Being self-employed sounds all nice and romantic until you realise that we are the most financially vulnerable group in this pandemic situation. According to a study by INCEIF (The Global University of Islamic Finance), 71.4% of self-employed have less than one month’s worth of savings.
(Private sector employees aren’t faring much better either – 82.7% have less than 2 months’ of savings.)
The good news is the Economic Stimulus package as announced by the PH government was somewhat useful. I’m sure many of us sighed a big relief upon knowing that we can defer payments for our mortgages, car loans and others (except credit card, which you can restructure), thus freeing up our monthly financial commitments.
It’s still a little bit surreal. Like many of you, I grew up thinking that 9-6 working days is the default. It’s even more surreal when I remember that this work from home thing was an accident. The plan was actually to do a bit of freelance writing to make some extra income while I find myself a new, stable job.
Then somehow work turned to more work and I just never stopped and here I am? Sometimes I still catch myself thinking ‘ah how nice would it be to work from home wait Suraya you do work from home you dolt’.
I don’t agree that 10 minutes per day is enough to start and maintain a side business, but I like the idea behind the article – even if you’re swamped with work and chores, spend some time on your side business on a consistent basis because the effort adds up.
Some never get past Step #1 – decide what skills you have and what you can sell. Here are my 2 cents, for what it’s worth. Make your decision based on:
Something you’re good at, according to friends and family (if they never mentioned it, ask them)
Noticing problems that do not have solutions yet (protip: hang out with complainers for a bit and you’ll know)
Something you’ve always wanted to learn (I wanted to know how to build websites; RoR was born this way)
Skills that you learned from your job or hobby (easiest example: doctors who moonlight on the side)
In January 2017, I posted My Total Income and Expenses in 2016 article and was blown away by supportive comments – you guys actually liked reading an analysis of my personal income and expenses for the whole year.
So here’s how 2017 turned out for me, based on my financial data. Incomes are recorded via a Google spreadsheet while expenses are recorded via my expense-tracking app Money Lover.
Note: To quickly see my writing services and get a quotation, please click here.
Being a freelance writer was not something I planned. Yet, somehow, here I am, making ends meet with nothing more than my laptop, internet access, and some brain power.
I won’t bore you with pros and cons of being a freelancer (yes, I do get to work in my pyjamas), but I do want to talk about the income and expenses side of it. After searching online, I realised there aren’t many resources for Malaysian freelance writers. So I’m making one to share with you.
So if you are a freelance writer in Malaysia, or if you want to become one to make some side income, here are some finance-related information about incomes and expenses that you should know about.