For some reason, luxury spending gets a bad rap. We pooh-pooh high earners for being able to get their meals prepped or pay someone to do their laundry … and why? Especially since having more money can help you build the life you want when you buy back your time.
That’s what this IWT reader found after she paid a nanny $23,982.40 a year to care for her baby when she built her six-figure freelance business. Here are her experiences building her Rich Life, in her own words.
“I knew it was going to cost more — but totally worth it.”
I’ve been a freelance copywriter for more than 20 years. Before that, I was a full-time executive marketing director making $100,000 a year with great benefits. I always knew I could write copy. After working with some great copywriters at my old publishing company, it got in my head that I could do it outside of my job.
When I had my first child in July 1997, I looked at a lot of options for child care. Home day cares, different nannies, etc. I remember there was this one day care I visited that seemed great on the surface. But for some reason, I had a feeling something wasn’t quite right. Later, I saw the day care owner’s face in the newspaper. Turned out they were drugging the children and leaving them alone to go shopping!
I just went with my instinct to go with a nanny. I knew it was going to cost more, but totally worth it.
Eventually I found one young woman who was a perfect fit for my family and me.
“I was able to work from home and make 50% more that year.”
When I returned to my job, though, I found that I was “mommy tracked.”
It was clear my company didn’t know what to do with me after I had my son. I still made the same, but they put me in an entirely different job role. They even moved me from a window office, to an inside office, to a smaller office. It was a very confusing, frustrating time in my career.
Eventually, an acquaintance of mine offered me a role as a copywriting and marketing consultant for his business. It was only going to take half my time and it guaranteed me 90% of my salary.
Going from a lucrative, full-time job to freelancing can seem daunting, but my nanny made a huge difference.
When I worked with my company, I had a discipline of getting up early, working, and staying focused on my priorities all day. I was able to take that same routine into freelancing and didn’t have to change it because of my nanny. The best part? I was able to still spend time with my baby throughout the day.
I was also able to take on additional clients when my first one immediately referred me to somebody else. I also had my former work colleagues referring me to people. I was able to work from home and make 50% more that year.
Within a few years, I tripled my income while also cutting down my working hours from 40 to 50 hours a week, to 20 to 30 hours a week. My husband and I eventually had another baby, and were able to hire more nannies, and we were able to balance our careers and family due to services like our nannies.
“I don’t consider these things a luxury.”
For years, I also had cleaning ladies come in twice a week. Why would I want to spend time folding the laundry when I could be making $350 an hour in the same time? It ends up being a lot cheaper for me to delegate it out.
And without my nanny, I wouldn’t have been able to do the consulting gigs that required me to be on site. I would have been able to do maybe a third of the work, and I would have had to turn down potential income.
Of course, I’d occasionally run into some weird situations when I told people about things like this. I remember my sister-in-law just had to have a nanny and house cleaner herself when she found out I had one. Aside from that small bit of family jealousy, we haven’t had too much pushback from it since many of my neighbors also do the same.
It helped me maintain my professional image while showing people I was taking my freelancing work seriously. Because of that, I don’t consider these things a luxury. They’re quality of life services.
Having children was the best thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. And having those services helped me with that.