Author Topic: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?  (Read 5298 times)  

Online RBN

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 372
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2017, 09:36:29 AM »
I can support myself and my daughter on $1500/month net (food, shelter, utilities, enough left over for off-budget wants/needs). Accounting for taxes, business expenses, and retirement savings, I have to gross around $60,000 yearly to meet that goal, which hasn't been a problem (knock on wood) and beats what I was getting in nursing. If I make much more than that, I might have do something extravagant with the excess, like move somewhere with state income tax.

Offline JohnRickett

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 60
  • Gender: Male
  • New Jersey
    • View Profile
    • John Rickett
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2017, 09:37:26 AM »

I live in central suburban NJ. Everything here is ... well, pretty close to ridiculously expensive.

What is your situation?

Terribly similar to yours, location (and those freaking taxes) wise.  Central/suburban NJ (Mercer County) and I've already determined that regardless of how well I (eventually) do with writing, I'd be insane to give up my day-job if I want to stay in NJ. My household needs about $100k/year to live. ($120k if I had to fully pay for benefits)

However, I'd love to supplement my income enough to allow my wife to quit her job. I have a pension and a lot of promotions on the horizon. She doesn't.

And I can't leave! Even though Skype gets the job done, my gaming groups are here. (And I guess family too... but whatever.)
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 09:40:09 AM by JohnRickett »

John Rickett | website | goodreads | twitter
Facebook

Offline Rick Gualtieri

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4625
  • Gender: Male
  • NJ
  • Renaissance Geek
    • View Profile
    • RickGualtieri.com
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2017, 10:03:54 AM »
And I can't leave! Even though Skype gets the job done, my gaming groups are here. (And I guess family too... but whatever.)

It's schools for me.  Finding a good special needs school is a near nightmare. 

Once that's no longer a consideration, though, I fully expect to pack up and get outta Dodge toward hopefully greener (and cheaper) pastures.  :)


Making fantasy fun again, one corpse at a time
Rick Gualtieri | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Bill The Vampire on Facebook | YouTube

Offline Elizabeth Ann West

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3201
  • Gender: Female
  • Schenectady, NY
  • Our doubts are traitors...
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2017, 10:19:44 AM »
It's schools for me.  Finding a good special needs school is a near nightmare. 

Once that's no longer a consideration, though, I fully expect to pack up and get outta Dodge toward hopefully greener (and cheaper) pastures.  :)

Ain't that the truth! That's why I'm homeschooling, though my daughter is mild to moderate. I couldn't let her keep judging her days by a good day being she only cried once or twice. Not saying all parents with special needs kids can just homeschool, many children need very specific professional support and help. In my case, my daughter's chief issues are sensory related, so no more 20+ kids in a classroom and we go at her pace and reduce how much fine motor skills she HAS to do on a daily basis = totally on target with her peers child. If we weren't going to move at least once more, possibly twice more, I might be more inclined to get her a permanent educational opportunity outside of the home. But for the time being, she's happy, I'm happy, and I've foudnd ways to work around the 4 hours a day I need to home school 15 days a month (we do year round school, and have to do 900 hours a year the other 180 are made up of her extracurricular (dance) and other independent pursuits).


Jane-of-all-trades, mistress to none!
Elizabeth Ann West | Read My Stories Free!

Offline Mercia McMahon

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3429
  • Gender: Female
  • London
    • View Profile
    • Mercia McMahon
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2017, 10:32:11 AM »
London is a really odd city on this front. If you make very little money you can survive via the high level of state support, but once you earn a bit more it becomes very expensive (but healthcare is free in the world's leading medical research city). Public transport is among the most expensive in the world, but owning a car is an added luxury rather than a necessity. Just as well as I had to surrender my licence for medical reasons.

I'm from Northern Ireland, where even in the capital you could get a nice house in a nice area for $150,000 dollars. In London that would buy a parking space and a one bedroom flat would be more than $500,000. London also has the dubious advantage that unless you retire to the countryside you are likely to have less retirement years to cover due to the life-shortening air pollution. Maybe I should retire to Norn Iron, but not yet.

I can't afford to make use of the bright lights that attracted me here in the first place (Theatreland), but London is full of free museums and historic sights. I live 15 minutes walk from the Greenwich Meridian and the Old Royal Naval College (location for numerous movies such as Golden Compass and Pirates of the Carribean).


Mercia McMahon | Author Site | Publishing Site | Pinterest

Offline Germanikus

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 40
    • View Profile
    • raphaelmoreau.com
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2017, 10:41:19 AM »
Interesting thread. To add something from Germany.

