Hello online friends! I thought it was time I did a general update to let you know what has been going on here at Shoestring Cottage and the story so far on my self-employment journey.
Managing my time
It has been just a week and a half since I left my full time job to go self employed. It has felt a bit like a holiday, although I have been really busy. However, I have realised that, although my time management at work was really good, at home it is pants! I get distracted so easily and find myself leaping from one thing to the next.
It is annoying, as I always considered time management to be one of my strong points. I don’t appear to be achieving much more than I did around my day job. This has got to change.
One of the problems is that people know I am at home. I therefore get requests to go places that I wouldn’t have had before. Also, I am tempted to go out sourcing for stock for my second hand store all the time, rather than dealing with what is already here. The house looks like a jumble sale!
I am going to start to organise my week into blocks and treat being self employed like a job. This doesn’t mean I can’t be flexible. After all, that is one of the joys of working for yourself. However, if I need to spend 3 hours taking photographs or 2 hours writing blog posts on certain days I have to make sure it gets done. I also need to write a list!
Organising storage for my self-employment journey
I am planning to invest in a good strong storage rack and some large plastic boxes. At the moment a lot of the items I am selling are hanging, which takes up more space than being folded neatly, Marie Kondo style, in a box.
I watched Emma Reseller on You Tube and was impressed at how many items she managed to store this way whilst living in a room in a shared house. She has recommended this deep storage rack and these 80 litre storage boxes from Amazon so I think I will go with those, or something very similar.
Once I am more organised I will begin to feel more in control.
Cash back for online purchases
If you still don’t use cash back sites for your online purchases you are really missing a trick. I mostly use Top Cash Back. Amazon is on there – you can get up to 11% back with them, so I am going to use that when I buy my storage items.
I also recently got £70 cash back when I changed my broadband provider, but also regularly use it for smaller purchases such as gift vouchers and Moonpig cards (every little helps!). If you use my referral link to kick you off, you will earn a £5 Tesco voucher currently (the offers change, so always check).
Slimming World progress
Having lost 3lbs in my first week, which I was very happy with, my weight loss slowed down in the two weeks after. This is because there were so many events connected with leaving work I think!
Having said that, I still lost 2.5 lbs more over two weeks, so not a disaster. We ate out last night for Mr S’s birthday. I resisted the delicious looking chips and instead chose fish with new potatoes. They did have a sauce though and I allowed myself a dessert. It was a delicious vegan chocolate torte with orange sorbet. Mr Shoestring went for sticky toffee pudding and custard, though, so I think my choices were more Slimming World friendly than his, not that he needs to lose weight.
My target is to lose a stone and get comfortably back to a size 12. The waistbands of my size 14s are tight at the moment, because extra weight always sits on my belly. This week I am getting fully back on track. You can see a couple of our meal plans here and here. It really is a healthy and budget friendly way of eating.
To counter our dinner out, we had a long walk yesterday and another shorter one in the evening. It was such a beautiful day! The first was around Birch and Layer Marney, not far from Colchester.
We looked in at the gorgeous Layer Marney Tower (definitely worth a visit if you are in the area as it is so interesting) and popped into the church as well.
In the evening we ate at the Swan Inn at Chappel (lovely food – I can recommend it) and then had a wander under the amazing viaduct. You can see we decided to take lots of silly photos!
Green gathering last chance
One final reminder that you can get 10% off the Green Gathering festival in Chepstow in August. You can use my code until 30th June. This post explains how to get the discount.
It looks as if it is going to be a lot of eco-friendly fun. Can’t wait!
So this is the news so far generally and on my self-employment journey. I will give you more updates as I progress!
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