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The freelance lifestyle

March 22nd, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Not having a full-time income with job stinks.

However, as I continue freelancing while I search for a real job, I do enjoy the freelance lifestyle. This is what I imagine my early retirement will feel like, absent the nagging worry about income and expenses.

To me, the freelance lifestyle means every day is refreshingly different.

This morning I eked out 1 of the 4 write-ups I assigned myself for today in my current writing gig before heading out for a 10:20 am gyno appointment. This particular assignment has 25 schools to write about, so i divide up the summaries among the 6 days I have to complete the assignment.

The exam was painful! My old gyno retired and already I miss her. She was much more gentle. As a result, I may not stay with this new one.

My dad came over for lunch...and one of my new experimental vegan recipes..... and we had a green salad with a turmeric-ginger peanut butter chickpea stew over rice-quinoa blend. I think I had the heat on too high and the peanut butter-spice blend was a little dry.

Dessert was easy and very good. I just threw the following into the blender: frozen cherries, a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa, a few pitted dates and some soy milk. It tasted like a chocolate cherry ice cream. If I'd added more soy milk, it would be more like a smoothie.

After dad left, I wrote the remaining 3 school summaries I needed to write.

Tonight I decided to go alone to a movie dad wasn't interested in going to see becus it has sub-titles. It's a movie called "Kedi" about stray cats in Istanbul and the people who love them. I have a feeling it's going to be good.

Tomorrow I'll be writing another 4 school summaries but in between that I'll be traveling a short distance to meet someone who is buying a piece of my mother's art. So happy to have another sale, especially when it's commission-free!

On Friday I have a mid-afternoon MS lecture program to attend and will continue working on my freelance project every day, through the weekend and then wrap up on Monday.

I am feeling more upbeat about this work, which I've complained about in the past due to the low rate of pay of $15 to $20/hr. I'm feeling better about it for a number of reasons:
1. I'm settling into a certain rhythm writing these where it all flows easier, even though some still likely take me a full hour to write due to my own thorough research habits.
2. After realizing I couldn't prod my contact to send me new assignments immediately after I turn in a prior one (she typically takes a day or two to send me the next assignment), I decided to take a different tack and ask for lengthier writing assignments, which result in more money. And I now like the 1 or 2 day break in between assignments becus I can then squeeze in my grocery shopping and other errands so they don't interfere with my writing later.

My gross income for March will be much better than my February gross, and with the increased word counts, I think my total monthly income will be within shooting range of the minimum needed to cover ongoing expenses: $2,000 a month. I'm thinking I should be able to do $1600 monthly. Shooting range.

3. I think I also under-estimated the value of having regular, ongoing work, even if it is low paying. In the past, when I've had to freelance between jobs, I mostly relied on my real estate contacts and a few other random clients for work, but the work flow was never within my control. I had to wait for someone to give me a project.

The website I'm working for has about 30 other writers besides me, telling me they have plenty of work on an ongoing basis. And I already see the results of that in my March income.

I'm saving both time and money I might otherwise use getting to a local part-time job, and there's no place I'd rather be (home) in the middle of a snowstorm.

And my gross income will be so low this year (so far, anyway), that I'll be in the lowest tax bracket, whatever that is.

13 Responses to “The freelance lifestyle”

  1. Dido Says:

    10% is the lowest bracket on taxable income up to $9,325 Single. Add back the 4,050 personal exemption and the 6,350 standard deduction (unless you itemize) and you can earn 19,725 plus your SE health insurance premiums and half of the additional SE tax (Hal's would be about 1,395 on earnings of 19,725) before you get to the 15% bracket.

    I'm glad you're relaxing into the rhythm of the work and came up with the strategy of asking for longer rather than more assignments.

    Ouch on the gyno exam. I've never had one that hurt (except one that involved a biopsy, and that was just a pinch). I'm in the opposite place--I have a gyno I like but need a new primary care physician since mine (who was several years younger than me) died. Finding a new doctor one likes is stressful!

    Enjoy your movie tonight!

  2. Dido Says:

    Half not Hal's!

  3. Dido Says:

    And yes, work you can count on is valuable in and of itself regardless of the pay.

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    I am keeping you in my prayers that you find a good job soon.

  5. scottish girl Says:

    Hope you find something soon. Your lunch sounds nice!

  6. VS_ozgirl Says:

    It sounds like you're in a nice kind of groove now, which is helpful between jobs Smile.

  7. PatientSaver Says:

    Thanks, everyone. Dido, yes, if I find no perm job, I roughly figure my income would be about $21,400 for this year, and that's including about $2400 in taxable mutual fund dividends.

    I always itemize due to high property taxes, state taxes and car tax totaling $9,700 last year.

    Plus, with my unusually low gross income, I should be able to deduct medical expenses which will total $6300 in premiums alone in 2017.

  8. Dido Says:

    You can deduct the insurance premiums in full on page 1 b/c of self employment, but then you can't also put them on schedule A, which means you won't be able to deduct the other expenses until they are more than 10% of AGI (which includes the premiums already deducted). So if income was 20k, health insurance was 6k, then AGI is 14k. The first 1400 of our of pocket med expenses wouldn't count but if the deductibles, copays, meds, vision, and dental totaled say 2400, you's be able to deduct 1000.

  9. Dido Says:

    not "don't count" but would not be deductible

  10. kashi Says:

    I feel your pain with the new doctor. I had one bad experience and then found great one. I dread the day when he retires.

    Your lunch sounds delicious!!

    Glad you are settling into a rhythm (and I'm envious of your ability to stay home and write), but I hope you find something permanent soon!

  11. PatientSaver Says:

    Aside from the current gyno i went to yesterday, I had another gyno before I found the good long-time doc i liked. The other gyno was a bit rough as well, and i used to spot blood when i left there! Obviously, technique is everything in this business. Strangely, all 3 of the docs were women; you would think female gynos would be more gentle/sensitive, but apparently not.

  12. LuckyRobin Says:

    PS--Honestly, I'd say something to the gynocologist. If they are hurting patients they need to be made aware. Sometimes I think female doctors think "If I can take it, anyone can take it." Say something whether or not you stay or go. It also helps to state at the beginning that you are more tender than most people and ask that the doctor be extra gentle. Most will comply and if they won't say good-bye.

  13. PatientSaver Says:

    At the time it happened, LR, I involuntarily said the name of a divinity out loud, and she said "sorry."

    When i got home, i got an emailed survey asking for feedback on "my experience," so I filled it out and in the comment section I did say it was painful. So they will know.

    I liked the first part of your comments but not the latter half. I am no more sensitive or "tender" than anyone else, and saying that I am leads them to think the issue is with me, not the doctor!

    The next doctor I go to, probably from that same group since it's a larger one, they will see from their charts that I was with one doctor for about 20 years and then another one last year. I will explain why.

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