Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

Around one week ago I asked all of you a bunch of questions because I want to learn more about all of you. A lot of you said that the job you currently have is not your dream job. I’m sure that a lot of you can imagine and/or see where my posts have been…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: June 5, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Around one week ago I asked all of you a bunch of questions because I want to learn more about all of you. A lot of you said that the job you currently have is not your dream job.

I’m sure that a lot of you can imagine and/or see where my posts have been going lately. Last year I made the post Do You Want To Be Self Employed and I have been thinking about it ever since. It seems like passion has been taking over the personal finance world a lot lately, with Jen, Holly and numerous other wonderful ladies and gentlemen who have decided to strike it out on their own. Guess what? Finding your dream job is possible!

The other day I was reading a post on Get Rich Slowly about how one reader quit her very promising and high-paying career so that she could enjoy life instead. And then after I read that post, I read about how another GRS reader actually QUIT his passion to take a boring job.

I’m not sure what I want to do anymore.  My side hustle income is higher than ever, and I’m constantly looking to diversify it. Right now, I am definitely at the point where I could take a leap of faith and start pursuing other side hustles that I love, and focusing on those 100% instead of my normal 8-5 office job.

I’ve had this Money or Passion post lined up for quite some time in my blog to-do list, and I’m glad I can finally publish it. I’ve been asking a lot of you for tips, and so many of you have been responding to my tweets and emails.

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When I decided on my major at the young age of 18, I did everything that I could to graduate quickly. I managed to graduate after 2.5 years, and that was even with taking a semester off. I was in a rush for multiple reasons: I wanted something to occupy my time so that I could stop thinking about how sick my dad had become, and also because I “thought” that graduating with two business-related degrees would do me good.

I thought life was all about money at that time, and not about what actually makes you happy. I thought pursuing your passion as your job was only for “lucky” people or people who had a specific talent. I was going for the more “realistic and responsible” direction by going for business degrees.

For some, your passion might bring in the money for you, and that is awesome! I have multiple passions, and when all combined into my side hustles and a potential volunteer position that I want to start – this all creates my passion. Luckily, my side hustles bring in a decent amount of money.

Also, luckily our bills are not very high. Altogether our bills and everything are less than $3,200 per month (bills, mortgage, food, and so on) and we could manage this along with still saving without getting too worried. We would want to live on less income and save more to prepare for the unexpected though.

 

Why I want to go for passion and enjoy life instead.

I’ve been thinking about life, the meaning of life, and where I want to go in life a lot lately. I can’t help it. With everything that has happened – mainly my father passing away and finding out that my grandfather passed away shortly thereafter, it’s hard not to think about how boring and routine everything has gotten.

I don’t want to wake up every morning and wonder where the day before went, and I don’t want to be begging for time to pass by just because I feel like I’m slaving away.

I want to continue with my side hustles (which would that become a part of my main hustle) and start a position at a non-profit that I love. I want the days to be enjoyed. I don’t want to wake up in the morning and complain like the world’s ending (which I’m sure W is tired of by now).

I’m still young. Today I am 24 (WOOHOO it is my birthday!). I have yet to take a break and pursue something that I love. Am I too old, too young, too naive to do this? I guess I’ll never know until I try.

I’ve always tried to be the responsible one. There have always been people who have relied on me, but now that they’re starting to do better as well, I have had the increased need to venture out and try something new.

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So, what’s the negative/risk of pursuing my passion and finding my dream job?

The instability of it all! The fear of the unknown. I am a big worrier, and I always feel like the worst happens when you least expect it. I’m afraid that I’ll throw all my eggs in one basket and then it’ll explode. I’m afraid that I might be ruining my future. What if something happens and I regret my decision?

Now, I could continue to do everything – work my job and all of my side hustles, but at what cost? I want to start to enjoy life more. Life isn’t all about money. Yes, I could do everything and make more money, but I don’t care about that anymore. At what point is the amount of money that you have enough for you?

