Update: Three Months of Being Self-Employed

My last day at my day job was back in early October. It’s crazy to think that it’s been a little over three months since my last day. Every day of self-employment seems to go by quickly. I don’t ever wake up dreading work, which is very nice. Instead, I wake up happy and energized….

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 27, 2023

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My last day at my day job was back in early October. It’s crazy to think that it’s been a little over three months since my last day. Every day of self-employment seems to go by quickly. I don’t ever wake up dreading work, which is very nice.

Instead, I wake up happy and energized. I look forward to each and every new day because that’s a whole new day of new possibilities.

I’m in control of my future, and everything that I do it matters. It can be scary, but it is also great.

Three months is of course not a long time, but I want to do a quarterly update to see how I am doing, and hopefully improve each and every quarter. It will probably also be interesting to read these updates years down the road to make fun of myself.

Many of you have also said that you are preparing to make the switch as well, and that periodic updates would be helpful for you. Thank you to my readers for being interested! 🙂

 

After three months of self-employment, I have learned a lot.

I definitely am no expert at being a self-employed person (at least not yet!), but I do think that I have learned a lot. I am learning more about my business, how to expand my business, and much more.

I really love being self-employed and so far it’s been treating me pretty well.

 

I thought that I would have a better schedule.

When most people think about making the switch to self-employment, one of the things that they usually look forward to is the idea of a flexible schedule.

A schedule just doesn’t seem to work for me right now. I find myself constantly on my phone, but I do think that may just be because I am excited for my new business.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my schedule, however, I need to work better at creating a more strict schedule and working during those hours. Instead, I find myself on the couch or on the bed working. I need to sit in a REAL chair and work!

 

I’m starting to spend less.

One thing that many self-employed people will tell you is that when you are working from home, you will save a lot of money. However, that just didn’t prove true for me in the weeks after I left my day job.

Instead, I found myself spending much more right after I left my day job. I was spending more and eating out much more. It didn’t make any sense. I was at home more, so why couldn’t I just make myself some meals?

Luckily, that has completely changed. We find ourselves eating at home much more and cooking delicious meals. It does help that I’ve also been on a healthy kick, so the smell of fast food actually makes me sick.

 

Luckily, I’m not eating everything in my view.

I thought that when I would switch to self-employment, I would constantly be in the kitchen or in the fridge. That would only seem normal right? If I am at home, that would mean that food would always be in reach. It would be completely different from my office job, where we didn’t have a vending machine or any food to snack on.

What has really been helping me in this area that I don’t really buy snacks anymore. I can’t even remember the last time I bought a bag of chips. Snacks in our house now consist of fruits and vegetables.

 

I’m still sleeping probably a little too much. 

When I had my day job, I would wake up a few hours before work so that I could work on side business tasks. This meant that every single day I would wake up around  5 or 6 a.m.

Nowadays, I wake up around 5 a.m., work for around an hour, and then go back to sleep… AND THEN, I don’t wake up until hours after that. This is something that needs to change.

This will sound stupid, but it has been hard to wake up at a certain time, early in the morning, while being self-employed. Technically, I don’t have to be anywhere… However, I know that I work best early in the morning, even though I am not a morning person. Weird, but it’s true for me.

 

You know how self-employed people are always thought to be in their pajamas?

Well, it’s true. I feel like I’m always in my pajamas. If I’m not going somewhere that day, then I will be in my pajamas all day it seems.

Haha I know – you probably think I’m absolutely disgusting.

There is one positive in this though – I hardly spend money on clothes anymore. In the past three months, I believe I bought two jackets (I’ve been eyeing the Patagonia jacket that I recently bought for months!), a dress, and one shirt. I probably didn’t even need that shirt, or that dress.

What else do you want to know about my three months being self-employed?

Did anything in my update surprise you?


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. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies

    I wouldn’t worry about getting “too much” sleep. It’s something that our bodies are pretty good about telling us when they need it, so I tend to err on the side of listening to my body when it comes to a bedtime/waketime routine.

    1. Very true ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

  2. Your update didn’t surprise me too much. I’d be interested in hearing how you feel about it one year, two year, three years down the road and what changes you have made over time to make it work better for you. I think if I ever quit my job to work for myself full-time I’d rant and rave about how I don’t have a commute and how much more productive I feel without having to lose that hour or so every day!

    1. I don’t know why I didn’t mention those two areas. It’s AMAZING not having to commute to work anymore. I save so much time, and it’s nice to just wake up and be able to work. Also, I don’t have to deal with crazy drivers anymore.

  3. That sounds very cool. My biggest fear for myself is the over-eating and over-sleeping. It sounds like those are challenges, but perhaps ones that can be overcome.

    1. I really thought that I would over eat, but nope! Thankfully ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Connie

    That sounds great and its only been 3 months!

    For me, I worry about the stability. Even though I wouldn’t have the stress of a typical 9-to-5, I think I would worry more about not having a stable paycheck. How do you handle that? Has your income been as you expected?

    1. Yeah, sometimes I do get worried about the instability of it all. In reality, I was hoping that my income would be a little bit higher by this point (especially since taxes take so much). I’m hoping to ramp everything up soon. I feel like I haven’t been working as hard lately.

