Why I Quit My Job: A Club Thrifty Confessional

Why I Quit My Job: A Club Thrifty ConfessionalI have an announcement to make…and it’s a doozy.  At the beginning of April, I quit my job.  I walked away from my super stable and well-paid 9-5 job and leaped toward the unknown.  I put in 2-weeks notice but agreed to work until the end of the month…and now its done!

Why Did I Quit My Job?

A few months ago, I wrote about how I was a workaholic.  The truth is, that is probably an epic understatement.

Including our full-time jobs and various side hustles, we were each working an 70 hours per week – easy.  That wouldn’t be such a problem if we didn’t also have two small children who need our constant attention and care.  In order to find more time to be productive and be good parents, we were getting up early, staying up late, and spending our weekends trying to catch up on everything else.  Grocery store trips had become reminiscent of Super Market Sweep, and we were always in a hurry to get everything done.  I started feeling like more of a machine than a human being.  We were miserable, and our lives were beginning to suck.  Any free time we had was spent recovering from all of the work that we had just done.  We were exhausted, stressed out, and completely overwhelmed by all of our responsibilities.

How Did It Get This Way?

As you know, we started our blog in May of 2012.  Anyone who runs a blog knows that it is a time-consuming endeavor.  Not only do you have to write content for your site, you have to respond to emails, work on SEO, and about a million other things.  Our blog has grown dramatically, and we have started to generate some real income from this thing.  In addition, our blog has led to various part-time jobs and side hustles.  Not only do I write for Get Rich Slowly, but I also write for a few different companies. I even started doing some other internet related stuff on the side.  The point is this: I had a full-job and what felt like 5 million part-time jobs.  I couldn’t do them all. I had to pick.

The Big Decision

Since I had to pick between my 9-5 job and my side hustles, I decided to pick my side hustles, obvi.  There are several reasons that I decided to saw off my golden handcuffs:

  • I started making more money from my blog and side hustles than I did at my full-time job.
  • Working from home provides me with time to do household things like laundry, dishes, and make dinner.
  • I can work in my pajamas.
  • I now have the time to take on additional jobs and projects.

Working from home means that I now have unlimited earning potential.  My 9-5 job was great, but I was paid for my time.  This meant that working harder never produced any additional income.  I could work my a$$ off all day or twiddle my thumbs and play Bejewled Blitz.  Regardless of how hard I worked, I never got paid any more.  I was simply trading money for time…and I finally realized that it no longer made sense.

Working From Home Is…Scary…

The problem with working from home is that nothing is guaranteed.  No one is going to pay me to sit around and watch The Young and the Restless all day.  Simply put – if I don’t do anything, I don’t get paid.  Lucky for me, I am an extremely self-motivated person.  I have never needed anyone to give me direction and I don’t need encouragement or supervision.

All of that is great, but I did give some things up when I walked away from my 9-5 job.  My 401K match, profit-sharing, paid vacation, employer-sponsored income insurance protection, and company issued smartphone are a thing of the past.  Luckily, I have thought out all of those things and I will be writing about how I’ll be handling those issues in future posts.

For now, I’m just going to work on finding a “new normal.” My kids are still going to daycare full-time until I determine if I can keep them home a few days a week.  Life has changed now, and I’m learning to love my new found freedom.  Working from home may be scary, but I’m not afraid to try new things….even after years of working for someone else.  I had to let go of the past in order to move forward.  So I did.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”     – Walt Disney 

If you want to read more, make sure to check out my newest post on the topic: Quit Your Day Job: How to Start a Blog

Comments

  1. says

    Congratulations Holly! I think that is awesome. I left mine over 3 years ago and haven’t looked back. Sounds like great savings if you could watch your kids at home but I get how that would make a dent in your productivity!

    • says

      My kids are still going to daycare. There is no way I could get anything done if they were home! We will have more quality time though since I will no longer be working all evening.

  2. says

    Congrats Holly! You guys have done an awesome job building this blog to give yourselves this opportunity. It definitely sounds like a scary transition but I’m sure you’ll have it all figured out in no time. And I’m guessing your kids are very excited. Keep us updated on how everything’s working out.

  3. says

    Congrats on your move to full-time self employment. IMO that is where a lot of people stive to be. Do you have any posts (or will you) giving some detail as to how you made the transition. Seems like you did real well in only a year to go it alone.

    • says

      Yes, I will definitely be writing about it in future weeks and months. I was just on vacation last week so I’m trying to get caught up on everything!

    • says

      It took us a year, Glen! And the only reason I quit before Greg is because he makes more money than I did at my 9-5. His income will be a lot harder to replace.