I live outside of a small city. 2,000 Euros a month will take are of all my bare necessities. But more is of course welcome. 5k monthly is my big target.

Living in Germany is reasonable cheap. Houses in my area are priced around 200k Euros after the recent price surges, mostly due to low interest rates. Food is really cheap and a car is needed just for short drives. The excellent train system takes care of visiting other parts of Germany. As I am self employed I have to pay for health insurance alone. But it is capped somewhere around 600 Euros. I would have to make 4-5k a month to get there. With 400 Euros it is nonetheless one of my bigger expenses, with another 450 for rent.


Germanikus | blog

Offline LadyG

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 648
  • Gender: Female
  • Michigan
    • View Profile
    • A Goode One
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2017, 11:07:57 AM »
I think I could make it on $1000-1500 per month. I live in a very small town in a rural area, so the cost of living is pretty reasonable out here. Honestly, though, I'd like to earn enough to do better than just survive, at least for a while. Just long enough to move out of the subsidized apartment and buy a more reliable new (or less-used) car. Maybe take my little boy on a vacation to the upper peninsula at least once before he gets too old to want to travel with his mom.

Other than that, I don't need to make oodles and scads of money at this. Good heavens, I think that officially makes me old and boring!


Armed with nothing but coffee and a sense of humor.
A.J. Goode | A Goode One | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter sign-up

Offline Anma Natsu

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2534
  • Gender: Female
  • Texas
    • View Profile
    • Anma Natsu
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2017, 11:16:42 AM »
My area of Texas has a relatively low cost of living, we have no state income tax, and good houses can still be acquired for under $100k (though our area is growing so much that we are starting to have concerns of the lower cost houses for both rent and purchase are being bought up, torn down, and replaced with the hideousness termed Aggie Shacks, which have significantly higher costs because they are aimed at students who share a unit and have their parents paying their rents.  This is starting to cause lower cost housing to be at a premium and some fear it will strain the general population which has a median income in the $20-40k range.

Groceries, utilities, gas, et all are all pretty reasonable.  And while its still a "smaller" town, we have two major hospitals and a growing medical district, so no major issues with health care other than mental health resources being relatively scarce and sometimes requiring out of town trips (fortunately not for me, but for my friend with two special needs kids its a pain).

That said...the cost of living here is a bit of a "so what" sort of thing in terms of the actual question of what would I need to survive as a full-time author.  I'm not someone who would pie in the sky and pretend I'd cut expenses or cut back on my lifestyle, I know myself well enough to not even go there.  So I'd need enough to keep the lifestyle that I'm accustomed too AND actually support the business. 

My current career brings me in around $55k a year gross, which ends up being $45k net or so after taxes and all.  For my current state of being, with a mortgage, student loans, and a roof loan, I'd have to net that much from the writing.  But that's net.

If I were to go full-time and leave my career, that would mean paying my own health insurance (which is darn good insurance), vision insurance, dental insurance, and of course self-employment taxes.  I'd roughly estimate that I'd need to gross $101k from the writing to cover all that, and that's still not counting the actual business expenses.  Full-time, I'd presume would require me to put out at least 4 books a year, plus doing promos and other business expenses. 

Adding in all that and then putting in a little cushion, I'd probably need about $150k annual income from the writing, consistently, to even consider going full-time.

Now, in five years, I'll be through all 3 of those big debts.  But even then, I'd still want around the same because this 60+ year old house still needs maintenance, the 14 year old crankymobile will need replacing eventually, I'm not getting younger, I have retirement catch up to do, and all that.  Already have that debt free budget made up as my inspiration for when I get there :D
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 11:18:15 AM by Anma Natsu »

Offline SunnySammy

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2017, 11:42:19 AM »
I've tried to write this a million ways but keep getting hung up the high level of state support in the UK. I've only ever heard it called high from people who've never had to rely on it. Try it on a zero hours contract, it won't seem so high then. It's been cut to the bone the last seven years.

800 a month would mean I could feed my kids without family assistance. 1k a month, we might be able to afford a few luxuries and I wouldn't break out in a cold sweat every time they uttered those dreaded words 'new shoes'.

I'm aiming for 2k a month. State support is not something I ever, ever want to have to rely on again. That feeling of utter dread and despair every time you check your balance isn't a feeling I like living with.

I write full time now, earning 100 a month, with state support, after having to leave my shift-pattern, zero hours job due to unreliable income and having a sick child to care for. Once I'm earning 2k a month, I'll stop looking for outside work.