To quote the GRS post that I mentioned earlier – what makes me hesitant to pursue passion:

Your career is just one part of your life. You might not become a much happier person just because you do the work that satisfies you the most. You have to consider the effects it could have on you as a person besides just having to do the work. You should do the work that gives you balance, and not the work you love the most.

Should I be looking at work just as a way to make money, and keep my passions completely separate? Am I naive for thinking that I can combine both money and passion?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and below are some tips to help you figure it out.

Determine why you no longer enjoy your job and why you are thinking about finding your dream job.

Have you always not enjoyed your job? What has changed? If you at one point enjoyed your job, then you need to really think about what you could do to change your job back to your passion.

Test the waters when deciding on your dream job.

I do understand that in some circumstances, you may need to leave your job IMMEDIATELY.  However, if you can control your departure timing, see what you can dive into once you start your passion. You never know, your passion might not be exactly how you thought it was going to be.

Be realistic when finding your dream job.

I always include being realistic in my posts. It’s the most important step when deciding anything! Living in some make-believe fantasy world won’t solve anything. You want to set realistic expectations for what might or might not happen. Your passion might turn out not to be what you thought. You might find out AFTER you have already quit that you actually enjoyed your job a lot, and you might miss it.

 

What about you? Money or passion? Maybe BOTH?

What tips do you have for those looking to work for passion?

Do you think finding your dream job is possible?

 


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence

    Happy bday! You have several months behind you to see how side gigs went and what they brought, so you can't predict the future but you can get a rough idea. Looks like you could easily live out of those and do the charity work as well. I wouldn't be too worried since you have different sources of income, and if everything goes wrong, the charity could even manage to give you a basic salary while you look for more work.
    My recent post A forced emergency fund

    1. Michelle

      Thanks Pauline! And you are very right. I just need to make the leap!
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  2. It's difficult to just drop everything behind without holding unto something concrete. And this question, money over passion, have been the choices of a lot of us who has a day job and some side hustle. Its difficult finding the balance as well but they are right, "career is just one part of your life". So I'd still depend on us what choice will we have, which one will we choose.
    My recent post Cash Strapped? How to Start a Business With No Money

    1. I agree KC, and that's what makes this so hard!

  3. Michelle! I think you know how I feel like this. You've proven consistently that you can bring in a reasonable amount of income. I no longer see what's holding you back! Imagine a life without being restricted by the amount of vacation days you have. A life without a real boss. You can have it all! You just have to take a leap of faith.

    1. Thanks Holly. You are seriously one of my big motivators! Your comment is my most favorite comment ever πŸ™‚
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  4. Even Cheap

    I think both! Going after your passion and figuring out a way to earn an income from it is key. The balance life comes from prioritizing.

  5. Mitchell

    This issue with me is that my passion is tied to a certain degree with money. Snowboarding, particularly on a nationally competitive level, isn't cheap. Fortunately it isn't THAT crazy, and there are a lot of frugal ways to cut the costs down. Still, a barrier. My current job is boring, frustrating and high paying so I am sticking with it for now with the idea of saving / investing a lot towards buying my freedom in 5-6 years. That will but me in my early thirties, and I don't think that is a bad time to retire! Love posts like these, this is a conversation I wish would gain more traction nationally.
    My recent post 5 Frugal Tips to See You Through to Christmas

    1. 5-6 years is very soon and is a great time to retire πŸ™‚

      Thanks for stopping by Mitchell, I greatly appreciate it.
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  6. Happy Birthday! We've talked about this at length so you know my thoughts. Make a solid plan and realize the impact it will have on your future 5, 10 and 20 years down the road πŸ™‚ Get diversifying πŸ™‚

  7. John S @ Frugal Rules

    Happy Bday Michelle! Like Holly, I think you know my thoughts on this. πŸ™‚ You've proven that you can bring in sustainable income and have a plan of what you want to do. As someone who took the leap last year I have spent the last 11 months wondering why on earth I waited so long. There are virtually no restrictions and you set what you want to do and when. Sure, there is a different kind of responsibility, but it is so worth it in the long run.

