Great question and one many of us Google or ask before we take that leap from the ‘safety’ of employment to business owner.

I’ve put safety in quotations marks because is employment really any safer than being in complete control of your own destiny? More on that in a link at the bottom.

Some people start their VA business after redundancy, which can often mean they’ve got an unexpected extra bit of cash to tide them over, but some start with nothing in the kitty.

To avoid sleepless nights and desperation I’d recommend doing a few things to make your life a little easier:

  • Pull out / download three months of bank statements
  • Highlight everything that’s essential (utilities, childcare, food, mortgage)
  • Highlight (in a different colour) those things that can be negotiated (SKY TV), paused (that Gym membership you’ve not used since God knows when) or cancelled (does your chin really need waxing that often?)

Now what?

  • Total the essentials to work out exactly what you need to earn every month to survive
  • Add 30% for emergencies, illness or periods where you won’t work – i.e. holidays
  • Negotiate those that can be negotiated, even your gas and electric might be cheaper with another supplier


Let’s pretend you need £1000 a month coming in after you’ve done all your cutting back, negotiating and sending kids out to work. If you save up £3000 you’re covered for three months, which takes a bit of pressure off you and means you don’t wake up at 4am in a hot panic.

The even better news

As a VA you’re going to be earning a minimum of £25 an hour, so if you need £1000 a month to survive and cover emergencies you’re going to need to be working 40 hours a month – I bet some of you do that a week at the moment? Not much is it! Now if you charge £30 an hour, you’ll be working even less!

There’s not much better for me than saving money on utilities so I’d love to know what you save. I reduced my house insurance from £459 to £129 this year and the cover is actually better and with a huge national company (oh yes it is ;)) at the cheaper price!

I’m a qualified bookkeeper so if you need any help sorting out your finances or need to know how to put your income and expenditure together for your business, I am here to help.