Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's better not to look

posted 11/09/08

My friend Luke, the beloved of the wonderful SFGirl with whom I get pedicures, has generously offered some at-home web work to me. I am delighted at the opportunity to make some money (so many things on the wish list, most of which will have to wait until After Alimony, including replacing the AWFUL Kenmore, yes that is the Sears brand, electric smoothtop stove that sucks) without even getting out of my pajamas but am dismayed at what the take-home loot turns out to be after Uncle Sam has taken his bite. (I was going to say “share,” but that implies he has a right to my money, which he does to cover infrastructure, education and defense but not so that Congress can get out of Social Security and give themselves a better plan or so Obama can take some of my “wealth” and “spread [it] around” – can’t people get their own jobs and create their own wealth? Why do they have to have mine?)

Anyhow. Luke has offered me at-home, in PJs, in front of Paula Deen’s Home Cooking and What Not To Wear work for $20 an hour. What’s not to like?

It’s lovely. It’s delightful. It’s more than I would get for doing nothing.

And then I did the tax calculations.

When you are an independent contractor, you pay all your social security. Instead of a 7.5% cut from your paycheck, take out 15.3%. Then, if you are married (and I would be delighted to be wrong on this one, so anyone who knows more about this than I please jump in), your earnings go on top of your spouse’s for income tax purposes, so take out another 30% or so.

Then, if you want to work through an online freelance service (like and be available for other employers, you pay a fee of 8.75%.

Add all this up and you’re at 54% more or less going to other people, which puts the take-home pay at under $10/hour, which is still more than I’m making watching What Not To Wear without work but sheesh! I’m still going to do it, but I’m also giving serious consideration to cleaning houses for cash.

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