DRAFT: That Freelance Life
I get asked about it all the time and people always tell me they wish they were freelance, so here's the lowdown.
- •I never get a vacation.If I don't work, the work doesn't get done and that can't happen.
- •I pay for my own health insurance and it's almost 9k a year.Yep, almost $9,000 a year and it sucks. When you hit the "breeding" years, aka your 30s, your insurance skyrockets in prep for baby making.
- •I don't have any benefits.No medical, dental, retirement, or life insurance. If I want it, it's on me.
- •I spend a ridiculous amount of time organizing receipts for tax purposes.Keeping track of who gets billed for what and why, what I'm responsible for, and what's a legit business expense I can write off. I get buried in paperwork and I have my accountant on speed dial.
- •Since my taxes aren't automatically deducted from my checks, I have to pay estimated taxes all year.It means saving money to pay them and remembering to do so.
- •I don't get sick days either.If I'm sick, too bad. I work through it. When I had sinus surgery last summer, I worked completely doped up. The work never stops.
- •Sometimes I see no people.This depends on what city I'm in and what work I'm doing. I spend a lot of time hunched behind my laptop silently pecking away forgetting that I have a voice. If too many days like that add up, it's not a good thing.
- •Other times I'm traveling and working non-stop from early morning hours till 3am.It's a rollercoaster. Basically, freelance = weird schedule.
- •No co-workers in the next office to collaborate with or bounce ideas off of.It's all on you.
- •If I don't work, I don't get paid.Scary thought. I had to cut back on a portion of my work at the end of 2015 because of throat issues and I took a major financial hit.
- •I don't have a regular schedule I can count on.So it's hard to make plans.
- •I miss normalcy at times.Knowing you get off work at 6 and you can leave the office behind sounds kinda nice at times. Having a weekend free - I can't even imagine.
- •I can usually work anywhere unless I'm traveling for a particular reason.I just need my laptop and wifi.
- •I miss people sometimes.Just being around people on a regular basis.
- •It's easy to burn out.It's a lot of juggling and a lot of hours working that people don't even know about. I wake up plenty of times in the middle of the night not knowing where I am. It can be exhausting.
- •I can work naked if I want.But that also means it's easy to get into a rut of not brushing your hair for days because you won't see anyone. It can be bad. Especially when you answer the door without pants on.
- •This sounds like whining but I'm just stating the facts. It's not for everyone but I've made it work for 9 or so years. Not sure it will be forever though.