Sometimes I’m tempted to go back to work full-time. Not because I miss working outside the home or because I feel the need to interact with adults more often during the day. Only because I want more money. What I make now is fine (forgive the melodramatic post title), but I have some lofty goals I want to accomplish that require more money.
I fantasize about going back to work while continuing to freelance on the side and bringing home an extra $3,000 each month that I can use for whatever I want. I dream about what I’d do with the extra money.
I’d buy a house.
I’ve been renting for 9 years and lived in 10 different places. Thankfully, I’ve stayed put the last 2 years, but I’m ready for home ownership. The trouble is saving up a down payment.
If I buy a house with $0 down, I’d be forced to pay private mortgage insurance (what happens when you have less than 20% equity in your home) and my monthly payment would be about $1,100. I would struggle to make that type of payment each month. Or, I could save up a 20% down payment and decrease my payment to about $750-$800 a month. That I could comfortably afford.
With an extra $3,000 a month, I could have a good down payment in less than a year. Plus, I could use the job to qualify for the loan and not go through the rigorous income documentation process I heard goes on when you try to get a mortgage as a self-employed worker. Double benefit.
I could pay off my student loans.
I’m carrying about $30K in student loan debt, you know, for the degree I used for all of three years. Though my college major was Management Information Systems, my degree came from a business school, so I did get a ton of business knowledge that helps with my freelance career.
Still, with an extra $3,000 a month, I could pay off my student loans in less than a year. In fact, if I went back to work for two years, I could pay off my student loans and have a down payment for a house.
I could buy a new car.
I’ve had my car for six years, but honestly, it feels like I just got it yesterday. My only complaint is that it’s a two door, which is often inconvenient considering I have a two-year old. I’ve managed though and as she gets older I expect it to get easier. But, if I ever have more kids, an extra two doors would simplify things.
One year at a job, plus freelancing on the side, would let me get the Nissan Murano that I love so much. Three years, and I'd have the car, the house, and my student loans paid off.
I could buy new furniture.
I could buy new electronics.
I could put more money toward retirement, college fund, vacation, clothes, shoes, hobbies…
…but would I be happy?
I see how people end up trapped in jobs they don’t love for years, how they wind up forgoing their dreams for the American dream. Even though more money would let me buy the things I want and achieve some financial goals, I’m happy where I am. I’m happier with less money freelancing full-time than I was with double the money and working for someone else. So despite not having as much money as I’d like, I keep freelancing because I love it.