Money To Live

April 19, 2010

Update on working part time

Filed under: Uncategorized — by moneytolive @ 8:41 pm

In 2009, I was laid off and decided to try avoiding full time work. Could I be financially independent by making careful lifestyle choices and working part-time?

I am very happy to say yes.

Several things were key to my success:

  • I had $10,000 in my savings account. That buffer gave me several months to line up work and iron out my cash flow.
  • I had no debt and keep my monthly expenses relatively low.
  • I tried a lot of different types of work. Last fall I had six different part time jobs (not all at once!). I would be willing to do each type of work again except for one job aimed at stay at home moms. My productivity was monitored and rated every 30 seconds. The constant scrutiny was stressful and not worth the pay (less than twice minimum wage).

It took me four months to line up enough part-time work to cover all of my living expenses consistently (rent, food, gas, insurance, and the occasional vacation).

It took three additional months, or seven months total, to iron out my cash flow. One of my ongoing, occasional part-time jobs pays me two and three months after the work is completed; I work for them three to four months a year, spread out over the year. As much as I would love to demand more timely payments, it is not going to happen due to the nature of the organization.

A friend told me recently that she was surprised I could make it work. When I moved to Seattle with no job and no plan to get a full time job, she was a little skeptical (though she politely kept it to herself at the time). Now, she is thinking of moving across the country and doing the same thing!


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