One of the toughest parts of being a REALTOR® is that you never know when you're going to make money or when you're going to have a dry spell.
If you're a financial wizard, or really mindful of "saving", and sticking to a budget, then this part of life probably offers you more peace-of-mind than it does for the rest of us who struggle with money and the conversations that ensue.
Some of the most difficult conversations people have with their partners-in-life are about money. Putting money away, paying your bills in a timely manner, saving for the unknown future crisis. Quarterly taxes is one of those bailiwicks that I struggle with. When I get paid on a transaction, the first thing I want to do is pay my bills. It gives me such a sense of relief. If money's left over, it's a boon. The formula that our tax consultant has given me, is to put a third away with every commission received to pay quarterly taxes. Then there is the conversation about how to protect your money, so that you are paying yourself and saving that money for your future retirement safely without it being taxed.
Having lived much of my life as an artist, money was never at the top of the priority list. Often my friends have heard me say it this way, when regarding my relationship with money:
"Oh, I have money! Great!" As if it's one of those surprises that sneaks up on you and is totally fabulous for as long as it lasts. I bet other artistically-minded folks will nod their heads in agreement.
So, how do you juggle not knowing how long it will be without money flowing in monthly? My niche market is based on a mostly-vacation-home business, although I do sell properties during the winter months, but there is no routine to this at all. I have a certain amount of angst when I don't have a cushion for an extended period of time. Striking a balance is somewhat of a moving target. As I get older I want to create a foundation of comfort so that if (at this point it's not when, but if) I decide to retire I have choices that make for a balanced life.
I'm interested to know what others do to create a semblance of peace while working hard and often "for free".
One thing I would love to see offered is a class for REALTOR®s about how to prepare your finances to have something for the lean times. Not being naturally good with money, I would enjoy being given direction directly related to what I do.