I’m not a diagnosed anxiety sufferer, but it’s been an anxious year. I’ve become very aware of triggers I have for anxious behavior and how money-management affects that.
My journey with controlling money this last year has added numbers and equations to my anxiety. It was easy to take things I was anxious about and situations I wasn’t in control of and fantasize about being better at money instead.
But doing well with money does not equate to doing well emotionally. This last two weeks, for example, I had front row seats to a life lesson on how you can be doing better than ever, and still be almost sick with anxiety about your money.
Related: Getting through a Work Slump
The turnover tax saga
So I registered recently for turnover tax, after hearing about it from a freelance friend years ago. Talking to Andre Bothma of the Twitter-verse finally convinced me to ask my accountants about it.
It turned out to be a surprisingly easy process. I got registered last Monday through my accountants (yay!) and at the same time, work decided to negotiate a big contract with me for series work that would last the next 15 months (double yay!)
Then my brain went into overdrive.
How much could I save? What about PAYE tax? Was income the same as turnover? Could I drastically up my savings ratio for this contract? Where would be the best place to invest it? Did I benefit from a retirement contribution amount in the same way? What about this tax year, was I okay? What if I made too much? If 80% of my earnings was from this one job would I lose my turnover tax status – ?
I tweaked and re-tweaked my budget for next year and desperately wanted answers to these questions. But my online research came up with nothing useful and my accountants weren’t getting back to me fast enough. I was so anxious I got knots in my stomach and shoulders. The same questions just went round and round in my head without relief.
Related: Money and Negativity
Then disaster struck (sort of): work couldn’t let me invoice as a freelancer. The job was an employee situation, legally – there was no way around that. I couldn’t avoid paying the full whack of PAYE on the job I was going to do, which meant losing out on a lot of money that could potentially have gone straight into bulking up my FI savings (and maybe just a sliver into margaritas.)
It was quite a blow and I was really frustrated. Not so much because I wasn’t going to get hypothetical money (although there was that) but because I my position suddenly didn’t seem as efficient as I hoped it would be and I didn’t have the answers I needed.
I asked everyone and eventually pinged Andre again, who very kindly provided me with answers to my list of questions. I’ll do a proper write-up at some point discussing turnover tax and its implications. But basically, once I knew, I could relax a whole lot and could plan from there…