# Are you self-employed? Calculate your day's worth!

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Are you self-employed? Calculate your day's worth!

Williamson
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:44
Flemish to English
+ ...
 Aug 16, 2006

Translated from a European business magazine:

Determine a target figure: … €/£/\$

How much money do you want to have in your hands at the end of the month.
These net-wages lead to a taxable income, which depends of your family-situation.
According to the level of your income, you pay between 0% and something less than

2. Your monthly taxable income …………€/£/\$/month
3. Your yearly taxable income *13.92
Just like an employee, you are going on holiday and you pay yourself the
equivalent of an –end-of –year bonus.

You have to earn enough to pay your social security contributions, calculated
on gross annual income + your social charges). …………€/£/\$/month
We will keep it simple and will calculate 22% of your net annual income for social charges.
Should you have a high income, your contributions will be somewhat less.

5. Add expenses + 24.000 euro/annum
Just like an employee, you need an office, a phone, heating, you have travel costs. (for linguists: to keep up with your foreign language skills-a tax deductible business
class ticket to the farthest point where that language e.g. London-Tokyo for those with Japanese in their combination is spoken is no luxury).
You will also call upon external aid such as a cleaning service, an accountant,
a computer expert,….
24.000 euro per annum may seem much, but experience has taught us that is a fairly realistic amount.
In order not to make life too difficult we suppose that these expenses are 100% tax-deductible.
However, take into account that some are only 50% or 75% tax deductible.

6. Calculate your productive months …../10 productive months *
Self –employed may work more than employees, you will also need .
a vacation. You don't work every legal holiday and you can be out for a couple of days due to illness(es).
…….euro per annum

7. Pay attention to those days you can not issue bills /13
Just like an employee you have to take into account the time you spend on tasks for which you can not bill the customer
We take an average of 13-16 days for which you can write invoices.

A few figures
--------------------
For net monthly wages of ... 701.67 euro
1089.54 euro
1487.31 euro
1850.01 euro

A self employed without children
has to make an annual turnover of…
(taken into account the figures and factors mentioned above)
37.920 euro
51.840 euro
65.760 euro per annum.
79.680 euro

and hence calculate a daily rate of
352,95 euro
482,51 euro
612,07 euro
741,64 euro

8. Don’t forget VAT
If you work for a company, you have to add VAT, but your customers can claim VAT back.
If you work of a government institution or a non-profit organisation VAT means a loss.
For that kind of customers your price of a day is +VAT.
----
These figures are taken within the framework of a country with high social security contribution and high taxes. You have to adapt the figures to your own country's situation.
I am aware that there is a calculator on the site, but it does not take into account all these factors.

And it is a fact that some translators charge less than their plumber. I wonder how they manage to survive.

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 04:44
SITE FOUNDER
 Try our rates calculator Aug 16, 2006

Here is another take - a rates calculator specifically for translators:
http://www.proz.com/?sp=rate_calc

Piotr Wargan
Poland
Local time: 10:44
English to Polish
+ ...
 Plumbers revisited Aug 16, 2006

Williamson wrote:

and hence calculate a daily rate of
352,95 euro
482,51 euro
612,07 euro
741,64 euro

And it is a fact that some translators charge less than their plumber. I wonder how they manage to survive.

I dare ask - 740 EUR per day? ... or I did not see the catch ?

Take care,

P.

Christel Zipfel
Italy
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
 Plumbers charges Aug 16, 2006

I could never ever charge what my plumber charges!

He worked for 45 minutes in my bathroom. Charged 50 €. Not even gave me an invoice.

The same day, I had just completed a particularly complicated translation for which - I realized this afterwards - I had earned about 25/30 € per hour. With invoice, of course:-D

So, it's quite difficult to charge more than a plumber.....

Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 10:44
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
 o my, you missed your chance... Aug 16, 2006

He worked for 45 minutes in my bathroom. Charged 50 €.

You could've checked if he needs a translation (sg)

Williamson
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:44
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
 Oblivion Aug 17, 2006

Piotr Wargan wrote:

Williamson wrote:

and hence calculate a daily rate of
352,95 euro
482,51 euro
612,07 euro
741,64 euro

And it is a fact that some translators charge less than their plumber. I wonder how they manage to survive.

I dare ask - 740 EUR per day? ... or I did not see the catch ?
Take care,
P.

I guess that the example relates to a company which sells goods. In that case such a turnover is not irrealistic.

A plumber is "a professional". Shouldn't a translator (also a professional?) earn at least about the same per day as a plumber: 50*8 hours? If not, in a normal European Country you are on the road to financial oblivion.
I have the same line of thinking for an employee. I think that I'll put that in Excel and see what the final result will be. Who comes out best?

Piotr Wargan
Poland
Local time: 10:44
English to Polish
+ ...
 Let's get to work Aug 17, 2006

There are people / institutions / agencies that have understood the work of translators and offer the right amount of money for their service and the right amount of time for the job.

Some, however, still 'want it all and they want it now'
We all have seen both probably.

These plumbers - they take it easy, they know that the leaky kitchen sink in your house is a crucial thing. It has to be costly and you will also clean the floor after them.

A leaky pipe may be leaky because of some 1 mm was lost in translation which had to be ready 'for tomorrow'. But this message has not got through to all parties yet (disclaimer: I could be wrong here).

