>when to take vacation, sick leave, help a friend or family member out etc.
You can do all of that with a normal job. In fact, it's actually easier to do that as an employee, because if you are running a one-man show and some shit has to get done tomorrow, you are doing it no matter what. There's no one to cover for you while you're on leave.
The benefit of working for yourself is that there's no bossberg demanding that you show up exactly at 08:00 and giving you shit if you're 5 minutes late.
>I buy whatever I need for my house as a company expense and save a lot of money
I mean that is a benefit, but it is also on the illegal side. Not unethical, just not risk-free.
The employee counterpart to that is to work for a big company that uses tons of equipment and materials. If you befriend the warehouse/disposal guys, you can take home all kinds of goodies. Just this past year, I've dragged home enough plywood to build a garage, in addition to tons of lumber, 300ft of 12 AWG wire, and misc furniture (e.g. metal shelves, etc.).
If you're feeling frisky, you can also just outright "appropriate" materials/tools/electronics, as long as they won't be missed. Is it unethical? Maybe, but if you look at the profit that some of these companies generate and how they try every trick to screw their employees, one could consider it a form of getting even.
>not responsible if some retard reads this and then gets arrested when he steals 1500ft of romex and takes it straight to the scrapyard, brand new in it's plastic wrap.