Freelance Savings

‘How my cat saves me $300 a month’

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Living the life of a freelancer is pretty great when you think about all of hours you get to spend crying in the shower/screaming into telephones regarding ‘lost’ invoices/eating doughnuts for breakfast, but did you know there’s a downside too? I only discovered what that was the day I set up my home office, sat down to write and realised what living in absolute silence, day after day, felt like. No colleagues describing (in graphic detail) their terrible dates on a Monday morning, no working with others towards a shared goal and no reason to dress up (no reason to even get out of my pyjamas, really). In my office, it would be just me. Alone. Every single day. Sigh. See here’s the thing: although freelancers now make up a close to a third of Australia’s workforce (and increasing every year), it can be an unforgiving existence. According to recent Epson EcoTank research which examined 1,000 freelancers, 48 per cent of respondents declared freelance life to be ‘lonely’, and 46 per cent said it was ‘isolating’. Henry the cat has saved Dilvin Yasa hundreds of dollars. (Supplied: Dilvin Yasa) Isolation, of course, can be bad for our health. Studies show people who identify as lonely tend to suffer from higher blood pressure, be more vulnerable to sleep disturbances, logical reasoning and infections and have issues with their immune system. Dilvin Yasa shows they’re also more likely to invite the postman in for a coffee, hang out in newsagencies just to talk to other people and write about self in third person. Yes, I’m guilty of all three. I worked in that home office for a whole year before I finally snapped and rented myself a desk in one of those uber-cool, inner-city shared workspaces where highlighted features included weekly visits from Massage Angels, a swing in the board room and early morning yoga and meditation classes. Not in the brochure, but also included (as I quickly found out) were the motliest group of degenerates you’ve ever seen. I’m talking a room full of people who were not fit to be employed anywhere, which I guess explained why they were all here cowering at their rented desks, a party of one always. Sitting wedged between an IT professional engaged with launching his own start-up and an accountant, we had nothing in common and it soon became clear that with no shared goals and no possible way to making banter, I was as lonely here as I was at home, but this loneliness was costing me in excess of $300 a month. “Henry has been my sole work companion now for three years and I’ve never once in that time felt lonely.” (Instagram) The end came when I complimented a guy on his t-shirt and he started tearing strips off me at the top of his lungs that he had worn the same shirt the previous week and I didn’t ‘say sh*t then so why make a big deal of it […]

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