One of the benefits, or challenges, of being your own boss is that you can decide how much you get paid. The difficulty in the early years is that every £ you take out of the company, is a £ that you don’t have to put into growing the company.
Over the last few years, I’ve always taken a salary in line with what I need to live. When I stayed at home, I didn’t pay much rent, and didn’t pay myself that much. When I moved into a flat, I paid myself a bit more, when I bought a car, a little bit more.
However, for the last few years, my salary has been pretty steady. It’s not really changed since November 2009 – nearly 3 years ago. I did get an 8% payrise in December 2011, but it was really something to make me feel better and help cover increased living costs in London, rather than a reflection of the value of my work, or an adjustment for the lack of change since 2009.
Last week I decided to give myself a pay rise. I mainly did it because I was deleting the weekly standing order (which can only be amended over the phone) and creating a weekly recurring payment (which can be managed online), so it seemed like a fine time to adjust my salary. I gave myself a 45% pay rise.
However, by Saturday (2 days before the first payment), I had decided that I didn’t really want it. I have no immediate requirement for more money. My currently salary covers my living costs, and I don’t spend that much money on my self anyway. Unfortunately my fob to log into the bank was in the office, so I had to let Monday’s payment go through at the new rate.
But, this morning, I logged in and rolled back the pay rise. My logic for doing so is that I prefer to take money as I need it, rather than take money and then find a need for it. When you make more money, you almost always spend more money. I don’t want to spend more money just because I can.
I have a couple of ideas on what to do with the difference though, and when I’m ready to act on them, I may change my salary.
I must admit, rolling back a pay rise feels even better than getting one!