How to Live Without a Job

Most workers dream of the day when they no longer have to work, either by striking it rich or retiring with a hefty amount of money in their accounts. As it turns out, you can live without a job and be ok!  In fact, many people do it! It’s just a matter of putting the right plan in place.

Keep reading to learn more about how to live without a traditional 9-to-5 job.

How To Make a Living Without a Job

The only way to make a living without a job is to generate passive income. You can’t just charge everything to a credit card.

Passive income is money you generate without having to work for it consistently. It typically involves making an upfront investment of time or labor.

For example, you might buy a rental property. After that initial investment, you should continue to produce income on a steady basis, enabling you to take a hands-off approach and focus on other things.

Imagine sitting at the table reading the morning paper while you steadily generate money from e-commerce sales. This is an example of passive income that is increasingly becoming a regular job for many people.

Let’s take a look at some of the more popular ways to live without a traditional job:

  1. Open a High Yield Savings Account
  2. Invest in the Stock Market
  3. Freelancing
  4. Pet Sitting
  5. Make Rental Income
  6. Travel Blogging
  7. Sell Media Assets
  8. Rent Your Car on Turo
  9. Earn a Pension
  10. Become a Landlord

1. Open a High-Yield Savings Account (HYSA)

Consider opening a HYSA from an online bank to maximize interest returns on money in savings.

Online banks typically offer much higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts, making them a better option for storing money.

2. Invest in the Stock Market

One way to earn passive income is to invest in the stock market and live off the dividends and capital gains. You’ll need to generate a substantial lump sum and put the money into stable investments that generate strong returns.

Suppose you have $1 million making 5% in the stock market. That’s enough to pay a salary of $50,000 per year, which could be enough to live off of in some areas.

You probably won’t live a rich lifestyle on this income. But it could work if you’re good with managing money and careful not to go overboard and dip into the principal balance.


3. Freelancing

If you truly love what you do and don’t have the pressure of working for a company, your work won’t feel like a job.

If you love writing or graphic design, consider becoming a freelancer.

You can make media assets for companies and work flexible hours. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, check out Fiverr or Upwork to start your gig.

4. Pet Sitting

Another job that doesn’t feel like work is pet sitting. You can get paid to spend time with animals, take them for walks, and feed them.

If you’re an animal lover, trying this work is a no-brainer.

5. Rent Out Space on Airbnb

People who own a house should consider Airbnb, a site that allows you to post your private space for tenants to rent on a short-term basis.

Renting on Airbnb is a great way to occasionally bring in extra cash without doing much. You can also hire a cleaning service for upkeep and maintenance, making your job even more passive.

6. Travel Blogging or Vlogging

If you love traveling, you can get paid to document your experiences on a blog or vlog. Just imagine backpacking around Spain, visiting popular destinations, and sharing them with your followers.

7. Sell Media Assets

Talented writers, artists, photographers, and musicians can create works and sell them through various online channels like Amazon Kindle Direct and Shutterstock.

Graphic designers can sell designs on Amazon Merch for other vendors to buy and put on products like T-shirts, hats, and mugs.

The idea is simple: You spend some time producing work and sell it as many times as people will buy it.

8. Rent Your Car on Turo

Most cars sit in a parking space all day without being used.

People in this situation should consider renting their car out on Turo to bring in extra cash when their vehicle sits idle.

9. Earn a Pension

You may be able to secure a government job when you’re young that offers a lifetime pension upon retirement.

Some public officials can retire at 40 or 50, enabling them to go on and do whatever they want during retirement with a steady income and health benefits.

Of course, this requires years of sacrifice, hard work, and potentially dangerous jobs (e.g., being a soldier or firefighter).

10. Become a Landlord

Another way to earn passive income is to buy a rental property and become a landlord.

You can earn monthly rent payments from tenants by owning a rental property.

You can also use a property management company to deal with tenants and repairs, making the job easier and freeing up your time.

These are just a few examples of jobs that don’t feel like work. Think about your passions and what it would be like to pursue them full-time. There are numerous ways to monetize most hobbies today; you just have to think outside the box.

