I love being self-employed. I think I will enjoy retirement even more in the future, but if I’m not financially independent, self-employment is the only craved income path for me.
My Pros of Self-Employment
I enjoy the flexibility, the control, and the income diversification that comes along with having 150+ clients in pet sitting and a few streams we have for making cash online. When I worked for the car dealership software company from 2005-2011, they could have fired me at any moment and I would have had my personal main income stream cut off all at once. Being self-employed has, strangely enough, made me feel more financially stable overall.
My Cons of Self-Employment
BUT, there are some WHOPPING downsides. I truly miss the 100% matching up to 6% in my old 401k. I also miss being able to take a vacation without coming back to a pile of things to do since everyone in my old department could cover each other’s work. And, I definitely don’t have any paid maternity leave options now (I’m not sure if my old job had them or not because I left WAYYYYY before we ever thought we even wanted to have kids).
Planning for My Own Maternity “Leave”
All of that said, I’ve already needed to start making plans for June-August for my own maternity leave. I’m also looking to work out a way for my husband to have as much time off as possible from our jobs during those months too. We won’t be able to literally do nothing with the businesses, or they would crumble. But I am working out the details to doing as little outside of the home as possible while maintaining the online and record-keeping parts of our businesses in as little time as possible.
So far, most of this plan means leaning very heavily on our one other pet sitter. I’ve been preparing for that by giving her more and more of our schedule each month since late last year. She has proven that she can handle a full normal schedule, and Mr. BFS can handle the minimal overflow from June-August since he won’t have any sports officiating and is going to want to get out of the house.
That will leave me with needing to take a few hours a week to deposit our checks, update our Excel records, submit payroll, and balance the books on the easy end. Mr. BFS will need to keep up with all of our Quickbooks record-keeping. We’ll both be checking in on our online work a few times a week while the other person has baby duty. I’m planning for us to fall behind a bunch in the month following our daughter’s arrival, but we’ll hopefully have some general routine in place after that and can make it work from there.
Plans Have to Be Flexible
Are all of my plans bullet-proof? Nope. But I’ve found that very few acts of planning go without a hitch since life is messier than usually anticipated. Calendar reminders will hopefully keep us on track. Fingers crossed.
Have you had a baby while being self-employed? How did you balance it all? Or what suggestions would you have for someone in those shoes?
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!