    1. Thanks John! I always love to hear from others who are self employed. Makes me think it's definitely worth it.
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  8. debtperception

    Happy Birthday! Money or passion? That's a tough one. My debt killed my passion, and now I'm sorta passionate about killing my debt…so I guess it's more about money right now? I also don't have a job to start and I'm limited in my abilities and do not have reliable transportation. I need to figure out a way to find passion in doing something from home to gain more income to throw at my debt!
    My recent post You’ve Got to be Kidding Me

    1. Thanks! And there's nothing wrong with it being about money. For right now for me, it is money until I am better prepared.
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  9. Ree Klein

    I graduated high school early and immediately took a job…I worked for the next 35 years. I spent the first half of those years building debt and the second half paying it off. So, for me it was about the money. I was really fortunate that I had jobs I really enjoyed and got a ton of recognition along the way. Opportunities and the money made it hard to leave but I always wanted to be my own boss and do something of value.

    Once I paid off my debt, including the mortgage, I began saving so I could give myself a year to make something happen when I left my job. That happened last Oct. In answer to your questions:

    1. Money, Passion or Both? Answer: Both if you can't afford to make it a year without an income. If you have the resources…by all means GET MOVING!!!
    2. Tips for Pursuing Your Passion: Answer: Spend time BEFORE quitting your job to LEARN, LEARN, LEARN. Find others on the web or locally who are doing something similar to what you want to do and follow them, listen to podcasts, read books and watch videos in your subject. Learn about running that type of business. Start with the free options bc you can always add costs later. Write a business plan or, in the case of wanting to write a blog or book, create a detailed book proposal. Boring I know, but it really helps you think things through. If what you want to start is a brick & mortar business, interview other business owners to find out what challenges they face and how they overcome them. ASK, INVESTIGATE AND DOCUMENT. Be careful that you don't turn a passion into a burden.

    Great post, Michelle!
    Ree ~ I blog at EscapingDodge.com

    1. Great tips! Thanks so much! πŸ™‚ I started working full-time at 16 and haven't stopped since. I want to start enjoying life more πŸ™‚
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  10. Happy_Homeowner

    Happy Birthday! πŸ™‚

    I'm with Holly on this one, and I think you know my vote as well. The thing is, all this freelancing stuff is still work! But I have an incredible life balance now that I've never had before. I choose when I work, who I work for, and how much I bring in (for the mostpart). I'm not a slave to anyone other than my own goals, dreams and aspirations. To me, that's living the sweet life.

    Once I created my bare bones budget for freelancing and realized I have contracts that bring in more than that, I stopped stressing about the money. Sure, it sucks when I fluctuates so wildly ($10K one month, $7K the next), but I'm traveling more than ever, getting more done around the house (I love cooking, cleaning, DIY), and I'm running consistently. None of these things were in place day to day when I was stuck in the office jobs!!

    Chase your dream–you're killing it in the income department and will most likely only make more once you take the plunge. πŸ˜‰

    1. I agree, it is still work! But I'm all for the better life balance just as you said. It sounds like your life has been super awesome these days, and I hope I can do the same!
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  11. plantingourpennies

    If the side gigs are what you're passionate about, and you've been able to prove they can bring in money, well… The next part seems pretty straightforward. But if the side gigs bore you more than your office job, then I'd hesitate before taking that leap.

