A Cautionary Tale About Generation Gig

This article in Forbes declares, rather cheerfully, that Millennials are “Generation Gig.” Nearly 80% of us, according to some survey, would be interested in dropping out of the FT workforce to go freelance. The other 20% of us, it can be assumed, already have.

more and more of us are eschewing 9-to-5 jobs to plow our own paths, pursue our career passions, and wrest control of our daily grind. And that transformation is only accelerating. Soon, we’ll look back on the desk-jockey era as a distant memory. …

we’re happy that we took the plunge, with eight of 10 solopreneurs saying that they’re satisfied with their work. Clearly, the massive upswing in eager entrepreneurship will continue into 2015 and beyond.

When I die, the word “solopreneur” will be chiseled on my gravestone, except my heirs won’t be able to afford a real gravestone at that point, so it will be scrawled on some cardboard with a Sharpie.

Ben took a look at the numbers the other day. It doesn’t look good for the good guys.

I knew we were losing money. According to him, we’re hemorrhaging it. Electricity bills are up. Day care is up. Phone bills are $50 a month for each of us. Starting in January, we will be able to get help from the state to pay for our Obamacare, so we’ll save several hundreds of dollars. But all fall we have been paying sticker price in cash, entirely out of pocket.

We haven’t traveled; we’ve been under an embargo since the last of the many weddings that impoverished us from May through September. We have quit our memberships: I left the gym, Ben stopped taking dance classes. We started cooking more, again. We haven’t done a lot of shopping, and except for an occasional splurge on a babysitter, we didn’t take evenings out.

How did we spend so much money?

Largely: taxes. We didn’t realize — and didn’t really budget for — the fact that our minuscule income this fall would still be taxed at the same rate as the significant income from the spring, when Ben was still a full-time corporate lawyer. Haha oops!

Ben is more stressed out about our financial situation than I am. That’s probably because he was the primary breadwinner-type person before and still feels somewhat responsible for the family. He doesn’t feel responsible enough to want to ditch the passion plan and return to a FT office job, though, and neither do I. When he said, last night, “We can cut more things [like our two-a-month Netflix DVD plan, for a savings of a few bucks] but really we just need to earn more,” he and I had an unspoken conversation with our eyes.

Back to an office full-time? You first.

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