Self Employment

Personal experiences

Again I write with some degree of experience in earning a living from here, there and everywhere else !

If you are living on a financial tightrope, you are relying on 'x' amount of money coming in each month to pay all your overheads and living necessities.
If this doesn't happen, you are open to debt and debt means interest and 'punishment payments' for direct debits not being paid and cheques bouncing on you.

Therefore I'm very much in favour of doing work where I know I'm getting paid immediately upon completion of the work.
It's not so bad if you have regular work from a company which pays say one month after the work, but for 'one offs', losing a weeks instant cash work for a slightly more lucrative job where you're invoicing can make that wait for payment perjury !

I did work for a Railway company for a short time. I was maintaining gardens at two railway stations. At the end of each month I'd send them an invoice and 30 days later I'd get a cheque. It was good because at that time I had sufficient funds to see me through that time.

The other end of the scale is an example where I did some TV Extra work in October knowing the payment could take up to 8 weeks. The work appealed, it was indoors and I wasn't breaking my back etc. I gave up a couple of other offers of work to do it and 6 months on I hadn't been paid. 
After 12 weeks, the amount owed to me was the amount owed for an electricity bill.

It's a good idea to get a 'base income' from a regular part-time job. It may be lesser paid but you know there's a regular amount coming in and you can work around it.

The only downfall in doing some jobs you may not have done before is getting the estimate wrong. You'll see a job and say "5 days, that'll be materials plus labour, £500". 10 days later and few extra bits you had to buy, oh dear !

A way out of this is to charge by the hour, this'll be OK if the person has a trust in you. If they will work to this scenario, it's much better.

I focus my various jobs around about 5 customers. All of them know I don't mess around, I work the hours I charge and they trust me to buy and work wisely.
I know I am charging them less than a company might, they know that as well, so everyone's happy. I am because I'm getting paid at the end of the work and they are in so far they can leave me alone to get on with it and are getting a good deal !

Although you may earn a little less money doing it this way, do you want to be tied up with invoicing and waiting for cheques to arrive enabling you to pay those outstanding bills ?

self employment

Self employment entails discipline. You're usually on your own and must have the ability to avoid distractions

Downshifting & Finance


Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it. Dalai Lama