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The lazy entrepreneur 

Aime Ayrehart from Ninja HR writes about being a lazy entrepreneur

The title is a little cheeky.  My reaction to people telling me I could make so much more money if I worked more hours.

I nodded, then ignored them. If I can live a fabulous life and only work 16 hours a week, what more can money buy me? 

I’m writing this sitting on the beach in Scarborough.  The air is warm and calm and feels like spring.  The sound of the waves crashing is gentle, and I can hear the birds singing contentedly. 

Yesterday was an entirely different experience. There was wind, rain, and even hail. It was exhilarating and exhausting.

Life as a solepreneur

I have to be in the right head space to be creative.  Calm, playful, relaxed.  And being a solepreneur requires a huge amount of creativity.  Partly because my speciality as the employment genie is to solve impossible work-based problems, which each require an entirely novel approach, but also because running a business requires us to design products and endless social media and networking.

But life, emotions and the journey of a solepreneur are more like the sea than a motorway.  Endless opportunities but at times exhausting and scary.

Embracing creativity

In an attempt to fit into a man’s world, most women have tried to even everything out to be consistent and professional.  To always be able to deliver the same thing and to control our environment rather than live in harmony with it.

But ignoring the seasons and the ebb and flow of our emotions has led to increasing levels of conflict at work, at home and in the world generally. Not to mention it’s created global warming.

Noticing the ebbs and flows

Few people who know me would doubt I can be strong and confident, do maths and law and lead – typically masculine attributes.  And I’m glad I have these skills as part of my arsenal.

But my real breakthroughs in both business and my personal life are where I have begun to notice the ebbs and flows and more gently acknowledge them in myself and others.

When people ask me how I am, and I reply, “Fabulous,” they seem somewhat shocked – and of course, I have bad days.  But it’s true I’m in a good place.

Mmm now I’ve written this blog, I might go and make myself a hot chocolate and read for a bit.  Such a terrible life indeed 😊

Aime Ayrehart being a lazy entrepreneur after writing a guest blog

About Aime

Aime Ayrehart is a bestselling author, founder of a trade union, and offers HR crisis management through Ninja HR.  But her real passion is supporting female business owners to flourish.  She started a female-run collaborative that has launched the Entrepreneurs Mindset Development Tool to help identify strengths and areas for development in a kind way, and through the Sasspreneur Club, we offer unique, cost-effective and accessible support to help you flourish – however that looks for you. 

Ninja HR

Entrepreneurs Mindset Development Tool

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What happens in families when winning is too important?

Guest blog when winning is too important

Winning in families can be defined in many different ways. For some, just getting through the day is a win, but many parents see winning as the recognition and glory that comes from the certificates, medals, trophies and accolades that result from being the best in class at something. This might be in an academic or sporting context, or in the arts or one of the many other recreational activities our children participate in.

A healthy dose of a winning mentality in families is good if it incentivises effort, focus and motivation. Sometimes pressure can be a catalyst for improvement, and a bit of natural adrenalin is a good thing; after all, that is how we are wired as humans. But what happens when this spins out of control and winning is too important?

As a parent who has experienced being in the highly competitive environment of elite sport, I have seen first-hand how families can fall on the wrong side of the winning mentality. Sport can bring out the best and the worst in parents, and many of the same issues translate into the much broader context of family life. Worryingly, some parents can see making packed lunches as competitive!

Why, as a culture, have we become so obsessed with winning?

Often, it’s becausewe are craving certaintyfor our children. We are anxious for them to succeed in a competitive world. How do we know they are going to ‘make it’? How do we know they are good enough to pass their exams or get selected for a team? What if they fail?

We want to know our children will have a happy, healthy and successful future, so we look for things to reassure us and give us confidence that they are on the right path. This generally involves benchmarking them academically, physically or emotionally against their peers. ‘Comparisonitis’ is a scourge of modern society, exacerbated by the nation’s obsession with social media, which permeates into our conscious and unconscious mind. We look at our own world through the filter of other people’s images and information about their seemingly amazing lives. It’s very easy to see our children’s success or failure as a reflection of who we are or what we are lacking in compared to others.

We have also developed an impatient culture where we are not prepared to wait for anything, and this also spills over into family life. We are impatient for results and unwilling to accept that along our child’s developmental journey sometimes making learnings and making gains takes time. Children should be celebrated when they begin something new. No one starts off being amazing at anything. It may sound counter-intuitive, but good things often develop from making it through tough times, and bad things can develop from too much pleasure too soon.

What happens to parents when winning is too important?

When the pressure of winning or the need to see our children succeed builds, we can start to lose our natural perspective about the things that really matter. We might start to get over-critical of our children or of ourselves, or maybe if we see small signs of progress, we begin to believe our children are going to be super-stars, irrespective of the reality of what they are really capable of.

