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"Why are you still here?"

July 2nd, 2008 at 08:47 am

I was commenting on my $1,000 weekend translation, and a friend from work asked me that question...she then answered herself: "oh, because that's not every month!"...
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of leaving my "job" and become an entrepreneur and do the translation thing full time...I mean, I could drop Ale off at school and go back home and work until lunch time, then work for another hour or two then go pick her up...I could take her to dance lessons, stay there and work while she has her class (I have a laptop and a spare battery...and I generally connect to the internet when I finish the translation, just to "clean" it- a.k.a look for words or expressions I don't know/I'm uncertain of or unhappy with, and then to send it after I clean it...)
....the problem, as my friend pointed out, is that I don't get $1,000 translations EVERY month...then again, if I were doing this full time, I'd have more time to promote myself/make more contacts to make sure I DO get $1,000 worth of translations every month...
HOWEVER...at the moment, I NEED about $1,500/month....(to cover living and other expenses PLUS debt repayment plan PLUS savings- however little- PLUS taxes, etc)...once my debt is gone, this would go down significantly (as, currently, about 43% of my income goes towards debt...still an improvement over the 47% that I was allocating last year!)...
My job here is "secure" for 4 more years (the life of the program!)...notice the quotation marks, because, really, NO ONE's job is ever secure, is it?...
anyway...my goal is to be debt free, and then save for the dowpayment for a house (notice how my ticker is now showing the amazing amount of $30? It's a start!...once I finish with the debt, I'll be beefing that up!)...I then want to get my own house (easier to do if you are "employed"...but now banks are starting to also grant loans for "independent" people - to use their own words!)...SO, I guess my strategy would be to get the loan with the bank while I'm still employed here (before sept 2012), THEN make the jump!...does that sound like a plan??

12 Responses to “"Why are you still here?"”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    It sounds like a good plan!!

  2. baselle Says:

    Sounds like a plan -

    You might want to track your monthly cash flow coming in from translations - when you average $1500, then its time to think about striking out on your own. By the time you average $1500, your debt should be reduced and you should need a bit less. Or you could make the decision based on your lowest earning month for say, 18 months...

  3. miclason Says:

    Yes, I've also thought that I need to have (besides an emergency fund) an account with 2 months expenses in it, in case payments are late (customers typically ask for 30 days, but, on occasion, they take 45- 60 days to pay...having that account would mean I don't touch the EF, yet can be sure I have cash to pay for normal expenses without the anguish!

  4. scfr Says:

    sorry - double post

  5. scfr Says:

    Striking out on your own sounds like a great plan. You are clearly very good at what you do, highly respected, and in demand.

    Four years sounds like a good amount of time ... It may be challenging, but it should be enough to do everything you need to do to leave a steady job and feel confident financially.

    My suggestion would be that you make a list of financial goals you would need to reach before you take the leap, and I would suggest including the following:

    - All debt paid off
    - House bought (with min 20% down perhaps)
    - College savings for Ale (if you plan to contribute, whatever amount you plan to pay)
    - Many months of living expenses in an EF ... Personally, I don't think 2 months is enough. When my husband started his business, we had already saved up 1 year's expenses and I was working. Some may think 1 year is overly-conservative, but you are a single mom, so I'd say 6 months expenses saved minimum.
    - When calculating your expenses, be sure to include any benefits you are currently receiving that you will have to pay out of pocket once you are self-employed. For example, if you receive health insurance from your employer, get quotes for an individual policy and factor that in.
    - Savings to cover any start-up costs (licensing, equipment, etc). Since you can work from home, fortunately these should be minimal.

    If you can start your own business feeling completely confident financially, your business will really benefit. For example, you will feel comfortable turning down "sketchy" (potentially non-paying or overly-demanding clients) if you are not desperate to make money. Then you'll be able to focus on the "better" clients and leave the sketchy ones for someone who wasn't as well prepared as you!

  6. miclason Says:

    Oh, the 2-month fund would be ADDITIONAL to the EF...it would be a "tie over" fund...

    Making alist of what I need to have in place before "jumping" is a great idea!...
    I'll start working on it and post it later (hopefully, I won't get scared! LOL!)

    Oh! and glad you reminded me about the college fund, as Ale announced this week that she wants to study to become a veterinarian....and she wants to study in PARIS (where she gets the idea, I don't know!...she better get a scholarship for THAT!)

  7. scfr Says:

    LOL about studying in Paris! Better get a lot of translations if you're going to pull that off!
    I'm sure there are excellent schools in El Salvador, but if she's considering the USA, here's a ranking of schools:


    Texas A&M, which is near where I live, is tied for 5th and is indeed very good, plus it has the advantage of being located in a low cost of living town and probably is closest distance wise to El Salvador.

    Looking forward to the post with the goals!

  8. miclason Says:

    well, she's only 8, so she's got at least 8 years to change her mind about the veterinarian thing... (and the Paris thing, too!...PLUS, she'd need French lessons! LOL!)

  9. boomeyers Says:

    Sounds like a GREAT plan!

  10. Sunshine Suz Says:

    And if she came to Texas A & M, "We" could be her adopted aunties!

  11. miclason Says:

    Well, I worked the numbers and it WAS kind of scary...so I decided to do a "visual" on excel, and that was a lot easier for me to digest...I'll convert them to pictures and post them!

  12. Sara - pension comparison Says:

    Yes, it seems like a good plan!

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