  5. Awesome~!! Especially the part where you get to wear your pajamas all day.

  6. I can so relate to much of this Michelle! I thought that it’d be easy to set a schedule, and after being at it for about 18 months now, I still struggle with it. My wife, who has been doing it for four years is a little better, so there is hope. ๐Ÿ™‚ We also find that we spend a lot less. As long as I stay off of Amazon, then we do virtually no spending at all. The pajamas thing…yea, I’m definitely guilty of that one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Yes, I also need to stay off online stores as well. That is a disaster. Occasionally I will shop online, fill up online shopping carts, but I never buy. I guess it’s my version of window shopping ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. When I work from home, I find that I don’t eat much and I spend very little. It is nice when that happens. Congrats on hitting three months and here it to many more!

  8. I wear pajamas all the time too. There is no reason to get ready unless I’m actually going anywhere!

  9. I am not too bad with the schedule. I try to stick with certain hours but of course it doesn’t always happen. My spending has went way down though and I’m still not eating very much. I was worried I’d be eating 24/7 when I started working from home but my eating habits haven’t really changed.

    1. I definitely still eat a lot, I’m just glad that it hasn’t increased haha ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. 5 am to work…. I could never do that! (That being said, I used to have a job where I woke up at 4:30 every morning for work. Been there, done that, no more!)

      1. 4:30 sounds absolutely horrible!

  10. There was no social aspect at my work – we all worked independently, so that made the switch easy!

  11. Yup, exactly. I spend less because if I wanted to eat something, I would have to leave my house – which is just too much work. It’s easier just to make myself a meal.

  12. Great update, Michelle. I would want to sleep in a little bit, especially after waking up at 5am before! Could you go to cafes and work? I can imagine it would be hard to separate your life from your work though. I think having a stricter schedule will help with that.

    1. Thank you! And, I prefer to work at home – it’s just so much more comfortable ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. A hard and fast schedule would be the absolute hardest part for me. I really like sleeping. I would probably need to set up any meetings/etc that I could for first thing in the morning, to get myself turned on to working.

    1. I really LOVE sleeping also.

  14. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I’m working on doing the waking up to work on my side hustle before work bit. So far, I’m more of a stay up really late and then hit snooze a million times in the morning person. It’s great to hear your self-employment is going well!

    1. Yes, I do that too! I’m really bad when it comes to hitting the snooze button 100 times before I actually wake up.

  16. I hear ya on the pajamas! For me, it’s yoga pants, but I swear I am more creative and productive when I am comfortable.

    1. Yes, for me it’s yoga pants also. My yoga pants are my pjs though haha!

  17. So interesting! I find myself doing similar as a self-employed person. I definitely sleep way more than I did when I was employed by a company.

    I’ve started getting out of the house to work more because it makes me more productive. I appreciate how some people work well from home but I definitely need a separate work space!

    1. Yes, I sleep so much!

  18. jackie

    it would be so nice to work from home so that I could save money on food and parking. and I would LOVE to wear pj’s all day long! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Sleeping too much? What’s that???

  20. Tie the Money Knot

    That’s awesome to wake up energized and happy. The way life should be! We can all learn from this.

  21. Wow three months already? That’s crazy.
    You have been killing it and should be so so proud of all you have done! Have fun in Nashville!

  22. Daman

    Great post! Thanks for using my photo, love that you got some use out of it in a cool post ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. I think you sleeping too much is okay, it’s good for your health. ๐Ÿ™‚ Although, it’s not that good when it comes to earning money. I think you’ll be able to figure things out and find the perfect balance someday.

    1. I hope so ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. I’m in pjs whenever I’m at home, so if I worked from home I’d probably never wear anything that didn’t have an elastic waistband ;-). Congrats on 3 months!

  25. The First Million is the Hardest

    haha, I’m not self employed but whenever I work from home I do so in my pajamas. I consider it a perk!

  26. so glad it’s working out so well for you!

    1. Thank you Christine!

  27. Congrats on hitting this milestone! Indeed, I tend to be all day long in my pajamas too, but I take it as a bonus and maybe as the required dressing code for our work ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you C! ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Jammies all day is awesome. Nothing disgusting about it. I find that if I wake up and then go back to bed I am ALWAYS more groggy then if I had just stayed up. That 2nd sleep is deep and hard to get up from. Glad it’s going well.

    1. Thanks CeCe! And yes, I should just stay up but I’m sooo tired ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. I can relate to some of these myself! I find that some days, I don’t shower in the morning. I’ll shower right before I need to run out. I’ve also found I eat lunch out frequently. I have cut back most everywhere else so I am OK with this for now. For me, I need to get out and interact with people after awhile. I can’t just stay inside all day. Lastly, for the first few months I didn’t have a schedule. I worked hard but always felt like things were hanging out there. Now I have a schedule and get a ton more done. In fact, there are some days when I get so much done, I treat myself to a late afternoon movie!

    1. Late afternoon movies are always great ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Jack @ Enwealthen

    I love getting up at 5am. It’s nice being awake before everyone else. You can get so much done before the day starts.

    The drawback of course, is come 10pm you’re dead to the world… but unless you’re single and out hunting a spouse at night, losing the night is a good trade off.

  31. Jack @ Enwealthen

    Working from home is great, especially for the first few months when you’re feeling the freedom.

    Make sure you schedule in some social time where you’re out in the world interacting with people on a regular basis. It’s very easy to get sucked into the working-all-the-time trap when working from home – you don’t realize how much socializing you do at work until it’s suddenly gone.

    1. Yes, it has been great so far! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans

    Not sure if I would ever make the switch, but I do know that I would cherish sleep first! Great job on three months of self-employment, girl ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