Friday, November 10, 2006

Being a freelancer is expensive...

When I stopped working in an office, my first thought was 'think of all the money I'll save on transport!'. At first you think, yes, there's an extra £22.40 in my pocket every week (the cost of a Zone 1 and 2 weekly travelcard) - woohoo! Not to mention all the money I will save on eating out lunches! How sadly I was mistaken...

First case in point: due to immense boredom of constantly being at home, I frequently patron cafe's to use their wireless internet. Average price of a tea: £1.40/coffee: £1.90 (unless you go to Starbucks in which case they rob you blind); average amount of tea/coffees consumed over 3-4 hour period: four; grand total per week £15.

Second case in point: when you are in the cafe's, you feel guilty for using their free internet all day so you feel bad and buy some food as well - grand total £10 per week. (unless you are in Starbucks where they again rob you blind by making you pay for the privilege of using their internet connection, even though they are making MILLIONS off charging you exorbitant prices for coffee and their internet connection probably costs them two cents a year).

Third case in point: I live just off the high street, just around the corner from lovely, beautiful shops, filled with lovely, beautiful things... and suddenly you have a lot more time to go shopping! During my self-imposed lunch break yesterday i managed to spend £50 on books - Books, I tell you! Where I used to work was in a really gross part of Aldgate and the nearest decent shop was at least a 20 minute walk away - now I have all these retail temptations right under my nose. Average grand total per week: £50

Fourth case in point: Since I no longer have to travel across London every day, it seems silly to buy a weekly travel card (which gives you unlimited travel on tubes and buses for one week). Obviously I still have a life in the nighttimes though but the difference is now I can't just stroll through the gates and swipe my Oyster card (with my unlimited travel card on it) - I have to (gasp!) buy tickets with the rest of the non-Oyster plebs. Consequently, although I do not use tubes enough to warrant buying a weekly £22 ticket, I end up racking up about £20 in trips I have had to buy tickets for (trips which are much more expensive if you actually buy tickets - the tricksters...)

Anyways, I realise I am going on quite a bit, but I would just like to reiterate to all those people who think I am now rich due to all the money i am saving that in fact, it is COSTING me money to work from home and the freelancers life is not always an idyllic one... :)

On other news - SHOCK changes to the HSMP programme gave me heart palpitations this week but it turns out my application is safe and will be assessed under old criteria. I just do not want to read the new criteria in case I would have a better chance of applying under that. Alas, I have already kissed my £350 goodbye, so there is no chance of that.

Countdown to Marrakech: 5 days...

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