Am I making a mistake by going down this freelance route?
January 13, 2014 11:37 AM Subscribe
I'm 25. I studied design in school and realized I don't want to practice it and I don't fit in to typical office environments. I started freelancing and I'm thrilled by the amount of freedom it offers but I'm also worried about how sustainable this lifestyle is.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Background Info: Right now I work about three different freelance jobs in writing/communications. Together, they pull in about $2,590 per month after taxes which is pretty good for now. The highest paying one will end in May and I'll make $1,750 per month post-tax when it ends (though I can't be a 100% sure that the other two will still have work for me to do.)
I don't have any debt, though my family has financial problems. I haven't purchased health insurance yet (I've filed an appeal with my state's healthcare center because they won't give me any tax credit though my expected salary for 2014 is around ~$28,000) and I keep my cost of living pretty low since I haven't stopped living like a college student. I have some savings and I've just started to fund my solo 401k and Roth IRA. After May though, I know I'll need to try and pick up some more work to avoid living paycheck to paycheck.
I'm a planner, so I like to think about things in the long term which can be a problem because too much uncertainty gives me anxiety. Right now, making $21,000 to $28,000 a year (after taxes, no benefits) is OK because I'm young. But what happens when I get older? Have any of you found that you've made major sacrifices because you lack the financial stability from a regular job? Many of my friends think that anything below $50k is too low. I think I'm OK with being a renter the rest of my life though...
I'm attracted to the idea of working freelance because I don't fit in to the regular office environment, I don't have a car (hard to commute), and I really like my freedom. I really like the idea of moving around the world and working remotely from a different city every five months. Is that crazy? Am I being too naive?
Are you a freelancer? Did you turn to self employment because you had no other choice or was that something you knew you wanted? And for those who are older and have been doing this for a while (and maybe without a large amount of take-home pay), do you have regrets? Is there anything I should prepare myself for if I go into freelancing for the long haul?