There have been many benefits to going part-time which I hadn’t anticipated. Needs versus wants have become more discernible and certain ‘wants’ less important. Any time I think I want something, I write it down and nine times out of ten find it was a want and not a need. It’s still early days, but so far we’ve been able to take more risks as we now have more options, which is all we’ve ever wanted from our working lives.
We also have more of a quid-pro-quo arrangement as a couple. I have more time to contribute in non-monetary ways, especially with Dave’s business admin which he struggles to keep on top of when he is working away and staying in hotels and B&B’s. And, fewer household tasks at the weekend means more quality time together.
Going Part-Time: knowing our true cost of living
This has been truly empowering. We still have a way to go to truly be living frugally but we’re enjoying the journey. This is a lifelong activity and a lifestyle choice. But I know that with hard work and commitment I can futureproof our income in the time we’ve ear-marked to save the required amount of money.
A car accident in 2014 also taught us that you never know what’s around the corner but I am very adaptable. And all the things we’ve put in place and are doing, as a result, will help ensure it continues. We know we can rent the house out regardless so income to cover the mortgage at the very least is a done deal.
Going Part-Time: What Happened To The Full-Time Salary?
One of the questions I’ve had to ask myself, is if my part-time salary still covers my share of the mortgage and bills then where was my full-time salary going? It’s hard to face up to your spending habits but being forced to reassess them has enabled me to change them which is the important thing. But the headspace going part-time has afforded me means that I have more time to think about budgeting, cooking from scratch and meal planning which in turn saves money.
My salary has also become less of a commodity in that I am not trading hours worked for purchases. I no longer feel possessions are necessary to have something to show for my wage or a payday wish list of what I can buy, which is very liberating. Gone are the days when I would count the days to payday as that money is already accounted for in my share of the mortgage, utility bills, etc. I have stopped obsessively checking bank balances a couple of times a day and always when I wake up, as I receive a text alert when my balance is below a certain amount.
Going Part-Time: Passive Income
Eight months in, I’m still working part-time and we’re still solvent. So far, I haven’t needed to get a second job as we’re so busy with lodgers and students and whilst I sometimes need to dip into the money we are saving, the majority of it remains a buffer. Having said that, I don’t think it will feel like our new reality until Christmas when I will have been part-time for a full year.
Going Part-Time: The Benefits To An Introvert
As an introvert, half the week working from home also really suits me. I get my alone time because there is a lower ceiling on how much I am obliged to be with people (with the exception of my husband and the dog, of course). The headspace and time I have gained have enabled me to not only think more creatively but also pursue more creative pursuits, some things have worked and some have not and the chart of income earning ideas I created before I went part-time (which was a caveat of Dave agreeing to the job-share) has changed immeasurably.