Hey everyone! If you saw today’s post title and thought to yourself, “What the heck? I thought Kim just said she quit being self employed to go back to a traditional job?!” rest assured you are not going crazy. (At least no crazier than the rest of us!) 🙂
Kim did indeed decide to go back to a more traditional job, and thus she also decided to give up blogging here at Eyes On the Dollar on a regular basis. I’m still hopeful that we’ll hear from her on occasion so she can fill us in on her life happenings.
In the mean time, I’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill.
Who am I?
Yes, I suppose it is time for an introduction of sorts.
I’m Kayla and I blog over at ShoeaholicNoMore.com. When I heard of Kim’s decision to take a backseat role over her at Eyes on the Dollar, I was honored to be offered a chance to add my voice to the site to continue sharing knowledge of money and personal finance with all of Kim’s readers.
To start things off this week, I just wanted to give you a bit of a backstory on me, my personal finance journey, and a taste of what’s to come. Then next week, we’ll be ready to jump right back in with our regular Monday post. 🙂
The Beginning of My Personal Finance Journey
Clear back in the fall of 2014, I started reading personal finance blogs. Honestly, I stumbled across the first one during a panic-stricken Google search marathon when I couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night because I was so stressed about the lack of money in my bank account.
I’m pretty sure I searched something along the lines of “how to pay off debt” or “how to make ends meet” or something like that.
This lead me to a personal finance blog which I devoured every post of before moving on the next and devouring it too.
I read nearly 20 personal finance blogs, mostly ones focused on paying off debt, from beginning to “current” between September 2013 and December 2013 before starting my own site.
I started my blog as a way to track my financial progress as I worked to simplify my life, pay off debt, and build my savings. But somewhere along the way I got a bit de-railed.
Part of the problem and the reason behind my lack of financial progress was that my monthly bills and minimum debt payments took every cent of the paycheck I earned at my full-time job. I wasn’t earning enough to get ahead very quickly and I had cut everything that I was willing to cut from my budget already.
One thing I’ve learned about myself since this time is that I am definitely not naturally inclined to be frugal and I’ve grown very accustomed to my lifestyle. Thus, I had to find ways to earn more money instead.
This us up to July 2014 when I started freelance writing and blogging, and working as a VA and blog manager.
I originally started this side hustle to help earn extra money to put toward my debt and savings goals, but after just a few months I realized this was something that could be a viable way to become self employed. Plus, I enjoyed it quite a bit more than my day job as a credit analyst at an agricultural lending institution.
Becoming Self Employed
Almost 1 year to the day after I started freelancing as a side hustle, I was earning enough to quit my full-time job to become self employed. My last day at my full-time job was July 31, 2015.
At that point, I still had about $16,000 of consumer debt, about $116,000 of mortgage debt, and not much in savings. I also went from getting a steady, predictable paycheck every 2 weeks to getting paid whenever I complete a project, or on a somewhat regular basis for on-going projects. Instead of freaking out about my lack of financial security, I used it as fuel to motivate myself to work harder at growing my business.
Fast forward just a few more months and I’m not earning almost 3 times what I was at my full-time job, plus I feel content and satisfied with my life a much higher percentage of the time.
As Kim has pointed out, self employment is definitely not all rainbows and butterflies. There’s good and bad in every employment situation no matter if you are self employed like me, or if you are going to work in a traditional job like Kim.
The bottom line is that you have to decide what is right for you. Just because many people in the personal finance niche have made the switch from traditional employment to self employment doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everyone. In fact, I know there are several people, not just Kim, who’ve recently made the decision to switch back to traditional jobs instead of continuing to be self employed. There are definitely pros and cons to both avenues of employment.
That said, I hope you’ll all wish Kim good luck in her new job and allow me to try and fill her shoes here at Eyes on the Dollar, although I know it’ll be a tough act to follow!