  4. says

    Congrats! First off, this is so true (even jobs that are technically tied to performance…which is sometimes complete bull): “This meant that working harder never produced any additional income. I could work my a$$ off all day or twiddle my thumbs and play Bejewled Blitz. Regardless of how hard I worked, I never got paid any more.” And this should be the ultimate goal of anyone doing a side hustle: “I started making more money from my blog and side hustles than I did at my full-time job.” Finally, I could never imagine running this site while having kids! It seriously takes so much time!

    • says

      I always got a raise 3-5%, but so did everyone else. There was no incentive to work any harder. In fact, working harder just led to more responsibility that I really didn’t get compensated for.

      My kids are going to daycare full time for now…. I’m going to see how much extra time I end up with!

  5. says

    Congrats Holly! I saw a ton of Disney quotes when I was at Disney and a lot of them are very motivating and makes you think about how you run your life. I hope you had fun in PCB and good luck with the new non-job job :)

    • says

      We had an awesome time! We are coming again at the end of September and hopefully we can hook up then once your fiancé is all healed!

  6. says

    That is really nice! I decided to do the same almost 5 years ago and I am still standing. It is at times more difficult than having a regular job as you have to work harder and as you said, money does not come if you don’t work, but you have a lot more freedom for creating your own work schedule.

    And you also seem to have an advantage, since your “side hustles” already earn you more than your salary. When I quit my job, I had no side hustles and just a dream. And only now things started to get a little better. :)

    • says

      Yes, it was kind’ve a no-brainer. I made a nice living at my day job but I wasn’t making 6 figures or anything. It was pretty easy to walk away.

  7. says

    Good for you Holly! I can relate to you on numerous levels and it is scary…BUT it is so worth it! The day we got our first payment after I left my job I was instantly hooked. It meant that we were getting paid for something we did and something we created. It was not because we had some boss telling us what to do, but because we went out and did that. That is an awesome feeling and you guys are rocking it. Best of luck!

  8. says

    Congrats, Holly.. That is awesome. I know that you guys have certainly made it big-time.
    The best part about working for yourself is that you get rewarded for working harder. When you work for someone else, the harder you work– you still get paid the same. You know that if you put in extra effort, it will likely lead to additional traffic and additional income.

  9. says

    Holly! That’s amazing. Congrats!!!!!! You’re living the dream! I love the aspect that your future earnings are no longer limited by a small pay increase each year, you’re a straight up entreprenuer now. Way to go.

  10. says

    Sounds great! My DH has his last week of work this week– I hope he finds some lucrative side-hustles.

    I’m glad that not all 9-5 jobs have limited upside and some really do compensate for productivity.

  11. says

    Woohooo, congrats, Holly! Glad to count you as an online “coworker.” You will never regret being home with your kids, I promise. Best of luck and keep us updated!!!! :)

  12. says

    Hey congrats! That’s so exciting! Although I understand completely why it would be scary to say goodbye to full time employment, it sounds like you waited until you were sure it made financial sense. Good luck, can’t wait to hear more about it.

    • says

      Oh, I am =) Truth be told, I was becoming increasingly unhappy at my 9-5 job. It’s not because it wasn’t a great place to work. I just felt stifled by having to be there 40 hours (plus) per week.

  13. says

    Wow. Good for you and congrats on making the leap! That really is the dream, isn’t it — to find a hobby or side hustle (or hustles) we love, and turn them into what we do full time?

    This is great :)

  14. says

    That’s a huge move, but it sounds like you planned it out and are on a good path. I would just make sure you have a re-entry plan in place just in case. You never know when blogging could go south in terms of income, so keep current on what you were doing or what you would endeavor to do if you did have to re-enter the ‘9-5′ workforce.

    • says

      I have zero plans to reenter the workforce. That’s the beauty of it. If I fail, I will failon an epic scale. I’m not going to give myself an easy out.

      With that being said, I have a bigger safety net than most. Plus, Greg makes more than enough money to pay all of our bills plus some. So, I can fail without many consequences.

  15. says

    Congrats on the big leap! Working 70 hours plus is hard for anyone, regardless if you have kids! It’s OK to want time to do the things that matter most to you. Good luck and I hope you enjoy your new adventure!

  16. says

    Good for you! “I can work in my pajamas” trumps all reasons to work from home! :) I need to figure out a plan to successfully work from home because I can’t seem to find a job! I can only hope to one day be as successful as you are with your blog and side hustles! Keep rocking!

  17. says

    It’s always amazing to me that there is a monetary value to something that is so readily labeled as a hobby. You do this for fun for yourself and to impart knowledge to others, and although you and all other PF bloggers truly deserve to be paid for it, most people don’t ever get to take that leap. Since you get to do it though, that sets you above the rest and lets you know that you really ARE helping others become more financially aware and you have helped people who really needed it. This is why I follow Club Thrifty. Greg and Holly are genuinely good people that care about their audience and I will support them in every way possible. Congratulations Holly, this is well and truly deserved.

