Self Employed – My first day

self employed

I am now officially self employed after wanting to take the plunge for quite a while. Today has been my first day of working from home and it’s been lovely. I know it won’t always be plain sailing but if today isn’t anything to go by then it will be the best move I’ve ever made. I won’t lie. Being self employed and reliant on myself to keep a steady income scares me to death but the hard work of the last few months have finally paid off.

Why did I want to give up my job?

There were a lot of reasons why I wanted to leave my job. It’s changed a lot over the last few months and I no longer enjoyed it. My working relationship changed with my line manager, and I constantly felt like I wasn’t appreciated which made it hard to be there. At the same time a lot was happening at home, and I seriously thought I might end up being a single mum. I knew if that was the case I needed to be at home as much as I could for Lottie. Thankfully, my marriage has survived and is now the best it’s been in a long time. It did lay the seeds though for the realisation that with a bit of effort I could earn more at home than I could working. Being self employed also means I wont be that mum the teachers at school don’t recognise and that my house can be kept clean and tidy. Basically, in a nutshell I think going self employed and working from home will mean that I can be a better wife and mum and be happier as I won’t be in a job I hate.

So what’s my plan?

I have a few ideas to ensure that I’m consistently earning some money and I’ve deliberately made sure I have several income streams so that if one thing goes dry then I’m still bringing money in. Basically I’ve got these areas that I know I can reliably make money from and for now these will form the bulk of my income:

  • Audio Typing – I do the majority of my transcription work for Take Note, Crowdsurf and Scribie. However, now I have a lot more time I’m going to investigate doing work for a few other companies. I’m hoping to be able to drop Take Note though as I don’t want to be constrained to two long shifts as a minimum each week. I need to build up to earning a lot more elsewhere though as Take Note pays me nearly a third of my total income at the moment.
  • Matched Betting _ I started this in December. I lost my mojo a bit over the summer when I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to do anything. It does mean that I am pretty much starting from scratch. My once healthy float of £2500 is now at £90 so this will take a while to build up but it will be worth it. The float was decimated to pay for Florida though so worth it! I’ve made a start and am reinvesting every penny I earn into Matched Betting at the moment because ultimately I know it’s going to pay me the most money and quickest! I’ll withdraw what I’ve paid in at the end of the month to pay my bills but leave the profit in there and then do the same next month. After that I should have a decent sized float!
  • Surveys– I’m focusing on Populus Live, Prolific Academic, Branded Surveys and a new discovery Pollpass. Otherwise I’m just going to get very, very, very bored! Surveys are not my favourite way to make money but they’re an ideal way to pass the time while Lottie is in her various after school activities, or I’m waiting around for something.
  • Mobile Phone Apps – I love my phone. It makes me lots of money. I did recently add more data to my plan purely to do the tasks on the apps. It cost me £10 extra per month but I make over ten times that much. The main apps I’m using at the moment are Mobeye, Be My Eye, Easyshift, Receipt Hog, Shoppix, Roamler and iPoll. I have recently downloaded Shepper and Beelivery but have yet to try them. Beelivery looks like it could be profitable though.
  • Mystery Shopping – I am signed up to Market Force, Retail Maxim, Tern, Amber Arch, Retail Active and Grassroots. This month I’ve managed to get over £100 worth of mystery shops out of them. It pays having a designer outlet within a ten minute walk of the house!!!
  • Website Testing – I have been using What Users Do and Usertesting for quite a while now. I make £50 a month roughly between the two but miss a lot of tests. I’ve also signed up to Usability Hub, Intellizoom, Ping Pong, Test Birds and U-Test so hopefully I can earn a bit more as I enjoy this sort of work a lot.
  • Micro Tasks – This is mostly done through Clickworker and Appen. It won’t make me rich but can earn me a few pennies (and it is that!) when I have nothing else to do. I always check them daily though as they often have something on there, and sometimes they are quite well paying. I earned £5 for 10 minutes work with Clickworker a few weeks ago purely because I have an English accent!
  • Selling our clutter (and possibly branching out to selling carboot sale bargains). We have a lot of it! Lottie has had a recent growth spurt, I’m losing weight and so is hubby. It means lots of decent clothes, some of them have hardly been worn. Plus Lottie is now ten and has decided she’s too grown up for some of her toys so I’m selling them too! I know this income stream will dry up but I plan to look at carboots for decent branded things going cheap and see if I can make some money from them.

I’ve been really organised and have a schedule of working time and I write a to-do list every day. Weekends all I will do is list items on eBay and put them onto Facebook selling groups. Wednesday is my out and about day doing mystery shopping and whatever task apps are available on my phone. The rest of the week I will work on the laptop doing other things.

In the long term I want to turn to more passive forms of income, or ones that earn me more money for less effort. I’ve got a few ideas and I’ve made some applications to companies for better paid work than I am doing now. These ideas include

  • Kindle ebooks – I’ve got a few ideas for books that I think will sell. I’m in the process of researching and writing my first one. I’m also working my way through my university notes and editing them to be turned into ebooks as well. Once these are done and uploaded onto Amazon I don’t really need to do anything other than hope the money comes in!
  • Print to order tshirts- I have no creative skills but a thread on The Money Shed forum highlighted the earning potential from this so I plan to get a few more designs on to Teepublic and hope they make me some cash. I think this will be a slow earner but it has potential.
  • Printables on etsy – I used to childmind and have recently found my old memory stick with all the resources I made for that. I’m going to go through them, convert them into PDF files and sell them on etsy and eBay. Another passive income stream once it’s done. I know they’re good because they impressed my Ofsted inspector who couldn’t believe I had made them myself!
  • Blogging – I have this blog which I think has potential to make me money. I haven’t really done much to monetise it yet but I plan to work on that big time over the next few months. I also have a second blog about running when plus sized that I have neglected recently (a broken foot means no running!) so I’m going to give that the TLC it deserves.
  • Online English tutoring – I have submitted applications to several companies. Only one of them seems a likely possibility (Cambly) purely because I’m English. They seem to be aimed at recruiting Americans overall. However, I do have experience of teaching English, after spending a summer doing it in Russia so I am hoping my TEFL qualification, my degree and this experience will help me. It looks like fun and is pretty well paid as well.
  • Proofreading – I can’t really comment much on this yet as other than read a couple of blog posts about it I haven’t actually done anything else. It’s on my list of things to research so I’ll keep you up to date!

How much can I make?

One of the good things about leaving my old job is the fact that I don’t need to earn a lot to match what I was making. If we take our childcare costs out I only need to make £650 a month to keep our current lifestyle going. Anything over that is a bonus and goes towards improving our lifestyle. If I divided that equally over 25 working days per month it means that I only need to make  £26 a day, which is easily achievable. I’ve made over that today without doing any matched betting!

Realistically I think I can make £800 a month before I start to include income from matched betting. If I include that as well then I think I can probably get about £1300 a month. I have a vision of earning £1000 a month by Christmas and £1500 a month by this time next year. It won’t be easy but it is definitely achievable.

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