My TOP 5 Routes to Escape the Rat Race

Probably you feel like running away from it all.

You want to quit your job, pursue something meaningful and fulfilling, enjoy the life with who you love or simply reclaim the simplicity of the present moment.

But this is just a desire that always reminds you that money fuels the world and you are simply another engine of the system.

You are in fact, trapped in the rat race!

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If you are a happy employee/ employer and you don’t mind because you feel passionate and a sense of purpose in everything
you do, that’s perfect! You have found what the majority of people haven’t.

My intention with this article is to help people find a way to pursue what they are truly passionate about and don’t rely on any job contract to make this happen.

This can be achieved by having alternative sources of income (passive or residual income) that can cover all your expenses.

So, escaping the rat race is the ability to do what you want with your time while being able to pay for your expenses.

The question now is, how to keep the money coming in order to have that freedom? How to escape from the Rat Race? In this article, I will show you some routes that can help you with that.

The Rat Race – Enjoy the Ride and Find a Way Out! 


In the rat race, you have to trade your time for money to be able to pay your bills.

You pay the bills but what is left is hardly enough to cover the following months, so you need to keep working month after month, year after year.

As your parents used to say, money doesn’t grow on trees. So, you grow up and follow the “secure” path, in which you educate yourself and try to find a job.

You can definitely enjoy the ride as a lot of people do. They eventually find an enjoyable job position, and that is awesome!

However, the majority of people are not lucky the same.

So, you realize you have two options here: Either you enjoy what you are doing (by finding your perfect job or accepting the present moment as it is) or you find a way out!

If you try to escape the rat race, it doesn’t mean that you need to reject your situation entirely. Just face it like a necessary step for your personal growth.

The routes to escape the rat race focuses on minimizing spending and maximizing passive income to achieve financial freedom.

Route #1 – Live Frugally 


This is an interesting lifestyle whereby the less stuff you buy, the less money you need.

You could achieve financial freedom if you already had alternative sources of income and you could shrink your expenses to fit into that income.

The reason I mentioned this route is to show you the possibility to reduce your spending so you can afford to dedicate more time working or doing things that you love and truly believe in.

By being frugal, you significantly reduce your dependence on a particular job or career, and you have the possibility to:

  • Downgrade – Reduce the working hours in your current job.
  • Look for more flexible alternatives, such as temporary or part-time employment.
  • Find unconventional ways to support yourself

It is important to note that you are still trapped in the rat race if you don’t have a sufficient source of income (without having to work).

However, frugal living can become your strong ally in the process of achieving financial freedom when combined with the other routes.

Route #2 Save Intensively + Compound Interest


Piled coins

Here, you keep saving intensively and take advantage of compound interest over the years.

The money should be invested wisely to achieve a decent profit or return on investment (ROI) without taking significant risks.

These can be attained through a diversified portfolio to minimize the effect of the market volatility. A diversified portfolio might include, for example, stocks, bonds, equities and precious metals.

 

A practical example

Try and aim for a portfolio which gives you an average annual return of more than 6%.

I am going to give you an example taking into account my monthly expense. It is a very superficial estimation so that you can have an idea of what compound interest works in practice.

In my case,  I can live comfortably with £700 here in the UK. So…

  • I need £8,400 per year to cover all my expenses.
  • I need investments generating an average interest of 6% per year

 

Therefore, I must have £140.000 worth of investments to generate £700 per month.

But we need to be careful because it’s not always possible to reach 6% return and you have another important factor, which is inflation.

Inflation will corrode the power of our money over the years, and it has to be taken into account.

Here in the UK, the average inflation rate for the last decade was around 2.5% per year.  Therefore, as I will take many years to save £140,000, when I finally do, the £700 per month will not have the same buying power.

In 20 years time, my £700 will have the same power as £437 of today’s value, which insufficient to pay all my bills. Consequently, I need £210,000 worth of investments by 2035.

Using a compound interest calculator, I need to save £600 every month for 20 years to reach those £210,000.

It is not impossible, but in my opinion, if you cannot save much and just focus on a job as a source of income, this route can be quite discouraging.

However, may want to use your savings and investments to climb the property ladder!

Route #3 – Climb the Property Ladder! 


Door keyClimbing the property ladder is, in my opinion, the most efficient way to go.

The first step here is to stop renting ASAP. Every month a big chunk of our hard earned money goes down the drain to pay our landlords.

You could use these funds to pay off your mortgage until you finally own the property.

Yes, paying the mortgage for years and years is a painful process and one that requires a high degree commitment and financial stability.

But renting is even worse because the money is going to the landlord’s pocket, not your’s.

 

Rent your spare room!

The time-frame to pay off a mortgage could be significantly shortened if you rented a spare room in your house.

So, not only your money will go straight to your future asset, but you would have created passive income through your rental room.

This would be a turning point in your finances because once you finish the mortgage, you will have the power to save faster and keep investing.

 

Buy-to-let – a big jump!

After paying your mortgage, you might consider investing in a buy-to-let property. Oh no! another mortgage?

Yep, the advantage is that you will pay the deposit (around 25%-35% of the property value) and rent out the property for at least 125% of the mortgage value.

