January 16, 2017

Here’s What Happened to My Finances After I Quit My Job

I’m Jessica and I’m a money expert, speaker, Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada®, host of the More Money Podcast, and am currently writing my first book with HarperCollins Canada (2025).
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After last week’s big announcement that I quit my job so I could be a full-time entrepreneur, I got a lot of amazing comments, tweets, and emails (thank you!). I also got a lot of questions about how my first week went and how this big decision affected my financial situation.

So, What Was Week One Like After I Quit My Job?

Last week was a crazy week. A big transition from my normal routine of traveling by subway downtown every day, working a full 8-hour day, then coming home to work another 6 hours on my brand.

It felt like a huge luxury after more than 7 years of working in an office to be able to sleep in til 10 am, take my time making breakfast, and not having to have to wear heels all day.

But…it was also really strange being home alone and working on my own. I’m used to being around people all the time, so as my husband put it “I got a bit weird” near the end of the week.

Unless I had a good reason to leave the house, some days I just wouldn’t. My main excuse is that it’s freezing cold outside, but I think I’m also just not used to working my own hours and basically doing whatever I want whenever I want.

It’s great to finally have this freedom, but it’s a lot of pressure! I want to be productive, but no matter how much I do in a day, I still feel like I didn’t do enough.

And that’s just week one! I know I’ll find my rhythm soon, but just wanted to give you a glimpse into what life as a newly self-employed person looks like.

In short, it’s not as glamorous as you may expect.

Let’s Rewind and Talk About My Finances Though

Ok, now I want to talk more about what this major life change meant for my finances.

Quitting a job that gave me full benefits, had an RRSP matching program, and paid me consistently every two weeks wasn’t easy to give up. Especially when my husband is a freelancer, and the fact that I always had a regular day job gave us both a sense of security. We knew that if for some reason he didn’t make any money for a few months, I could cover us both with my paycheque.

But here’s the thing, it came to a point in my career were working for a stable paycheque just wasn’t enough for me.

It didn’t always feel like that. When I first started over 2 1/2 years ago, I thought I was doing some good, making some waves, and being a key person on the marketing team. But over time I realized that I was making way more waves on my own time with my own brand. And I’m a wave maker.

So, before taking the plunge, my husband and I had a number of conversations about what this would mean for us financially.

Full disclosure and I haven’t revealed this anywhere (ever!) because I generally like to keep how much I make private, but I’m gonna give you the numbers! In 2016, I made just over $34,000 from my side business.

That may not sound like a lot, but for me, it was the number I needed to feel confident that I could afford to leave my job.

You see, I made that money off brand partnerships alone. Not only that, for half the year I was undercharging for my services, and if I’m completely honest, I’ve never sought out any of that business. A little bit on the podcast sponsorship side, but every other brand campaign I’ve done, the sponsors have come to me.

What that means to me is that if I continue doing that, then add in my financial life coaching service and a few paid courses, having the goal to match if not exceed my day job’s salary isn’t that crazy.

But What About My Mortgage? And Bills? Adulting Is Expensive!

Besides feeling confident that I could make a living on my own, I also saved up quite a bit of money for my emergency fund. Since I am still working on launching my money coaching business and courses, I’m only making money off my brand right now. And that kind of money is never guaranteed. It all depends on if brands want to work with me and if they have advertising budgets to spend.

So, to be prepared for the unexpected, I started hoarding my money. Usually, I like to have at least $10,000 in my emergency fund, but for this new adventure I’m on I made sure I had at least $25,000 easily available to me.

I wanted to feel safe in case something happened, and there is no way I’m ever going to depend on credit cards or a line of credit. If you know me, you know I hate debt and I’m gonna do everything in my power to stay in the black for as long as I live!

What Else Has Changed for My Finances?

Besides all of this, the biggest change I’m making in my life is how I spend. When I was working pretty much 12-hour days and making pretty good money, I’d spend. I’d buy my lunch every day. I’d buy seasons of shows on iTunes. I’d buy at least two bottles of wine per week. I’d order take-out for dinner at least 3-4 times a week.

Even though I was making good money, I was spending more and more. Honestly, I think it was all emotional. When I got sad, stressed, or angry, I’d spend.

I don’t want to live like that anymore.

Which is why I’m on a spending cleanse.

What that means to me is I’m trying not to spend any money. Pretty simple. I’m making all my meals at home (and getting my husband on the bandwagon too). I’m not going to be buying any new clothes. I’m basically trying to reset my brain so I don’t spend when I feel.

I want to simplify my life and be smarter with my money.

I won’t always be like this, and I don’t have a deadline, but I’m just putting a big focus on being a conscious consumer for the foreseeable future.

I know it’s only been a week of living like this, but I really like it. It just takes away so many distractions from my life and makes me focus on one big goal — making my business take off like I’ve always dreamed of.

Have your finances changed in the past few months? Why and what are you doing about it?

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  1. Making $34,000 in a year on a side business is amazing! I was thrilled that I made $1,000 from my blog/online work. But I didn’t spent 6 hours a day working on it…
    You’re going to dress great now that you can focus even more!

