Fulltime Freelancer?

For the first time in well, ever, I’m considering moving toward becoming a full-time freelancer in 2017. I have one very steady customer (3 blog posts a week) and another that isn’t as often but is long-form so one post per month for them pays almost the same as 5-6 shorter posts. It’s still not enough to replace my hourly rate at my day job, but it’s close enough that it has me wondering what I could do if I devoted myself full time to freelancing instead of dabbling with 10 hours a week.

The next step will come at the end of the year when I start averaging how much I make per month in freelancing and how much time I’ve spent on each piece as some require more research than others. In order to not detract from my family’s quality of life, I think I’ll need to hit a weekly/monthly that’s around 20% more than what I make at my salary on average per week. This way I can account for self-employement taxes. Being self-employed will cost me more than 20% but I’d get a few nice financial deductions and I wouldn’t have to spend money on commuting, parking, lunches out, etc. and the wasted time of commuting, lunch breaks, etc. An additional 20% seems like a sufficient buffer, but I’ll need to talk to a few other freelancing pros before getting firm with the numbers.

I’ve now been with my day job for four years, which means that–come January 1st–I’ll have three weeks of paid vacation from the company. I’m thinking that my exodus, if it happens, will probably come toward the summer. Until then I will spend time adding in additional freelance income streams, improving my process and craft, and using the extra income to pay off debt to help weather the cyclical fast/feast nature of freelance work. That would also give me several months of health insurance to get a few things taken care of before going out on my own.

Good idea, bad idea–what do you think?

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