Friday, 17 February 2012

An Explanation

If you read yesterday's post about how much your time should be worth, you may have thought I don't do anything but avoid spending money. I sort of went off-topic, but let me explain why.

The value of money has been on my mind for a while now. In January, the Chinese restaurant I work at shut for a month for Chinese new year, so I decided to ask for more shifts at my other job to reduce the impact of losing half my wage!

Even with the extra hours, I went from ~55 hours a week to ~35, which is a loss of about £100 a week after tax. This is a lot of money for me. Whilst I'm only down in Cornwall for another seven months or so, it would mean another £2800 before I go back to Uni. Yet still I couldn't shake the feeling that life was better working less and living more. Instead of working 5:00 -14:00 then 17:00 - 22:00, I could spend the afternoon and evening doing what I wanted, not using every spare second of the day preparing for the next shift and trying to catch up on missed sleep.

Before Christmas I was constantly exhausted, family and friends never saw me, I rarely even had a day off. I felt like I was missing out on life, something I definitely didn't want during my last year in Cornwall for probably a decade or more (there are no research jobs in my field of interest here).

So as you can imagine, I phoned the Chinese restaurant a few weeks ago and let them know I wouldn't be coming back. It's been a relief, but now that I'm down to one minimum wage job I have less “spare” money. I have to cut back in some areas in order to stay out of debt and keep Jools the golden Peugeot on the road, as well as saving a little to do things I most enjoy.

I have set myself the challenge to bring in a little additional money each month. I say yes to overtime, last month I had a load of Christmas tips on the last day of work at the Chinese, this month I've sold a couple of textbooks on Amazon. (Selling on Amazon is brilliantly easy except that you can't change the postage price, and £2.80 doesn't really cover the cost to send a 5kg textbook by Royal Mail!) I'm also pondering making and selling some things now that I have more free time.

So in answer to my own question yesterday, my time is worth more than £100 a week to me if it means that I have some free time along the way to enjoy life!


Pamela said...

I'm with you.

When I worked two jobs, not only was I stressed and exhausted, I ended up spending more because I was too tired/didn't have the time to do things like shop--and then make lunch or dinner to eat on my work breaks. Or do take care of things that needed taking care of, like car maintenance, which could develop into much bigger problems down the road. Also, I like seeing friends and family. (Though I do like your shift!)

keshling said...

I agree with you, there is more to life than work - just wish I could practice what I preach!!

K xx

Meanqueen said...

It's all about balance, and your wise head on young shoulders is beginning to cotton on to this. I like the way you weigh up all the pro's and con's, and not just blindly go about your days like a robot. I think you are going to make a good job of planning your life.

Have you thought about asking your neighbours if they want their garden tidying, or their dogs walked? There are all sorts of odd jobs you could find, and you could do them as and when it suited you.

Astra said...

I think you've got it dead on there and once you know exactly what your time is worth you will feel more satisfied with what you do with it - thats how i feel anyway :)