I’m sure most people think that being self employed is the best thing in the world. You get to set your own hours, dont have to answer to anyone but yourself, work in your jammies and spend many hours on the beach. Yes its all a piece of cake when you are your own boss. There is something that is not shown in the brochure though.
Security of a Paycheck
There is something to be said about working 9-5, 5 days a week and being pretty sure that you are receiving a paycheck and the end of that week. Typically its a fixed amount you can count on, properly budget with and you are set. No worries man!
Well when self employed that paycheck is not a sure thing. You may have ups and downs that when you can pay yourself its not always a set amount, making it hard to budget for your expenses. Sometimes its not even there at all! I have had months that at the beginning of I looked ahead and was a little worried that the month wasn’t already filled up with appointments. For the most part very soon it filled up and all was right with the universe. This is the first month since I started that I am actually really worried. Half way point is Sunday and the cashflow is no where near the half way mark of what I need in a month. For the first time in my life I have thoughts of how will I make it and provide for my family.
Worrying about Making Ends Meet
Andrea at So Over Debt did a post this week ‘Do You Worry About Meeting Basic Needs?‘ where she got slammed in the comments from some about how could you worry these days. You either aren’t budgeting right or spending to much, etc. I bet most if not all with those type of comments have a steady paycheck. Some also said ‘well you shouldn’t have quit your day job’. I admit that at times I wonder if it was the right decision, but like Andrea hindsight is 20/20. A few months after I left my day job they had a major reduction and downsized. There might be a slight chance I would have survived it, but most likely not.
I know we are not going to be on the streets in May, its not that type of worry. I do have some reserves and the Wife still has her job (although that could change in June). Its just the realization that its not always going to be easy as it has been the past couple years. Its my time for a little downturn and Im optimistic that it will recover quickly, maybe even before the end of the month.
During the slow period it does allow me time to regroup and catch up on everything that I got behind on when I was busy. Allows me time to reflect and put strategies in to place for the photography business to help me improve and grow. Its also time to work on my other streams and see about beefing them up, with the goal of having these streams to fall back on when business is slow.
Reflect on the budget and make some adjustments. Thinking my little fish spending spree was ill timed and should have been done a bit slower 🙂 Over all it really puts the theories of emergency funds and getting rid of debt in a better perspective. We all talk about it and some of are doing it, but when you do actually need it kind puts it more in your face as to why you did it. When things improve again you will tend not to say “well maybe I can buy this and skip this weeks emergency fund payment”.
Hope things are going well with everyone else, but have you really had to dip into your emergency fund before? Had times were you thought about how you were going to make ends meet?