Home > #FrugalSuccess > #FrugalSuccess Story – November 18th, 2013

#FrugalSuccess Story – November 18th, 2013

As you know, our #FrugalSuccess Story section is meant to shine a spotlight on average everyday people around the world who have dug their way out of debt, managed to save large sums of money, or have found smart ways to earn cash. From overcoming massive student debt to opening up a bakery business, we’ve now read dozens of stories to teach and inspire us towards becoming our own #FrugalSuccesses.

However, with Thanksgiving and the holidays quickly approaching, I started to hone in on the word, ‘success.’ After all, why do we work so hard towards our budgeting and frugal lifestyle? What does the money give us? Is it a sense of freedom? The ability to spend more time with our loved ones? The chance to pursue our passions without fear? Today I want to showcase a fellow personal finance blogger who has recently made the decision to quit her full-time and stable job, which certainly sounds risky to many of us! However, I’ll talk about what brought her to this point, what we can learn about her journey, and how we can achieve our own dreams. I’m pleased to bring you Holly Johnson’s story, from her well-known blog, Club Thrifty.

Frugal Success Johnson family

Quitting Your Job Can (Ironically) Lead to Success

In Holly’s “confessional” about quitting her job, she cites a few main reasons why she decided to take the plunge in the first place:

  1. The children! Holly and her husband, Greg, have two small kids and with their full-time jobs + extra side work, they were each devoting 70+ hours a week towards “work.” Family time was getting strained and Holly and Greg were often exhausted after all the long work hours.
  2. “I started feeling like more of a machine than a human being.” Because Holly’s crazy work schedule, she always felt like she was in a big hurry to get everything else done. From grocery shopping to paying bills, everything was a task to check off. Instead of enjoying life, she was just rushing past it.
  3. Holly’s 9-5 job seemed more like “trading money for time” and once she was able to make enough through her blog and freelance jobs, the trade no longer made sense.

Holly’s Hard Work Pays Off

Deciding to quit a stable job that provides not only a steady salary – but also a 401k match program, income insurance protection, and a smartphone – is not a decision anyone should take lightly. So how did Holly get to a point where she could walk away with confidence?

First off, her husband remains gainfully employed full-time, which of course is a major relief for any family. But with 2 children, Holly really needed to “hustle” in order justify quitting her job. In May of 2012 (about a year before she quit), Holly and Greg started their blog, Club Thrifty. Besides generating real income from the blog, their blogging led Holly to other part-time job opportunities. In addition to the blog, Holly currently writes for Get Rich Slowly as well as Onlinecolleges.com and other companies. Getting featured in Forbes, Fox Business, and Lifehacker has surely helped build her reputation in personal finance and establish her as a professional writer. Between freelance writing, consulting, and advertising, Holly is a busy bee and she can bring in solid monthly amount. If you want more details about her various “hustles” and revenue streams, be sure to check out her monthly income and blog updates.

You Can Be a WAHM (or whatever you want) too!

Club Thrifty’s motto is to “stop spending and start living.” I think too often, we get caught up in the numbers game and lose sight of the big reasons why we are frugal ladies to begin with! Today’s #FrugalSuccess story is a reminder that all our hard work is so we can live the life we want to lead. If you’re saving up for your next vacation or looking to buy a home, strict budgeting and extra work on the side can help you achieve those goals. But, if you find that you’re making tremendous sacrifices and missing out on life in the process, take a pause and think about how you can readjust your game plan – or even your priorities. Finding the right balance is always tricky, but when you find it, I hope you’ll have the courage enough to see it through.

About Jessica J.

A native New Yorker, Jessica left behind the Big Apple almost 4 years ago to pursue new adventures around the world. Powered by caffeine and a relentless curiosity, she has now settled in Tel Aviv Jaffa with her husband, American cat, and a new appreciation for budget management.

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  • It is a big step to quit a job:) Something that I could se myself doing is to have a job where I could work from home, but in the same time to do that is a little scary. I work with elder and working full time with that is nothing I want to do cause then I am never home. We work two weekends a month, day time and evenings. I just have the energy to work part time as long as I have to work like this:-/ With kids and when you have a family then you have something that matters more than just work. I am looking and looking for another job cause I’m tired of working so much on weekends and evenings when I should be with my family.

    • Jessica J.

      Jeanette, thanks for dropping by and sharing your own experiences. Working weekends and evenings can be truly taxing. Although it must be especially challenging working with the elderly, I give you lots of respect for dedicating your time to this oftentimes ‘forgotten’ population. I do hope you find something, though, where you can have your weekends and evenings for your family.

  • I totally identify with her sentiments. I have taken a year off from my full-time job to help care for my mother who has cancer and am paying my bills with freelance writing jobs. Now that I am working at my own pace, I can see how much of my life I had really given up for my career. I don’t want to go back if I don’t have to. There are things I miss about my regular job, but I was spending my weekends and evenings grading and preparing for class, and it was too much stress. While my students were reaping the benefits, my family and friends had to constantly be pushed to the back burner, leaving my personal life to be virtually nonexistent.

    • Jessica J.

      Casey, I didn’t know about your mom. I wish her the very best. I think you made a smart decision taking a year off and I hope everything falls into place – both health-wise and professionally. You’re a great writer and I can def. see you succeeding in your freelance career!

      • Thank you, Jessica! I really hope so. 🙂

  • Elisebet F

    There are definitely benefits of staying home. I left teaching to be with my son, and I do miss working some days, but being able to teach my son one on one, all day…that’s the better deal for me. If I do go back to work, it’ll probably only be for a government public affairs job, because the pay’s better than teaching, and I find it more rewarding (teaching is thankless most of the time, in my opinion). But right now…I’m definitely happiest as a home maker. =D

    • Jessica J.

      Thanks for sharing, Elisabet! It’s sad to hear that teaching is a thankless job when it should be one of the most appreciated professions. Truly. But, glad to hear you didn’t give up on teaching – but just channeled your skills towards home 🙂

  • Love this post. I am working towards doing the same. We have different complexities but I would love to someday work for myself.

  • peachkins

    This post resonates with me. I also quit my job and started working at home to be able to stay with my daughter and take care of her.

  • malia p

    I’m a SAHM, and get a little income through my blog. I wish I were able to make enough with it so that I won’t need to eventually go out and find a job. At this point, when my daughter goes to preschool I’ll probably have to go and look for a part time job, even though I’d much rather stay home and earn through my blog.

    • Jessica J.

      I hear ya, Malia. It is not easy – but at least you have been able to be a SAHM and hopefully it can stay that way! Also, a part-time job may be a great compromise. It worked for my mom!

  • What a great post. I have been a wahm since 2011 and I love it. I make a full time income doing it. I am doing a seasonal job in January though just for more adult interaction.

    • Jessica J.

      Awesome! I don’t have children yet, but I can imagine the need for adult interaction, especially if you are a S/WAHM.

  • Marika

    I did the same thing a few years ago and never looked back. Quick my dayjob to work from home and just enjoy being around my family more. Less stress, more quality time with hubby, granted, a bit less money, but also less expenses. Love it!

  • Danielle Leigh

    This is a fantastic story! I still maintain a weekend job, but have been steadily moving toward being at home more with my kids and doing more writing and designing. It is starting to happen, and i am very excited about the whole thing!