How do you deal with work and money for now and for the future? Do you live day by day or are you consciously planning your future? And are you making arrangements for your future yourself, or are you part of a pension fund?
Five years ago, Dorothée Loorbach was broke, but she figured out how to come back stronger.
Dorothee Loorbach (45)
Profession: independent writer, speaker, up-and-coming theater producer
Hours of work weekly: maximum 28, but is really always “on”
Income: 2,200 Euros net
Savings: 3,000 Euros
Pension arranged? More or less
Writer, speaker, up-and-coming theater producer; it sounds like you don’t sit still much.
“That’s right. I do a lot of different things. I just finished writing a children’s book and I’m now working on a poetry collection as well as on a book I want to publish in English and in Dutch. I’m also creating a theater performance in collaboration with a poet/singer-songwriter, which has been postponed twice now, because of Covid. And usually they hire me there as a regular speaker, but that is also not really happening now, due to Covid.”
Aren’t you working 24 hours a day with all those different jobs?
“I don’t work more than 28 hours a week for clients. I made that agreement with myself. I didn’t want the time I spend working to interfere with my spending time with my kids. But it’s true; I’m always busy. I never leave home without a notebook, so I can write down all my ideas. Sometimes I really have to switch myself off. But I don’t mind that, because I’m doing what I love.”
How much money do you make with that?
“Because I’ve been getting fewer assignments than before and because a lot of things have been canceled, it feels like I haven’t been making much. But now that I look at my overview, I can see that this past year has effortlessly been my best year since 2014. I think that’s because I got paid a lot more than before for the assignments I did get. I started asking for more money and I got it. Out of my income, I pay myself a salary of 2,200 Euros a month.”
Is that enough?
“More than enough. Everything I pay myself, I spend. That in itself is a luxury for me. I came from a situation where I couldn’t even spend half of that, and I got by then too. Now I buy what I want, but I have taught myself not to need that much. The fact that the world is on lockdown helps. And with anything I have left I make extra mortgage payments.”
What kind of situation do you come from?
“I started working for myself fifteen years ago in the world of advertising, as a copywriter and later as a brand builder. I was working up to eighty hours a week and made a lot of money, but I spent it all too. When I suddenly got a big tax bill in 2016, I instantly lost my buffer. I didn’t have a penny left – okay, € 3.97 to be exact. I had never had any money problems and suddenly they were controlling my life.”