It’s something that happens rather frequently in the personal finance blog community: Millennials quitting their jobs and pursuing their dreams of working for themselves as freelancers and entrepreneurs.
They all make decent incomes on their own too. Budgeting in the Fun Stuff often reports monthly income ranging from $7,000-$13,000 (I know she’s had some higher months too). Making Sense of Cents reported almost $12k in May.
It’s wonderful to see bloggers strike it out on their own and manage to do it successfully. And when I reported my $20k+ in side hustle income last year, a frequent question was: SO when are you going to quit your job?
But the thing is, I have no intention of quitting my job to make money online. I actually plan on staying here until I retire.
I know, I know, call me stupid.
Here are some of the reasons (in no particular order) as to why I’ll never quit my day job:
I crave stability–and it doesn’t get any more stable than having a steady (decently sized) paycheck every month. The financial fluctuations of a freelance career would drive me nuts.
It may sound lame, but I love having a biweekly paycheck, knowing exactly how much I’ll be getting every two weeks. If I were to freelance full-time, the happiness of having so much freedom would be easily overshadowed by my worries over whether I’d earn enough, if I was working hard enough, if I needed to secure more clients…
I know that no job is ever 100% secure, but as far as job security goes, I’m in a job that’s as stable as it can get. I work for a water utility, and people will ALWAYS need water.
Furthermore, I think you could probably count on one hand the number of people that have been let go at my company since its inception… and that was most likely because they did really bad stuff.
When I worked in journalism, I was frequently worried about being laid off. Blogging and online freelancing–I don’t know how long it will last.
But hey, I know that EVERYBODY needs water.
One of the benefits of my job is a pension. Ever wonder why I rarely talk about retirement?
It’s because Eric and I have got that pretty much covered since we both have pensions.
Eric’s retirement formula is 3% at 50 and mine is 2.5% at 55. This means that for every year I work, I receive 2.5% of my annual salary (based on the amount I earn when I retire, so I’m 99% sure I’ll be earning more when I retire than what I’m making right now).
Let’s say I work 30 years, that means I can retire at 57 and I can expect 75% of my annual salary every year for the rest of my life. Plus medical.
If Eric retires at 55, he’ll also earn 75% of his salary annually.
And this doesn’t include the separate income we’re putting into 401K and Roth IRAs.
So not only do we get to retire earlier than the national average, but we’ll also be pretty set financially. Tell me a freelance career that will give you that.
Medical, Taxes, Benefits
When you combine my salary with my retirement benefits, and my medical benefits, and the taxes that would need to be taken out as a freelancer–I would have to be making serious dough every month to earn what I’m earning now.
As a freelancer, I would have to pay everything out of pocket and that could eat up a huge portion of my income.
I’ve always said that I don’t love my job.
But you know what? I really like my job.
I have different enough assignments that it keeps me sharp and engaged. I like the human interaction (on most days). And I love having every other Friday off.
Are there other things I wish I could change? Of course.
In fact, I totally wish we had more flexibility with our work schedule and had a work-from-home option. That is one of the major benefits of being a freelancer.
But in the end, I think my reasons for sticking with my job happily outweigh the lure of being a freelancer.
For now, the side hustle will continue to be a means for us to save for our down payment.
Would you ever quit your day job?
Edited to add: I want to say that I completely admire and am completely jealous of people who are actually able to quit their jobs and work for themselves. The flexibility of it is SO enticing and I’m sure incredibly rewarding. However, I know that for me and based on my personality, all my worries would outweigh the positives.