Personal Finance

3 Ways a Flexible Work Schedule Saves Me Money

A mom and her toddler son rolling out dough on a kitchen counter.

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Setting your own hours has its perks.


Key points

  • One benefit to being self-employed is getting control over your working hours.
  • I save a fair amount of money by getting to decide when to plug away at my desk.
  • Not having to ask permission for time off is a great money-saving perk.

As someone who’s been self-employed for many years, I can say that this arrangement is a mixed bag. Being a self-employed worker means not having a steady income to rely on. That can make budgeting difficult.

Also, when you’re self-employed, you don’t get paid time off. Recently, I got sick and was out of commission for a number of days. During that time, my income took a hit because I wasn’t able to work my normal schedule.

But despite those drawbacks, there are a few major perks you can enjoy when you’re self-employed, and one of them is getting to set your own hours. Here’s how having a flexible work schedule results in big savings for me.

1. I don’t have to spend as much on childcare

I have school-aged children who aren’t quite old enough to stay home alone and get to and from school by themselves. Because I’m self-employed, I can opt to start my workday a little later and cut my workday short to accommodate my kids’ school schedule. That, in turn, saves me a lot of money on childcare.

I have friends with school-aged children who work a set 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule with limited flexibility. As such, they have to pay for before care and after care, since school isn’t eight hours long. Not spending that money gives me the opportunity to pad my savings account or free up cash for other purposes.

2. I don’t have to outsource as many home tasks

Some people have to hire a weekly housekeeper or spend a lot of money on takeout meals because they work during the day and don’t wrap up their jobs in time to cook dinner. But because I have more flexibility, I can tackle that and other tasks more easily.

Say I have to cook a meal for dinner. I can decide to stop working at 4 p.m. to spend 30 minutes in the kitchen and get food into the oven. Someone with nonstop meetings till 5:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. may not have that option. And if that same person has young kids who need to eat at a relatively early hour, it means that person is most likely stopping for takeout.

3. I can travel at off-peak times

Because I’m self-employed, I don’t have to ask anyone for permission to take time off. That allows me to travel at times that aren’t as popular — and save some money in the process.

It’s often cheaper to fly home from a destination on a Monday afternoon or a Tuesday than on a Sunday. That’s an option my salaried worker friends with limited vacation time don’t always have. But since I can set my own hours, it’s an option I can take advantage of.

Let’s be clear: Being self-employed certainly has its share of challenges. And there are times when I miss the days of getting paid sick days and knowing exactly how much money is going to land in my bank account each month. But I think my favorite thing about self-employment is the flexibility it offers. And that’s something that not only makes my life easier, but results in a nice amount of savings.

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