Friday, November 19, 2010

Saving vs Spending & Work at Home

I have been having some serious mechanical issues with the van: 200 for brakes, 130 for starter and coil, 900 for the van in mid September and now the exhaust is detached which means welding work and another day off spent in the shop. Its expensive for me to drive 50 miles a day in gas as is, its hard to pick up shifts knowing the van isn't reliable entirely, and moreso difficult with a 2nd rental payment to repairs. I don't have the credit for a new vehicle and 900 was tough. This van has some serious issues and its the same thing I did last time and the time before. I attract lemon vehicles.

So I have been thinking on it, lets say I make 9.75 at one job, its about 1/3 after deductions, and 7 dollars in gas, that's 9.75x8 =78, 78 x 1/3 for deductions is 23.4 and 78-23.4 = 54.60. 54.60/8 is 6.8 per hour that is actually coming home.

Now figuring if I worked from home I would have approximately 1/4 deductions as there are tax write offs and all that jazz, there isn't gas to get somewhere and no stress in traffic, meaning I could put in an extra 2 hours as I spend on average 45 min to drive one way to work. That's 1.5 hours of driving per day not including errands. Now add getting ready and relaxing to wind down, add another 2 hours, that's about 3 hours of waste as its more work to get ready to leave the house than if I was at home and stayed here. So I could effectively work for 9.75 an hour and keep 7.5 per hour thus a pay raise PLUS 3 hours of at home work time hence more money.  Of course not having to drive means less repairs on my vehicle, cheaper insurance from fewer miles and so that bill would be decreased. I already pay for high speed internet and have land line and cell service effectively giving me plenty of phone contact options.

Also I would ride my bike to the supermarket and things of that nature thus giving me even more money and saving the planet at the same time. I gave up smoking almost 2 years ago, now I am giving up pop and hopefully caffeine but that's a longer journey and tea is good and not expensive. I am also trying to eat less starchy food so I can lose some weight, drink more water and make my moods more stable.

So how does this go with van dwelling and the mobile lifestyle, it fits like a glove. Once I am able to support myself, create an online marketing plan and presence, I can then take my career anywhere including on biking trips, backwoods hiking trips and overseas if I choose. Then I can work as a tour guide or volunteer and push further.

I used to get bent out of shape from van troubles and so forth, but I am becoming more comfortable in the notion I don't want the corporate time clock anymore, at least not as my main source of income. I have effectively restructured and downsized my belongings, am starting to keep better track of the chaos around me and have been far more organized. But I feel like there is more, that my time at work is inefficient and that I have been getting irritable as well as stomach ulcers from stress again (haven't had ulcers since 17) and maybe I need to step back. I understand the need to work and am not lazy, but I hate getting mandated, being told that every move is another write up that could happen and the unknown of a schedule I have no say so in. Its like when I hit 26, I realized change was needed but wasn't sure what, and I am still not. I just got some strange feeling that I was dying, something we start doing from birth, but that my lifestyle isn't sustainable. I drink a lot of coffee, don't drink water hardly at all, have diabetes II and some mood issues. All of which can be over come but when stress gets bad enough, it makes the entire structure go crazy and no longer functional, thus rending me non functional.

I realize my plan may fall flat on its face, that I may be to square zero and in the end, this could be the wrong path, but there comes a time when its time to see what happens. I may also play my cello on the street corner, who knows, I just want to feel whole again, something I haven't felt since working in journalism. The stress did it in for me though although I must admit the crazy manic too much caffeine, sporadic food, constant travel and a rush from deadlines spurring creativity from the most recessive areas of my brain are dearly missed. Perhaps that's what I am looking for, a recreation of that feeling without someone else creating deadline.


  1. It's so true that if we just ate better and exercised a little we might feel much better. But I can't do it, either! Stress-eating, lazy eating, not wanting to clean up... I eat way too much junk food and not enough healthy stuff.

    I wish you luck on your journey. I plan to quit my "day-job" within the year and work from home, too. I hope it works out for each of us!

  2. I completely understand your thoughts and I think you are right on track. Developing a sustainable lifestyle, one funded by your ideas and efforts without need for a timeclock, is a goal I would love to see more people reach for. I enjoyed your blog as always!

    Sorry the van has been such an expense lately too :(

    97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"

  3. Julie, I just looked at your blog and it looks like you got the right skill set to make it happen. I haven't bought a house in my life time so I won't need to worry about that although at some point a plot of land or a cabin doesn't look half bad.

  4. Mike, giving up this thing called a time clock is priority one as its a whole lot of stress, a whole lot of gas and simply tying me to one place. I like to move every 2 years at least. I took on this new job thinking it would provide change from the old one. It has paid the bills better and I do enjoy this line of work but it doesn't feel different.