  18. says

    That second paragraph sounds like me about a year and a half ago. You get to that point and you make changes or become one of those burnouts who complains about everything all the time, so much that you miss out on life and wake up old someday. My road has been a bit different and I am in no way able to make a living from online income, I feel like I have the best of both worlds working 2-3 days a week. Congratulations. I bet you never look back. Maybe you can become obsessed with finding more ways to credit card churn! I have to admit that is becoming quite an addiction of mine, and if I had more time……

    • says

      I love credit card churning!!! I would love to do more. This year we are taking it slower since the churns we are doing take much longer.

  19. says

    Congrats Holly! This is a big step but it sounds like the right one! I look forward to reading more about your success now that you’re working from home. Kudos!

  20. says

    I remember Super Market Sweep! A huge congratulations, Holly – I agree that you’re super self-motivated and that you’ll no doubt skyrocket into even more success!! So happy for you and the family, and I can’t wait to hear about the process of it all. I hope your daughter had a nice birthday :)

  21. says

    That’s a big move! I’m glad to hear your side gigs are paying you more. I hope that things continue to flourish and you’re able to find a healthier work-life balance while working for yourself. (Andrea may say it’s not possible!)

  22. says

    Congrats, Holly! I’m sure we’ll all be able to read some great posts about your journey in self-employment. The “I Quit My Job” posts seem to be getting popular in the personal finance community and I admit, I’m jealous! Reading how hard you hustled to put yourself in the position to be able to walk away from your job is really inspiring.

  23. says

    Congratulations! What an exciting move for you and Greg. I’m sure before long you’ll have a steady backlog of orders for all kinds of blog related projects coming in.

  24. says

    Congratulations, Holly! What an exciting time for you and your family! A bold move, but this sounds like the perfect time for you to capitalize on all the opportunities waiting for you to pounce on them AND get some sanity back in your life. Best wishes!

  25. says

    Congrats Holly! I like your point on trading time for money and how it didn’t matter how you used that time. Now you’ll be far more effective and I’m sure your guys home will be more relaxed and more time for fun.

    • says

      It already is. I have had dinner made when Greg got home every day so far. I’ve also gotten all of the laundry and cleaning done. I think that Greg is liking this new arrangement as well =)

  26. says

    Boom! Dropping the bombs Holly. I am excited for you. Glad to see that the blog is rocking it, but I knew that a long time ago. You have done very well for yourself and now you have no limits on what you can earn. There will be scary moments, but there will be many great moments.

  27. says

    Holly – that’s great. You’re quite right that it’s very different to work for yourself – at home! But I’m sure you’ll make a go of it!

  28. says

    Way to go Holly! And way to go Greg for still rockin’ the 9 – 5! I know a lot is uncertain, but you’ve proven that you can make it happen over the past year, more than anyone else I’ve seen. You’ve set the hustle benchmark for all of us :)

    Looking forward to hear more about working from home, how your finances are holding up, and of course, KILLING THAT MORTGAGE!

  29. says

    Wow! This is awesome! Congrats on deciding to step forward into the unknown of working from home. The unlimited income potential and options/choices working from home gives you will feel even more amazing as you settle down into your new routine.

  30. Justin says

    Congrats on moving one step closer to your dream. As you said, creating a blog and keeping up with side hustles is work.
    I’m just contemplating doing this in the far future, and that scares the bejesus out of me. I wish you luck with it.

  31. says

    Well Congratulations Holly! Clearly you can see where your heart is at and that is working at home, online and enjoying your new freedom. I’m sure in time you will have it all sorted out but until then, Congrats again and enjoy! Cheers Mr.CBB

  32. says

    Congratulations, Holly! I so glad that you will be able to more of what you like instead of trading your time for money. I can tell through your writing that you are a very motivated person, just don’t work yourself too hard 😉 Best of luck to you!!

  33. says

    Congrats Holly! I remember reading about that on I think Emily’s blog? That’s a big move! Enjoy your evenings with your girls!!! :) Good job too on taking a vacation as part of that transition 😉

  34. says

    Congrats on the big jump of leaving the 9-5 job and following your heart and gut!! He he
    I wish one day I can do that… Maybe when I have kids
    Can’t wait to read more about your new adventures!
    Xx Vanessa

  35. John says

    Wow! Congratulations. That is huge. No doubt scary, but all self imposed “leaps of faith” are. Jealous, wish I could retire from my job now (7 1/2 more years to part time) . God Speed and book that cruise! John

    • says

      Well, I’m not retired…just working from home! =) But, it’s still nice to have more freedom and flexibility. I’m really enjoying it so far. Thank you for your support!

