This past week, we had an incident that most people would consider an emergency. We had our car finally crap out on us. This is the same vehicle that we just put a new motor in in June. We have been getting by with one vehicle, which was fine until we had none. It was a crazy week, but ultimately we were able to replace it without it being a big deal.
It’s weird that what would be an emergency to many households is just an inconvenience to us. Not because we’re rolling in money and live in a cave filled with gold like dragons out of a Tolkein story, but because of my business. You see, Ian works his steady job and gets a normal paycheck, but having a business lets me in complete control of my income. It’s a blessing, especially when you really need a new-to-you vehicle. So I ran a sale and we got a replacement for the
Anyway… I’ll get into the details of all that in a sec, but I just wanted to share this post, because it demonstrates something important: that having an “irregular” income as a business owner doesn’t mean you’re less secure. If we had to wait for my husband’s paychecks to clear, it would have been several months of his income to buy this vehicle. That wouldn’t have worked, since he wouldn’t have been able to get to work. And while my husband is a super hard-working guy, it’s kind of impossible to get a raise in the environment he works in, because raises are controlled by the time you’ve been employed. So – self-employment for the win!
I feel like this is really important to share, because it’s had a huge impact on our lives, and ultimately it’s what I want for every one of my readers.
Moving and two major car breakdowns
At the beginning of this year while we’ve been getting out of debt, we were living in an apartment that was half of my husband’s take home pay for the month. That not only really sucked financially, but we also had 2 small bedrooms for us and the two kids to share, and it was not a fun place.
Ian’s dream job may be something he loves, but in the beginning it doesn’t pay much, and the hours really suck. So we were left with a few options:
- Ian could work as much overtime as possible. We would hardly ever see him, but we could make financial progress. That option sucked.
- Ian could get a second job, which was damn near impossible because of the first job’s crazy and unpredictable shifts
- I could make money from home to help us supplement his income, save money to move, and
The realization that without my income I would either be stuck never seeing my husband or living in really tight circumstances for the foreseeable future lead to the launch of this blog. I was already making some money through Pinterest affiliate marketing, and I wanted to teach others how to do it.
That launch made us a little over $14k, and continued to make us really good money. You can see a screenshot of my Teachable profits below:
When I first launched OrganizeYour.Biz on March of this year, I wasn’t sure it would be a success, but I knew there was an audience for my product (what eventually became the course Pinning Your Way to Success) and I just had to market it correctly to get my audience and it would take off. I’m not a guru, but I knew my ideal audience like the back of my hand, because I had been that person, and I knew how to reach the former-me’s who had no clue how to start a Pinterest affiliate marketing business.
We got out of a pile of debt and paid off our car the week we found a new house we could move into that was half the price and more than 3 times the size with a yard. SCORE.
Then, the day before we were supposed to move, we found out the engine needed to be replaced in our car and Ian’s hand-me-down truck needed more repairs than it was worth, over $1500. We ended up using my business profits to rent a SUV for the week, replaced the car engine and gave the truck back to my in-laws, who had gifted it to us in the first place. That week we paid our first month’s rent, all the utility deposits, and also wrote a check to pay off the loan on the car. (Ironic, huh?)
Needing a new vehicle
This was one of those awesome moments where we magically had everything we needed, just when we needed it. Last week, I’d already had a plan to have a flash sale celebrating us getting out of debt. We only had $5,800 to go, and that was Ian’s student loans. The sale was only for my subscribers, and we decided it would be fun to help other people do what we’d done: get out of debt and walk up the road to financial freedom.
Well. Life happened, as it often does, and our car that’s had a ton of problems (you know, the one we had just put a new engine in in June.) finally died on us. We had some money in savings for car replacement because we knew that car was junk, but Ian especially wanted a nicer vehicle than the money we had saved could buy. So we had a few options:
- get a beater (which we could have done, we just didn’t want to)
- make a bunch of money really fast to buy a car before my husband needed to go back to work
- Wipe out our savings, make small bunch of money, and then
get a car loan(<- hahahaha not a chance)
We opted to make a budget of $7,000 for the new vehicle. We pushed up the sale, hoping to make enough money to pay for the vehicle, keep our savings intact and to still get out of debt in August.
We keep $1,000 in the bank for car repairs, and another $1,000 in the bank for emergencies. Our goal was to either not use those, or to use them and replace the money by Friday. The sale started late on Monday night, and ran until 9PM on Thursday. Here were my sales those 3 days.
We spent exactly $7,625, including taxes and feed, and got the car on Wednesday, so we did end up using our savings and replacing the money on Friday. We are going to be able to pay off a lot of his student loans this week, and we’ll definitely be able to pay the rest off before the end of the month.
That is why I know that taking the time to build a successful business, making the sacrifice when you’re tired and it’s hard and you don’t see the profits yet… it beings you a lot more security. It gives you the ability to handle what most people would call an emergency, and it’s just a blip.
We went out to dinner Thursday night and we both said more than once something like, “How weird is it that we bought a nice vehicle with cash and by the end of the week we’ll be in the same place financially?” It took a little while to sink in for both of us.
Ian had never had a nice vehicle. As a teen and young adult he’d gotten the hand-me-downs of others, which was generous, but ultimately left him with a little bit of a complex about buying nice things for himself.
Now let be be super clear on this point: my husband is a very hardworking man. I don’t want it to come across at all like he wouldn’t do anything to provide for us, because he absolutely would. But one man in a government job couldn’t possibly have found an extra several thousand dollars in a matter of days to do any of these things. Oftentimes, people hail government jobs as the end-all-be-all of “safe” jobs that are “secure” because they have good benefits and the pay is steady.
That’s all well let me tell you something: a job isn’t secure unless it can meet your needs. And if in June I hadn’t already had a business, his job wouldn’t have met our needs. Not even close. Even if her literally worked sun up to sun down, we wouldn’t have seen that paycheck for two more weeks.