Author Topic: Keep working freelance or take a regular job  (Read 1542 times)

Dumb blonde

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Keep working freelance or take a regular job
« on: October 17, 2012, 07:15:13 AM »
My husband and I have been living frugally for many years and have saved a lot of money, but due to lack of income we have also been dipping into savings so our current stache is modest. My husband and I are both self-employed and our combined income varies between 50 euro a month and 12.000 euro a month.

My family currently lives on 30.000 euro a year. This number has climbed up from 22.000 /y a few years back, we have 3 teenage children and life is definitely getting more expensive as they grow older. College years are ahead so this will not change any time soon. We rent a small but nice home for 800 euro a month. Rental homes are hard to find in my country and buying is no option. The bank won't give us a mortgage, and besides that housing is so expensive over here that we would have to pay a few hundred euro more for the same amount of living space if we would buy a home. The housing market has not yet crashed here since the crisis and we suspect it's about to happen. Prices are already going down. So we're pretty much stuck in our house. Luckily we like our house and our town, it's an ideal location for a freelancer like me: relatively cheap, close to 2 major highways and public transportation. We have one car that is used for business mostly, we use public transportation and all five of us use our bikes every day (common practice here, so guess which country I'm from).

However, I do not always have a freelance job. Last year I found myself without a job for 10 months. Although I currently have a job I'm a bit scared what next year will bring. I know lots of people working in the same field who have been unemployed for months. This goes for both regular jobs and freelance jobs. My current boss has offered me a regular job at his company. It would pay me about 4.000 euro a month before taxes. A lot less than any freelance job (usually 8.000-10.000 a month), but this would mean a steady stream of income. Downside is the commute (1 hour each way by car, 1,5 hour by bus/train) and the fact that I don't like this company and I really do like working freelance. So I'd rather keep working freelance jobs. Healthcare is cheap in my country (about 250 euro/month for our family, with or without a job) so that's no problem.

I'm looking for the best way to increase our savings. Working freelance might mean high income (=save lots of money), als might mean no income (=dip into savings again).

So what do you think, keep working freelance and hope I have another job next year, or take the steady job and the commute? Should I opt for a steady job at all?

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Keep working freelance or take a regular job
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2012, 07:38:31 AM »
I'm a consultant (so self-employed) and I'd find it hard to return to a regular day job myself.  I used to worry about the sometimes lack of cash flow, but in the last 2 years, I've been ahead overall, compared to my old regular job.
But, if the right opportunity came along, I'd find it hard to say no.

Maybe this current job offer isn't the one for you, but another one might be.  Is there a chance that you could get another offer, with a different company; One that might be less of a commute?
A small business-owning SWAMI working herself towards FI.

Dumb blonde

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Re: Keep working freelance or take a regular job
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2012, 08:01:08 AM »
Well, job offers are rare in my field of work. On the other hand I have been offered a job at my previous assignment as well (an even more boring company than this one ;-) ). I like the freelance life, but I do worry about the possible lack of cash flow.

I guess I would take a really nice job at a nice company not too far from where I live, but I have not heard of any job opening so far. I have been talking to people in the area for the last couple of years to get my name buzzing (for any type of job, freelance or regular), but nothing so far...

freelancerNfulltimer

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Re: Keep working freelance or take a regular job
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2012, 08:17:23 AM »
Can you do both for a while? That's what I'm doing right now. It's hard and sometimes I feel incredibly burnt out but I'm saving as much as I can for as long as I can bare it. I'm not able to do as much freelance as before because of the full-time job but I have made decisions to raise my rates and take on fewer jobs so it's not as big a cut in freelance income as I initially thought it would be.

Dumb blonde

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Re: Keep working freelance or take a regular job
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 08:55:22 AM »
No, I work 'regular' hours, I train people on the job. Besides that, how do you cope???? I'd be exhausted, I leave at 7 in the morning and get home at 7 in the evening. I'm happy to eat dinner together with my family, make my lunch for the next day (yes I do those things), and try to get enough sleep to get me through the week.

freelancerNfulltimer

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Re: Keep working freelance or take a regular job
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2012, 09:26:51 AM »
No, I work 'regular' hours, I train people on the job. Besides that, how do you cope???? I'd be exhausted, I leave at 7 in the morning and get home at 7 in the evening. I'm happy to eat dinner together with my family, make my lunch for the next day (yes I do those things), and try to get enough sleep to get me through the week.

Well, if you can't do both you can always start the full-time job and if you don't like it go back to freelancing. Would there be a loss of opportunity if you do this? Would it be hard to pick up the freelance work again?

Personally, I miss the autonomy and flexibility of freelancing. I'm making more money at my fulltime job so it's worth it (for now).

I cope because it's good for my future. You just make it work. But if the payoff wasn't there I wouldn't be doing it. I have a sub-contractor helping me complete the freelance work which is nice because I make money off of him too.

It Figures

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Re: Keep working freelance or take a regular job
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2012, 11:00:08 AM »
If you and your husband are both freelancing, then my suggestion would be that one of you get a regular job.  That way you have a buffer for when there is less freelance work.  My husband and I were in that position and I couldn't handle the stress of self-employment.  I am much happier and calmer knowing how much I will make on a regular basis.