    We are still playing catch up with our finances, now that I’m working full time again. It’ll be a long time before I’m back to where I started, and even longer until I surpass it, but we’re getting there, one payment at a time.

    • Jessica Moorhouse says:

      Thanks Amanda! And that’s so great you’re working full time again. You’ll get back to where you want to. It may take time but you’ll get there because you’re very motivated and a hard worker. 🙂

  2. Investing Pursuits says:

    Congrats on $34000 side income for 2016 !! That is quite impressive. I have been blogging for several years and have not yet to make $100 in google adsense in total. I recently signed up for twitter, which has increased the traffic to my blog.

    I think you are going to quite well. I have listed to some of your podcasts and you seem very goal oriented and want to make things happen.

    • Jessica Moorhouse says:

      I never made any money off adsense haha, and eventually just gave up and took all the ads on my site down. Which somehow increased my web traffic and revenue, who would have thunk it!

      And thanks for the kind works!

  3. Sounds like you’re doing things the smart way Jessica, especially with the spending. It’s a huge change going from full time to freelance, so better to stay on the caution side than blow through your money. I’m sure it will be great to get some of your time back too!

    • Jessica Moorhouse says:

      I’m actually kind of excited to live a bit more frugally if that makes sense. I just want more simplicity in my life you know?

  4. We must be freelancing buddies or something. I am a full-time freelancer too now, at least for the time being! My job ended unexpectedly last month and I’ve been full-time hustling ever since, although for me most of my income is coming in from writing. I’d love to put up a course or two on my blog too though! Here’s to more money! 🙂

  5. Bridget says:

    $34K is solid side hustle money. You’re probably going to double that (or more) now that you’re full-time on your own brand.

    Working for yourself makes you more productive, because you will work whenever you really feel like it with your best energy, instead of trying to cram your efforts at the end of the day, and that will earn you more income.

    Congrats on the jump to self-employment! You’ll never go back!

  6. Danielle says:

    I’m not an entrepreneur but the working from home thing can DEFINITELY make you a little stir-crazy. I work from home 3 days a week and sometimes I’m crawling up the wall! The way I try to break it up is to have routines. For all the days I was home, I made sure to “work” mostly in the office, not the dining room, living room or bedroom. It sounds so silly but treating my office like my office made sure that when I left my ‘office’ to read and have a tea for a break, or eat lunch, I wasn’t working despite still being home. Also, when it was warmer, I’d go on little 20 minute walks to get some fresh air. OBVIOUSLY not a real fun thing right now, but these make me feel less like I’m always at home.

    Good luck Jessica, I’m sure you’ll crush 2016’s revenue quickly!

  7. Christine says:

    Good luck with everything!! Things will work themselves out in time and that side business amount is nothing to sneeze at!! It will be easier for you to not spend on clothes too as you won’t need as much in the way of ‘work’ clothes’ as I’m sure you know. You will be saving on transportation as well. You will be amazing at this!!!!

  8. Kenesha Collins says:

    Hi Jessica!

    I have read your blog off and on for about 2 years now, it’s long over due to give you a shout out! I have to say congrats on all of your continued success and your new journey into entrepreneurship! I am so happy for you, and I know you’re going to do well!

  9. NZ Muse says:

    Dang girl! I doubt I’ve made that much in my entire time blogging – you rock! Congrats again and here’s to no more heels (I don’t know how people do it – I only ever wear them on special occasions. My boss is a heels every day kinda person)

    • Jessica Moorhouse says:

      I did heels like every day for a year then gradually switched to wedges then just flats near the end haha.

  10. Matt Ruley says:

    Adulting is expensive. Love that line.

  11. Lisa says:

    You’re doing great! $25k in the bank is a great cushion. Good luck on your spending cleanse, too!

  12. Thanks for being courageous and giving the full disclosure on your side business. Congrats too, because as a side-hustle 34K is great. I’m growing a bit tired of full-time bloggers publishing crazy income reports, so this dose of sanity was welcome. With $0 debt, paid off home and car, I could probably live on 34K a year clear with the way I spend (well except maybe travel 🙂

    Also thanks for the heads-up about Adsense in the comments. I’m just getting started so it was on my radar, but also planning to diversify (ebooks, ecourses, affiliate marketing, web services). Will be checking in on how your full-time hustle goes.

  13. It’s definitely “not as glamorous” as people think it will be 🙂

    As another commenter mentioned, developing those routines really helps you be productive and focus. If you get too wishy-washy with it then it tends to feed negative emotions about your productivity and your fears of failure.

    Best of luck on the not spending based on emotions. I’m a sucker for this as well. Your main obstacle there is that working for yourself is stressful because you are 100% reliant on that to put food on the table and a roof over your head. That can definitely trigger the emotional spending.

    You’ve accomplished a lot already, so I have no doubt you will conquer these new goals as well. Here’s to an amazing 2017!

  14. lol I had $100,000 as an emergency fund when I left. Granted, that was also in case my husband’s job didn’t work out. And adulting with a kid is expensive too!

    • Jessica Moorhouse says:

      Oh damn, that’s a huge emergency fund! But since it was for two people and you had a child, that makes sense!

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