Living Project To PRoject
Since deciding to work for myself and start my own administrative assistant contracting business, I no longer live paycheck to paycheck. I live project to project. The biggest issue with this is that the checks are smaller. I don’t get $500 or $1000 every two weeks to budget for the next two weeks.
No More $500 Checks
The difference is working for someone else and working for myself means that I no longer see bulk two week deposits into my checking account. This is both good and bad. The bad means I have to budget for days instead of weeks while keeping a vigilant eye on the next 30 days and ensuring that I can earn enough money to keep afloat for the next 30 days. To complicate matters, my bank requires a $100 deposit once a month. It means that I can’t transfer every $50 that goes into my account no matter how badly I need the money. One of those transfers has to wait until it’s at least $100. That might be waiting an extra two days or it might mean waiting an extra week. It depends on how much money I can earn.
The good news is that I don’t have to wait every two weeks for a paycheck. I can transfer smaller amounts if I really need to and get paid more often.
Since I don’t get regularly scheduled checks, and I’m only paid based on the work I actually complete, this means that I have to manage my daily, weekly, and monthly income down to the dollar. In order to meet that goal, I have to earn a minimum of $50 a day including weekends. If I want to take a day off, I have to earn $60 every other day. I also have to earn 10 percent more than $50 very day in order to keep my income solid in the even that a project is rejected after I complete it.
A rejected project means I lose that income, and earning an extra 10 percent of my goal ensures that the lost income doesn’t financially harm me.
Feast And Famine
I also have to keep a steady stream of work. However, sometimes there’s more or less work depending on my clients’ needs and the time of year. During times of feast, I need to work more to prepare for the famines. This generally happens right before the holidays. I have to do twice as much work before a holiday in order to brace for the slower periods during and after the holiday.
All in all, living project to project is an entirely new beast. I have to be able to simultaneously budget for the next five days and the next 30 days without running out of money. It’s a challenge.