I’ve been reading a lot about money recently. My favourites being ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter and ‘Money’ by Rob Moore.
Now, as someone who grew up, not impoverished, but sort of scraping middle class (working class people think I’m posh and middle-class people think I’m common). I did not really grow up with much of a clue about how wealthy people handle money. I’m fortunate enough to grow up around self-employed people – and I’ve seen how my Dad invested money from his hay days into property. But ultimately I am not as educated about money as the super rich are, and I knew that this was something I needed to work on.
Being self-employed really makes you look at work and time in a very different way. When your hours are worth money, it makes you look much more closely at how you’re spending those hours. I was spending money delegating work into an assistant, but I was still doing my grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning myself. I don’t really enjoy these things and they are tasks that really have a low value, they don’t earn me anything and they take my attention away from enjoying my downtime. So this month I decided to move my delegation around and find ways that I could invest my money into freeing up this time.
I decided to take the money I was spending on my virtual assistant and move the budget around into other things. The old me wouldn’t have thought about investing my money into anything, if I had the amount of money I do now in the bank 5 years ago, I would have immediately spent it in TopShop or on makeup. Self-educating has helped me to change this attitude. Old me would have never spent £30 on a cleaner, when the money could go towards buying a new dress, it was a choice between the two and I’d pick the dress every time. I had this mentality because back then, I had no way of making extra money. So any money I spent was ultimately a sunken cost. Now my time = money. Time I can spend just relaxing and healing from high-pressure tasks is still useful because it means when I am working, my work is higher quality.
Here are some little ways I’ve moved my budget around which I think would really help other work at home entrepreneurs, particularly mothers.
I hate cleaning and I already have to start my day with household jobs like emptying the dishwasher and hovering, which are really time-consuming. I have hired a cleaner who comes for 3 hours a week, this saves me HOURS. I don’t have to clean the bathroom anymore and the kitchen only requires a quick wipe around after preparing food. Plus my house looks great, my cleaner does a much better job of cleaning than I do. Delegation doesn’t just save you time, it’s about recognising who is the right person for the job.
Cost: £30 per week /£120 pm
2. Riverford food boxes.
Every Thursday, Riverford deliver three packaged food boxes to my door with three recipes. They’re delicious and it saves me a lot of time thinking about what to cook and walking to the shops. Everything arrives in pre-measured amounts so I don’t have to spend time measuring or finding the ingredients. It’s fantastic! I can quickly prepare food in 40 minutes, meaning I can finish work at 5 and have my husbands dinner ready when he walks through the door.
Cost: £33 per week including delivery. / £132 pm
My husband has Mondays off so that I can work, but I have more than a days work a week to do, and I have sales meetings to attend which although are unpaid are highly valuable time. So I bit the bullet and decided to pay for childcare once a week. This gives me two uninterrupted days of concentrated work, and the rest of my weeks work can be done while baby is around (for now).
Cost: £40 per week/ £160 pm
4. Ocado delivery.
I used to spend weekends in the supermarket, trawling around with my Mum. It’s much more fun to enjoy my time off rather than spend it in the same old supermarket. So I now order my groceries online from Ocado, which has free delivery for the first year. So instead of supermarket shopping, I’m treating my mum to tea and cake instead.
6. Outsourced work
I am still outsourcing a little bit of my work, I have found someone who can do what I need to get done, high quality. This is only costing me £40 but is making me a profit of £300 per month.
Cost: £40 per month
Total monthly cost: £452
Now, this may seem embarrassing to people who have made their millions or grown up wealthy, but the books Money and Rich Dad, Poor Dad talk about this in great detail. Jobbing, working people do tasks like cooking, cleaning and gardening themselves, because they see it as saving money by not paying somebody else. Wealthy people understand that delegating these tasks to other people frees up their time to do higher value tasks. So this was actually quite a big step for me to come to this realisation.
I think this is particularly important for women, as although we are often working the same hours as men, studies say we’re putting that extra bit of work into childcare and maintaining our homes. If your partner isn’t pulling his weight, instead of stressing about it why not just outsource the work and keep your focus on your career?
Results: Now that I’m doing more of the work myself I’m taking more pride in it, I’m doing less monotonous tasks so I feel like I’m living a happier and more luxurious life. I’m more relaxed and am enjoying things more.