Living solo with no dependents, affected by an amusement ride approach to money management, I often ponder…what if I lived with a partner? Would life be more stable? A second income? Splitting the bills? Less tight turns, steep slopes and no more of the occasional gut-wrenching freefall?
Recently, I was forced to confront my financial behaviour. My housing association offered me the opportunity to buy the flat I Iive in for a significantly below market price and heavily discounted sum.
On applying for a mortgage, having never owned a credit card and very occasionally bouncing the odd mobile or leccy bill, I discovered I have a pretty crap credit rating. Plus, my current business is only seven months old and although doing well, I would not be able to get a mortgage without at least one year’s complete books.
On the verge of a breakdown at the prospect of missing such a great opportunity, I went in search of a solution. How could I raise the money to buy the home I was living in? Would it be possible? I found myself widely discussing the dilemma with my vast and varied network of clients, co-workers, family and friends. I experienced two brilliant breakthroughs!
The first sprouted from conversations with my very bright sister-in-law who inspired an excellent idea.
She pointed out that my brother can get away with contracting and freelancing because she brings in a reliable, regular income from the oil industry. Very reliable, stable…and very highly paid. She is a super bright sister-in-law who also has a very big pension and will probably retire at 50.
She often pesters me about hitching a decent, supportive man. If only…but she set me thinking. As a 48-year-old singleton, looking across the current barren landscape of decent men, I came to realise I would have to be my own reliable, stable companion!
But, what if I was to work part-time, in a permanent role where all my basic overheads would be covered and at the same time run my business? – I would be able to enjoy the flexibility, autonomy and creativity of the small quirky projects I yearn for – an outcome of the past where I would find myself demented, working in a full-time corporate environment.
Before launching my own business, I had a pattern of working in full-time jobs for two to three years and then an irresistible, hard to-say-no-to freelance project would pop up and it would normally be based abroad!
I’ve had a lot of fun with my career, but settling down to a less frenetic work pattern, the security of having a regular income and still being able to freelance and run my own company, seemed to make a whole lot of sense.