I did it. I jumped right in. I’m up to my neck in quicksand. I love the way it feels between my toes.
So, on my thirty second birthday I started working for myself. That is right, I’m now a freelancer. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I decided to take the plunge. What is the point in waiting all your life to regret that you always took a peak over the edge, but never had the gusto to jump?
I’ve had an LLC for years. I had never done more than $5000 in a year in side work. I got a call from an old business acquaintance with the offer of a contract. We came to an agreement and now here I am.
The work is the easy part, but what do I have to figure out now? Accounting? Health insurance? Taxes? New project? I didn’t think about half of these. We’ll skip starting a new project because I imagine you’ve done that at least once, and I already said it is the easy part.
Accounting! I knew I was going to have to actually do this at some point, but I was hoping to hold off for a month or two. Well I’m glad I didn’t. There are so many things to learn here. I’m not going to expose on all of them, but LessAccounting has been a pretty good choice. They have an integrated timer that makes invoicing and time tracking simple. If you check them out and decide to use them mention my name and maybe they will give me a free month.
I was really worried about the cost of health insurance but that has been reasonable too, and the insurance broker has asked me about providing my services too. The big thing with insurance is finding the right plan. I found one with a high deductible, but it has an HSA which allows me to put more than my deductible in before taxes. That is a sweet deal. I know it isn’t as great as my old group plan, but I’m happy and they pay for all my checkups. If you need a good insurance broker let me know I can point you to mine (I’m guessing only in Missouri).
Speaking of taxes, that is crazy. So now I have to pay payroll taxes on myself. This means a tax increase of 7.65%. This is a little frustrating, and then I learn that I have to pay taxes every quarter. Wait I got a deposit at the end of August. Do I have to pay this quarter? Thankfully, no. I was told that I don’t have to pay quarterly taxes this year. The IRS will tell me when I need to start. They did suggest that I save 40-45% of my incoming money for tax purposes. I am researching write ups. These are fun. As a self employed person I get to write off all my health care costs! Wow, wish I could have done that with some past employers. I also get to write off all those tech books I buy. The best part is being able to go to a tech conference and right that off. Now this doesn’t mean that I get to do whatever I want. I still have to use that accounting software to make sure I’m staying in a good budget. A tax write up doesn’t mean free, you know.
The new project is just like most projects I’ve been on. I haven’t been on site yet and that is sad, but I was waiting for my whole team to join. Oh, did I mention I also have a few subcontractors. This is going to continue to be one wild ride. Now I’ve typed a bunch and said very little. Oh well, Good night!