    1. Haha luckily I love all of my side gigs and they do not bore me πŸ™‚
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  12. I think that different circumstances can dictate one way or the other, but it sounds like you have the full ability to make the choice that you really want. It's certainly possible that you will quit your job and find that you don't love focusing 100% on your side gigs as much as you thought, but you won't know that unless you try. All signs point to you really feeling like you want to cut loose from the day job, and with your income and expenses I don't see any reason not to try it out. It may not work out, but so what? Then you move on to something else. It seems pretty likely that you'll be just fine though. Good luck!
    My recent post Optimizing My Work Commute: Challenging One of My Money Rules

    1. Thanks so much Matt! And you are right, if it doesn't work out, then I'll just move on to something else.
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  13. For me, it's taking care of needs first – which means a job, salary, etc. With kids, I can't think of pursuing my passions first. That comes second, as a side gig.

    Now, if I had pursued my passions years ago when starting out, that might have been a better time to jump all in. If one can do that, I think it would be great!
    My recent post Wedding Loans: Financing The Big Day

    1. If we had kids, it would most likely be a completely different story. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  14. It's a tough dilemma. Since you have side income that is more than your expenses, stability might be an illusion. You might save less for retirement, but you'll still be stable.

    I'd say keep on going for several more years. See if your passive income streams can cover your monthly nut and then make the move. You've got the world ahead of you no problemo!

    Good luck!
    My recent post Documents Needed When Renting An Apartment

    1. I definitely want to work on my passive income and that is something that I will be working on extremely hard until I make the switch! πŸ™‚
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  15. I read somewhere that the best time to strike it out on your own is before 30. Apparently after 30 it's much harder to recover financially than beforehand, so now is probably the best time to try things on your own! I've also talked to an estate and tax attorney (for the millionaires) and he says anyone who is financially well-off always has at LEAST 3 income streams. With all your side income, I'm imagining that you're already pretty well diversified. I believe we are meant to work for money for a certain part of our life, until we can create enough residual income to live our lives the way we want. My question to you is, do you feel like working is sacrificing your lifestyle? If so, do you still NEED to make that sacrifice?
    My recent post Bitcoin: Potential Investment or New Outlook on the Economy?

    1. Thanks so much Kyle! I do feel like it is sacrificing my lifestyle. I'm working so many hours and not enjoying life as much right now. Life is good, but it could be better πŸ™‚
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  16. I know I Tweeted this to you when you asked, but the answer for me is neither. I took a job in what I thought would be a "passion", but after 4 years on the job, that passion is – without question – dead. I'm still here though, because my attempts to find a new job have not yet been successful. I suppose I'm technically working for money, because I can't afford to not work, but the pay is really low…

    I'm hoping my next career move will be a combination of passion and money. (Don't we all?) I want to enjoy my job, and be be fairly compensated for it. That's all. I don't have to LOVE what I do, and I don't have to be paid millions either. Here's hoping!
    My recent post It’s Going to Take Me 100 Years to Pay Off My Student Loan

    1. I'm sorry Amanda, I hope you find something that you love soon. Passion plus money is the best combination πŸ™‚
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  17. SavvyFinancialLatina

    I think of this every day! Maybe the circle we hang out just has that kind of freelance spirit :p
    Right now I'm not a a point in life where I can freelance and support us. But I am working on diversifying my income. Hopefully, now that I finished school, I can concentrate more on this. Although I think it will take a couple more years for me.
    If freelancing doesn't work for you, you can always go back to work. Being young and having no kids is the best time to venture out.

    1. Haha yes the pf community definitely has the freelance spirit! And thanks so much πŸ™‚

      Do you think that you will ever become self employed? Or is your current job your passion?
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  18. I agree! If I were able to dedicate more time to it, I can only imagine where I could go with it.
    My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  19. Thanks so much! And yes we could definitely live off of what I make from my side hustles alone, and still be saving a decent amount. We will definitely be trying to live on my side income alone and see how that goes.