Most of your second property will be paid out by your tenant plus 25%, which could be used to cover maintenance costs or periods of no tenants. Renting out a property can give you a steady income and a significant ROI

It ‘s hard to give the first step of saving for a deposit and paying the mortgages, but once the first home is yours, the second and third tends to be much easier.

When you get to a point where you are not paying for accommodation, your expenses will drop drastically, and you will be in a much better position to jump out of the rat race, especially if you follow a frugal lifestyle.

Route #4 – Sell a Business You Need to Be Actively Involved With


We all know the advantages of being a boss, but a lot of people forget that being a business owner is not always the same as having money without effort. Far from that!

The challenges are enormous, especially in the first years. However, you can be an active or a passive business owner.

Active business owners  – They are involved in the day-to-day operations and could be doing anything, from managing to working side by side with employees.

My father is one of those who has been actively involved with his business for more than 15 years because of the high risk putting someone else in charge.

Is he out of the rat race because just because he’s a business owner? No! He has some freedom, but he is still helping on the front line, doing paper works, managing employees, etc. This inevitably causes him stress now and then.

Now, if he sold his business and could live comfortably with the passive income as a result, then yes!

Passive business owners  – The more automated and systematized your business is, the more freedom you have.

It ‘s hard to have a 100% automated business. Usually, the passive business owner will have more time to keep an eye on strategies instead of operations.

So, why sell a business? Well, you might even earn a lot of money, but if you need to be actively involved, then this situation doesn’t fit into the concept of financial freedom.

Nevertheless, owning and scaling up a business could be an attractive and rewarding route to financial freedom.

 

Route #5 – Build an Online Business – Is it Really an Escaping?


Woman using laptopOwning a successful online business requires some regular maintenance even after the hard upfront work.

Therefore, this route won’t give you complete freedom as is the case with significant investments in real estate or paper assets.

However, it can still provide a huge degree of freedom compared to your 9-5 job and make you feel as if you had escaped the rat race.

Why? Ok, hold tight because the list is long but motivating:

  • Forget about working for somebody else.
  • The time and effort you put in today will continue to pay you for years and years! (The concept of residual income)
  • All the free time you get as a result can be used to leverage even more your business. The sky is the limit!
  • The word “BOSS” doesn’t exist anymore!
  • You don’t need to be involved with customer issues (forget about the disrespect of some folks!).
  • You don’t need to be stuck in traffic anymore – You could be traveling the world instead.
  • It involves an intellectual and creative process through which you can help people all over the world
  • The more work you put in, the more you get out.
  • The business has a global reach and never sleeps. It can find customers at any day, anytime, anywhere in the world.
  • You don’t need large start-up costs to begin with. All you really need is a hosting and a domain name.

How can you build an online business? 

  • Using automated selling systems to sell digital/downloadable products: these can be ebooks, online courses, apps, digital photos or graphics, templates for websites among others.
  • By taking advantage of advertisement (like Google Adwords) or Affiliate programs (Amazon, CJ, ClickBank, etc.) available through your websites or blogs –

To become successful in any online venture, you need a website. That is because it will be the primary point of contact between you and your global audience and the most effective way to attract 1000s of potential customers every day.

Personally, I love affiliate marketing because:

  • The payouts are much higher (comparing to Google Adsense).
  • There is a possibility to start from scratch and grow little by little with no risks.
  • You can find affiliate programs that pay recurring commissions. You will keep earning as long as the person keeps paying for a monthly or yearly subscription)

It is a hard job in the beginning. You need a lot of dedication, patience, and proper training in internet marketing.

 

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Final Thoughts 


Escaping the rat race doesn’t necessarily mean you are filthy rich.

It simply means that you can pay all your expenses without having to be actively involved in a job.

The intention is to have the power and more free time to pursue what you enjoy and believe in life.  The possibilities mentioned in the article can be chosen or combined according to your specific needs or preferences.

In my case, I have opted to follow all routes (except for #4) because I believe they all have attractive advantages.

Besides, one doesn’t necessarily exclude the other. On the contrary, following one route can help in following another and speed up the process.

By being frugal, I can intensively save to be able to make wise investments and even put up a deposit for a first house. I can also start an online business from scratch and increase my income over time. In the end, everything sums up and contribute to the greatest escape!

I hope you enjoyed the long reading! I would love to hear some insights and opinions about the rate race. Have you managed to escape it? What are your experiences?

Leave a comment below and tell us your story! 🙂

10 thoughts on “My TOP 5 Routes to Escape the Rat Race”

  1. Hi stefan! I have learned about the rat race about two years ago. It was definitely depressing to know that i am in that cycle. That’s why i dedicated my life since then in finding ways on how to escape the rat race. Right now i am still making my escape rope and i like your insight that we should really enjoy the journey. Thanks for inspiring me to do more.

