How to live without a job 

By Matt Mayerle
Modified on July 17, 2023
how to live without a job

Interested in learning how to live without a job? The traditional workforce can be demanding and stressful, leaving many people searching for other options. If working an alternative job or living entirely without a job sounds like something you would like to do, you’re in the right place!

Pros and Cons of Living Without a Job

Before officially quitting your traditional full-time job, consider the pros and cons of living without one. Below are more details about the advantages and disadvantages of not having a conventional nine-to-five job. 

Pros of Living Without a Traditional Job

When you work for yourself, the possibilities are truly endless. Here are some of the awesome perks you can enjoy from working a non-traditional job or being self-employed. 

Work Freedom

When you break free from the traditional workforce and start to work for yourself, every element of your employment situation is up to you. No longer do you have to deal with unpleasant coworkers. With self-employment, you can assemble your own team of coworkers or choose to work alone, whichever you prefer. 


Keeping a non-traditional job also gives you the ultimate flexibility. You can choose everything from where, when, and with whom you work. Adjust aspects of your day to match your individual wants and needs. Don’t want to deal with a commute? No problem! Work from home or wherever you like. Want to start your workday at 11:00 AM instead of 9:00 AM? When you are self-employed with a non-traditional job, you can! 

Potential To Earn Unlimited Income 

You have the potential to earn not only a steady stream of income but an exponential amount of money when you design your own job. You decide how much you produce, whether that be through working hours or physical merchandise. 

Furthermore, you can personally decide how to spend your work budget. Instead of any profits you earn going straight to a corporation, self-employed individuals pocket most if not all of their extra dollars. That way, you have the financial freedom to work towards your own goals, such as being able to retire early. Or, choose to put your profits back into your work and potentially increase your earnings further! 

Be Your Own Boss

Live life the way you want when you are self-employed because you are the one in charge. Implement your own business practices and workload and handle any client interactions that you see fit. 

Make Your Own Schedule 

Lastly, when you work for yourself, you create your own schedule. If you want, ditch the traditional nine-to-five, Monday through Friday schedule! Work the hours and days of the week that best suit you and your needs.

Cons of Living Without a Traditional Full-Time Job 

There are most certainly plenty of advantages to working a non-traditional job. However, there are a few downsides as well. Below are some of the disadvantages you may come across in working a self-employed or non-traditional job. 

Potential Instability 

While working for yourself has the potential to bring about a steady income, there is also the possibility of economic instability. If your work ever becomes unpopular and out of demand, you run the risk of having little to no business.

No Corporate Benefits or Insurance 

One major potential disadvantage to not having a traditional job is the lack of corporate benefits. Employees have access to health benefits and insurance, paid days off, and even company-funded prizes like paid destination vacations for many traditional jobs. 

When you work for yourself, you have access only to what you can afford. That means insurance costs and other living expenses will have to come directly from your profits. Moreover, if you want to take any time off work, you must make sure there is room for that in scheduled earnings. 

Tips for How To Live Without a Job and Have Enough Money 

Living without a job may be a bit of an adjustment if you’ve been in the traditional workforce your whole life. Learn how to get by without a job with these helpful tips.

Change Your Mindset About Money 

If you really want to learn how to live without a job, you may have to adjust to getting by on little money. This adjustment may require a shit in your mindset and cause you to really think about what is happiness and success. Some people spend lots of money on a fancy car and consider that a sign of their success. Are you one of those people? Or, can you be content and satisfied living a low-cost lifestyle with little cash flow?

Establish a Budget 

Before you leave your job, take a look at your personal finance situation and make sure you have enough money to cover your living costs. The amount of money you need to live without a job depends on your lifestyle. 

Learning to budget on a low income will help you make the most of your money. It may help to establish a monthly budget. Some items to include in your budget are: 

  • Living expenses like utilities, rent, or insurance payments 
  • Travel costs such as gas
  • Food and grocery costs
  • Any other expenses you are responsible for on a monthly basis
  • You may want to factor in other expenses like entertainment costs 

Save Money for the Future 

Setting aside some money for the future may also be good before you officially leave your job. Saving money for the future allows you some financial breathing room. So, if you need more money for some months, you have some set aside. 

