Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Adulthood Is a Bitch

The good news is that I booked 24 weddings this year, 24 being my goal. The bad news is that I now have two full-time jobs and a family. Oye.

I hoped to book 24 weddings which would give me a monthly income comparable to what I make now at my 8-5 job. If I add in a handful of family photo sessions every month, I'm definitely making the same money. But 2011 is going to be a huge learning year for us. We have a kid now who is only going to be costing us more and more money as he grows. Matt is also starting out his first year of being self-employed. I don't know if I ever blogged about it, but Matt got laid off from his craptastic restaurant job four days before Lennon was born. His choice (if you can even call it that) was either get another shit restaurant job or sign on for a second touring show and finally do the musician thing full-time and be a stay-at-home-dad between tours.

If I quit my job, we'll be relying on two self-employed incomes. My weddings are contracted so that money is pretty locked in. But Matt's income usually isn't confirmed until 3-4 months out from the tour. Like right now we only have his schedule confirmed through the beginning of March. The shows he is in are gaining a lot of interest with a potential contract through a casino. He could have a really great year ahead. Or not. We just don't know how much money he'll bring in this year.

This is also supposed to be the year that we save a shitload of money and finally get around to fixing things in the house that we've been neglecting. That's not going to happen if I quit my job. All my photography money goes into a business account where it sits. I occasionally pull money to pay for things, but mostly it just gets saved. Not so if I'm pulling out $2000 a month to pay bills.

And then there's the self-employment tax. Oh god, the tax. It's an ass-kicker. It haunts me in my sleep. I can't even imagine what I'm going to pay to the government in 2011. What if we have to pay them $10,000 at the end of the year? That could potentially be a deal breaker on its own.

But if I stay at my job I'm trading time with my family for a second paycheck. I spend 45 hours a week away from Lennon working at my office. And soon I'm going to lose three Saturdays a month for weddings and likely a couple Sundays for engagement and family photos. It's completely heartbreaking to think of how little time I will get to spend with my baby this year. I want to stay home with him and Matt and be his daycare provider when Matt's out of town. I don't want to miss out on my family because I'm trying to be super career lady, working seven days a week. Plus, I still have the potential of booking more weddings this year. I've turned down open dates because it's just too much. But what if I can book 5 more in 2011? Would that be enough to make my decision easier? But what if I still can't quit my job and end up with 30 weddings, making the situation even worse?

It's such a terrifying ordeal. Which is the better choice? An overwhelming amount of work and an underwhelming amount of time with my family, or a huge risk with possible catastrophic results? My priorities are telling me that irreplaceable time with Lennon is more important than a savings account. However, I would absolutely have a heart attack if we couldn't pay our bills. I've had a salary since I was 20 years old. I don't know how to live without someone else signing my paychecks. It's one of those life choices that I wish someone else could make for me.

I need a bottle of wine and m&ms. Big decisions need to be made.


Cathy said...

You could always stay with us if your house goes into foreclosure:). As long as your health insurance is covered somehow, I say take the leap. You think you'll have an equally successful year in 2012? You can start doing bridal shows. Valentine's day is coming up and you kow what happens most on that day. You're getting to a point where a 9-5 is hampering your creative solutions to increase business, as well as just the actual business flow. Or wait a year and have a serious savings account to fall on. Chances are that if you have the money coming in, with a small amount of stress solely coming from your neurotic tendencies and not the amount of money coming in, it will be a success. And if not, our favorite is Hector's. A contact behind the bar would be Awwwwwwesome.

Christine said...

So far I have 3 bookings for 2012. As long as I dont totally screw up some chick's wedding and get trashed all over the Internet, I don't see why 2012 wouldn't be as good or better than 2011. I could either take out an individual policy or Matt could get insurance through the musician's union.

My 8-5 is a complete waste of my time. That career is over and it's preventing me from moving on. The Burright in me is still telling me to give it another year before I quit. And yes, i've thought about picking up lunch shifts if I need money. I'm not above waiting some tables for cash!