digital marketing skills, finance, or how to prepare gluten-free dishes, or overcoming a burnout.
Make a list of skills, knowledge, or experience that you have and that could be useful for others.
If you’re looking for inspiration about all ways how you can monetize your skills, knowledge, and experiences, check out How to Earn from Home Using What you Have.
Here I want to focus on why you should preferably find ways to earn money not based on your hours but on the impact you create. In other words, create passive income.
5. Start building a passive income side hustle
If you ask me, creating passive income is the holy grail to escape your 9 to 5 and to live your dreams in general, always.
Because passive income allows you to automate your income, so that you can free up time for things you love. In our passive income story, I share with you how we turned our mess into a message and used my burnout as an opportunity to discover ways to make money in a fraction of time.
Creating passive income was what allowed us to become financially free. As a result, we were able to quit our jobs and go travel without touching our savings and without having to find remote jobs.
It’s easier than you think!
There are multiple options and you can pick the ones that are most suitable to you. To give you some ideas, we wrote 11 Passive Income Ideas to Earn Extra Money.
To get started with passive income, you should consider two options: (1) creating passive income with money investments, and (2) invest time to build up a passive income stream.
Wondering which options are suitable for you? This is where your list of skills, knowledge, and interests come in!
Also here, you should prioritize options that naturally pull you.
Are you interested in learning to invest in the stock market or even real estate? Do you want to use your creative skills and start a blog or Youtube? Do you have valuable knowledge or experiences that you want to share with the world via an ebook or online course?
They reality is that it will take you time to build up your passive income streams to a level that you can live from them. However, we promise you that it is well worth it to experiment with passive income as it will bring freedom to your life in ways you can’t even imagine right now.
This being said, it’s important to get started with passive income as early as possible. While you might not be able to escape your 9 to 5 immediately, you can start building a lucrative side hustle, create an additional financial cushion, and reduce your current job to part time work.
To bridge the time until you have a substantial source of passive income, we have a surprise tip for you. It’s a real shortcut!
6. Take the shortcut: Get a remote job
When you want to escape your 9 to 5, you probably want to do it as soon as possible. This is why I decided to type up this one additional paragraph.
There are ways to escape your 9 to 5 by making small changes that will have a huge impact on your life.
These are figuring out how you can improve your current work circumstances by making small to medium tweaks. Mostly, it comes down to creating more flexible work hours for yourself.
Here are some options to consider:
- Discuss with your manager to shift your current job into a freelance occupation. This is especially great if your work is project-base.
- Reduce your current job to a part time job and get a flexible online side hustle.
- Find a new remote job that allows you to be more in control of your time and be location independent. You might find our 7 Tips to Find Remote Jobs for Beginners helpful.
You will see that gaining more control over your hours will already get you closer to living your freedom lifestyle, especially if you can do your work from anywhere in the world.
Want to live your dreams through passive income?
Now that you’ve made it to the very end, I wonder if you read it because you like to dream or if you’re serious about taking action?
I like you either way!
But if you are here because you’re determined to change your life for the better and live your dreams, we have something for you.
You don’t want to be left with regrets of not having followed your heart one day, so I want to help you get started!
The mission of our brand is to help people discover that creating passive income is a realistic scenario for them. Our 9-to-5 Escape Plan online course does exactly that.
We are showing you that you don’t need to be a business pro to make money passively and reach financial freedom. If you’re interested to learn more, I would love if you join our wait list for our course.