The weight of expectation can weigh heavily on a young child, and they will pick up on this pressure not only via what we say but in terms of how we behave around them as they pick up on non-verbal cues, such as our body language.  Before you know it, the thing they were doing for fun becomes a chore, you’re dealing with tears and tantrums, and they want to quit. Sometimes they will start to hide their true feelings as they don’t want to disappoint us or be told that how they feel is not acceptable. This is a dangerous path. Although setting the bar high can be good as it teaches children that they can do more than they think they are capable of, expecting too much and craving perfection is demoralising.

What happens in families when winning is too important?

How does a parents’ need to win impact our children?

Sometimes the need for our children to succeed comes from issues from our own past. If we unintentionally use our children to heal our emotional wounds or issues about failure in our life, then it really is becoming all about us and not about them. It may show up as over-invested behaviour on the sideline at a sporting fixture when parents argue with the ref or make their small children feel ashamed or useless. This undoes all the good that sport has to offer. Children have an inner compass just like we do, and they know when they’ve messed up. They don’t need us to tell them.

Motivated by the need for our children to max out their opportunities to develop winning ways, ‘helicopter parenting’ may take over in the form of overprotecting and controlling behaviour.   It’s an attempt to clear the path of anything that might challenge children or distract them from the ‘winning’ things we think they should focus on, and it prevents children from facing tough times or experiencing failure. It is hugely counter-productive as it deprives our children of resilience-building opportunities, which are a rich seam of character-building potential for the long term.  

Alternative definitions of ‘winning’

Winning should also be about being rewarded for consistently making an effort, trying new things, learning how to lose, being kind, respecting others, showing humility, having fun, making new friends, overcoming setbacks, being teachable, being resilient, knowing when to say no. (There are many more.)

A more positive and more rounded parental perspective around winning and losing will develop our young children into happier, healthier, more confident individuals.It is down to us as parental role models to set the tone of what winning really means by establishing a culture at home that we demonstrate through our words and our actions. Remember, children do not do what we say, they do what we do. They have been mirroring our behaviour since the day they first smiled back at us as a baby.

10 Practical tips

Focus on the right stuff

Some of the most together children I know are raised in houses that are a mess, by parents who turn up late and wear mismatched socks. When parenting life becomes overwhelming, perhaps they knew what to let go and what to put first. Kindness matters. Socks…not so much.

Be patient  

Lots of highly performing children were not always great as children develop physically and emotionally at different times. I have seen children who were timid and bottom of the class excel and achieve in their teens. (I have also seen superstar performers at 7 fade away to nothing.)

Do not assume they will want to follow in your footsteps

Children have different genes and different environmental influences. They are not you. Just because you were good at something does not mean they will be.

School doesn’t suit everyone

Accept that some children never fit into the sausage machine of school life, (my own daughter being one of them) and may excel in the real world beyond the confines of the classroom.

Take a break

Taking a holiday or just changing your environment is so important to reset your perspective when everything gets too much.

Establish boundaries

Everyone needs time to relax and just ‘be’, without the pressure of having to achieve anything.

Check in  

If your children are obsessing about highly competitive activities are they doing this for the love of the activity, for you, or for themselves?

Focus on effort not on the end result                                                                                                    

Always ensure children know you don’t think any less of them because they have failed at something. What matters is that they gave their best effort.

Build resilience

Never do anything for a child that the child can do for themselves; but don’t promote heroic individual strength of character either as they need to know you are there for them if times get tough. Expose them to as many varied opportunities to develop coping mechanisms as you can.

Use your intuition

As a parent you know your children better than anyone, and if something they are working towards doesn’t feel right and is making them unhappy then stop. Even if it works against the grain of securing their ‘winning future’ don’t worry, it will often be for the best. Be aware that our need to be certain of their future lowers our ability to put faith in our own resources and use our gut instinct. 

Conclusion

No one can predict the outcome of a child’s future and whether they will succeed or fail at anything. However hard we try, however brilliant our advice and support is as parents, however good their teachers or coaches are, and whatever they say they will guarantee, the only thing we know for sure about ‘winning’, in whatever way you define it, is nothing is certain. So you might as well relax about it.

All we can do is create the optimum conditions and environment under which our children can flourish. Focus on getting the basics right – quality nutrition and regular hydration, love and support with a focus on fun, a good routine and a well organized environment at home. That is winning.

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How YMCA Burton helps the local community

Following the Christmas festivities, the new year can feel a little daunting, not only as we prepare for the year ahead but also after a very busy and expensive time with presents, Christmas dinner and spending time with family and friends. For a lot of people, this is a time that they look forward to in the year, as it’s filled with a lot of joy. However, for others, it can be a difficult time either because they’re alone, struggling with their mental health, are grieving, or perhaps they don’t have a safe place to call home.

How we help

At YMCA Burton, we’re here to help anyone in our local community who needs our support in a time of crisis 24/7, 365 days of the year. Whether it be homelessness, needing an emergency food parcel, wanting to rebuild strained relationships in the home through mediation, needing affordable, good quality second-hand furniture or just having a safe place to have a cuppa, a chat and a hot meal, we are available at YMCA Burton to support in any way that we possibly can.