    And I hope you find out what your passion is! I'm sure burnout is somewhat normal.
    My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  20. Thanks so much Jake. That's good that you have a nice mix. What do you do? πŸ™‚
    My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

    1. I'm an analyst too and it's really not that horrible, but working for myself sounds more pleasant.
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  21. Haha I always accept comments from old dinosaurs πŸ™‚

    You are right. Too much of something will get boring, and that's why I stop and wonder if I'm just being young and crazy.
    My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

    1. nicoleandmaggie

      Cloud over at wandering scientist has some good blog posts about being a Scanner. Nothing wrong with being a Scanner!

      1. Thanks! Will definitely check this out πŸ™‚
        My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  22. Can you get a leave of absence from your current job? Two or three months off, and pursuing your side gigs, will tell you a lot about whether you want to do just that permanently.

    1. Hmmm I don't think that would be possible. I wish though!
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  23. Lena

    Happy Birthday! Have a wonderful day today! I work for mostly for passion and a little bit for money. I do what I care about, and that's why I enjoy it so much!

  24. Brian

    Happy Birthday!

    1. You are young and heaven forbid you take a leap and it doesn't work out you have plenty of time and education to "recover"
    2. You'll never know unless you try and there really is nothing worse than playing the "what if" game about the past

    Personally I work a job I am not passionate about, but I make good money, have plenty of time off and really only do about 16 hours of actual work, so I have plenty of down time to surf the web (I should probably start a blog or something). My wife on the other hand works at a job she LOVES and is very passionate about. We also had a baby last year, so I kind of value the stability of my job.

    1. Thanks Brian! And YES please start a blog! πŸ™‚
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  25. First Happy Birthday! And I guess no one can really help you decide on this since everyone's situation is different. You have people that are just more comfortable working and no matter how much they make on the side they will feel more secure working the 8-5. Then you have others that make $300 on the side and they are ready to quit in a flash. Save up some money and work your job if you can if not push forward with the side hustle full time.
    My recent post Make Sure You Pay Your Credit Cards On Time

    1. Thanks! And yes we definitely plan on saving as much as we can until the time comes.
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  26. nicoleandmaggie

    I had no idea you were only 24! Wow!

    Well, the good news is, if you try something and it turns out you don't like it, you have plenty of time to try something else. You've got a nice safety cushion on top of that. You'll be fine– explore!

    And that's my professional opinion as a (n anonymous– don't sue me) labor economist.
    My recent post holy excrement, I win!

    1. Haha I try and not share my age too much. I probably come across as bratty and annoying when I say that I'm only 24, but that is not the way I try to sound.

      Thanks so much. I definitely value your opinion, and I think you are right πŸ™‚
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  27. Thanks! And yes this is what I keep thinking about. Right now is much better than when we have children running around.
    My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  28. Thanks! And yes that is something that I have been thinking about also. Does it all eventually just become "work?"
    My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

    1. You are right. I am hoping that I will continue to enjoy everything. But I guess we will never know! All I know is that right now, this is not working for me haha
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  29. Thanks Kathleen. I don't have anything to lose so I don't know why I'm driving myself nuts over this decision haha
    My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

    1. you got this, kid!Kathleen O'MalleyFrugalPortland.comBeautifulGiveaways.com

      1. Thanks Kathleen! I always appreciate what you have to say. And ahhh I know I'm so young πŸ™ haah

  30. Happy Birthday!

    I've thought about this at length, though I haven't had to make any sort of serious decision about it since my side income doesn't outweigh my full-time income. That's not to say my full-time job doesn't align with my passions, but the whole working for someone else vs. working for yourself is a huge debate that most people will struggle with sometime or another.

    I think that pursuing your passion as a full-time gig is a good move, mainly because the work you produce is likely to be higher quality vs. a job/work that you do not enjoy.
    My recent post 5 Ways to Stand Out and Provide Value early in your Career

    1. Michelle

      Thanks DC! πŸ™‚

      It is a hard decision, and so many people feel differently about it. I'm going to sit on it for a little longer and decide πŸ™‚
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  31. Michelle

    A used bookstore sounds wonderful! πŸ™‚
    My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  32. Michelle

    Thanks! We should definitely keep in touch with this subject πŸ™‚
    My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  33. LivingDFRocks!

