The Downsides of Being a Consultant

First, let me just say that I love my job. It's the perfect mixture of things I'm passionate about with all the flexibility a person could want in a job. No one micromanages me, I get all the support I need from staff, and I have almost total autonomy. It's awesome.

Logistically, though, things are a bit of a nightmare. Since I'm not an employee, I'm not on payroll, so I get paper checks once a month. I've been paid once a month before, but it's not my favorite. When I first started, I was told I'd get a check between the 5th and the 10th each month. No big deal, I thought. I have a savings account that I can borrow from until I get paid. Even though it was psychologically difficult to move money out of my "emergency fund" and into daily spending, I knew that I'd be replacing it very soon. Or so I thought.

February has pretty much been dominated by Snowpocalypse 2.0. And we're supposed to get more snow this weekend! And my pay check was among the casualties. It pushed everything back, and on the 16th I still hadn't gotten my check in the mail. Thankfully it was in the office, so I went out of my way to go get it, deposit it, and finally got my FIRST PAYCHECK IN TWO MONTHS cleared and ready to use. Thank goodness!

But, another pain in the butt is that I have TONS of reimbursements that I haven't received yet. And we're not talking about a few hundred dollars. It's well over $1K at this point (again, backed up because of the snow.) Going through the bureaucracy of a big organization for things like reimbursements is not fun because it takes so much time. And, honestly I hadn't been keeping track on my own of just how much they owed me until yesterday--even though I'd put in the check requests. When I added it up yesterday, I thought, holy crap, they owe me a lot of cash! And that means I've been putting a ton on my credit card and paying it off with my own cash because the reimbursements have been so slow. This is so frustrating! I'm watching my savings account get drained, even though I know it'll be refilled. It makes me terribly uncomfortable.

Here's what I'm going to do to ease this burden:

Make a special savings account that is just for dipping into when I have to pay off my credit card for business expenses. That way, when I get reimbursed, I know where to put the money back. And it won't throw off my monthly budget. Having this liquid cash will make me feel better about the waiting time.

Get direct deposit. I just filled out a form for direct deposit, which hopefully will speed up the time it takes for me to get my reimbursements (and paycheck!)

Keep better track of just how much I'm owed. I've made a special spreadsheet for the reimbursements I've submitted and which ones I've received (so far: ZERO--but I know that one check is on the way.)

I'm hopeful that this will help me keep track of how much money I actually have each month. It's difficult to understand how much money I have left in my monthly budget if I'm having to spend some of it on business expenses that I'm not really responsible for.

1 comment:

  1. I know it must come with its own hassles, but I envy your freedom! I would LOVE the opportunity to work from home! It sounds like you're getting into the groove and making it work for you.