Many people dream of being a writer.
If you ask most people, they’ll claim to having a book inside of them, just longing to get out. However, there are numerous things that can get in the way – like your full time job.
Having a full time job is great for paying bills, and if you enjoy your job, that’s even better! However, it can really tire you out and leave you wondering where you’re supposed to find that extra time to write. Some writers dedicate just 30 minutes a day to writing their book – this could easily be achieved if you woke a little earlier in the morning, or went to bed a little later in the evening.
However, if you’re the kind of person who really wants to get stuck in, you may consider taking a sabbatical from work. Taking time off from work to follow your dream of being a writer can be scary, but if you have your finances in order and you’re serious about writing, there’s no reason you can’t do it. Here’s some pointers that will help you if you can’t afford to take time off just yet:
- Stop Spending Your Entire Paycheck
When you get paid, make sure you stop spending the entirety of it. You may allocate money to various things in your head, and if you can’t help spending it all at first (if you have debts, etc), then it can’t be helped. However, you shouldn’t be spending every last penny. Money you have left over should be put towards things like savings and investments, not new clothes and other things you probably don’t really need. This takes discipline, which is why you need to make sure you’re in the right mindset for it.
A good idea to start with is paying yourself first. You can pay yourself the money you need for any necessities and maybe even a little splurging, but the rest should go into your savings.
- Come Up With A Budget For Your Needs And Stick To It
Come up with a solid budget for your needs and stick to it – write it down! If you don’t have a budget, then you’ll never really know if what you’re doing is working. For this you need to:
- Know how much you have coming in and going out.
- Know how much you spend on bills monthly.
- Allocate money to things you’ll need regularly, such as food and toiletries.
When you’ve allocated yourself a budget for your food, for example, stick to it. There’s something called the envelope method you can use that may be a good incentive to help you stick to this. Don’t be afraid to start using apps to help you keep track of things – alternatively, you could just use your notes. Make a note of absolutely everything you buy, even gum. This will give you a better idea of where your money is going and how you can improve on your current strategy.
- Avoid Lifestyle Inflation
As we get older, and even as we earn more money, it’s normal for our lifestyles to inflate. We get bigger houses, fancier cars, and we tend to find things to spend all of the money we earn on. However, this should be avoided. Do you really need a brand new car? Do you really need three extra bathrooms? Live beneath your means, and stay that way. You can still live a comfortable life beneath your means. If you’re tempted to own the latest and largest of everything, ask yourself why. Is it because you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses? Or is it because you want to create an Instagram worthy lifestyle that others will be jealous of? Question your motives. Most people spend money on things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like. It’s silly, really!
- Start An Emergency Fund
An emergency fund will give you peace of mind. Not only will you be able to support yourself as you write, if you save enough you should be able to cover any emergencies that arise. Whether you need to make a car repair or fix a household appliance, your emergency fund will help. Many people recommend having a minimum of 6 months living expenses in your fund, just in case. You should have as much as you think you’ll need to support you through your sabbatical. If you don’t have an emergency fund, you may need to turn to a guarantor loan from Buddy Loans. Having an emergency fund there to help you will give you peace of mind no matter what happens.
Investments are something that should come once you have enough money saved to support yourself throughout your time off. Remember, money just sitting in a bank account will depreciate! Investing your money gives you a better chance of building wealth as you age – which could help you if you decide you want to write a sequel or another book later on! If you’re a true writer, you’ll never want to stop writing. Having money to support your lifestyle without swapping too much of your time will be a big help in achieving your dream life as a writer.
- Pay Off Your Debts ASAP
If you are in debt, aim to pay them off ASAP. Don’t put any money into a savings account until you have accomplished this. Allocate all of your spare money to pay this off. The longer you leave it, the more interest you will have to pay. When you have your debts paid off, you can build your savings fund.
- Explore Passive Avenues Of Income
Time is the most valuable thing you own. Swapping your time for money at a regular 9-5 job is not the smartest way to make cash – and you’ll likely never become truly wealthy this way. Try looking at passive avenues of income that could be right for you. For example, affiliate marketing. You won’t need to swap much time and you can continue to make money while you sleep. This will be hugely helpful if you want to dedicate as much time as possible to being a writer, and if you do it properly, you may never have to hold down a 9-5 job again. Of course, your books could create a nice stream of passive income if you market and price them properly, but being learned in other methods is also essential.
10. Cut Back On Your Vices
Cutting back on your vices, if you have any, is the best thing you can do for your finances (and your health!). Stop smoking and don’t drink as much. Avoid going out to eat. You don’t have to stop doing everything you like, but be aware of how it is affecting you financially.