the newest problogger on the block

boy jumping in pool
I am joining the ranks of authors of blogs such as Lazy Man and Money, Get Rich Slowly, The Digerati Life and The Simple Dollar and becoming a problogger! While my blog may not be on the scale of theirs, I am excited to announce that I will be a problogger soon!

For about a month.

One of the beauties of contract consulting (to me, at least) is that the contracts come to an end. In this case, the contract couldn’t have come to an end at a more perfect moment. I had planned on taking unpaid leave under the FMLA to stay home with Bubelah when our daughter arrives. However, it turned out that the client managed to hire a permanent employee for the position I’ve been filling for a year (after I turned it down – I am too spoiled for a “regular” job now) and decided that having a consultant back up a junior exec just wasn’t a good idea in these tough economic times. I was ready to move on after a year, as well, and had been sending out feelers for other projects for a while, too.

So at the end of April I’m done with my client.
It’s been a good client and I’ve made some good (work)friends there, but I will not be sorry to see it go. The 1 1/2+ hour commute had begun to drag on me, and with summer approaching I’m hoping to get some quality toddler-soccer time in the evenings if I can work closer to home. I’ve already had preliminary talks with a Wall Street client (don’t believe the hype – most Wall Street companies are doing just fine and conducting business as normal).

But between now and then I will be problogging!
This is my second test run (after a five-week break last year) pretending to be financially free. What I learned the last time:

The Good Stuff

1. I am still very disciplined about getting up early, even when I don’t need to be.
2. My son didn’t get tired of seeing me all day, every day. Not a bit.
3. Bubelah and I actually get along very, very well with both of us home. I think the stereotype is that couples would get irritable if they are around each other all day, but we actually found that it makes for a much smoother and easier division of labor according to who wants to do what, and that means everyone is happier.
4. My spending (other than fixed costs like the mortgage) drops significantly. When you’re at home and you have the time to economize (and need to) you tend to do so. When you work outside the house, sometimes you rush to the quickest (i.e. least frugal) solution (for example, take-out dinners).
5. I’m happier. This may sound like a given, but it’s not. I know plenty of people who cringe at the idea of a non-working life. They prefer the offices, the interaction with their colleagues, being defined by their jobs. It’s not a bad thing – everyone should do what they like – but I found that I have absolutely no problem with not working. Last year I used that time to start up this blog, learn a lot about finance (yes, there’s always something new to learn, even for an accountant/MBA) and just enjoy my family.

The Bad Stuff

1. I eat much healthier food, but with the kitchen right there I tend to eat more of it. Grazing will get you, even if you graze on carrots all day.
2. I have a tough time tearing myself away to “work.” I am hopeful that other than a few days around the birth of our baby I’ll be able to force myself to write at least a couple of hours per day, and not put all of my blogging off until late in the evening. I get too caught up in playing and relaxing.
3. I lack focus. I got a number of projects done, but I do let myself get caught up in what I think of as “new project syndrome” – hey, I need to start an herb garden…when actually what I need to do is fix that squeaky hinge that’s been on my to-do list for six months.
4. It isn’t permanent. As much as I like these intentional breaks between contracts, they can’t last forever. I know it’s not permanent, that I need to go back to work. My blogging income isn’t as bad as it was in my GOAL update, but I think I make more in one day consulting than I make in one month blogging. Blogging might buy a few books, but it’s not going to pay the mortgage – so I know that these breaks aren’t going to last. Soon, though!! (snaps rubber band)
5. I’m happier. I know I listed this as a good thing above. But if you have to drag yourself back to The World of Cubecraft after you’ve taken the months of May and June off (with all of the nice weather), it puts a sock in that happiness. This time I’m resolved to use that as a motivator to get rich quickly and eliminate my NEED to consult.

So stay tuned; starting in about a week I will be the latest Problogger in the PF world… at least for a while!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Fábio Pinheiro