Reducing My ‘Working’ Hours: Going Part-Time (Part One)

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In September 2017 the opportunity to job share arose. My work contract was due to finish at Christmas so I had to consider my options, be it finding another full-time position or going part-time.

From April to December 2018 I covered a colleague’s maternity leave and she was coming back to work part-time from January 2018. I had fantasized for years about going part-time and joked many times with Dave about doing so. Seriously though, it’s less about working fewer hours and more about being able to earn a living from my own endeavors and creativity. The timing was just pure luck. I would not have been able to consider a part-time role even just a couple of years ago.

Our wedding and getting on the property ladder were the priorities from 2015 to 2016. We are also in a much more stable position financially than even two years ago. And, as the house is a long-term investment we don’t have to worry about two full-time salaries to boost our borrowing amount on a mortgage and have just taken out another two-year fixed term deal with our existing mortgage provider (see Money-Saving Hacks For High-Value Purchases & Investments).

Going Part-Time: Pre-January Nerves

As January approached my anxiety increased. Many questions swirled around in my head. Would I have enough money to buy what I needed each month by going part-time? Would I be able to cover my costs? Until 2014 I was self-employed for three years. I ran what was never going to be anything more than a lifestyle business because my heart just wasn’t in it. I took on projects and clients I didn’t want to work on or with and not being paid on time or at all in some cases whilst also being reliant on that income. And I know that I stand a much greater chance of success now because the foundations have been properly laid, I have a part-time salary to supplement my income and our objectives are very different.

Going Part-Time: The Transition

The transition to increased frugality now began in earnest. Already being a comparison shopper has made it easier in terms of utilities, insurance, etc. I also regularly check our bank accounts for unnecessary spending or obsolete direct debits/standing orders. I’ve always loved a bargain and get a real buzz from being frugal and making savings. As Sidney Carroll once said, “a bargain ain’t a bargain unless it’s something you need”.

Going Part-Time: More To Life Than Work

Dave and I self-deprecate constantly about being tight, me especially, but I’m actually quite proud of it and now I hate spending money. I do recognize however that there’s a balance and that I need to relearn how to treat myself occasionally without feeling guilty. And I’m working on it. Having said that, I don’t want for much as our main loves are the dog, food, and travel. We manage to give Darakht a great life, eat really well and go away from time to time. And all with the money we haven’t spent on stuff we don’t need.

We love eating out but more often than not end up having disappointing but overpriced food and wine. Usually with a ridiculous mark up in restaurants with a bad atmosphere or impolite staff. As both of us love to cook we generally stay home, have people over or go to family/friends for a meal. As John Harrison states in his great book Low-Cost Living, “ low-cost eating isn’t the same as eating cheap food”.

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