Spending Your Freelancing Paychecks Wisely
This one’s for my freelance peeps. (“My freeps?” No. Anyway.) Freelancing! I’m not going to bitch about it, because it’s been good to me. I work from home. I can wear a bathrobe all day and start drinking at 9:00 in the morning if I want to. (Ha! I am, of course, joking about that last. I never get up as early as 9:00 in the morning.) And it’s certainly one of the coolest-sounding jobs out there. Downright mercenary, like a masterless samurai in old Japan.
The flip side of this idyllic life is that, like those wandering samurai, you spend an awful lot of time eating plain rice and wiping your butt with leaves. Paychecks are uncertain things. The good weeks have got to be enough to get you through the bad weeks, because there will be bad weeks.
So when a paycheck arrived today with more digits in front of the decimal than I have ever seen addressed to me in my life, I did the fiscally responsible thing: I immediately went out and bought one of those fancy dinners where they bring you dead things on skewers and don’t stop until you say to.
I think this was a healthy choice. Mentally healthy, I mean — no theory scientific nor spiritual can transmute six and half pounds of dead cow into the right choice for your stomach.
But when you’ve been wiping your butt on leaves for a month because you can’t afford toilet paper and you finally do come into some cash you do not want to go spend it on toilet paper. You want to go spend it on something that makes a month of wiping your butt with leaves worthwhile.
My point is this: if you wanted fiscal security you’d have taken a degree in Actuarial Sciences the way Dad always wanted. Freelancing is going to be a wild and crazy rollercoaster no matter how sensibly you do it. So be smart and set 90% of that damn-this-was-a-good-month paycheck aside against the damn-this-was-a-bad-month ramen packets* — but spend the other 10% on you.
Right now. You deserve it.
*You’ll notice I didn’t say “leaves.”