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!