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It’s all about the money

by Rob on May 21, 2010

Ultimately, your escape plan is doomed unless you have a proper ‘money plan’ in place. Dom and I have experienced this through our own escapes. We both have plans in place to help us survive the period between quitting our jobs and Esc paying for itself. I save on rent by living at home and I make ends meet by tutoring. Dom stayed in his job for longer, saving up a parachute fund to keep him going until we begin making money. He is also sub-letting his room in Wimbledon to Venus Williams’ hitting partner – but that’s another story.

The point is – money has the potential to derail plans in a big way

I was reminded of this lesson this week when 5 mates and I almost became the proud owners of a Bristol VR double decker bus. Those of you who have been following Esc from the beginning might remember our very first blog post:

Why everyone should have a ‘Double Decker Bus Savings Account’

Basically, the six of us having been saving £10 per week into a joint account. We recently got to the stage where we thought we had enough money to invest our hard-saved cash and buy our dream vehicle.

We do almost have enough money to buy a bus. Sadly, we didn’t have enough money to buy this bus (the ideal bus for us). In any case, the situation was that we were each going to have to stump up a fair amount of cash on top of what we have in our savings account to buy this beauty. Obviously everyone has to be on board for us to go ahead with the purchase. Due to a recent fire in one guy’s house and the fact that another might be moving to Brazil shortly (both very good reasons), we were unable to stump up the cash. The Bus Fund (TM) lives to fight another day (watch this space for a potentially prettier purchase!).

What this experience showed me was that it’s all about the money.

Make a proper money plan

One of the main excuses people use for not leaving jobs they hate is money. “I can’t leave this job because I need my salary”. Duh. Of course you need your salary, everyone needs some form of income. What some people don’t realise is that there are options other than staying in a job you hate simply because of the money question:

  • Save some of your salary to provide you with a parachute fund (a float) until you have an income again (like Dom)
  • Work out how to cut out your rent (most peoples’ biggest expense) – sub-let, stay with friends, move home (like Rob)
  • Take on part-time work, consultancy work, freelance work, or contractual work while you transition to your new plan
  • Line up another job while you’re in your current one – jump from one salary to another
  • Work on your business while you’re in your current job – only leave when the revenue streams are clear / working

What we’ve learnt from building Escape the City and talking to masses of people who have transitioned to a new business or career or adventure: You can have the best idea in the world, but if the money side of things isn’t water-tight your plan will fail. So don’t confuse the Escape the City philosophy with a ‘quit-your-job-and-sail-off-into-the-sunset-without-worrying-about-money’ mentality.

We say worry about money but act on it too.

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