You can also save money by making simple changes in your life. 

Avoid Accumulating Debt

To maintain your financial independence, try not to accumulate any more debt than you have to. For example, avoid getting cash through unreliable methods like instant online payday loans, as they can just sink you further into debt. Making smart financial decisions and avoiding unnecessary debt will help make sure you have as much money as possible so you can comfortably live without a job. 

Make Lifestyle Changes

You may be able to save money by making simple lifestyle changes. Sometimes simply cutting back on excessive online shopping can be enough to put some extra cash into your bank account. Some minor lifestyle changes you can make to save money are: 

  • Cook your own food at home, so you don’t have to spend money on take out
  • Grow your own vegetables and fruits to save money at the grocery store
  • Make an effort to turn off lights and unplug unused appliances throughout your entire house 
  • Regularly reference your budget to ensure you are not overspending
  • Save on maintenance costs by doing your own car repairs 

Alternatives to a Regular Job 

While you don’t need a regular job to survive, making money in some way is essential. Perhaps you may consider getting a part-time job that pays well, so you can afford to live without a full-time job. Below are some possible alternative income streams that might work well for people looking to live without a traditional job. 

Earn Extra Cash Where You Can

Depending on your financial situation, you may be able to forgo working altogether and earn extra money in different ways. For example, you can earn a few dollars on some survey sites just by taking online surveys. You can also sell unwanted items and make money online. There are even websites that allow you to make money watching videos! 

Work Freelance 

Making money with freelance work is a popular income stream for many people. You can earn money by working freelance by doing things like: 

  • Starting your own business or side hustle 
  • Graphic design
  • Coding 
  • Copywriting 
  • Resume editing 
  • Translations 
  • Transcriptions
  • More

Get Passive Income

One way to earn money without a job is to acquire passive income sources. Passive income takes a hands-off approach to earning money. It allows people to generate earnings while doing little to no work. Keep in mind that most passive income strategies may require a chunk of money or labor upfront. But when implemented correctly, your efforts should result in a passive income stream that almost feels like free money. 

Some examples of passive income strategies you may consider when you want to live without a job are: 

  • Investing in the stock market
  • Real estate 
  • Owning a business run by competent employees
  • Creating influencer videos on YouTube or other social media platforms

There is no doubt that passive income is a great way to earn money. If you do decide to go with earning via passive income, make sure you check in on your revenue source from time to time to ensure everything is functioning properly. You wouldn’t want to check in on things to find that an overlooked mistake has caused you to lose out on your yearly or monthly income. 

Ecommerce Store

If you have a knack for making art, clothing, or other sellable items, you could start an e-commerce store. Websites like Etsy, eBay, and even Amazon allow people to sell items and have their own shops online. While you do have to pay these websites a fee, all other earnings will go directly to you. You can even make your merchandise ahead of time, so you don’t have to coordinate your schedule with producing items as orders come in. 

Petsit or Housesit 

When people go out of town, they often do not want to leave their house unattended or take their pets to a kennel. If you want to generate income but don’t want to work with people necessarily, you may consider house or pet sitting. Or, if you are only looking for work responsibilities during specific hours, you may find people looking for someone to walk their dog or care for their pets during the day while at work. 

Child Care or Elderly Care 

Another way to receive income outside of the traditional workforce is to offer your services for either child or elderly care. First, decide if you would prefer to work with young children or older people, as they have different needs. Children need entertainment, patience, and constant supervision, while elderly individuals may require medical assistance or help to move around. 

Virtual Assistant 

Many busy businessmen and women are willing to pay good money for people to be their virtual assistant. These people may need assistance posting on their social media, performing business tasks, or completing personal errands. By being a virtual assistant, you can work from home and sometimes even from your smartphone! 

With all of the non-traditional income streams available, there are plenty of opportunities for you to successfully and happily live without a job! 

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