How You Can Afford to Not Work for Months Every Year


(photo by tinou bao)

Can you think of a way, without changing jobs or increasing your income, that you could afford to not work for one month every year? What about not working for three months? Or even six months?

The answer is simple really. And embracing the solution can open up countless doors for you both professionally and personally.

So, how can you afford to not work for extended periods of time? Here’s the answer: live below your means.

Most people will respond to the idea of living below their means in one of two ways. Either they’ll say “I know, I know I should be saving more,” or they’ll scoff “how can I live below my means? I’m just scraping by already.”

Unless you’re truly living below the poverty line, it really is possible for you to save 25% or 50% of what you currently make. How do I know? Because millions of people live just fine on less than half of what you make.

Think about it this way: teachers all do it. Luckily for them, they’re only paid 75% of their salary so they can afford to take 3 months off every year. If they were paid their entire salary as they earned it, most people would probably spend their entire paychecks and then they would be forced to work every summer.

You may value the material things that spending your entire income affords you. If that’s the case than by all means, enjoy. But many of you may simply be caught up in the competitive elements of consumerism.

Do you really need the apartment or house you’re in now, or would something smaller and cheaper work just as well? What about your car? Your dining and entertainment habits?

You may be surprised that if you substituted cheaper options for each of those major expenses you could be exactly as happy as you are now. Then, add in the idea of taking three or six months of vacation every year and your life as you know it could be completely transformed.

Living substantially below your means doesn’t just mean you can take extended vacations. It also means you can quit your job to chase your dreams. Whether it be starting a business, going back to school, becoming an artist or anything else you can dream of, living below your means will give you the freedom to do it.

For those of you who have jobs that you couldn’t possibly take months of vacation from at a time, here’s another option. Live on 2/3rds of your income for three years. At the end of that period, you’ll have saved enough to live for a year without a salary. Then, quit your job and pursue your dreams for 9 months, leaving you three months’ cushion to find your next career opportunity.

What do you think? Is it possible for you to afford to not work for extended period of time? Can you really live below your means? Let me know in the comments!

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Hi, I’m Corbett Barr. I’ve been writing here since 2009. Join my email list for new articles about supporting yourself doing something you love: