It’s true. Our net worth actually increased after I left my (well-paying) full-time job.
Those of you who have been with me for a while, know that in June of 2016, I left my cushy 8 to 5 job to run my wedding planning business full time. It was an exciting, yet scary time for me. I mean, what happens if the bookings don’t stay consistent?
My husband and I had to have some serious conversations about money. But honestly, it was the best thing we could’ve done! Here’s what we implemented to improve our financial health:
Setting financial goals
If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? How much money is enough money?
By taking the time to define our financial goals, we got on the same page about:
- Where we were
- Where we wanted to go
- How we were going to get there
It eliminated those uneasy or unspoken concerns about our finances. It also helps us evaluate our purchases in terms of our financial goals. If something doesn’t line up with our financial priorities, we don’t buy it.
Setting a budget
The first thing we had to do was set a pretty tight budget. While I was making money with my weddings, it wasn’t predictable or consistent money yet. We didn’t want to be counting on any of those funds to live on at the time. So, we had to come up with a realistic, sustainable budget based on my husband’s income.
We slashed our expenses to the bone. Was it uncomfortable at first? Yes. But, now I can’t imagine living any other way! The sheer simplicity of our life is so freeing.
We auto-pay all our bills, and we use cash for our spending money– things like groceries, fuel, and eating out. Anything I have left over from my cash each week goes into a “savings jar” that I can use for special purchases. It actually motivates me to save more. I love seeing the jar fill up!
Since we wouldn’t have the predictable paycheck from my day job anymore, we put a larger priority on saving. We actually built “savings” into our budget. As part of our shift towards saving, we focused on filling my husband’s 401k. Who doesn’t want free retirement matching money from their employer?
Expanding our businesses
We knew we would need to expand our businesses if we wanted to reach our financial goals. (My husband also owns a lawn care business in addition to his day job.)
I have to give full credit to my husband. He absolutely crushed it! His business grew exponentially, while my numbers stayed roughly the same. At least that was the case until recently. I’ve expanded my team and more than tripled my bookings in the past four months. It took a lot of groundwork and several years to accomplish, but our businesses are getting to where we hoped they’d be.
You don’t have to make a ton of money to reach your financial goals. The best thing you can do is get honest with yourself about where you are + where you’d like to be… then make a budget to support that dream. It may take some sacrifices along the way, but it’s totally worth it in the end. If we could do it, you can too!