Offline Mercia McMahon

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3429
  • Gender: Female
  • London
    • View Profile
    • Mercia McMahon
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #34 on: June 19, 2017, 12:15:48 PM »
I've tried to write this a million ways but keep getting hung up the high level of state support in the UK. I've only ever heard it called high from people who've never had to rely on it.

I wrote that because I am living on it. I am a full-time writer because of a combination of disabled tax credits and housing benefit. Compared to some other countries represented on kboards that is a high level of state support, especially when free healthcare is factored in.


Mercia McMahon | Author Site | Publishing Site | Pinterest

Offline Dolphin

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1925
  • Gender: Male
  • Under the Sea
  • Skree'ee--eee, eeek!
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2017, 12:24:04 PM »
My mom once got a fortune cookie that read, "It would be wise to cut expectations by half." We all took that as something of a life lesson.

I'll bid $15,000/year in Portland, OR. Okay, maybe I'd wind up living in Gresham, but still...Gresham's not so bad, right? Barring something catastrophic, my biggest financial struggle would be business expenses and investments.

Offline EllieDee

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 176
  • Gender: Female
  • Drifting around Europe
  • Dreaming about the future...
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2017, 12:48:55 PM »
Currently living with family in Prague.  Three people here are living comfortably for a total of about $1500 a month. 

$1500 can get you pretty far here.  I can replace electronics when they die, occasionally go out for beer with friends, buy medications, and sock away a fair amount in savings.  I think the household could barely scrape by at maybe ... $600 a month.  However, that number's only possible in Prague if you're in a situation like mine.  The apartment is owned, not rented.  Nobody has a car since we walk or take public transportation everywhere.  We're all used to an inexpensive lifestyle.  That means thrift store clothes, buying discounted food whenever we can and cooking most meals, only going to the movies a few times a year, dates don't involve hitting nightclubs, etc.  It helps that I grew up poor.  I'm used to living like this and I"m just not interested in luxury things. 

Now, if you really want to stretch $600 a month, you can have a nice lifestyle in Thailand.  My sister lived there for a while and had a blast.  I'm talking a clean and quiet apartment in walking distance of the tourist district, eating out every night, spa treatments, buying crazy Korean face products ... If you can take the heat and humidity (which are considerable) it's not a bad country for starving writers.

Offline Perry Constantine

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2598
  • Gender: Male
  • Matsuyama
  • Action Fiction Author
    • View Profile
    • Percival Constantine - Action Fiction Author
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2017, 12:50:27 PM »
Now, if you really want to stretch $600 a month, you can have a nice lifestyle in Thailand.  My sister lived there for a while and had a blast.  I'm talking a clean and quiet apartment in walking distance of the tourist district, eating out every night, spa treatments, buying crazy Korean face products ... If you can take the heat and humidity (which are considerable) it's not a bad country for starving writers.

I did consider Thailand at one point because of how cheap it is, but man, that humidity. And that was in April!

Offline Rosie A.

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 337
  • Gender: Female
  • Washington state
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2017, 01:10:36 PM »
NEED: coffee, Irish Whisky, and my editor.
Do you put whisky in the coffee? Because it's so yummy that way.

Me? I just need a computer and a healthy environment. I can't work if I'm stressed or in a bad situation. Luckily being married to a supportive spouse helps too.
Historical Romance 20th Century, Western Brides
Rose Andrews | Rose Historicals

Online KhaosFoxe

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 313
  • Gender: Female
  • Co. Kerry, Ireland
  • English expat, UF author.
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2017, 01:55:53 PM »
Currently living with family in Prague.  Three people here are living comfortably for a total of about $1500 a month. 

$1500 can get you pretty far here.  I can replace electronics when they die, occasionally go out for beer with friends, buy medications, and sock away a fair amount in savings.  I think the household could barely scrape by at maybe ... $600 a month.  However, that number's only possible in Prague if you're in a situation like mine.  The apartment is owned, not rented.  Nobody has a car since we walk or take public transportation everywhere.  We're all used to an inexpensive lifestyle.  That means thrift store clothes, buying discounted food whenever we can and cooking most meals, only going to the movies a few times a year, dates don't involve hitting nightclubs, etc. 

I have to be honest, I miss Prague for the prices. It's just husband and me, no kids. Even though we rented (in a very nice area), $2,000 a month still allowed us to eat at the very nice restaurants semi-regularly, import scotch and absinthe, and so on.

