What Is Your Rat Race Freedom Number?

I participated in a 90 minute Google Hangout with Nick Loper of Side Hustle Nation last night.  I am in a small group of people participating in a “Plan, Launch, Hustle” Challenge.  Nick has guided us through a series of tasks intended to help in identifying a potential ‘side hustle’. (AKA side business)  One that suits our skills and interests.  Last night we shared our brainstorming ideas homework and got feedback from each other.  I discovered some interesting paths I’m excited to explore. 

I’m so glad I decided to take the time to do this Challenge.  The diversity of backgrounds, talents, and end goals of each participant creates a rich creative environment.  I am re-energized with new ideas and re-focused on my goals after each session.

Nick sent an email yesterday about defining your Freedom Number.  What is a Freedom Number?  It’s different for everyone based on where they are in life.  Someone nearing retirement may relate their Freedom Number to the amount they need, above Social Security, to live comfortably in their retirement years.

For most of the people in Nick’s audience though, this is a “Rat Race Freedom Number”.  To quote Nick, “Your Rat Race Freedom Number is the amount you need to be earning from your side hustle to cover your fixed monthly expenses. Once you can do that consistently, you’re free to quit your job.”

As I tried to calculate my Freedom Number, I realized it was higher than I expected.  My upcoming lifestyle change involves plenty of expenses in addition to the bills I already have.  Thankfully rent is off the table though!

If I wanted to live on the edge, I could manage on $1300 a month.  There would be no wiggle room for sudden expenses, no saving, and no emergency fund though.  I would be very limited in what I could do and where I could travel.

With $2000 a month, a number I am completely comfortable with, I could save a small amount and have some flexibility in my budget.  I would still need to be conservative in my spending, but it would be easier to manage.

While $2000 is my “I can make on this quite well” Freedom Number, $3000 is my ‘easy living’ number, and $4000 is my ‘dream’ number.  Do I need three levels of Freedom Numbers?  Heck yeah, I do!  Those numbers are goals for me.  What I can achieve with each level of freedom will keep me focused on my goals and always striving to do better.

I have this passion project though.  It’s a project that doesn’t make me any money but it would be fulfilling a purpose in my life.  An extra $500 – $800 a month would fund the endeavor beautifully.  Since I would really like to see that dream come to fruition, $4000 is my dream number!  $4000 seems pretty lofty for a minimalist, doesn’t it?  Perhaps, but just wait until you see what I have planned if when I reach this goal.  It’s good stuff.

Will I drop all my plans if I don’t reach a specific number by the time I plan to leave?  HECK NO!  As long as I have my vehicle/home, I will figure it all out  And don’t think for a minute I won’t get to that $4000 goal eventually.  I’ll get there.  Just you watch.

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