    1. Hi JohnThank for your comment. Yes, we need to understand our condition and realize that we can take wise steps pursue financial independence. If it was easy, nobody would be working in emotionally and physically exhausting jobs. However, we must search for ways to enjoy our ride, as I said. The reason is that we might never get out of the rat race, so would it be worth making our lives miserable to achieve that? No way! The way is to not fight fiercely against it, but take advantage of the possibilities along your way wisely. Good luck with your ride! 🙂

  2. Hi, Stefan!

    I absolutely hate the rat race, and I’m looking forward to the day when I can finally quit my day job and live the life I’m currently working torwards.

    I see you have listed a couple of highly effective ways here on how to escape the rat race, and personally for me, building an online business is my “Golden Ticket” for the way out.

    There certainly are some very powerful advantages to building an online business, and the concept of “Resdiual Income” is one of the keys to creating “Time & Financial” Freedom for the people who are willing to work their butts off to make it happen.

    I have just bookmarked your post for future reading 🙂

    Cheers!
    Neil

    1. Hi, NeilThanks for following my website. I understand you and I am also taking the steps to quit this insane daily routine. I think we need to try with our best weapons. In my view, internet marketing is the best weapon for me so far. Unfortunately, I cannot afford a mortgage so I can stop paying rent… I don’t have the money, skills and guts to start a brick and mortar business either. But hey, I still have my brain, a laptop and an internet connection and I know people are earning a full-time income online. Where I can find those people and learn with them? There is not a better place than Wealthy Affiliate, I can guarantee! Now, I am so determined to succeed that apart from my daily job, I still have the willpower to stay until 2:30am on my business. If I didn’t believe it would be possible, do you think I would bother? I believe you lose many nights as well but it will pay off in the future. Work hard and diligently, the only thing left will be time… Take care and luck with your business!

  3. Hello

    Excellent article, I was just browsing when I came across your article. Thank you for sharing this information with us, I have found some very useful pointers to take away with me. I know others will also benefit from it. You clearly know your stuff.

    I have often wondered if there are more than one way to escape the rat race, thank you for presenting new ideas to me.

    again thank you for sharing, I know many people will benefit from knowing this now. I hope to hear from you soon, I will pop back in a few days to hear your response.

    -Jack

    1. Hi Jack!There are many ways and in fact, the concept of Rat Race can be misleading. People think escaping the rat race means getting rich and this is not the case. How many rich people are stuck in their own daily routine? they have the money but can’t enjoy it… their are trapped in their own rat race! Considering we live in a money driven society, the idea is to earn most of our money without compromising our precious time. So, in internet marketing, we search for what is called recurring or residual income, where we work a lot in the beginning so we can reap the profits consecutively in the future. That’s a wise way to be rewarded for your work. It is like a writer that keeps earning commissions for each sale of their books for year and years. I am glad you liked my post. Please return, You are always welcomed!Stefan

  4. I’m not much of a spender and I have some money saved up in my saving account. And I’m currently developing my online business, but meanwhile I’m almost living pay check to pay check because of the high rent. So I haven’t been putting much in my saving account recently. So I’ve been kind of interested in investing too. What do you recommend for that?

    1. Hi Joon, I understand your situation because although I can save a bit of money, my rent swallows almost 50% of my full-time income. And that is because I just rent a double room in a shared house! If I wanted to rent a flat here in London, that would be my whole salary! Can you believe that? John, if you are living pay check to paycheck, you need to consider saving for your financial protection first. You need to save good money and leave it safely as an emergency. You are doing the right thing in building an online business, but while it doesn’t provide enough income, think about how you can reduce expenses to start saving now. Consider how much money you need to pay all the bills in a given month. Then, multiply that by the number of months that you want to be covered for in case you don’t find another job. I still saving for my financial protection, and I’d like to have at least 6 months worth in my account. I’ll never use this money for investment. When you reach that level of protection in your savings account, then you can think about higher yield investments. However, this is a complex topic and the kind of investment depends on the risk you are willing to take. Knowledge and experience can help you take informed decisions, but investing in the financial market always involve risks… that’s why you should invest only what you can afford to lose.Personally, I’d like to diversify, investing in a mix of stocks and bonds, for example. But as I don’t have much investment knowledge so far, I’ll consider paying an investment platform to have a fully-managed portfolio in the future. I’ve heard positive reviews about Nutmeg.com. I hope this helps! All the bestStefanWell, you have to search for a high yield investment, which at the same time is not significantly risky.

  5. Hi Stefan,I just loved this article!I have been working my full-time job in an office and university alongside working for Wealthy Affiliate .It’s amazing some of the mindsets that my work colleagues have about their job and about ‘success’, they’re full blown stuck in the ‘rat -race’ it’s a damn shame! I cannot recommend this article enough to people who are starting to maybe realise that they are stuck in the race and want out!.Cheers Stefan,PeaceMark

    1. Hi Mark, thank’s for your comment. You are not alone. The majority of people are not happy with their job, but most of them don’t know or don’t want to look outside of the bubble. They don’t see other option so they keep stuck working for other people and saving for a house. I decided to work for myself when I saw that it was really possible to make a full-time income online without large start-up costs. It is also very easy to create a website so anybody with no technical knowledge can do it. However, the person must be highly committed to their business and patient until the first commissions come. It takes time and hard work, but the freedom that comes from making money online astonishing! Cheers! Stefan

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