Now we're in Southern Ireland we need a good $3,000 a month to live frugally, no going out, no drinking at all, etc. Rent's a reasonable bit more in a comfortable, but nowhere near the level of nice as we had in Prague flat. It's the medical bills that get us though, they cost us twice as much as rent quite often which really stings. I'm not looking forward to paying both Irish and American taxes either, the tax thresholds were far kinder in Prague.

Bisexual writing LGBT+ UF. Celestial Tears to be published late November.

Offline Travelian

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 107
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2017, 02:13:19 PM »
Now, if you really want to stretch $600 a month, you can have a nice lifestyle in Thailand.  My sister lived there for a while and had a blast.  I'm talking a clean and quiet apartment in walking distance of the tourist district, eating out every night, spa treatments, buying crazy Korean face products ... If you can take the heat and humidity (which are considerable) it's not a bad country for starving writers.

+1. I'm half-Thai so Thailand will always be a soft landing if my income falls below expectations. It's ridiculously humid there. But I've spent a lot of my life in Texas, Florida and Africa so it's not unbearable. Great food options everywhere in the major cities. You can go to a good but not great food court and spend about a dollar for an entree and a drink. Bangkok has good public transportation. Quality healthcare is much cheaper there than in the US.

Currently living in Hawaii where of course everything down to groceries is super expensive. But a car's not a necessity in certain parts which makes the overall lifestyle within my current price range.

Offline Boyd

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2089
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2017, 02:17:54 PM »
I pinch pennies so hard, they scream.  When I was farming and it was off season... My wife and I with our 2 boys and 4 fosters could easily survive on 1k a month plus whatever healthcare cost at the time.  Oh boy, did health care costs skyrocket.  More than tripled. 

Saying all that, 1500 a month for basic expenses (house, insurance, car insurance, gas, heating/cooling, property taxes) make up the basics.  Since I'm sorta a prepper, I've been living frugal for a long time and am used to eating on the cheap (beans, rice, fish I caught, meat I hunted/trapped).  We got our house as a bank repo and I did all the work on the well, water heater, furnace and plumbing as the old farmhouse had sat for a long time.  I think we paid 33k for the house and it's now worth a bit more. I probably have the crappiest house in a ritzy area, but it's mine and I have 5 acres.  1/3 of it is usually planted in veggies with a small 1 acre field of perennial alfalfa and vetch. The back of the property is full of oak and walnut trees and scrub.  Lots of space for wildlife by the creek. 

Writing has allowed us to also get property up north, an old emp resistant motor home and even though I'm working up there, we spend at least 45 days in the Northern lower peninsula of Michigan a year.  The cabin on the property has a new pole barn style metal roof, so if needed, I can sell this joint and move up there and live for probably half of what I am now.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 02:21:11 PM by Boyd »

Offline SunnySammy

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2017, 02:36:22 PM »
I wrote that because I am living on it. I am a full-time writer because of a combination of disabled tax credits and housing benefit. Compared to some other countries represented on kboards that is a high level of state support, especially when free healthcare is factored in.

It's damn hard isn't it? Although, yeah not as bad some countries so we're lucky in a way.

I probably have it easier, not being inside the London bubble. I live up North where it's way, way cheaper and I still struggle. You have my sympathies trying to survive on benefits in London.

Good Luck with your writing.

Offline katrina46

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2303
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2017, 02:36:53 PM »
I've always had careers that earned me between 45k-60k. I wouldn't want to go below middle class because I live frugally and save a lot whenever I can. Writing has allowed me to cut back on hours. I now work part time and still earn in that range combining both incomes, but to feel safe I wouldn't quit working altogether unless I earned 80k from writing. You have to figure you're in charge of all your benefits at that point, health care, IRA and all those taxes your employer pays for you.

Offline HSh

  • Status: George Orwell
  • *****
  • Posts: 1984
  • Homicide, She Typed
  • Manslaughter, She Inscribed
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #44 on: June 19, 2017, 02:40:27 PM »
I was living with family and unable to work before I started earning money writing.  I didn't qualify for any government help as far as I was able to determine.  So from that perspective, anything I earned was "a living" more than I had before.  (However at some point income actually did start to become something I could live on.)

For me the biggest thing lately is just wishing income was more even, month to month, so I could budget better, and not have those scary times when things are tight and taxes are due.  I need to learn to budget better, I suppose.  That can be difficult with an uncertain income.  But, as I frequently remind myself, it's a lot better than nothing (and having to be a burden to family). 

Right now my major goals are to pay back a loan, build up an emergency fund, and not fall behind on any bills.  I'm very fortunate that all these goals seem to be possible, if I'm careful and patient.

