Wealth Check: Part-time work could be the right move for full-time mum

Kate Tym, 43, is a freelance poet and full-time mother. She writes poems for weddings and is looking for ways to boost her business and her income.

Before having children, Kate was a commissioning editor earning £30,000 a year. "Ten years on, I've lost most of my contacts in publishing, but with three children and only my husband's salary, it's often hard making ends meet. I want to know how to bring more money in, stop some going out and make sure our mortgage is appropriate."

Case notes

Salary: Earns approximately £3,000 a year. Her husband, Will, earns £18,000 as a self-employed plasterer
Monthly outgoings: £1,150 on bills, food and essentials, £390 on children's activities, £170 on life insurance and pensions, £530 on mortgage
Savings: Between £500 – £1,000 in a savings account and £1,000 in a current account for mortgage payments and unforeseen outgoings
Debts: The Tyms owe about £900 in bank overdrafts

Advice this week is given by financial advisors Darius McDermott of Chelsea Financial Services, Jason Witcombe of Evolve Financial Planning and David Brunning of Brunning Newman Houghton Ltd...

Boosting income

All three experts agree Kate must boost her income in order to achieve financial security for her family. Jason Witcombe says Kate should look into part-time employed work rather than being completely self-employed. He suggests she offer her editing or proof-reading services, but says even employment not linked to her preferred vocation will "really help out the finances and give Kate the confidence to build up her income from freelance ventures".

David Brunning says Kate must utilise the internet to market her business. "Kate should invest in specialist advice to ensure her website is top of search engine listings. She should check what her competition charges and think about working with a wedding service company," Brunning says.

He adds that Kate should write for funerals and memorials, too, as most have readings. "Weddings peak in the summer, but funerals in the winter, thus spreading work throughout the year," Brunning says.

Darius McDermott says: "The Tyms may want to consider a role change as Kate used to earn a decent salary commissioning – almost twice their current income."


The Tyms have a £100,000 mortgage with Northern Rock on their £150,000 flat. It's arranged on a 60 per cent repayment and 40 per cent interest basis, but Kate would like to change this to 100 per cent repayment. Brunning says Kate should contact Northern Rock to see what their terms would be for this.

He adds that a fixed-rate mortgage could be a good idea: "Looking at the Tyms' expenditure and Kate's variable income, the ability to budget their mortgage payments for the next two to three years may be more important than getting the lowest possible variable rate."

Witcombe says Kate should check what their rate of interest will revert to in September, when due for renewal. "We're in a strange situation at the moment where many standard variable rates are actually lower than initial discounted or fixed rates." He warns that Northern Rock's standard variable rate is "not nearly as generous as some other lenders".

McDermott says in September the Tyms will have the opportunity to look for a better rate on their mortgage, and advises the best rates being offered are Alliance and Leicester two-year fixed (3.19 per cent) and a five-year fixed from Ipswich BS (4.25 per cent).

"For the five-year mortgage, Ipswich is demanding mortgagees have 40 per cent of equity in the property – the Tyms (33 per cent equity) must find the extra equity," McDermott says.

Future planning

Kate currently hopes to have a pension which will allow her a yearly income of £50,000 and hopes she and husband Will can retire at the age of 60.

McDermott says although the Tyms are putting money towards their pension, this is ambitious considering their income and savings. Witcombe advises they put more towards saving: "As Will is self-employed, the Tyms must make sure that, if all else fails, they keep sufficient cash to pay his tax bills."

Brunning advises the Tyms build up three months' bills in a cash ISA, and look for more cost-effective household utility packages. "It's a fiercely competitive market and they could make savings by packaging their mobile phones, landline phones and the internet with one provider." He adds the Tyms should seek advice on their longer-term savings plans. "Once Kate has brought her income up, she and Will should review their expenditure and long-term savings to see what they can realistically set aside.

"It's a compromise between spending now and enjoying a comfortable retirement... everything's a compromise?"

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: HR Benefits Manager

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

    Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

    £30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

    Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

    £250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

    Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

    £230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower