A Year of Ditching the Daily Grind

Los Gigantes Tenerife Canary Islands

Los Gigantes, Tenerife, Canary Islands

Tomorrow marks one year of ditching the daily grind.

My last day as a full-time employee in corporate America was August 5, 2016, and I can honestly say without any hesitation that the time since handing in my employee ID badge has easily been the best year of my life.  Even though I’d been looking forward to and planning for the day my creative and productive energies would no longer waste away in cubicle hell, the abrupt finality at the age of 34 happened mostly by chance.

My wife, who is active duty military, was reassigned to a base overseas and I was more or less forced to quit my job.  At least that’s how it appeared from the outside, giving me the perfect cover to implement my new career plan, one in which I’d never work a traditional full-time job ever again.

I had wanted this for years, but didn’t have the courage to give up a borderline six-figure salary, especially with three kids under 10 still under our roof.  Although we’d had a good handle on our money for years and I knew we could easily pull it off financially, it still didn’t seem logical. Continue reading

April Earnings Update and More Traveling

Oxburgh Hall

Oxburgh Hall, England

Guten Tag von Deutschland!

It’s been a couple months since I’ve provided an income update.  For new readers, I quit working full time last August when we moved from the US to the UK and now do a variety of part-time jobs and freelancing.

Lately, though,  freelancing has been on the back burner.  I’ve been spending a fair amount of time on military orders and, as I alluded to above, I’m actually in Germany right now.

Not to mention, I’ve also been busy completing two separate training courses over the past couple weeks.  One of the courses is for the adjunct teaching position I was hired for back in March.  I’m pretty much done with this one and should teach my first class(es) during the fall semester.  The other is a beast and will be ongoing for probably the remainder of the year.

German Beers

Enjoying some German beverages

As expected, March saw a huge spike in earnings, mostly resulting from my reserve job.  Between the two weeks I’m working now and another two weeks in June, we should see a couple more spikes like the one in March over the coming months.

In a way, it’s almost like I’m back on active duty without a lot of the day-to-day BS.  I could go without the daily shaving, though.  My face does not appreciate it.  A scruffy beard is one HUGE perk of semi-retirement!

To be fair, it is nice to be making some extra money.  I do feel bad leaving Mrs. DTG alone with the kids, though I think they’re secretly glad to get rid of me from time to time.

April saw a sprinkling of several income sources.  Because of our Mediterranean cruise and a visit from family, I didn’t work for half the month.  This will impact May’s freelance income.  No more PTO for me 😦

Still, it’s better than dragging myself to work every day.  No complaints here!

One a positive note, I finally got paid for an editing job I did on Upwork the first week of February.  I had nearly written it off as pro bono work to an ungrateful Chinese engineering student.  Thankfully, he pulled through and I got my $80.  Ballin’!

My primary source of freelance income continues to be from technical editing.  I’m not making a ton, but the work is there any time I want it.

Anyway, here it is.  Nothing spectacular, but some extra cash nonetheless.  The next few months should see a nice boost and I’ll hopefully start teaching in the fall.

Regardless, I don’t ever see myself going back to sustained full-time employment, especially after our recent net worth calculation turned out better than I’d expected. 😉

Freelance Earnings 201704

Am I Making Any Money Yet Or What?

Kings Cross Station London

King’s Cross Station, London

As you may have noticed, things have been slow on the blog lately.

Last week I was traveling for a work project and didn’t have time to post anything.  Aside from that, I’ve been taking a break from blogs altogether.

Still, I’ve been making progress on my freelancing.  I’ve also made a few observations.

  1. It can sometimes take a while to get paid.
  2. It sucks to get dinged on things you cannot control.
  3. I need to focus my efforts on tasks that pay the best (and that I still enjoy).

Ground breaking, I know.

About getting paid, you hear stories all the time about freelancers having issues with clients releasing pay and I’m getting a taste of that firsthand.   Continue reading

Freelancing Isn’t All About Freedom – You Need a Routine and Focus

bridge-of-sighs-cambridge

I heard a pop and immediately felt the pain.

I thought for sure I’d broken my ankle, but it was just a severe sprain.  An inconsequential play toward the end of a club rugby game kicked off a strange week where I just never got in the groove.

Hobbling around the house on a fat right foot all week, I just didn’t feel like doing anything.  To make things a bit more interesting, the boys were off from school Monday and Tuesday, our daughter was sick Tuesday and Wednesday, and my mother-in-law flew in for a visit on Friday.

Needless to say, I didn’t get much accomplished.

Throughout it all, I realized the importance of sticking to a routine.  On a normal day, I’d get the kids ready for school, freelance for a few hours, eat lunch, tie up loose ends, and hopefully get in a quick workout before the kids returned.  I’d feel productive and satisfied with my day. Continue reading

Freelancing Update: Earnings Through 11 Weeks

english-countryside

Today marks exactly 11 weeks since I took on my first freelance job.  Since that day, I’ve worked on just over two dozen small projects and learned a ton about my own interests and what I’d like to work on more moving forward.

Background

If you’re new to this blog, I left my full-time corporate job in August 2016 at the age of 34 with no plans to ever return.  After a couple months of decompressing, I began looking for some freelance work to start bringing in a little extra money.

So far, I’ve taken on several writing projects and lately have focused most of my efforts on editing.  Initially, I thought writing would be the way to go, but I’m realizing that I don’t enjoy writing as much when the topics are provided by other people and I’m forced to write in their requested style.  Plus, some of the jobs I have completed required fairly extensive background research and simply took too long for the pay.  I’ll probably still do some paid writing moving forward, but I’ll be a lot pickier on which jobs I accept. Continue reading