    First off Happy Birthday Michelle πŸ™‚

    I believe you already know exactly what you want to do. You are prepared for it and you are able to sustain the side hustle. Of course you may have ebbs & flows which is normal with us self-employed peeps but your side income alone every months exceeds your baseline costs. I tend to feel the fear and do it anyway and so far it's worked out for me more than just fine πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks! And haha yes you are right, I do know what I want to do πŸ™‚
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  34. Hi Michelle. This is one of the best posts I have seen here. I think the fact that you are even considering this is huge. It seems like you have been doing really well with side $$ for a while. Maybe save a little more and then strike out on your own? Good to have atleast 6 months savings or even 12 months if you can. The I say do what you love.
    My recent post Being Knowledgeable about your Mortgage

    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed this post πŸ™‚

      And yes, I definitely want to save as much as we can so that we don't regret this decision.
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  35. Alex

    I'm a both kind of guy. I think part of the reason I can feel passionate about side hustles like writing is because they don't have the pressure of a regular job. My side hustle doesn't pay my bills, so it involves less stress.

    I've heard people say that if they did what they love for a living, it wouldn't be something they love anymore. I'm not sure that this applies to me, but I've thought about it before.

    1. I have heard people say that before. That if you love something, you should not make it your job because then you will hate it. Hopefully that does not happen to me!
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  36. Jenny@FrugalGuru

    Get a nice, healthy cushioned saved up, and get health insurance lined up before you quit. Then go for it. πŸ™‚
    My recent post When Thread Count Is A Ripoff

    1. Definitely plan on doing all of this. Thanks! πŸ™‚
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  37. Mr. Bonner

    Happy Bday! You share it with my youngest who turned 1 today.

    I'm facing a similar dilema, so I'd love to hear more about your thought process. I've been in my field for over 7 years with one company and while I'm pretty happy here I'm wondering what else is out there. I'm afraid if I head down this path much longer then before I know it 20 more years will go by and I'll be heading into retirement without ever really getting out of my comfort zone and challenging myself.
    My recent post Driving is more expensive than you might think

    1. I agree! This is exactly how I feel. May I ask what field you work in?
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  38. ashley

    happy belated birthday! This is a great post because I'm facing that problem now. Im not as young as you unfortunately, but deciding whether or not to really put all of my energy into building my blog and brand with the high risk of not making great money is scary (but exciting too). Happy to hear you are following your passion instead of dollar signs!
    My recent post 9 Great Ideas to Make Money on the Side

    1. Thanks Ashley! Do you have a full-time job currently? Or are you working on online hustles? Tell me! I'm interested πŸ™‚
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

      1. Ashley

        I am still working as a fit model since it is great money and the hours are flexible enough to still give the blog enough attention. I really need to start monetizing on the site now, though. I want this to be my full time gig and I believe I can make it happen!
        My recent post Checklist: If and When Should I Quit My Job to Follow My Passion?

  39. Keren

    1. What is your job? Do you work full-time? Stay at home parent? Go to school? Is this your dream job? I work full time, own my own side business, and just started my own blog as well.

    2. What is your biggest pet peeve? Hypocritical people, bad grammatical/spelling skills, and bad drivers, haha!

    3. What are your financial goals? To retire early? Start your own business? Pay off your house? Pay off ALL debt and have a healthier and happier homestead. I'm still on the fence whether I want to eventually take the leap to leave my day job, though. That path has not yet been paved.

    4. How much do you spend on food per month? Family of 4, between $400 and $600.

    5. What would you do if you had no debt? How much debt do you have? Total debt including student loans, consumer debt, mortgage, etc., is about $190K. If I had none, I'd save the crap out of my income and travel a bit as well.

