One of the first things I took away from the 4 Hour Workweek, which inspired me to continue in the direction of professional freedom, was basic: figure out how much money you actually need.
Disclaimer, and in the spirit of being an open book if it helps anyone move forward, when I was laid off, I had two separate 401Ks going and a solid savings account. I also had money in my checking account.
I say all this to say, I knew I had some security in mapping out my lifestyle.
The budget came first.
I sat down with a notepad and added up how much my bills are each month. I took the money in my checking account and figured out how many months I could sustain with a fair “allowance” for food, travel, extras beyond my rent, car payments, all insurance, and other monthly bills. Then I figured out my worst-case scenario and set “light and flexible” deadlines. In short, I knew when I needed to start making money before I dipped into my savings.
Do this. Because let’s be honest, even if you’re employed, there are no guarantees. Having a handle on how much money you REALLY NEED (because we all learned during COVID, it may not be as much as you think), will help if you are suddenly without a paycheck, like I found myself after working for a huge corporation that decided to do a mass layoff.
One great resource was created by the founder of www.the-kuhniverse.com, my new friend Jennifer Kuhn in Philly (who, side-note is also a fan of the fabulous Alma de Cuba). I met Jennifer through my journey on a bloggers page and her free budgeting template is a perfect fit for anyone getting themselves in order on “budget.” Here is her video going over the details.
Back to my sorta bible on getting to the right mindset and knowing it can be done. The 4 Hour Workweek, which is currently free on Amazon as an audiobook, preaches to look at how much money you actually need, and it is different for everyone. Some of us have kids, a mortgage on multiple properties etc. and others of us rent, or may have expenses we can quickly decrease. Update in November: I also added GrooveFunnels to my toolkit as a blogger and for my potential other income streams- right now it is free as you read this. I get affiliate marketing if anyone purchases an upgrade. A valuable note on budgeting your lifestyle: take advantage of opportunities to invest wisely. For someone wanting to be an entrepreneur or to do ANYTHING online, this is one to check out. I also signed up for ShareASale as an affiliate but will continue to learn more and check out other options.
The fun came second and is still going.
The point is, once you know your true budget and know what you want to save up for (so you can set up a sinking fund like Jennifer discusses), you can imagine your worst case situation and move forward into the super-fun and extremely liberating part of achieving professional freedom: matching up your passions to your skills and living the life you want. Every. Single. Day. #Cheers!