I Don’t Need My Day Job?!?

It’s amazing how the obvious can stare you in the face for a while before you actually see it.  Case in point I finally got around to adding up all my none day job income for my family (ie: daycare + school board + investment income) and was a little shocked by the result.  It almost exactly equals our spending.  I’m right on the edge of not needing my day job at all.

Just about anything little change at this point will comfortably shove me over that edge.  So if either my wife takes another kid in the daycare or we cut back a bit on the accelerated debt repayment and reduce my mortgage payment would do the trick.

I rather liked my wife’s reaction to this news, she said “No, you can’t quit your day job.”

To which I replied “No, I wasn’t even thinking about that.”  Actually I was more still in shock of the result than anything when I said that.   To suddenly realize  I’m right on the edge of not needing my day job is liberating in the extreme.  It’s not true financial independence where you don’t need any job at all, but it a huge step up from the typically wage slave existence that we typically spend most of your life in.

So this allows me a particularly useful gift.  I can view my day job very differently.  I’m no longer tied to my career.  I need a job, not this job anymore.  I’m no longer there to put food on the table and keep a roof over my head.  I’m there because I choose to.

I’m there because I want to fund my complete financial independence from any job.  Threats of a layoff or being fired are now not even threats but rather opportunities to do something new.  Semi-retired just went from a idea to a valid choice.  I’m not sure of the complete implications of this yet, but it does give me another avenue for thought.

19 thoughts on “I Don’t Need My Day Job?!?”

  1. Congratulations Tim!

    When I hit that milestone a couple of years ago, although I enjoyed my work – that mental shift allowed me to enjoy it even more. I started speaking up about issues that bothered me (and others) and just had zero tolerance for b.s. When my company went bankrupt shortly thereafter, I welcomed the layoff with open arms. It was definitely a hugely different reaction from the fear, anger and sense of betrayal that everyone else had. (I’m sure my attitude was quite annoying to them). I was a bit annoyed for a day or so because I’d have to recalculate my spreadsheets…
    I think that, although one isn’t really conscious of it, there’s an underlying feeling of fear when you’re vulnerable to the necessity of having that paycheck and it changes you, and not for the good either.

  2. I worked part-time (same company) for 8 years before I retired in 2008 at age 45. I did not switch to part-time in 2001 until I had paid off my mortgage in 1998 and rebuilt my portfolio in my highest saving years (1998-2001) working full-time.

    One thing you have to be aware of if you retire early (i.e. well before normal retiremnet age) is that your income won’t rise as fast as it did while you are working. There is no inflation adjustment in investment income like there is while you are working (i.e. raises). The way I have projected things, I made sure to have a surplus in the first 10 years (for me, age 45-54) because it will go away in the out years before I can tap into additional income sources (i.e. pension, IRA, Social Security) in my 60s.

  3. Congrats! Your accompolishment must have surely required a lot of self-discipline and sacrifices… I was an aggressive spender until last year and reading blogs like yours made me realize what I was doing wrong, now reading your posts helps keep me motivated to continue on the path to financial freedom..

  4. Way to go!

    I’m there because I choose to.
    This is what I’m working towards! To have financial independence so I don’t have to go in to any old job every day. To be able to pick and choose your job so that you do one that you love, instead of one that puts food on the table.
    I love my job right now, so I feel like I have half of the equation, but I’m still tied by “need” more than “love”.

  5. Congrats CD. You really summed it up for me with this sentence.

    “Threats of a layoff or being fired are now not even threats but rather opportunities to do something new.”

    That’s just an amazing feeling. I hope to be there myself some day.

  6. Congrats!

    I have recently crossed this mark as well where my side income (websites + online consulting) that I usually just fit around my day job has surpassed my income from my day job. Since I am a self employed real estate agent my income fluctuates a lot so we find it really nice to count on my online income to pay all our bills if we had to. My wife is a teacher as well so life is good right now but she would NEVER even consider me to leave real estate job and give up the social norm of having a “real” job.

    I see your wife had a similar reaction when you told her the news. I try to tell her that it could make sense down the road (i’m 29) to make the transition to 100% online work for me since I am only doing online work about 15-20 hours a week. If I doubled that I could surely increase my cash flow. She won’t buy it and has a very strong opinion that I need to keep up with appearances in the community as having a “real job”. I recently told her my take home pay from online is almost equal to her teacher salary and only got while I guess I should go shopping! 🙁 I can’t win.

    I wonder why the social stigma is so strong against making money online. It is seen by many as a shady practice and really is just taking traditional business ideas and recalibrating them for the online world.

  7. @Ryan

    Sorry to hear about the wife. I have a similar issue with mine. I want to start my own business again one day, but every time I mention it she freaks out.

    The reason is her dad was self-employed and money was always tight. Feast or famine as they say.

    I’m not so much an entrepreneur as I am and investor though. Once I made this clear to her, she’s still hesitant, but not so hostile. 🙂

    I’m not sure what your wife’s mental block is with online business, but I think it’s great! I’ve never even heard of a social stigma to this.

    Did you read the article about keeping up with the Jones? You might need to address why she cares so much about what others think.

    Good luck and I share your pain!

  8. deegee,

    Good advice. Thanks for the insight.


    Actually in my case my wife wasn’t being mean, but rather trying to remind me to keep to my goals. After I pay off the mortgage I think she would feel a lot more comfortable about leaving my day job (and so would I).

    In regards to your wife. I think Andy had it best. You need to find out what’s behind the need to be socially normal. Remember, money isn’t money. It’s also the key to lots of irrational behavior. You need to talk to her about it and understand her point of view. Then you actually stand a chance of changing it.


  9. Wow. I’m green with envy. I think I see financial independence exactly the same way as you do Tim. The point isn’t just to “retire young”, it’s the knowledge that you could. You have the choice, you’re not locked into a bad job or a burdensome responsibility. The point isn’t to not work either, there are lots of really enjoyable jobs, it’s the freedom to change jobs, to do something different, to choose how you spend your time every day on your own terms.

    I’d be really interested in reading an update on your household balance sheet, how you’ve managed to swing this so soon. Maybe give me some tips to get closer to the same goal.

    I think Santa gave you a great gift early this year, congrats.


  10. That’s great news Tim. I really enjoy reading your journey towards financial independence.

    I suspect that with this knowledge in hand, it will only accelerate you towards your ultimate goal.

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