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Building multiple streams of income

October 25th, 2012 at 01:03 pm

After I had already written it off, the company where I interviewed for that little itty bitty p/t proofreading job paying an embarrassingly low hourly rate called today and offered me the job. I accepted.

It was not an easy thing to do. My pride keeps getting in the way. I routinely earn $50/hr with my freelance writing, but the thing is, I don't do freelance writing 40 hours a week; in fact, how much and when I get freelance writing is mostly beyond my control.

Hence my need for some sort of regular income to pay for my regular bills as the saga of PatientSaver's long bout of underemployment continues.

Normally, I wouldn't even be able to consider such a low-paying job, but since I have paid off my mortgage, I don't have to earn enormous sums of money to make ends meet.

Based on what I learned at the interview, I fear this job, which is 20 or 25 hours a week, may prove very tedious, and I hope I can do it!

My main concern, however, is if I'll be able to handle the driving. While the job is just 10 minutes down the road from where I live, I don't intend to stop driving J. to and from work. Since that driving job is under the table, I figure he's paying me the equivalent of $17 or $18 an hour. And it will end next May anyway when he gets his driver's license back.

But, back to the driving challenge. Once I start the new job next week, I'll have to drive in the a.m. from my house to Anytown, which is the same town where this employer is located. To fetch J. at his home is 20 minutes, then another 10 to drop his kids off at daycare where they catch the bus to school. Then I drive J. to his work, 30 minutes. Then from there I'll have to drive myself 30 minutes back to Anytown for the new job. In the afternoon, I'll have to repeat the whole process.

Thank goodness I don't drive J. every single day any more for a total of 10 trips (morning and end of day). It was costing him too much so he found someone to do a couple days, so I only drive him a total of 6 trips now a week, not 10. (That's 2 times Monday, 2 times Tuesday, Wed a.m. only and Thurs. evening only.)

I'm afraid to think how dicey it could get in bad weather, but I'm determined to try to power through it all til May. Cus tho the new proofreading job pays little, it would be mostly year-round except I would have summers off.

So my newly revised monthly income chart looks like this:
Driving J.: $520
Proofreading job: $1300/net $1093
Freelance writing: Let's say conservatively, $500/month gross
Unemployment benefits: Not sure how it'll be reduced by the proofreading job, but let's say it's reduced to: $400. (Benefits end for good 12/31/12)
Total monthly income: $2513
Total monthly income after unemployment goes away: $2113
Total monthly income after both unemployment and the driving job go away: $1593

My total minimum monthly expenses now are just $1800. So the piddling proofreading job, while easy to scoff at, actually would make survival possible, even without the unemployment benefits that act as a cushion when the freelance work doesn't materialize. Come next May, though, I'll have to find yet another supplemental source of income to make up for the loss of the driving job.

Are you dizzy yet? I am.

Still, I have found more breathing room in the proofreading job.

I don't know why, but I keep thinking of the story in the Bible where Jesus is telling his disciples not to worry so much about making ends meet because, he says, even the sparrows in the field survive without worrying about where their next meal is coming from. I'm not at all religious, so don't know where this is coming from, except my upbringing, but it does perfectly reflect how I feel about my 3-year odyssey as I attempt to outlive this recession.

It's like, I'm getting only EXACTLY what I need to survive, and no more. If I got just a normal, everyday job like the kind I used to hold, I'd be on Easy Street now, without the mortgage. But no, I'm still just eking out my existence with the puniest of jobs and other work I find.

Upward and onward.

5 Responses to “Building multiple streams of income”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    I am sorry it pays so little, but I am glad you have some work.

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    I know that it has been very difficult for you. I just wanted to say that I admire you tremendously for the way you've been able to hold it all together. So many people, faced with your situation, would just give up. But you don't. You keep on. You are a true example of a survivor and should be very proud of yourself. Congratulations on the job.

  3. carol b. Says:

    I second what Lucky Robin said. You are doing a terrific job in horrible circumstances. I admire your pluck!

  4. CB in the City Says:

    That is a lot of driving. But I think it is what you must do.

    Although I am not driving (and I'm grateful for that), I'm spending 3 1/2 hours daily on my commute, counting the walk to and from the stations and the transfer time. You do what you gotta do.

    I know you will surely prevail -- you have worked so hard!!

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Although it may not be the ideal job in terms of tedium and pay, I am glad you were offered it. I hope that it turns out to be better than you're expecting.

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