It’s now been two months since my last day at a full-time job and things are going well. I thought I’d talk about my cash flow, work sources, health insurance and other stuff so that people want to become freelance writers can see how it works for one person.
My income is steady. Amazingly, my bank account hasn’t dipped over the course of these two months. I think that’s partly because I had overdue paychecks that finally came through in January. I did have a few big expenses–mostly my Obamacare (more on that later). I’m making around $500 to $700 a week freelancing, based on almost the same mix of clients/editors/assignments I described in this post.
I lost one major gig. Sadly, Thrillist axed their health vertical last week. Which means ones of my steady gigs is gone pecan. It sucks; I loved the assignments, the consistency, the pay and my editor. I got to cover things that I think are important, like the drug war, PTSD in doctors and the cholesterol scam. When my editor broke the news (gently, in a compliment-laced email), he wrote, “Nobody really expected our section to have as much success as it did, and a lot of that is thanks to you. The subject matter we were able to slip onto a burgers and booze site was tremendous.”
But I got an awesome new gig. But, as my mom likes to say, when God closes a door, he opens a window (or another door, I forget which). I have a new gig freelancing for The New Orleans Advocate, which is super awesome. I’m contributing features to Tuesday’s eat.play.live section, and I have a couple upcoming pieces in ADORE, The Advocate’s shopping section. I love the assignments, and my editors are great.
I’m still financing my freelance life with Airbnb. This month I’ll make a little over $1,000 from renting out the extra bedroom. That’s more than most months, because of Mardi Gras. Overall, Airbnb has slowed down since we started in 2014, but between it and Bryan’s rent, I still make enough to cover my mortgage.
I got Obamacare. Health insurance concerned me prior to going freelance, and actually, it still does, because nobody really knows what’s going to happen to it under this administration. I pay $280 a month for the “bronze” level, which is basically one step up from Medicaid. It’s Humana, like my old insurance, but it’s a different network. I have been to the doctor A LOT this past month, because I have two autoimmune diseases. One of them, Hashimoto’s, required bloodwork, because my previous doctor had been tinkering with my dosing. Long story short: my new Obamacare doctor IS AWESOME. He’s a just a few blocks from my house. I can call and often get a same-day appointment.. He is extremely thorough. And best of all, he prescribed me the medication I’d been trying to get, which my previous doctor wouldn’t prescribe. She said I had to see an endocrinologist, and he had a three month wait, and…anyway, you get the picture. Also, my medications are affordable and I can pick them up up Walmart or CVS. Obamacare rocks.
I’m mostly working from home. I had considered renting a co-working space or working from coffee shops, but after a couple months, I can say I’m adequately productive working from home. Added bonuses: it’s free; there’s a kitchen full of snacks and tea; I’m around to get deliveries before they’re stolen off the porch; cats. I avoid becoming a shut-in by taking walks and going to the gym. Also, Lianna Patch and I co-worked once; it was delightful and productive AND she shared her cake with me. Definitely doing that again. I plan to attend some freelancer meet-up groups from time to time.
So, those are the major updates. The coolest thing about freelancing is that I feel like I don’t have a job, but I still get money. Also, Mondays no longer suck, but Fridays are still awesome.