Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Grass is Alway Greener... but bring a watering can with you.

**Disclaimer** I'm talking about dollars and money in this post. Something I find distasteful at times. I don't like saying how much I make in case someone out there is saying "is that all?" while someone else is saying "that much? why are you complaining?"

It gets harder and harder every week to get everything done. As my regular job becomes more demanding and my writing calls louder and louder... I begin to feel that familiar pull to go back to freelancing full time.

It's hard not to heed. It's hard to make the right choice for my family and stay working full time. There's so much that I want to say and do and not enough time to say or do it!

Each time a great article idea pokes its head up out of the fog I giggle and then sigh. Where's the time?

I'm getting more involved politically these days. Yesterday I was an agent and scrutineer for a local candidate who was trying to win the nomination for our party. She was second. But during the vote yesterday I was approached by the provincial party to become involved in the riding. I've lived here for about 10 years, so why not?

It was nice to meet with other like-minded people, nice to be approached and have someone say "we want what you have", nice to be appreciated.

I know I'll do it.

But I digress.

Work is... work. It makes me money. But freelancing could make me money too. Just not as much. Hubby has decided to go get a better paying job. Could this mean that I could take a lower paying job (ie freelancing) that allows me to have my kids at home more and earn the supplementary income?

Let's have an honest look at my situation:

Rent: $1450
Childcare: $1250
Fuel: $200
Utilities: $350
Food: $500

That's $3750 a month in FIXED expenses. I gross about $4500 a month. I pay about 30% in taxes with a take home figure of about $3150. that's if I sell my butt off, because without commission I take home about $2600.

So what would happen if I removed childcare and cut my fuel in half.

Fixed expenses are $2400 a month.

Can I bring in $2400 a month freelancing?

In 'work terms' I can do it if:

I write two articles for Pajamas Media a week + two large editing or proofreading projects + two or three print articles a month.

Add in two books a year and I'd exceed my current salary based on my advances alone.

I know the grass looks greener. I know that it is greener, actually, I've done the freelancing thing in the past. The only reason I stopped was so my husband could pursue this career dream. Now that he's going in another direction, I wonder what I'm supposed to be doing.


Kai said...

Right, I've got one question.
IS it doable?
If it is, what do you REALLY want?
I'd go for it, but that's me. I've always been that way. If I'm really unhappy/uncomfortable/want out, I just do it, and deal with the consequences afterwards.
:) It might not always be the most cunning of plans.


Towel Hog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Towel Hog said...

As I continue to delve into this writing thing instead of going to work, I always, like you, break the expenses down and then factor in what I WANT to bring home moneywise from a job ie. how much per hour must I make to make going out to work worth it?

For me, going to work means about 1500 in childcare costs (provided I could find it), I need an extra 1000 to meet basic expenses and then there's the maid since working means I'm not cleaning and increased food costs because, food preparation time decreases and my DD may have to give up her extra curricular activities because who would be around to cart her here and there? Some would argue that with full time employment, I would need counseling to deal with the added stress (this would be my DH) and I am inclined to agree - but where's the time? So IF I bring home 4050 a month working full time, less expenses, fuel, clothes, shoes, maid, counseling, I'm at about 400 a week. With a 40 hour work week, that's 10 bucks an hour. For that wage, I'll stay home and wait till my kids are in school during the day full time and then look for something 11-3. And I can always hope that between now and then, I have "made" it as a writer.