Control Your Expenses

Breaking from the nine-to-five lifestyle requires careful expense management. Here are some things you can do to keep costs under control.

1. Cut back on entertainment costs

Look at your monthly budget and determine how much you allocate towards entertainment costs.

You probably won’t want to cut out all entertainment expenses. That wouldn’t be fun or healthy. But you can probably shave a few dollars off your monthly budget.

Consider using a service like Trim or Rocket Money (formerly Truebill), which can scan your monthly statements and identify areas of waste.

2. Stop eating out so much

It’s also easy to waste money frequently dining out or ordering takeout.

Restaurants typically overcharge for food, which doesn’t include tipping and paying for transportation or parking. Sometimes, you can drop $100 or more on meals you could easily make at home for much less.

If you’re going to live without working a regular job, get used to going to the grocery store and cooking for yourself.

3. Source your own food if possible

If you aren’t working, you may have more time to source your own food to decrease costs further.

You can start a garden to grow your own vegetables, and if you quit work to take up new hobbies, consider fishing or hunting as fulfilling hobbies that put food on the table.

4. Sell your car

Cars are very expensive. They can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars per month in payments, repairs, parking, taxes, gas, and insurance. It’s worth considering whether you still need your car or whether it’s a convenience or status item.

If you own a car for convenience, it may be a good idea to get rid of it to save money. Just think of all the extra cash you can put towards saving, investing, and other monthly needs.

5. Relocate

Consider if it makes sense to relocate to reduce living costs.

If you work remotely, you may be able to leave the expensive city where you live and find a cheaper place out in the country.

You may also consider downsizing to a smaller place to cut costs.

Do You Need a Job to Live a Happy Life?

Not working can be a blessing and a curse. At first, it can seem like an incredibly liberating experience. But for many newly retired people, total freedom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Frequently, retired people or jobless individuals go through a period of liberation. They travel, spend time at the beach, or take up a new hobby.

But at a certain point, feelings of liberation can turn to feelings of boredom, leading to a general lack of purpose and despair.

Of course, everyone is different. For some people, the idea of never returning to work is enough to keep them occupied and fulfilled. But most people need to work and have a higher purpose (not to mention a reason to get out of bed in the morning).

Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius once famously explained that human beings have to go to work to do the things they were brought into the world to do. He argued that the nature of humans is to live a life of service.

With that in mind, everyone should work. Living without a job can be a terrible waste of time and talent. It can also be incredibly dull, even if you have multiple passive sources of income.

How to Think About Work

Instead of trying to avoid work altogether, you should aim to get to the point where you can avoid working because you have to and instead work because you want to. This is the basic idea behind financial freedom.

Try and get to a point where you don’t have to get up and go to a full-time job every day or night to survive. Instead, keep working until you can work on projects because you like and enjoy them.

For some people, that means starting a nonprofit. For others, it may be playing or teaching music full-time. Or, it may involve traveling and blogging about your experiences

Go From Employee to Investor

Author Robert Kiyosaki talks about the Cashflow Quadrant, a model that offers four ways of making money: as an employee, as a self-employed individual, as a business owner, and as an investor.

The great thing about this model is that you don’t have to be exclusive to any particular category. It’s possible to be an employee who is also self-employed with a side hustle.

Some people can even juggle owning a business and investing as well. However, trying to steadily advance yourself from employee to investor is a good idea.

Reasons to Stop Working as an Employee

Working as an employee can feel pretty great sometimes. You may get nights and weekends off, as well as holidays. In addition, your employer may even offer a nice benefits package.

All of these amenities are nice. However, some even better rewards are waiting for those who move away from the employee quadrant.

Here are some reasons to consider expanding your horizons and thinking like an entrepreneur – therefore, learning how to live without a job.

1. A Job Isn’t Stable

You could have the most stable job in the world as a highly-skilled individual at a company that can’t afford to lose you, but at the end of the day, you’re still an employee. That means your livelihood is dependent on factors beyond your control.

