Solo Expenses helps Lizzie launch her new business
Lizzie Banks decides to use savings made possible by their diligent use of Solo Expenses to turn her desire to write in a new direction. A web site for her blog ‘Lizzie Banks On It’ is at the top of her shopping list. Why she has to do this in the middle of the night is beyond her husband Ollie…
Ollie couldn’t sleep. Curled up under the duvet alongside his wife Lizzie all he could hear was her fingers beating a tattoo on the keyboard as she churned out another blog post.
That sound, the sound of Lizzie’s fingers pecking at the keyboard of her laptop, had become the soundtrack to husband Ollie’s life since she started writing her blog.
Sitting up in bed beside him, laptop on her knees, Lizzie was striking whilst the iron, and the inspiration, were hot.
“You could write a blog explaining how writing a blog is like being a parent,” said Ollie from under the duvet. “You could call it headache and heartache.”
“Listen to you and your negativity,” she chided him. “It’s almost as if you want me to fail.”
Awake now, Ollie propped himself up on an elbow. “Look. It’s almost one in the morning, and to be brutally honest, at the moment I don’t care if you fail or not, so long as I have the chance to sleep before Jack decides he wants to be awake as well. I’ll get Alice and Biffo up too, if you like, and we can all be awake in the middle of the night, like a nest of hamsters.”
Lizzie recognised the fatigue behind Ollie’s bleary-eyed belligerence. “You’re right, of course. It’s just that I’ve had this idea about how to earn money from blogging, and I wanted to do something about it while the idea was fresh.”
Ollie’s head dropped onto the pillow, and his hands covered his eyes. “Go on then; I suppose there’s no chance of sleep until you’ve shared your inspiration.”
“It’s about delivery. Being self-employed is about being versatile in how you make your money. So far I’ve been trying to get other people to buy what I’m writing, and it’s not as easy as I thought it would be – so I’m going to cut out the middle man. I’ve got the tools to do that. I’m going to set up my own web site, and I’m going to get people to advertise on it!”
“Hang on,” said Ollie, sleepily wondering how to say what he wanted without appearing to be a damp patch rising up the wall of Lizzie’s watertight scheme. “You’re already a full-time mum and a midnight blogger. How are you going to find time to sell advertising as well?”
“I’m not,” said Lizzie. “It’s going to find me. It was your idea in the first place.”
For a split second Ollie thought he must have misheard. “My idea? How do you work that one out?”
“It’s simple. You said I shouldn’t expect to make any money in the first year or so, and because I’ve accepted that I’ve decided I’m going to cut out the middleman. I have my own web site, and publish my own blogs, and then I’m going to use all the social media I can to get people to like it and follow me. I’ll do it through Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, and I’ll share posts on Pinterest, and I’ll eventually get loads of subscribers, and then people will want to advertise with me. It works for Mumsnet. It could work for me too, but until I try, I’ll never know.”
Ollie was all for trying new things. That’s why they spent so much quality time with their daughter Alice, exposing her to the wonders of insect life in the garden, and growing vegetables, and taking her swimming and to the park. He didn’t want to grow old asking himself ‘what if..?’ But Lizzie was still talking.
“All the time I would be spending trying to get people to buy my writing can be devoted to promoting it instead. My destiny will be in my own hands, don’t you see?”
Ollie saw. “But you’ll need a web site, and not just a homemade one. You’ll need all sorts of interactivity on it, and that won’t be cheap.”
“I know it won’t. But all I need to do is use Solo Expenses Personal Use for money management, to keep a track of what I’m spending, and then we’ll know if it’s worth it, after a year or so.”
Ollie couldn’t argue with the logic. He loved his wife for her enthusiasm; for her eternal optimism. But their family unit had become much better at expense management since they’d discovered Solo Expenses, which had been created for sole traders, and was free to download. Free, as he never tired of telling anyone, was his favourite price.
As if she were reading his mind, she said: “And even if I can’t make Lizzie Banks On It work, it won’t have cost us anything, in the grand scheme of things, because the money I’m investing – investing, mind you, not spending – is money we’ve saved by cutting out the waste in what we spend. Think of all the stuff I could have bought, had we not tracked our spending with Solo Expenses. We couldn’t have afforded the web site then, so there would have been no way we could have used it to generate more income.”
As she knew, once she started using Solo Expenses as part of any discussion between them, she’d won him over. It had been Ollie who had championed the smartphone-based money management app in the early days, but Lizzie had bought into it with enthusiasm, firstly because it worked for them, but also because Ollie believed in it too. It had supported them in re-thinking their spending; a shift in their priorities had helped them to make better use of their available cash. The result was that they could do things they wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. Ollie remembered the Florida holiday, part-funded in exactly that way.
Already ready to give in to his enthusiastic wife, Ollie’s train of thought was broken by a tiny voice in the doorway. “Teddy couldn’t sleep,” said Alice. “I think he needs a story and a glass of water…”