Finance for Freedom: Earn Extra Money From Home
The Finance for Freedom series of posts are inspiring and motivating stories of how the choices people make can help them to be happier, healthier and wealthier. This particular one focuses on how to earn extra money from home.
Tell us a bit about you and your family
My name is Victoria and I’m 32 years old. I live in Gloucestershire with my husband Ben, our children Bella age 5 and Reuben age 2, and four pet chickens.
What do you do to make money?
I am an online money maker! I mostly make money as a full-time blogger at www.lyliarose.com. I’m also a matched bettor, mystery shopper and eBay reseller.
How long have you been doing this?
I started selling online in 2012 and blogging in 2013, but I only went full time this year.
What inspired you to do it?
I started my own business when on maternity with my first child as I needed a hobby and was curious if I could make an online income instead of returning to work. It’s taken me a few years to work out what makes me the best income, but I’m finally there. I guess having children inspired me to make the leap!
What do you love most about it?
I love working for myself and only answering to me. I get to work from home or wherever I like as the majority of my work is internet based. I have the flexibility to be able to collect my children from school each day and attend their plays/assemblies. There are no set hours and I can fit it around family life.
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What do you find most challenging about it and how do you overcome this?
It can be overwhelming when I have so much work to do and the children are here. Working from home means there is no switch off. I haven’t found the best way to cope with this, but I can only imagine things will get easier once my youngest is also in school full-time and I can implement some sort of working routine. I am trying to take weekends off or limit my working hours then to make sure I’m not working every day.
Money can make or break a person. Has your relationship with money changed over the years?
Absolutely. By the time I was 20, I hit debt crisis and started a debt management plan. I had no previous experience with managing money or ever having pocket money, etc. So when I turned 18 I thought it was brilliant I could get credit and store cards and buy what I wanted. This quickly led to a shopping addiction and in just under 2 years I had £17500 of debt. It took me five years to pay it back and I was left with very little money each month. I had to learn to budget.
Now I am obsessed with checking our bank balances every morning. I budget every month and we have savings. We do have debt again, but more responsible debt (a mortgage and home improvement loan) and we can afford these payments. I don’t have what I’d call ‘personal’ or stupid debt like I did in my twenties.
I also treat our savings like an outgoing and we have an emergency fund should we need it. I’ve also been panicking about having a pension so have finally started saving towards one this year.
I used to have a shopping addiction and spend every last penny, but now in my 30s, I am keen to pay our mortgage off faster with overpaying and save for our future. I feel a lot more mature and sensible when it comes to money.
How do you feel that money has now made you happier, healthier, or wealthier?
Having enough money definitely makes me happier. I like being able to treat ourselves to a meal out, or two, each month. I also like being able to save money. It makes me happy knowing we have a lump sum in our savings.
Early last year in 2016 when my original business idea stopped making any money we really had to budget each month. We were also going over my husband’s pay. I find this really stressful. I quickly got a part-time job so as we had extra cash and didn’t have to worry each month. I was cleaning outdoor toilets every evening once my husband got home from work so we didn’t have to pay any childcare costs. I’d rather do anything, no matter how undesirable, than really struggle with finances.
Now we are both earning a full-time wage things are much happier as there is no stress about money each month. It definitely makes me healthier too as I choose to buy organic food which we can afford each month. I believe what we put in and on our bodies is so important and I’d rather choose organic as much as possible and avoid chemicals. I think it is terrible there might be some people who want to eat organically but can’t afford to so they’re forced to eat chemical pesticides. I’m not sure I feel wealthier just yet as I do have a huge mortgage to pay off, but once that and our home loan is paid, I might feel a bit wealthier then.
For many, the retirement age is now 67 or 68. Do you still see yourself still working at this age?
I hope I’ll be fit, active and healthy, so still able to work if I choose. Ideally, I’d like to save enough to go traveling when I’m in my 60s, so we’ll see. I’d also like to run a holiday business by the sea, so this could be in full swing by then. I can’t see myself retiring and sitting still in the UK as I like to be busy. I’ll either be running my own business or seeing the world!
What plans do you have in place to allow you to live this ideal retirement?
Not many yet! I’ve just started saving towards my pension this year. I have a good 30-40 years of saving so plenty of time. Once we’ve paid our mortgage off and the children are grown up, I imagine we’ll be able to save a small fortune quite quickly.