Hollis Shiloh  | My blog | Amazon page

Online tknite

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 795
  • USA
    • View Profile
    • Knite Writes
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #45 on: June 19, 2017, 02:42:02 PM »
I live in rural eastern VA. I could make a decent living on $2k a month (pre-tax). That would pay all the bills and give me a little extra to save. But at the same time, that income level would leave me stuck here -- I could never afford to move anywhere else -- so my ultimate goal is $4-5k per month.
Therin Knite | author website | facebook | twitter | goodreads | newsletter
Authors! I offer book formatting at Knite & Day Design!
And be sure to ask me about my editing/proofreading services, too!

Offline EllieDee

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 176
  • Gender: Female
  • Drifting around Europe
  • Dreaming about the future...
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #46 on: June 19, 2017, 02:46:06 PM »
Quote
but man, that humidity. And that was in April!

Yeah, the last time I was there in March the humidity made my hair look like a chia pet.  Tropical countries are no joke.  On the plus side, in Thailand I ate some of the tastiest tropical fruits I've ever had.  It sucks going back to canned pineapple.

Quote
Bangkok has good public transportation. Quality healthcare is much cheaper there than in the US.

I noticed that!  Great transport system, and people are really kind and helpful if you're lost and waving a map around.  And the healthcare is great.  I'm thinking about going back at some point to get some Lasik done.

Offline GUTMAN

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 469
  • USA
  • "By gad, Sir, You are a character!"
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2017, 02:57:13 PM »
I am currently in my third career as a public teacher and college prof. My other careers were pro actor and pro TV writer, a dozen years each. Next year I'll be entering my 12th year as a teacher, so I tend to do careers a dozen years at a time.

So here's what it will take for me to be a full time writer: retirement.  ;)

In retirement I will have a Screen Actor's Guild pension, a Writer's Guild of America pension, and a small but still reasonable public teacher's pension. Add social security (please God, if it's there) and Medicare (probably the most important piece), the fact that we own our house, cars, outright and our kids are grown--means I will finally be able to write full time, and afford pro covers, editing, marketing, etc--everything I'd need.  I've been plugging away for years, but as Stephen King once said, when you teach school and then come home and try and write, often your brain is like a burned out engine. I can get some writing done, but not much. Fried.

So, two more years. I'm looking forward to it. I'm already transitioning by not teaching summers and using the next two months to get a book written.

And I live in Portland, Oregon. Have no plans to move at present in retirement.


Offline Laran Mithras

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • Butte MT
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #48 on: June 19, 2017, 03:01:51 PM »
Do you put whisky in the coffee? Because it's so yummy that way.

Me? I just need a computer and a healthy environment. I can't work if I'm stressed or in a bad situation. Luckily being married to a supportive spouse helps too.

I haven't tried whisky in the coffee because I drink them at different times. Coffee done by 6am (I'm up at 3am). I don't start whisky until noon and then drink until 5.

One day I might skip breakfast and do the whisky-coffee thing. Sounds fun.

I don't get stressed, but I do have a wonderful, supportive spouse.  ;D
 

Offline Captain Cranky

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 63
  • Gender: Female
  • Australia
    • View Profile
Re: What do YOU need to survive as a full-time author?
« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2017, 03:36:14 PM »
Ain't that the truth! That's why I'm homeschooling, though my daughter is mild to moderate. I couldn't let her keep judging her days by a good day being she only cried once or twice. Not saying all parents with special needs kids can just homeschool, many children need very specific professional support and help. In my case, my daughter's chief issues are sensory related, so no more 20+ kids in a classroom and we go at her pace and reduce how much fine motor skills she HAS to do on a daily basis = totally on target with her peers child. If we weren't going to move at least once more, possibly twice more, I might be more inclined to get her a permanent educational opportunity outside of the home. But for the time being, she's happy, I'm happy, and I've foudnd ways to work around the 4 hours a day I need to home school 15 days a month (we do year round school, and have to do 900 hours a year the other 180 are made up of her extracurricular (dance) and other independent pursuits).

Moving to where we are now (in a more rural town west of Sydney) has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for my ASD kid. He's in the best school he has ever been in, I have never before received so much support and compassion. They started up a support class just for the Aspergers kids, and he'll spend a portion of the day there where he can unwind and use some of the items they bought for sensory issues etc. It's a nice feeling to not show up at school everyday riddled with anxiety over what might happen, at previous schools I felt like I was living life always in damage control mode. He is doing so much better, he's happier, and he's actually made a good friend who seems to 'get' him. The right school can make a big difference to the entire family's well-being.