  36. says

    SO excited for you Holly! As a mom I know how good it must feel to be home (though you’re no less busy!) I am not looking forward to my return next week. I genuinely like my job but I would LOVE to make enough online to allow me to work as a hygienist as a fill-in only (ie- when I want). I don’t see that happening any time soon though! I don’t think I can live off my two small staff writing gigs :) Hope it works out for you!!

  37. says

    Holly Congrats on the move! It must be exciting. I’m not sure if I could ever transition to self-employment. My income is much higher than my hubby’s and provides medical insurance. I am working on improving my online income and developing other side hustles. There’s only so far you can do to improve your income at a corporate job. The raises are minimum, and if you do better, it’s hard to fight against the politics. It’s easier and better for me to continue at my job, and develop a side income.

  38. says

    I’m late to comment, but CONGRATS! It sounds like this is a well-planned decision from both a personal and financial standpoint. So glad to hear that you’ll be able to branch out on your own and work for yourself. What an empowering position to be in! And I hope it leads to a better work-life balance for your family! I’m looking forward to reading more posts about this in the future.

  39. says

    I’m not sure it’s ever a mistake to choose simplicity over complexity. Sounds like this will be an awesome move for your family. And your kids will benefit the most in the long run. Congratulations!

  40. says

    That’s a huge step and so great that you are able to do that. If you’re able to make just as much working from home, I definitely think doing something where you will be paid proportionally to you effort is a great move.

    Look forward to hearing more about it.

  41. says

    Holly,

    This is awesome! I love how you write about it, too. Now that I have been blogging for a bit, it is incredible to me that you are making a living doing it! I am so happy for you…you must feel on top of the world (and a wee bit scared?). All the best!

  42. says

    Yeah, it’s difficult to keep a job when you are no longer happy and there’s no growth. Congratulations. I know you are quite confident with your choice. I wish you well.

  43. says

    Oh my gosh. I go away for a week and look at all the awesomeness that I missed!! CONGRATULATIONS, HOLLY!!!! You rock. I am so excited for you. I am actually revealing a big goal tomorrow that is pretttty similar to yours. 😉

  44. says

    I don’t know where I was when this post came out. Hooray! I am genuinely so happy for you. What an accomplishment. I wish you heaps of entrepreneurial success. Big big hugs and super high fives and of course, cartwheels.

  45. says

    I’m clearly late to the game for this one but CONGRATS!!! Yes, striking out on your own is scary shit but it’s worth every second! Here’s to the next bigger and better chapter ahead of you :)

  46. says

    I love being able to work from home.
    The pros are that I get to stay out of crazy traffic (most of the time) and snack as I feel like it.
    The cons are that I can get lonely and go stir crazy.
    I’ll do a mid day park walk just to get out.
    Or on Wednesday, I’ll make Starbucks the office.
    It’s funny because technically we have an office; I just prefer to stay out of the crazy traffic 😉

  47. says

    I’ve been off the radar for a bit, so I missed this! Congratulations on taking the plunge! I have no doubt this will work out very well for your family!

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  49. says

    Holly,

    This is awesome. Nice work! This is a serious inspiration. I just wrote a similar post on my blog. I too sawed off the golden handcuffs. It was time.

    Good luck to you and hopefully, we can connect in the future as it sounds like we have a lot in common.

    Best regards,

  50. says

    Whenever I acquired my Nokia Lumia 822, I thought it felt a little fragile.
    Who knows, maybe I’m just used to those really old Nokia phones that were built like a brick. Anyways, I wanted some way to assure myself that it won’t break.
    There are basically two ways to make sure you won’t have any expensive troubles if your phone breaks. You can either get insurance, so if your phone breaks, you’ll get
    a new 1. But even better than that, and also cheaper, you can get yourself
    an OtterBox. Aside from saving the money, you also don’t have to deal with shipping your phone off if it’s broken.

  51. says

    Your story is so inspirational! Thank you so much for sharing your story and being so candid. I heard about you from the Dollars & Roses podcast and had to stop over at your blog. It’s nice to see an honest take and perspective on life as a blogger transitioning from working full-time outside of the home.

  52. says

    Looks like it’s approaching one year now since you made this decision. Will you have a one year anniversary post to share with us? This is something I have pondered in the past. The unknown though has been what has held me back, that and waiting to build an appropriate safety net, should something happen. My fear for many bloggers considering this route is that so many rely on income that is determined by just one or two ever-changing variables. Two examples that come to mind, Google algorithm changes and the closing of big affiliate programs in someones state, like with Amazon.

  53. says

    Hi Holly,

    Just discovered your blog and this post. It made me laugh, because I am on my way to quitting my full time job for full time freelancing. Since I decided that I want to work as a freelancer, it seems I find only posts like yours. I believe things happen for a reason and if we set our mind to do something, we find solutions.
    Thanks for sharing your experience (it´s scary). I can´t wait to read more of you.

    Cheers,
    Corina

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