This is Why I Work For Myself
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There are many things I love about being self-employed. There are also things I don’t enjoy, like waiting on clients who take for flipping ever to pay and the up and down income. All told though the pluses definitely outweigh the minuses when it comes to working for myself. I know that’s not the case for all, so I’m thankful for my experience.
I Want to Control my Time
As I’ve shared previously, one of our main goals this year is to go to San Diego this summer to see my in-laws. My lovely wife is a San Diego native and it has been three long years since we’ve been back. She has taken the time away in stride and is something I’ve not given her enough credit for.
Anyway, we’re departing this Friday for a three week trip and the entire family is stoked. I went against my normal frugal tendencies and agreed to rent a minivan for our drive out there. While we could fly, have you ever flown with three little ones? Yea, not fun.
We’d need a car out there anyway, so it made sense to drive. Seeing as I like my sanity, I decided to pony up for the expense to rent the minivan as opposed to our “comfy” Altima. The drive itself, which is just shy of 1,600 miles, will take us (knock on wood) three days and we’ll be spending 12 days in sunny San Diego.
Going back to the point of the post, this is something we never could’ve done when I was in the corporate world. The most vacation I ever had was two weeks along with one week of sick time. Anything over a week had to be approved by multiple layers above me and that’s also not to mention the number of blacked out days I had to work around.
Simply put, my vacation was at the whims of people entirely removed from my situation. That is pure lunacy – plain and simple!
I’ll avoid going on a tangent now about how we work ourselves to death here in the States, and will leave that for another day. The point is, while I was given two weeks the reality was that I was not in control of it. I had to fit my square request into the round hole provided by the powers that be.
The one good thing about vacation in my corporate days was that when I left the building, I left all my work in it. I never had a working vacation. Self-employment isn’t like that. I’ll likely need to work a little while on vacation, but aside from a major emergency from a client, it’ll be in the early morning before the kids get up. However, we can only take a trip like this because we work for ourselves.
It makes all the craziness worth it. It makes it sweeter really, knowing that we can take a vacation like this because we’ve busted our tails to make it possible on a variety of fronts. If I were still in my corporate job, I’d be wondering in the back of my mind if I’d get in trouble, or if taking the vacation would be held against me by superiors.
Sad as it sounds, I dealt with that each time I took a vacation and, you know what, that’s not right. It’s not healthy. Because I work for myself I don’t have to deal with that and can take a vacation, for however long I want, whenever I darn well please.
If I ever was tempted to go back to the corporate world, this alone would cure me real quickly of it. Life is just too short to not have control over your time. Of course, you can be a slave to your business, and in that event you have yourself to blame. But life is just too short not to have a say over your time.
Sometimes You Just Have to Spend More
Ok, completely unrelated to working for myself is what we’re spending on this vacation. Our lodging for the trip fell through a couple of weeks ago and we were left scrambling for a new place to stay. I had located a Marriot in San Diego that had a kitchenette and two rooms. Plus, I could’ve gotten the Marriot card and earned a massive amount of points. However, Mrs. Frugal Rules was NOT feeling it.
She had some great points and so I went to VRBO to find something a little more suitable for us. We struck oil! I found us a house in La Jolla that is only two blocks from the beach and is rented by a lady who has young kids herself and so it’s all set up for kiddos.
The catch is that it was slightly more than the hotel and without the points. Knowing how important this trip was to my wife and how the Pacific is so near and dear to her heart and soul I would’ve had to kick my own butt if I didn’t pony up to spend the extra money. The moral of the story…money (or rewards points) is not everything!
Anyway, I apologize for a somewhat directionless post today. I guess I’ve just been too scatter brained these past few weeks getting ready for our trip. 🙂 While I’m gone, I have some awesome contributors lined up, not to mention Cat, Grayson and Laurie to fill out the schedule. If you live anywhere between Omaha and San Diego and hear kids screaming, or Holiday Road playing, over the next few weeks you know where it’s coming from. 😉
How much vacation time do you get? Does your vacation time have to be approved by multiple layers? Have you ever used VRBO and, if so, what was your experience with it? Do you have any suggestions for things to do with three kids six and under on a cross country car trip – if so, I’m all ears. 🙂
Photo courtesy of: Tim Wilson
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.
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