Your boss could turn around and sell the company tomorrow. Or, the company could hire someone to replace you or supervise you.

These inconveniences happen constantly, and it’s easy to get blindsided if you’re not prepared for change.

Whatever you do, don’t be fooled into thinking your full-time job is stable. There is a certain amount of stability in a steady paycheck. But receiving a paycheck every two weeks will only make you relaxed and dependent in the long run.

2. You Want to Set Your Own Hours

Working as an employee requires putting in a set number of hours every week.

You can set your own hours once you stop working as an employee. Eventually, you can become a full-time investor and avoid working at all if you’re successful enough.

In this scenario, you’ll have more time to take on personal projects that are more interesting and fulfilling.

3. You Want to Earn More

Most jobs significantly limit your earning potential. Employers bank on finding top talent at affordable prices.

When you stop being an employee, you can potentially earn unlimited income if you’re skilled enough and know how to obtain money.

There’s no better way to earn money than as a business owner or investor.

4. You Want to Chart Your Own Course

Living without a job and striking out on your own can be a powerful experience. You’ll be in full control over your income and your life. It’s far better than being under the command of an employer.

5. You’re Unhappy at Work

There’s no excuse for being unhappy at work. At the end of the day, there are far too many interesting projects to get involved with and opportunities to explore. So, if you’re unhappy at work, it’s time to make a change.

Staying at a place that makes you unhappy will deplete your energy and, over time, will weaken your market value. Even if switching jobs is scary, it’s ultimately important to keep yourself fresh, motivated, and learning.

6. You Don’t Want to Advance in Your Company

Some people spend their careers trying to advance within companies, while others want no part of the rat race.

If you don’t care to advance yourself in your company, it could be a sign that you’re ready to become your own boss.

This can be a very empowering feeling. Embrace it.

7. You’ve Got a Safety Net

Make sure you have a safety net in place before you leave your job—a steady stream of income. The last thing you want is to wake up on Monday morning without a paycheck or any support system.

If you have a safety net and are good at saving money, it could be a good idea to ditch your job.

8. Staying at Work Will Cost You Money

Oftentimes, highly skilled workers trade job security for a reduced paycheck, cheating themselves out of money. Do some research and find out your true market value.

You may find that staying at your full-time job costs you a lot of money because a competitor is willing to pay you 20% more to do the same thing. If that’s the case, consider putting yourself in a better position to earn income.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make enough money to quit my job?

If you’re thinking of leaving your full-time job to pursue self-employment, start a business, or invest, it’s a good idea to have a strong safety net first in case things get rocky.

Save up as much as you can. Best practices say to have at least six months to a year of emergency funds in the bank to float you if needed. You may also need more funding if you plan to start a business that requires overhead or other expenses.

If possible, consider starting a side hustle while working to double your income so you can put more aside. Work as much as possible until you’re ready to break away for good.

What is an income stream?

An income stream is a source that brings in cash flow on a steady basis. Real estate and stocks are examples of income streams because they produce income.

Diversifying your income streams is key, and you can do this by taking on as many as possible.

Should I start my own business?

Only you can decide if you’re ready to start a business.

Ensure you’re in a position to take on the risk and consider the potential return on investment and how long it will take to generate.

Considering how much you’ll need to spend on overhead is also a good idea.

How can I cover living expenses without a job?

You’ll need passive income to cover living expenses if you want to stop working. This can be achieved by investing in stocks or other assets that produce steady payments over time.

Living expenses can be exorbitant. That being the case, having a plan in place is critical before you strike out on your own.

Think About How to Live Without a Job

Stop and think about your personal finance journey and where you want it to take you throughout your lifetime. If you’ve been thinking about a life that doesn’t involve traditional work, it may be a good time to take the leap.

Leaving your job and starting on your own can be a big step towards financial independence. At the same time, it can also be a big risk.

Consider the situation and look for ways to bring in extra money through passive income. With the right approach, you might find that you don’t need a full-time job to achieve financial freedom and live the life of your dreams.

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