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The advantages and disadvantages of freelancing

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For the past couple of years, I’ve been increasingly enjoying working as a freelancer. From my point of view, the advantages massively outweigh the disadvantages and if I’m honest, I don’t think there’s any going back to a ‘normal’ job for me now.

But I do sometimes feel that freelancing is rather misunderstood. Not least by the people that think I’m just being paid for sitting at home. If only. There is work to be done and there are certain parts of it that can be tedious. So I wanted to produce an honest guide to the good, the bad and the ugly of freelancing.


Family life

Thursday photo #122 - a weekly photo of two sisters - the one where the eldest started school

For me, this is what freelancing is all about. I am the most influential person in my children’s lives. I’ve been with them for all their milestones and I will continue to be there as they grow. I’ll never miss out on school events, holidays or days out. And that’s why I love it.

Choosing my work

Whenever I’ve been in an office job in the past, I’ve never ended up doing the role I applied for. Promotions, extra responsibilities, sideways moves, dissolved roles – it just never quite works out the way you’ve planned. But when you’ve just walked away from your previous role, you have to make it work.

Freelancing is different. If I’m not loving what I’m doing, I move on. Working with someone I don’t like? Not being paid enough? I find a new contract. And that’s fine, it’s expected. I have some ongoing clients who I’ve worked with for years and a few that I’m building up now who I hope to work with on an ongoing basis. And that’s my choice – just the way I like it.

Choosing my hours

This is the thing that appeals to most people about freelancing. I work when I want. If I want to take the dog for a run in the morning and work late at night to make up for it, that’s fine. If the pub is calling and I’m not working to a tight deadline then I shall answer the pub’s call.

Pom Wonderful Brunch

Being destination neutral

The fact that I can work from anywhere means that when the time comes, I can travel. We’ll buy a camper van, home educate the children for a year and I’ll just keep right on working. We’ll have to go to campsites with WiFi but that’s the only restriction. And that is a quality of life that I could never have if it wasn’t for the nature of my work.


The hours

There, I said it – it’s not all roses being able to choose my hours. When I have a deadline to stick to, I have to stick to it or I’ll lose the contract or I won’t get paid. And when my little girl is awake in the evening on a day when I’ve got a deadline – which is inevitable – I still have to get the work done. This can mean putting in long days, working until the early hours and missing out on both fun times and sleep.


I can’t begin to explain how tedious it is having to do tax returns. When I’m sat in front of an excel spreadsheet for hours on end I long for the times when I used to just get paid and be done with it. And inevitably, I get it wrong. And panic sets in. This guide on how to fix mistakes on your tax return is incredibly useful. It gives you all the contact numbers you’ll need and most importantly, it gives a bit of reassurance that mistakes happen and it’s not the end of the world.

What age should I give pocket money? A mum explains the lessons that can be learned from pocket money. A family, travel and lifestyle blog.


In 2010 I gave up one of the most secure careers around. Had I stayed it would have been a job for life with a good pension on retirement. Since then, my jobs have got progressively less secure. I now have no pension and some months I’m not sure how much I’m going to earn. When my husband had an accident and I had to do everything at home as well as hospital visits, I still had to work.

In summary

Freelancing isn’t for everyone. If you’re a worrier, you’re going to find it difficult emotionally. And if you’re not willing to work hard and put the hours in, you’ll never find the work / life balance that everyone seeks when they start freelancing. But for me, it’s the perfect solution. The work is enjoyable and I work for people I like. I can work from anywhere and I’m totally engaged in family life. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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  1. September 21, 2016 / 6:14 pm

    I think there are a lot of people that have the wrong idea about freelancers and it definitely isn’t the easy road. With Alice going to school its time for me to get a job, but its not easy finding a job to fit around school hours. Hopefully something will come my way soon x

  2. September 22, 2016 / 5:16 am

    Amen to that! I wouldn’t have it any other way either. I love that I can be there for all the school stuff. We would have really struggled with my younger son’s school if I wasn’t freelance, because there would have been nobody to take him there.
    I have an accountant to deal with the tax stuff. It’s a bit of an indulgence and the proportion of my earnings that I pay out is really too high, but I would get so stressed at doing it myself!
    I am a worrier – I worry when I don’t have enough work, I worry when I have too much, I worry when I’m struggling to pull a piece of work together… But the alternative is so much worse!

  3. September 22, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    Agree with all of these. I’m part employed, part self-employed but I work almost completely from home and can be reasonably flexible with my working hours – as long as I get the job done. I love being able to be there for the girls, but I hate doing tax returns and there are times when I have to work into the early hours when all I want to do is go to sleep. That guide about how to fix mistakes sounds very useful.

  4. September 23, 2016 / 10:21 am

    Thanks for this it’s really useful. I was recently made redundant from a job I’d been very comfortable in for the past 16 years. I’d worked there for 6 years full-time before the 3 kids were born and the last 10 years have been part-time. My roles had changed in that 16 years but I’d grown comfortable. Looking for work this last 2 months I’ve realised there is no “normal” job out there for me. I’m a creative soul, I don’t want to be in a shop or office. I’m considering some freelancing (even managed a bit yesterday) I’m opening an Etsy shop and also continuing with my blog. Sarah

  5. September 26, 2016 / 11:51 am

    I think the problem with freelancing is learning the balance between work and family life. I love that you want to go travelling in a campervan.

  6. September 26, 2016 / 1:23 pm

    I think this sums things up perfectly – especially what a nightmare the tax return is! However, if you earn enough I guess you could get an accountant in to take care of that.

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