If you’ve been working steadily at both a 9-5 and a side hustle, you’re probably beginning to fantasize about the day you can quit your job.  And if your day job is soul-sucking, like mine was, you’re probably ready to throw in the towel.  I certainly was.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I actually loved my old job, enjoyed it, and thrived there.  However, I was working full-time AND writing 20-30 hours per week.  I was a workaholic who stressed out all day and cried all night.  I was burnt out, freaking out, and completely overwhelmed.  So, one day I called up my employers, made a visit to their house, and put in my two weeks notice on the spot.

Well, that’s not exactly how it happened.  There was actually a whole lot of thought and planning that transpired ahead of time.  And, to be truthful, it was really difficult to know when to finally pull the plug.  Honestly, it was really scary.  So, how did I decide that it was finally time to quit?  Here’s how:

Replace Your Income

Once I consistently replaced the income from my day job with writing jobs and side hustles, I started feeling more secure about making the leap into self-employment.  But, things were still a little tricky.  Freelance writing jobs and blog income can be somewhat unpredictable, and I didn’t want to quit my job on a whim.  At a certain point, I had enough consistent writing jobs that my guaranteed income replaced the money I was making at my 9-5. If you want to know how to start a blog and get freelance writing jobs, follow the links at the end of this post!

Fund Your Emergency Fund

Before you quit your job, it’s important to have a fully-funded emergency fund.  For me, that was fairly simple to accomplish; my husband works, and we generally live on about half of our income.  Our emergency fund fluctuates, but I tend to keep it a little on the hefty side since we own three houses.  Each person’s situation is different, and we all have to determine our own comfort level.  What you save is up to you.  Just make sure that it’s enough.

Have a Plan B

If you’re the main breadwinner in your household, it’s important to have a Plan B. After all, what if your freelance career doesn’t end up working out?  Or, what if you find that you seriously hate being self-employed?  Unfortunately, you’re not psychic and you may not find out until after the fact.  As we all know, the grass isn’t always greener, and sometimes things can turn out differently than you think they will.  So ask yourself, “If it doesn’t work out, what will you do?”

Most freelancers dream of the day they can quit their job.  However, it usually takes a lot of hard work, some serious savings, and some patience.  I quit my 9-5 job in April 2013 and haven’t looked back.  And I hope that I’ll never have to.

For more thoughts on work and life, check out these sweet posts!