In order to save money and save time you need to know what your skills are. I am often asked what it is like taking the leap from the classroom to self employed. I can honestly say I love it. I finally feel that I have balance in my life, the children benefit from me being at home and being able to support them with their own schooling. Gone are the days when marking and other peoples children came before my own. As I have said many times both Chloe and Dylan have external exams this year and being at home with them feels so important right now.
In order to achieve this balance there has been some sacrifices. However one thing I have learnt this year is where it is easy to cut costs and where I can make myself some money.
1. Firstly look at what skills you have, that you can turn to money. For me exam marking seems sensible. I cannot say that I am entirely looking forward to marking hundreds of A Level scripts but it is using my expertise so I will do it. In order to ensure I was ready for this I have needed to ensure that my broadband was ready as marking is all done remotely and online. Therefore checking the capabilities of my broadband was a prerequisite of marking online. There are many benefits to checking your speed, after all you are paying for a service. This week I have been approved to exam mark for the two main exam boards for Sociology. Using an internet speed checker is very quick and easy to do and gave me piece of mind. For others the results may illustrate that it is time to change your provider and get a better service.
2. This week my car insurance was due and I had an automatic renewal drop through the letterbox. In the past I may not have bothered to check it out but this year I did. I found it £85 cheaper after just ten minutes of looking. I rand my proviider and they too offered an extra discount over the phone. I did change though as the deal online I found was better and as I had used Compare the Meercat I get their new cinema offer of buy one get one free cinema tickets every Tuesday and Wednesday. Getting this perk was a good enough reason to change provider here.
3. I have also reduced my food bill. I now have time to go shopping at the times food is reduced. This meant that yesterday I picked up a beautiful bunch of flowers that were originally £15 for just 75p. Bargain and I’m not going without! As you know I like saving money but don’t ever without life’s little pleasures.
4. I am able to shop the sales more and have just today picked up a few gorgeous photo frames for only £2 each. They will make great presents either for one of Chloe’s friends or one of mine. I also picked up the cutest reduced stationery from Clintons with 75% off. This will sit in my bottom drawer and save me money in the future.
5. Finally I ditched the pricey gym membership in exchange for running outside. I prefer running in the fresh air now and actually push myself further because I have to get home again!
These small changes have allowed me to get the right work life balance. I thought working three days as a teacher was the right thing to do. But teaching doesn’t finish when the bell rings and the children leave your classroom. Therefore although I ‘only’ worked three days the reality was very different with marking and prep time. Now I have a real family life balance. I think sometimes it is just taking that leap of faith. I don’t now have a regular income but I’m doing ok. I look for opportunities as they present themselves and I am much more resourceful now.
Disclosure: This post is a collaborative post.