The physical streamlining that has recently taken place in my business, isn’t the only aspect of my life going through some changes. I have always been careful with money. I try to keep things in check where possible. But some things are out of my control.
Last month came the unwelcome news that, thanks to the new cap on fuel, my gas and electricity bill is going up. I have only just changed to a new provider for this very reason, but it seems the smaller brands are following suit and getting whatever they can out of customers. Mine is going up by £224 a year, frustrating when I don’t even have an average usage yet because I’ve only been in my flat for five months and I only get quarterly billing. I haven’t even switched the heating on yet because we’ve been so lucky with the weather here this summer.
Because I am going to be living and working at home, all my attempts to save on gas and electricity need to be more focused, but the fact is that I am going to be in the flat a lot more than if I was going to work somewhere else every day.
Now that I am not at Progress Centre that’s another couple of bills I don’t have to worry about – rent and electric. It’s going to save me up to £3600 a year and I have been having a look at what other unneccessary ‘frill’ I can cut back on as far as the business is concerned.
I have already stopped my subscription to Purpleport. It’s not serving me well for what I do. And for that same reason I have also decided to let my website go when the renewal comes up in March next year. I don’t believe it provides me with any more platform than my social media, WordPress and Etsy sites. I tried the online shop and it just couldn’t compete with Etsy’s ‘draw’. Lots of other small businesses like mine do very well without websites. When you are niche, it’s word of mouth, not links and follows on Twitter that count. I want to foster this approach for my business going forward.
Not commuting to work is going to save me about £250 a year in petrol. Or if you want to look at it in another way – 168 hours sat behind the wheel. That’s 42 of my potential new four hour working days. If it takes me two days to make a dress, that’s five dresses. Take an average dress price and that’s potentially over £700 in income or more than two years of petrol. Do you see where I am going with this? These are small incremental amounts, and probably a drop in the ocean to many of you. But this is not about making millions and clawing back whole weeks. Small things make a difference to budgets and lives.
Think about the quality of your work day and see what you can take back. £250 a year in petrol doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you add it to all the other little things that you don’t really need it could make a big difference both to your finances and to the quality of your life. That will make you happier, feel under less pressure and you will probably work better too. That in turn will make you happier. The chain reaction could be more beneficial than you know.