I recently decided to take a career leap of faith in myself. In one month I will be forgoing my consistent monthly income, an amount of money I know how to stretch to cover both my expenses and the pleasures of New York City, in order to become a freelancer. It certainly looks like a gamble with high stakes, but I trust that with confidence I can survive, and I have a lot of hope I will thrive.
I don’t want to paint a picture that my current job is a job from hell. Actually I love my job, the work has been exciting, my boss has been my biggest mentor and everything the company stands for aligns with my beliefs. But I couldn’t ignore the nagging voice in my head any longer. It had started screaming at me that it was time to do more creative work on my own. I knew not taking on this challenge would be one of those haunting regrets that would follow me from cubicle to cubicle.
I suggest that if you’re also considering making a change in your life (may it be in a relationship, career, location move, etc.) the first thing you should always do is get really clear about what emotions and feelings you desire most. For me it had everything to do with feeling free, to choose my own work projects, to work on my own time and from any location I choose. It was important for me to realize that I valued that freedom more than a stable monthly paycheck.
But don’t get me wrong, I had to do some serious work talking my nerves off the ledge. I knew that the only way I would feel confident that this plan would cover my current expenses, is if I conducted a thorough financial housecleaning. I knew there were going to be some dirty parts I had to get back in order, so I grabbed my pay stubs, credit card and bank statements and a duster.
It didn’t take long for me to figure out that what I seriously needed was a budget I could commit to sticking too. My problem with creating a budget has always been that they feel too limiting and life is too unpredictable to plan for future expenses. But I realized that even though this is true, I’ve been using that as my excuse to go a little overboard with purchases even when I knew deep down I didn’t have the money that month to afford it. I had to take care of this problem now, it was time to fix the habit.
So stay tuned, because after I give this new budget and new career a month to figure out the kinks, I’ll fill you in on how to create a plan that works for your lifestyle and needs. And, as always, let me know if you have budget questions you want answers to because I promise I will them.