Can Single People Afford to be Self-Employed?

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Did you all have a good Memorial Day and long weekend? I sure did! I ended up taking Friday night-Monday night off and it was nice to spend some time with my family and friends without being tied to my computer or smartphone. Of course, that did have some consequences, like being extra busy in the next couple of days catching up. #thejoysofselfemployment 🙂

As you may know, I’m working hard to build up my online income so I can quit my full-time job before the end of the year. I’ve had some serious growing pains lately as my business has been exploding and taking up more and more time outside of my full-time job. This makes it difficult to get other things I want and need to do done. Thus, I took on my first staff writer to help this site stay active, and to give readers a fresh perspective on some things.

While my income continues to grow, I’ve put a lot of thought into how and when to quit my full-time job. One thing that keeps holding me back is fear.

I have a fear of the unknown. And I have a fear that I’ll be without stability since I’ll no longer be getting paid every two weeks like clockwork.

It can be hard to leave that steady paycheck behind, after getting one every 14 days since I was 15 years old.

Taking the plunge into self-employment is scary and exciting at the same time. I can’t help but think that because I’m single I’m actually at a disadvantage when compared to some others who are (or decide to become) self-employed.

Why Being Single is a Disadvantage when Pursuing Self-Employment

Being single can have some great advantages, but it can also have some drawbacks too. In this case, I think being single is holding me back from quitting my full-time job as quickly as I would’ve if I had another (steady) income to fall back on.

If I were married and I quit my job I’d at least have my husband’s steady income to count on every two weeks if things dried up in the world of freelancing.

One of the biggest benefits of having a steady, reliable, every 2 weeks paycheck is that it makes budgeting easy and you always know when more money will be dumped into your account. With freelancing, you don’t have that.

The earning potential of freelancing is often much higher than what you can earn at your full-time job and I know that. The sky (and your work ethic) is the limit on how much you can earn when you are self-employed!

But that also means when you take time off, you aren’t getting paid. There’s no more paid vacation days or sick days, no more 401(k) match, and no more employer-sponsored health insurance.

One of the great things I have on my side right now though is time.

Because I’m just 24 years old, I don’t have to worry about finding health insurance on my own until I turn 26. This gives me almost 2 more years to keep increasing my income before I have to find my own, likely very expensive, health insurance plan.

By that time I definitely won’t be working at a job with an employer-sponsored plan, so I’ll have to pay that out-of-pocket. (This is about the only good thing about Obamacare – I can be on my parents’ health insurance until age 26.)

This post isn’t meant to be a griping, complaining session. It’s just a way for me to work out of some of the pros and cons of pursuing self-employment as a single person. Some of the issues I’ll be facing in the coming months will be scary, and others will be exciting. I can’t wait to share it all with you after I quit my job later this year!

Are you pursuing full-time self-employment? Are you single? Do think there are other disadvantages to being a self-employed single person that I forgot to mention?

Is it possible to be self-employed without having a partner? My experiences here at @shoeaholicnomore


  • Taking the plunge will definitely terrifying, but it will also be immensely freeing and rewarding. With your work ethic, you will soon come to wonder why you didn’t quit sooner!

  • I totally get what you’re saying, and I agree in a lot of ways. However, fear can be independent of your situation. I have a friend whose husband owned 12 Verizon stores. He recently sold them to a larger Verizon store owner, and he made so much money on the sale, he never has to work again. (He’s 33!) But his wife is still anxious about not having income flow into their household on a regular basis. She works part-time, and is considering moving to full-time, so they’ll have regular income. It’s an extreme example, but I think it highlights well that sometimes our fear is independent of our circumstances.

    For what it’s worth, it sounds to me like you’re doing an amazing job of setting yourself up for success when you quit.

  • I am not single, but our finances are separate. You def have to take care of yourself. It was scary for me to quit, but such a good decision in the long-run. It’s not easy though and does take a lot of work. There’s a learning curve, too. Keep us up to date!

  • I’m single and I think that people forget that spouses have their own baggage. They can be good with money, bad with money, negative nellies, or super positive. Basically, you never know what a person’s spouse brings to the equation. Just follow your heart and work HARD 🙂 You’ll know what to do.

    • That is a great point. While having a partner or spouse will bring in more money it will also bring more expenses and maybe ever more debt. Additionally they may have different financial goals than you do and that’s something you’d have to discuss and compromise on too. Thanks Michelle!

  • Personally, I think, single is about medium “fear-worthy” – of course there are people who can rely on a spouse’s income – but there are also those whose spouse, children and other persons rely on THEIR income, so making the shift to self-employment would be even harder.
    Good luck with your plans!

  • You are such a hard worker, Kayla, and I have no doubt that you’ll make it on your own. I think it might help the fear aspect if you beefed up your emergency fun? Whaddya think?

    • Probably, but it sure is hard to divert funds to that when I still have such high interest debt to pay back, ya know?

  • I think it does help if your significant other has a stead paycheck and is on the same financial wavelength, but it will be very rewarding to know you can do it on your own and aren’t dependent on anyone else. Best of luck as you move forward.

  • That’s a great point about being on your parent’s health insurance. It really is a huge expense, even under Obamacare. I’m currently going without and definitely feel like I’m playing Russian roulette.

    • Yikes! I wouldn’t want to go without if I could help it, but I understand that sometimes there’s no other way to get by.

  • There is no perfect situation. It definitely helps to have the steady income. Yes. You can work your plan and build the business on the side (no spouse means fabulous time to focus and limited distractions). Leverage the advantages while working through the drawbacks!


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