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?