Tuesday, 9 March 2010

What difference has self-employment made to us so far?

My husband has been self-employed for the last six months, and I have since the beginning of the year.  It has made a difference to us in various ways, both practically and psychologically:
  • There is no longer such a thing as pay day, so we have to make sure we end the month with money to pay our expenses for the following month.   We get paid regularly, but not on a set date each month. 
  • We are more motivated to build up our savings, in an attempt to make good use of a high earning month, and also because this helps us to feel more secure.
  • We have to actively invoice in order to be paid, which still feels odd to me, and to keep track of money coming in from different sources and chase it up if it does not arrive.
  • We need to make sure we save a proportion of everything that comes in, to pay tax, rather than this being deducted automatically.
  • We have to keep track of expenses which may be tax-deductible.
  • We need to actively make pension contributions, rather than have them deducted from pay automatically.
  • We have both started to think more in terms of the value of our time; if we want to take time off we have to pay for that by working at another time. We no longer have paid holiday or sick pay.
  • There is scope for a greater variety of types of work; I'm doing contract work in my industry, but also setting up another part-time business, and trying to write as well as do voluntary work. We both feel more entrepreneurial.
  • One of us sometimes works at weekends, but we often have a day off together in the week instead; not every day involves an early start.
  • There is less of a routine; it is possible to forget what day it is.  On the other hand, the dreaded 'Sunday night feeling'  before the start of a traditional week's work is no longer a problem.
  • If work becomes a bit quiet for a week or two, it can become disconcerting, although having the extra free time is nice. (My husband wrote a detective story during a slightly quiet phase at the beginning of the year.)

No comments:

Post a Comment