How to make a living without a job

How can you make a living without a job?

Making a living without a job requires you to be self-employed or build or buy enough assets to support your lifestyle. Self-employed individuals can make their own schedule and rules. Assets can be built or purchased which pay enough income, making work optional.

Imagine, having complete freedom to do what you wanted all day. You no longer have to go to work or have a boss.

It is possible to make a living without a job.

Luckily for you, I’ll show you how you can make a living without a job. I’ll even show you how to survive on little to no income. You’ll be well on your way to making enough money and not being tied down to any particular job.

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Is it possible to live without working?

It is possible to live without working a job. Some individuals consider self-employment not working because they are able to make their own schedule and rules. Alternatively, other individuals have enough assets to pay for their lifestyle (e.g. retirement).

How can I survive with little or no income?

Surviving on little to no income can be difficult, but not impossible. Create a budget, avoid debt, reduce your expenses, and find a way to make extra cash. Make sure you take advantage of any available assistance programs. Some individuals may need to change their living situation as living expenses are one of the biggest individual costs.

Create a budget

Creating a budget or tracking your expenses is the only way you’re going to be able to survive with little or no income. You have to know how much money you are earning vs. spending. Failure to track your income and expenses can lead to overspending or taking on more debt.

People with frugal habits are more likely to succeed on little income. Frugal people are able to buy only the necessities required to live. Consistently making small purchases starts to add up over time, using up most of your income.

Budgeting allows you to find the areas that you are overspending in. For example, I know my weakness is overspending on food. Therefore, I need to pay extra attention to how much money I’m spending on takeout every month.

You should also try to build up an emergency fund. Saving 3-6 months worth of expenses in the event something happens and you need instant cash.

You can even manage your budget from your phone using Google Sheets. Alternatively, there are plenty of budgeting apps available to you for download in the app store. Some people like to write down their income and purchases in a notebook.

It doesn’t matter which budgeting method you choose. The most important thing is that you are tracking your income vs. expenses to avoid taking on debt.

Reduce your expenses

Reducing your expenses is important and part of the budgeting process. You need to reduce areas of your life that you are overspending if you are going to live on a frugal budget. Your budget is the best tool to help you identify which areas you’re overspending in.

For example, a budget is going to show you the categories you spend money in (e.g. transportation, housing, food, etc.). Most people spend the most amount of money on their home, food, and transportation.

You may find that you are spending a lot of money on household goods. Your budget is consistently overspent on household goods. Therefore, you should either aim to reduce your expenses or modify your budget to make it realistic.

In this case, you may consider buying items in bulk (e.g. Costco) which can help save you money on items you’d use anyways. You can save even more money by waiting for certain items to go on sale before buying.

Another strategy to reduce your household goods spending is to get cash back. Cash back credit cards can be a good way to receive cash back if used responsibly. Alternatively, you can get cash back by shopping through cash back websites like Rakuten.

Increase your income

Your income is the best tool you have for surviving. Having little to no income can make living difficult, so the best thing would be to increase your income. Not having a job can be difficult, so maybe you just need to find different work.

For example, you may only make $36,000 per year or $3,000 per month. You’re able to live on $35,000 per year. What if you were able to make an extra $1,000 per month or $12,000 per year?

Making an extra $1,000 per month could easily help you survive if you’re already accustomed to living on $35k per year.

Creating your own side hustle has the ability to make you an extra $1k per month. Building your own side hustle isn’t easy, but it can certainly be rewarding by increasing your income.

There are plenty of other job opportunities that do not require a degree or experience which pay $50k per year. You can search Craigslist, online job boards, or other resources for finding better paying jobs.

Find assistance programs

Surviving on little to no income will most likely require you to find assistance programs. You should always apply, even if you don’t think you’ll qualify because you might actually be accepted.

As previously mentioned, food is one of the biggest expenses families face. Therefore, you should try to take advantage of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is also widely referred to as ‘food stamps.’ 

Your local food bank is also another good resource for filing your pantry. Most food banks operate on self identified needs and shouldn’t require you to fill out any forms. All you have to do is show up during operating hours and grab what you need.

The Salvation Army also has emergency assistance programs for individuals. Some of the services they offer include Emergency Financial Assistance, Food & Nutrition, and Emergency Shelter. You should locate your nearest Salvation Army and see what programs are available to you.

You should also check with your local service providers to see what services they offer customers. For example, my local electric company has an assistance program for low-income families to pay their utility bill.

Change your living situation

Where you live is also one of the biggest expenses individuals experience. Having a low-income makes living anywhere extremely difficult. Therefore, one of the biggest decisions you can make for your finances is choosing your place to live carefully.

Moving back in with your parents is a good way to save money if it’s an option. Not everyone wants to move back in with their parents, but you’ll be able to save 100% of your rent or mortgage.

Another choice is to get a roommate if you have an extra room in your home. Your roommate can help pay off your mortgage or rent payments. Some individuals choose AirBnB to rent out spare rooms to travelers.

Other people decide to live in their car or modify a van as a mobile home. These people have gym memberships or use a friend’s house to shower. Here is a video which goes over the basics of living in your car for beginners.

A step up from car or van life would involve purchasing your own RV. RVs can be parked in different locations such as Walmart parking lots or renting campgrounds/RV lots for cheap.

Avoid taking on debt

It’s hard to survive on little or no income, but it is difficult if you owe other people money. Therefore, it’s important to avoid taking on debt if you can help it. The more money you pay someone else, the less money you have for yourself or to invest.

Location Arbitrage

Location Arbitrage is the concept of earning a U.S. based salary and living in a low-cost of living area or country. For example, you might perform your job remotely from Thailand. A low salary in the United States can go much further in Thailand.

However, you don’t have to leave the country if you don’t want to. You can perform Location Arbitrage by earning a big city salary, but living in a low-cost of living town.

How to make a living without a job

The best way to make a living without a job is to either be self employed or build or buy enough assets to support your lifestyle. Self employment allows you to be your own boss, creating your own schedule and rules. Having enough assets (e.g. dividend paying stocks) will allow you to be paid for being an owner.

Ownership in something is the only way you can get money for doing absolutely nothing. The more assets you have, the more passive income you can generate.

For example, you could start your own side hustle in blogging. You grow your blog to the point where it allows you to quit your job. You continue to grow your blog (self employment) until you feel comfortable living on the income generated by the blog (the asset).

Now you are free to travel and do as you wish all day.

However, it’s important to build multiple streams of passive income to diversify your income. Multiple streams of income include dividend paying stocks, rental properties, businesses you don’t work at.

Most people start out with their own active labor to earn money. You start out by getting a job which pays you a salary. Then, you can transition into a side hustle like blogging which turns into a passive income stream.

You then take the income from your job and blog and purchase dividend paying stocks or ETFs.

For example, QYLD is a covered call ETF which pays around 12% annually. You use your blog income and job income to buy shares and eventually have $100k invested. Now, QYLD would pay you $12k per year in dividends because you own the shares.

The key to escaping the rat race and living without a job is to buy or build these assets which pay you for being an owner. 

Summary: How to make a living without a job

As you can see, it is possible to make a living without a job. However, it isn’t easy to make a living from nothing. Therefore, you should focus on either self-employment and building or buying enough income producing assets.

Surviving with little to no income is challenging. You need a tight budget, avoid debt, keep your expenses low, and try to increase your income. Assistance programs are available for low-income individuals and should be taken advantage of. 

Keep in mind, your food, transportation, and housing are the biggest expenses families face. Take advantage of assistance programs and try to keep these expenses as low as possible.

John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.