The ever debated successful ‘work-life balance’ is that perfect division of our time and focus between our ‘work lives’ and our ‘real lives’.
In recent years there has been a slow but steady shift towards the realisation that a healthy work-life balance not only improves productivity, health, and general well-being, but it also arguably has a positive financial impact on your life.
1. Saving on your commute
If you are able to work from home one or two days a week you are able to save money on a daily commute. Furthermore, now that all employees in the UK have the legal right to request flexible working hours, you can choose a schedule that means you can avoid travelling at the most expensive ‘peak’ travel periods.
If you can’t avoid a commute to work then find a way to work it into your saving routine. For example, set up a savings step that allows you to save the equivalent of a percentage of what you spend on your weekly travel.
2. Saving on your health
Although we are lucky in the UK to still have the NHS to cover all our medical costs, roughly half a million people in the UK suffer from work related stress, with ‘burn out’ being a common cause for long-term sick leave. Statutory Sick Pay - of around £90 pcw - is paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks for all those who require it. However, this is not equivalent to your full salary and for many it is difficult to make ends meet with their SSP allowance.
A good work life balance can prevent ‘burn out’ and promote mental and physical well-being, meaning that you are able to maintain your health and enable yourself to bring home a full paycheque at the end of each month.
3. Saving by staying committed to your goals
If you’re attached to your goals you actively pursue them, whether they be professional, financial, or otherwise. Conversely, it stands to reason that if you are frazzled, stressed, or uninspired, you are more detached from your goals as they seem more unobtainable. Therefore, you are more likely to channel your money towards more frivolous activities that reward you with an instant - albeit short lived - ‘high’, such as shopping or partying.
Staying focused on your goals means you are more likely to make significant savings as you are working towards something you feel connected to. It means you are more likely to actively prioritise your money.
4. Saving by pursuing alternate income streams
If you have a healthy work-life balance you have time to focus on what matters to you outside of work and to develop multiple income streams. Whether that is making money from your hobby, or taking on a side job that you always wanted to do but didn’t have the time or courage to try before.
In his book, Rich Habits,Tom Corley noted that 65% of self-made millionaires had three streams of income. By having a good work life balance in your ‘main’ job, you are able to find the time to develop alternate streams of income and enrich your professional career as well as bulk up your savings account with the extra cash you make.
5. Saving on childcare
Whilst not applicable to everyone, childcare costs in the UK can be a huge financial burden, with the average weekly cost of sending a child under two to nursery running at £232.84.
If you are able to maintain a work life balance that allows you, or yourself and your partner, to balance childcare with work you can cut down on weekly childcare costs significantly. Either by working from home, or sharing the parenting responsibilities, you can potentially halve the childcare costs by not putting your child in full time nursery or day care.