I couldn't agree more with the point on small salary, Franco. Someone else mentioned in a post further down about contractors buying 911's etc. and those individuals doing so being idiots. I've known the odd one or two who splurged all their company revenue as income and then shat it when the tax bill arrived.
I've been honouring a private contract / project that, due to *my* own terrible initial time estimate, has meant I have not billed my client for the past 4 months. There is probably another month left before all parties can say “mission accomplished”.
Yes, my friends say I am insane. Yes, I was extremely naive in my re-negotiation when it became glaringly obvious that the initial time estimate was way off the mark. Yes, in terms of cold hard revenue to my company, it has taken one hell of a hit as a result.
However, as you and so many others have pointed out here, there's reserves in the Ltd. company for such times (mainly between contracts rather than non-billable work, granted). Call me old fashioned, but I felt guilty when I realised the magnitude of what was needed to deliver the project, and I felt acutely aware that people would only see the headline figure of the daily and think I was trying to take the piss out of the client.
So, to try and act with a little integrity (or just plain stupidity), rather than just shrug my shoulders and say “them's the breaks Guv', I'll still need you to cough up £X per day until I'm done, and that could be three, four, five months down the line. Who knows!?”, I chose to honour the initial delivery, no extra cost to the client beyond my initial time estimate.
The flip side is, the client is so appreciative (of course they are very happy to date) of me being honest and not being seen to just fleece them, is they wish to get this phase wrapped up pronto also, so we can move forward and into future phases, whereby things will be planned much, *much* more meticulously so (I) don't end up in the same situation of working pro bono for so long, ever again. I've just viewed it as a learning experience, and a bit of volunteer work on my part.
Being a prudent contractor over the years has enabled me to survive.
TLDR: I bodged a time estimate, felt guilty, so am honouring the initial project spec at no extra cost to the client.