    6. What is your dream income/salary? Enough to sustain my family debt free and save for the future.
    My recent post Why you should stop drinking soda

    1. These are all my pet peeves also! Glad I'm not alone. And great job on your food budget!
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  40. Happy BIrthday Michelle!! I understand your worrying and I think it's natural and good. It's a big decisions and you're thinking it through to make sure it's right for you. You're doing great with your current side hustles, and there is no reason that number wouldn't increase if it had your full attention. For me, passion trumps money. I make a good living, but this is because I LOVE what I do. Not that I don't have bad days, because I do – but I get up eager to start my day. My passion for helping others with their finances and becoming financial literate drives me to continue building my practice, which ultimately increases my earnings. I will also share with you from working with wealthy clients and far less wealthy clients that it was the amount of money they had that defined their happiness – it was doing something they loved and how they used whatever money they had.

    1. Thanks Shannon! I was hoping that you'd come by and leave a comment πŸ™‚ I always value your opinion.

      That's good that you do what you love! I hope to be the same way also.
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  41. christie

    You are 24 years old. Go Play! Make some memories that you will always look back on. You have the income / savings/ debt level that you can quit your day job and still make responsible financial decisions.

  42. shopaholicsavers

    I understand exactly the way you feel! I graduated college young and got a full time job but I hated the lack of freedom. I knew that I was miserable and needed to do something about it. So I left the security of a full time job and I've never looked back. I just started my Master's Degree so that I can have the career I really want which is teaching at a college or university. And guess what? They are paying me to teach college classes at the university while I earn my degree and paying for me to go to school! So I'm getting to start my career even earlier than I hoped. In addition, I still work part time as a server for extra income, have an online book business, run my website and spend my free time doing things to save us money. Guess what? I'm 100 times happier than I was at that horrible company where all I did was work. You know where you will be in a year if you stay at your current job but you never know what great things will happen if you leave. And you have the wonderful advantage of knowing you can afford it! When I stopped working full time I didn't know how I was going to pay my bills but sometimes life is about risk! And leaving your full time job would be a lot less of a risk for you than most people. This is what I wish someone had told me when I was working full time. Good luck! You won't regret it!

    1. Michelle

      Wow that is awesome! Sounds like things are going very well for you πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for your help.
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  43. kimateyesonthedollar

    I'm belated, but Happy Birthday. I would stay with your day job until you decide what you want to do about buying a house. It's harder to get a mortgage without W2 income. After that, I'd see what the next few years held. If you want kids, quitting the day job would be a great thing if you can maintain your side income. Personally, I would keep the regular job until I had kids. You think you have no time now, but having a baby really takes away any free time you have for a while. It would be nice to work on your own schedule at that point. I think you'll find a way to be successful, even if that means living on less money. Resourceful people generally do.

    1. Michelle

      Thanks Kim! And yes we have been trying to plan it all out for how it will relate to the house.
      My recent post Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money

  44. I would say that while I like my job, I would rather have the freedom to pursue whatever project I wanted. That's part of the journey though, we will eventually reach financial independence and then be able to go after whatever we want!

  45. daisyprairieecothrifter

    Happy birthday Michelle! I think more along the lines of the quote of the person from the GRS post you have up there. I know that if I quit my job to do something I was passionate about, I'd be giving up other things I'm passionate about because the first thing (the thing I do for work) would take over. When you rely on something to make a living, it becomes a lot less thrilling.

  46. Many (belated) happy returns! Hope you had a great Birthday Michelle – heck this post got a lot of comments!

    For me both are 100% required. Money and Passion are equally important to me as I believe I need one to feed the other. Without money I can't fulfill my (expensive) passions; diving, traveling, wakeboarding, skiing etc. But without passion in what I do I won't earn the maximum amount of money for my time; If I enjoy what I do at work and give it my all, I will get promoted and given better opportunities to earn more money – this requires passion and enjoyment in what I do!
    My recent post A Promise of Paradise – Why I am Not Buying Property in Mexico

  47. Savvy Scot

    Many (belated) happy returns! Hope you had a great Birthday Michelle – heck this post got a lot of comments!

