By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.
~ Robert Frost
It seems that more and more people are having the opportunity to work a compressed work week or perhaps are being guided into a 4 day work week.
I know that the last job I had I was working a 4 day work week. It was a city job and I worked Tuesday through Friday for 35 hours a week. Some of you might have found yourself in a 4 day a week job and are wondering if you can continue to save money with this kind of shortened work week.
Generally, many companies are using the 4 day work week as a way to save money during these tough times until the economy picks up without having to lay off staff.
As such when you are down to a 4 day work week you are most likely looking at a 20% cut in your salary.
If you are earning an average American wage of $36k a year as an individual, you know have to figure out how to get by on $28,800 a year. That is a hit for sure. But there are ways that you can continue to save money by working a 4 day work week.
The first thing you need to do is work on the savings part of your budget.
1. Saving money
This is arguably the easiest part though some might disagree when we come to the second way to increase your savings.
Here we are taking a look at the current situation i.e. your income based on a 4 day work week and we’re figuring out how to make the money stretch further.
All budget items are up for review
Take a look at all of your big and small budget items and see if there can’t be ways you can save money on them.
An example of this is to look at our transit expenses. If you’re now driving to work can you instead take the bus or train or even bike or walk?
If you are taking the bus, do you need a monthly transit pass or on your new 4 day work week is it cheaper to buy a book of bus tickets as and when you need them?
Now is the time to be brown bagging your own lunch every day. Losing 20% of your income when you go down to a 4 day work week is going to leave a mark. Eating out and drinking out can add up over time. Take your won coffee to work. Make a sandwich and throw in a piece of fruit and drink water throughout the day or take in your own box of teas.
If you have a gym membership you might want to cancel it and work out at home using calisthenics.
You can get into amazing shape just working out at home with your own bodyweight. This is how I train solely.
Losing 20% of your income is substantial and you need to make some hard choices until you can earn more money. Your discretionary items will need to be cut way back. Things like entertainment. Instead of going out to the movies why now order a pay per view at home for $5 and for another $1 you can make yourself a big bowl of healthy air popped or stove popped popcorn.
The thing is to just start getting yourself thinking about ways you can save money.
This is all about how you can take back control of your situation instead of becoming a victim. You’ll be amazed at how much money you can find and save when you take a hard look at your budget and your situation.
After you’d taken a close look at your current budget it’s time to look at how you might be able to increase your income.
2. Earning money
Just because your main employer has cut back on your hours doesn’t meant that you can’t find other ways to make some extra money.
You have a whole extra day to explore and use your time to make some extra money if you want to and feel that you need to.
Some ways to earn extra moolah
If you have a car you might look at becoming some sort of a courier. You can also look at delivering pizza or other food. You’ll be surprised at how well you might be able to do delivering pizza to hungry folks.
You can also use that extra day to deliver newspapers or perhaps to set up an account on eBay and see what stuff you have at home that you can sell.
If you’ve always wanted to start a hobby that you’ve had your eye on, then now is the time. Do you paint, make furniture, crochet or any other number of things? If you do, you might find a way to turn that into a side income. Explore Etsy and see how you can set up a store there and sell your handiwork.
The key tip here is that you should try and see this as an opportunity. You can take ownership of the situation and find ways to save money and earn more money if you need to.
At OPOB we’re all about living an abundant life both cheaply, frugally and simply. When you lower your expenses over time you can absorb hardships better. Use this time as a chance to learn how to live a more authentic life inexpensively. You are in the driver’s seat and you can change your 4 day work week into something that fits within your future plans.