Financial Dilemma: Slow and Steady or Swing for the Fences?

Financial Dilemma
How to solve a financial dilemma?

 A financial dilemma has come up in my life.

My work is not particularly reliable, and does not pay as well as it should. I want to be able to provide a better life for my family than I currently can.

Instead of complaining (although I do some of that too) I decided to try to look for some alternative sources of income.

This blog is one such endeavour. By my reckoning, if things continue as they are, I should be able to cover the costs involved with writing this blog by about 2050. That’s not a typo; I really don’t make much money with this blog, but it gives me a reason and venue to focus on finances, so that is enough of a benefit for me. But that’s not actually the biggest benefit I derived from starting Loonie Lover.

The biggest benefit from making my own blog is that I now know how to use WordPress. I can now take ideas and turn them into websites. What I don’t know about computers could (and does) fill volumes, but I am confident enough in my abilities that what I don’t know, I can usually figure out. When I was designing LoonieLover, I spent hour upon hour watching videos, reading books, and experimenting. I didn’t (and still don’t) know anybody personally who uses WordPress, so when I had problems, I had to work them out for myself. That was a long process, but I’ve learned from it, and am ready to go on to bigger and better projects. Hold this thought.

In April of this year, I was told that there would be no work for me until September. Luckily, a position popped up someplace else, and I will be working until the end of June.

That may sound like a recipe for a not-so-great summer, but you can never tell when inspiration will hit.

At about the time I got the news that I would not have work after June, I had an idea for a website that I’m pretty sure will be a money maker. Because of my recently acquired knowledge (I won’t call it “skill”) with WordPress, I am able to make this vision a reality.

It seemed that everything was dovetailing perfectly; a break from working at exactly the right time, and of roughly the right length, to complete a project that could potentially provide me with a fairly large degree of financial stability in the form of a more reliable income.

Enter Complication: It now seems that a position will be available to keep me in work though July and August. So now I have to decide whether to go the (financial) slow-and-steady route of working in a job that really doesn’t look like it’s going to get better over the long term, while earning a paycheque, or to take a two month “holiday” from work (and a paycheque) so that I can work on a project that may earn me a lot more in the long run.

The obvious answer would to be to do both, but, to make a long story short, that doesn’t seem like a good idea. Working what amounts to two jobs at the same time is a great way to do both poorly. The nature of the project is different from a blog. With a blog, you basically set up the shell website, and then the content comes bit by bit through the months and years. With my new project, the content has to be generated before the site can go up; all the work is before I will see any result.

I’m currently leaning towards focusing on getting my new website off the ground, but I’m the kind of person who plays things over and over in his head, so a final decision may take a while. Any thoughts, dear readers?

2 thoughts on “Financial Dilemma: Slow and Steady or Swing for the Fences?”

  1. A little late to the discussion, but is the web project very time sensitive? As in, do you need to get it up and running this summer or else the ship will sail?

    Will there still be work for you in September even if you turn down the offer to work July and August?

    Can your finances survive a two month unpaid leave?

    If the answer to all three of those questions is yes, then I think you should take the summer off to pursue the web project.

  2. Hi Robb,

    Those are good questions, and should be considered carefully before I decide. The answers are two “yes”es and one “not really”.

    No, there is no time sensitivity to the project, other than the sooner the site is up, the sooner I’ll be making money. I do worry about the project languishing through the months (and years) which is one reason I want to be able to focus on it intently for a few weeks.

    Work for September looks good, although it’s never guaranteed; whether I work July and August has no bearing on whether I get work in September. It’s all just a numbers game, and there are always fewer students in the summer than though the rest of the year.

    Fortunately, yes, we’ll be fine financially through the summer. Knowing that my work isn’t stable, we’ve become very good savers, and we’ve managed to set aside a fair pile of cash for just such occasions. (This is also a situation where dividend income is particularly appreciated.)

    Always worrying about the stability of one’s income is draining, and I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that, on an emotional level, I’m subconsciously expecting a break from my normal job. At this point, if I don’t take it, I’ll feel hard done by. I still haven’t made a final decision, but I’d say there’s about a 90% chance that I’m going to be working on this new project through July and August.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

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