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This could finally be the year I earn £30,000. Not from Journo Resources, of course, but from my freelancing. The tax year doesn’t end until April, but as everyone has been been doing their bit for salary transparency over on Twitter, it felt like a good time to take stock. As long as I can remember, £30,000 has been the number I’ve aimed for. I think the three at the start always made it seem magical. While I saw salaries starting with a one or two when I saw growing up, it was never a three or four.

When my first job at a local TV station offered £18,500, it felt like a flying start. I then went to a politics website (£23,000) and, after some freelancing, a news editor gig (£28,500). I felt like I’d be over the line soon, surely, but after some soul searching felt it was time to leave and concentrate on JR. I was convinced to stay for three days a week at £32,000. The catch is that pro-rata that’s £19,200.

To cut a long story down, this is my first full year as a freelancer after leaving that job in July 2019. It’s a weird balance – I’m finally able to pay myself £500 a month for the 2/3 days a week I run JR, but the other half of the week is furiously filled with well paying gigs to offset the gap and give it time to grow. In short, I’m now up to £22,315pa this year, with three and a bit months to go. I feel like I could do this.

Why am I writing all this? Firstly, I guess I am a bit proud. This year has been a slog for us all, and we need to be kind to ourselves. Secondly, I think it’s really important to talk about money – it isn’t dirty or secretive. I passionately believe that the more we all talk about money the more empowered we all are – it stops us getting short changed. In short, the more we all know about what other people get paid, the better.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to tell the world – it could just be telling the people you work with, or submitting your rates and or your salaries to our databases. Either way, let’s make 2021 the year we start talking about money a bit more.

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