My vote for a high place on your list for these proverbial plumbers

Astrid Elke Witte
Germany
Local time: 10:44
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
 Necessary amount in Germany Aug 17, 2006

In Germany it is necessary to earn EUR 234 per day on 30 days per month, or EUR 318 per day on 22 days per month (e.g. if you do not work weekends), for 46 weeks per year in order to survive.

Astrid

Jerónimo Fernández
English to Spanish
+ ...
 Germany... Aug 17, 2006

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

In Germany it is necessary to earn EUR 234 per day on 30 days per month, or EUR 318 per day on 22 days per month (e.g. if you do not work weekends), for 46 weeks per year in order to survive.

Astrid

Hi Astrid,

I'm just curious, how do you calculate that figure?

Thanks,
Jerónimo

Katrin Lueke
Germany
Local time: 10:44
Member (2006)
English to German
 in Germany there are people surviving on very little money Aug 17, 2006

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

In Germany it is necessary to earn EUR 234 per day on 30 days per month, or EUR 318 per day on 22 days per month (e.g. if you do not work weekends), for 46 weeks per year in order to survive.

Astrid

Hi Astrid,
I would say "it is necessary to earn ... in order to live decent", not "in order to survive".

There are lots of people in Germany who have very little money (just think of Hartz IV), but this does not mean they are starving. They still have food to eat, a place to live, and clothes to wear. Live is hard for them, but it is still live. So please do not say "In Germany it is necessary to earn EUR 234 per day ... in order to survive."

xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 04:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
 A worthless exercise! Aug 17, 2006

Williamson wrote

Come off it! All this has nothing to do with calculating your 'worth'. It is about relating rates to potential net income - and perhaps from there to potential standard of living. It is perhaps about setting ambitions, too.

'Worth' cannot be calculated - least of all in this business.

You are 'worth' what you can get - not what you think you 'need' or 'would like to have'.

MediaMatrix

Parrot
Spain
Local time: 10:44
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
 Are you kidding? Aug 17, 2006

Piotr Wargan wrote:

Plumbers revisited

Mine comes to work in a BMW.

Williamson
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:44
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
 Cost calculation Aug 18, 2006

mediamatrix wrote:

Williamson wrote

Come off it! All this has nothing to do with calculating your 'worth'. It is about relating rates to potential net income - and perhaps from there to potential standard of living. It is perhaps about setting ambitions, too.

'Worth' cannot be calculated - least of all in this business.

You are 'worth' what you can get - not what you think you 'need' or 'would like to have'.

MediaMatrix

Cost-calculation is used in about every company in the world to estimate the cost of their employees, their turnover, their productivity etc....

The world of translation seems to be an exception to every rule, but not to the rule that MONEY is the name of the game of every human activity. We do not yet work for the betterment of mankind."Ohne Geld geht nix"
I am aware that translators are better with words than with figures.
Unless subsidized by governments, as it is the case with international institutions, translation is NO exception to business-rules. In the normal world, a company exists to make profit, invest and grow. Whether this company sells communication or peanuts, the song remains the same.

[Edited at 2006-08-18 06:18]

Nicole Johnson
Italy
Local time: 10:44
Italian to English
+ ...
 Thanks Williamson Aug 18, 2006

Thanks for sharing this article--I found it both enlightening and informative. I will definitely take these points into consideration when calculating rates--and keep a copy on hand for clients who complain about prices that are "too high".

Nicole Johnson
Italy
Local time: 10:44
Italian to English
+ ...
 "WORTH" can be subjective... Aug 18, 2006

mediamatrix wrote:

[You are 'worth' what you can get - not what you think you 'need' or 'would like to have'.

MediaMatrix

I strongly disagree with this statement. The compensation that many translators receive for their work does not always reflect their "worth"--given that we are measuring worth soley in economic terms.

So many factors come into play when rates are established and compensation for work agreed upon. I currently reside in a country where the tax rate is much higher than that enjoyed by my colleagues in other nations.

When I am faced with the dilemma of rasing my rates due to the ridiculously high tax rate of the country in which I reside in order to make a profit on my work, or take a cut in pay to remain competitive with colleagues based elsewhere, how does that reflect my "WORTH" as a translator?

Another scenario--if there are 1000 translators competing for one job in a common language pair vs. a select few for a job in another, less common language pair, is the translator who works in the more common pair (who will probably be forced to reduce his/her rates or lose the job one of the 999 others out there) WORTH LESS than the translator who has the good fortune to work in a language pair that has much less competition?

I do agree with MediaMatrix's comment "'Worth' cannot be calculated - least of all in this business." Unfortunately, too often we equate our "WORTH" in terms of net income, rates, etc. when we all know, just like with so many other professions that are notoriously underpaid (teachers, police officers, fire fighters to name just a few) that our true value should be measured in other ways altogether.

In a perfect world, it wouldn't be this way, but I'll be the first to admit that my self-worth is tied up with what I'm able to earn for my family. Call me materialistic, but I agree wholeheartedly with Williamson: Money IS the name of the game and it sure makes me feel good (worthy) when I can treat myself to a special night out with family or friends with the money I've earned from a well-paid job!!

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