Should everyone have a mortgage?

Jumping on the property ladder is a dream for many would-be first-time mortgage buyers who want a slice of bricks and mortar success. Fresh statistics from the Council of Mortgage Lenders have found that the amount of mortgages have increased by 12%. This shows the appetite for first-time mortgages in the UK as lenders start to come back to the industry after the belt-tightening of the recession where consumers looked for cash from sources like payday loan providers. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of first-time buyers in the mortgage market:

Pros

  • Mortgages make everyone investors: Property is an investment in the same way that art is. It’s really important for people to have the chance to own a slice of property to protect them in the future and to get on the property ladder. The positive effects of mortgages are that it allows everyone the chance to be investors in their own financial portfolio and to take control of their ability to shelter themselves.
  • It’s better to do it now: Time plays a huge factor in the success of first-time buyers and it’s really important to get in on the act before prices for homes rise and the effect of inflation affects your ability to get on the ladder. Many people subscribe to this way of thinking and this is why many first-time buyers look for additional help from family to get a mortgage.

Cons

  • It can be expensive: Being a first-time buyer is not necessarily cheap regardless of how small the deposit can seem especially coupled with savings and money from inheritances. You need to consider if you can afford having a mortgage. If you lose your job or you become sick, you should look at whether you can pay your mortgage to avoid getting into debt.
  • It eats into savings: Paying off a mortgage for a set amount of years means that it can be more difficult for you to save especially if you have dependants that you need to pay for. Always have emergency savings in place before you jump onto the property ladder in case times get difficult, you then know you are not eating into your personal finances.

A mortgage is seen as a right that everyone is entitled to. In the UK we love property, and mortgages come as the glossy packaging to dream properties for first-time buyers. Ensure that you can financially afford the mortgage and start your property journey today with thorough planning.

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Working as a Freelance Writer? How Much Should You Really Be Charging?

Many freelancers begin without fully understanding how to determine their charges. Some charge so little that there is no feasible way to earn what they need.

It is important that you know what rates are appropriate for the services that you provide. Understand that what you can feasibly charge will depend highly on your level of expertise. Those with more experience and more expertise in a specific subject matter will be better able to command a higher price.

That being said, there is a way that you can determine how much you need to charge, in order to earn the income that you require.

 

  • How Much You Need

Before you can determine how much to charge per hour, project or even per word, you will first need to determine how much you need to earn to live comfortably. It is essential that you set your own rates as opposed to allowing your clients to pay you what they want. Some clients would take advantage of your insecurity and practically pay nothing for your hard work.

Spend some time calculating your yearly budget and ensure that you are including everything that you pay out each year. This calculation should include things like rent, utilities, and food, etc.

According to the latest figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average earning of a full-time worker in the UK is £26,500. The study found that since April 2000, average annual pay for those in full-time work has risen by 40% from £18,848.

 

  • Divide Your Calculation

Once you know how much you spend yearly, divide that number by 12. For instance, if you spend £24,000 each year on living needs then you will divide that number by 12 which will give you an income need of £2,000 per month. This is the amount of money that you need to clear every month after taxes, and other expenses have been paid.

This should give you a goal of the amount of work you need to win. If you need help working out your actual take home pay after pension contributions etc., try using a take home pay calculator.

 

  • Hourly Rate Calculation

Now that you know how much you need to make monthly, you can determine how this calculates hourly. Keep in mind that most freelance writers do not work a typical 40 hours each week, so dividing by that figure is not going to help.

You have to allow time for interviews, research and networking as well as proofreading, editing and other tasks. You are not going to be spending 40 hours every week simply writing. There are other tasks that also have to be considered.

If you are like most writers, you will spend around 20 hours each week actually writing. If you need to make £500 per week to meet the £2,000 per month income requirement, you would divide that income by the 20 hours that you will be working each week which gives you £25 and this is what you need to be charging per hour.

How many articles can you write in one hour? Obviously this will vary depending on research and word count. What kind of content is it- a landing page, a link building article or a press release? Landing page content tends to charge more.

If you choose to charge on a per word basis, we recommend £2 per 100 words. This equates to around $2-$5 per 100 words but please note, if you are going to charge $5 per 100 words, the article needs to be well-researched, error free, and include at least one picture that has a Creative Commons license.

Once you have determined what you need to make in a year, you can better determine what you need to be charging clients for your time. The calculations above are simply examples and you should change the numbers as needed, to meet your specific income requirements.

Ask yourself, if you are just starting out, can you really charge top rate fees for your lack of experience?

 

This article was provided by Nixon Williams, the UK’s leading contractor accountants serving freelance contractors, interim managers and consultants. Visit them at www.nixonwilliams.com/to find out which business structure is right for you.

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