    For me both are 100% required. Money and Passion are equally important to me as I believe I need one to feed the other. Without money I can't fulfill my (expensive) passions; diving, traveling, wakeboarding, skiing etc. But without passion in what I do I won't earn the maximum amount of money for my time; If I enjoy what I do at work and give it my all, I will get promoted and given better opportunities to earn more money – this requires passion and enjoyment in what I do!

  48. Julia

    As much as I would love to work for passion, my main thing is for money. It’s more important than anything (especially in this economy). Money does a lot more things than passion can never do: pays your bills, feeds you, clothes you, puts a roof over your head,gets you more respect in society, etc. People who say they work for passion MIGHT say they love what they’re doing, but really they don’t (& they know it) because it’s not making them any money. Money makes the world go round and that’s the ONLY thing that matters (& should matter).

    1. Lathindu

      All of the above that you said the money can do is just a list of priority.if you see this msg look back at you’re life when you’re 50-60 and try to be happy about earning money and respect for 50 years of you’re life.if you want examples I could not give you a better one than Jk Rowling.maybe look in to some of the top tier people you will realize it’s not thire desire for money that got them there it’s thire passion and talent.if you’re gonna speak so low of being passionate about something you’re laughing at those people who has enough to drown you in money(the very thing you rely you’re life on)

  49. For most of my life, I was certain that teaching English would be my life’s work. Then I taught for a while, and realized, like you noted, it was not exactly what I thought it would be. I think I just confused my experiences in the classroom as a student as being similar to what my experiences would be as a teacher. They just turned out to be very different, and when I realized that, I moved on. No big deal — it was better that I earned my credential and gave it a shot, instead of not doing it and wondering what might have been.

    Anyway, you close with some excellent advice: pursue passions, but be realistic.

  50. Bman

    For as long as I can remember I always saw myself in a courtroom defending an innocent victim. Yes, I have always wanted to be a lawyer. I recently graduated college and I can’t afford law school for now. I just got a job as a paralegal and this job is great because I can learn more about my future career. One week after being there my boss was very impressed with my work skills and increased my pay $6 more an hour. However, I grew up with limited amount of money because of many circumstances. Now, I am facing a big dilemma. I have the opportunity of starting my own business, which is not related to law at all and make 10 times more than a paralegal or lawyer. The problem is do I follow my passion or financial stability? Starting my own business would mean more responsibilities, but peace of mind at the same time (Financially).

  51. Happy belated Michelle! You’ve already figured out a way to make your passion work for you (all before the age of 24) and that’s excellent. Unfortunately, I don’t think everyone can make that happen and there are legitimate advantages to letting go and starting a “boring job”.

    1. Patrick

      Tell that to some of the richest people in the world ask them what they fallowed money or passion

  52. I worked a good paying job from home but I HATED it. So I would procrastinate getting my hours in and then have to rush to get it done. If I love what I’m doing, I will do it first thing but if I hate it, you can bet I will take my sweet time. The job started interfering with family time and it just wasn’t worth it. Once I quit, it was a huge sigh of relief. Now I realize that we can’t always quit a job because we hate it but I have found that when you hate it, it is time to look for something else.

  53. I’m just looking through some of your old posts and man, I’m glad you took the leap of faith. I’m sure you are too.

    1. Yes, I am extremely happy! πŸ™‚

  54. Tiffany Sun

    It’s so rare to find someone (especially your age) to think about what you truly want to do in life…to do what you’re passionate about. So many of my friends just go through their 8-5 jobs and don’t seem to be so satisfied with their life.

    I know this was more than 1 1/2 years, but how has your work life since then?

    1. Hello!

      Life is much better now that I run my own business. Pursuing your passion is well worth it πŸ™‚