The heart of our services, Reconnect, which houses 31 units of accommodation, our Foodbank as well as our Family Mediation service and Counselling service. Opposite Asda on James Street in Burton on Trent.
The heart of our services, Reconnect, which houses 31 units of accommodation, our Foodbank as well as our Family Mediation service and Counselling service. Opposite Asda on James Street in Burton on Trent.

There’s more demand than ever

With a strong reputation in the town of Burton-on-Trent for over 135 years, YMCA Burton has faced its highest demand to date across all of its services in 2023. Waiting lists have formed for the first time ever within our Family Mediation Service, the foodbank service has experienced its highest distribution figures in its 23-year history, and our accommodation has constantly been full. It reflects the incredible need for this type of support across the local community as well as the challenges that a lot of individuals and families are facing in their daily lives. This is the harsh reality at the moment, and without us, thousands of individuals and families in and around Burton would be in desperate need of support.

How you can support us

At YMCA Burton, we change lives. However, we can’t do what we do without the help and support of others, as donations are needed more than ever. There are multiple ways that you can support us, depending on the best way for you. This can look like a one-off monetary donation, you could become a monthly donor, giving whatever you can each month to continuously support our work and services. There are also options to donate items of food to our foodbank, leave a gift in your will or perhaps choose to become a volunteer. Whatever way you choose to support us will make a massive difference to our charity and ensure that we can continue to remain a central charity in our local community and help to change lives.

To find out more about our charity and our impact on our local community, head to our website: https://burtonymca.org/. Furthermore, if you’d like to help make a difference to someone’s life today, please contact our Fundraising & Comms team via fundraising@burtonymca.org / 07754045869

On behalf of all of us at YMCA Burton, thank you very much!

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5 ways to maintain some Christmas Calm

Vicky Haig Hypnotherapy guest blog with 5 tips to find some Christmas calm

As we head quickly into Christmas, it’s easy to become swept up in the need to provide a perfect Christmas for those around us. We are bombarded with images of elaborate elf antics, picture-perfect Santa visits, magazine-worthy Christmas trees, matching pjs, the best presents and a list of Christmas traditions to enact.

While there is nothing wrong with finding joy in any of these activities and moments, they can easily add to our stress levels and impact our well-being in the run-up to Christmas. Here’s 5 ways to help maintain some calm and find the joy again.

1. Recognise when you are in comparison mode.

Naturally, we are interested in what’s going on around us and what others are doing. It’s in our nature to feel the need to fit in so we can feel more drawn to following what others are doing. However, we are often looking at ‘the best bits’ snippets of people’s lives and trying to recreate them, then when we bump into the normal struggles of life, we can be left feeling like we don’t quite match up. So take a moment to recognise when you are comparing your every day to someone’s best moment, then switch your focus to the best moment for you that day.

2. Take time out.

It can feel counter-intuitive to take time out when we are busy, but we need breaks. Our brains need downtime; however, the brain isn’t actually resting in downtime. When we allow our brain time to wander its actually really busy organising, sorting and often connecting the dots, it needs time to do this without us consciously giving it more tasks. So go for a walk, take a shower, have a cuppa, read a few pages of a book, find the things you can do even if it’s just for a few minutes to give your brain a break.

3. Write a list.

Every time something pops into your head that needs to be done write it down on a list. When it’s wrote down it’s easier to organise and prioritise it. When we are trying to hold everything in our brains, we struggle to prioritise and decide on its importance – everything starts to feel ‘most important’. So, write it down and then pick the thing that needs to be done first.

4. Move your body.

We are designed to move, but modern living often takes away natural opportunities to move our bodies (online shopping, electrical appliances, cars). So we have to be intentional in making sure we are moving and exercising our bodies everyday. Find the ways that work for you and try to build them in everyday, until it becomes a habit like brushing our teeth.

5. Sleep.

It’s easy for our sleep to be impacted in the run up to Christmas, but try to keep the boundaries around it. Build in good sleep habits like winding down for bed (devices off, warm baths, cool rooms etc). Its particularly important in the winter to try to get out in the daylight as soon as you can in a morning. It helps set our natural rhythms and sleep patterns.

Remember to bring it back to what you and those around you need. We are all so different and it’s ok to focus on what works best for us, I hope these tips allow you to find some calm in this period and if you’d like an extra boost head over to: https://www.vickyhaig.co.uk/try-relaxation/ where you can listen to my relaxation track for free, just make sure you are in a quiet calm place where you’re not having to do anything else, but relax.

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Financial Planning is for Everyone

Guest blog from Natalie Norman at Blakebrooke Financial Advice about financial planning

When I tell people that I’m a financial adviser or a financial planner, I hear all the time, “I don’t need financial advice because I don’t have any spare money”. It is a common misconception that you need to have lots of money to need advice. I help my clients feel more confident about their finances, make informed decisions, and have a financial plan for their future that is appropriate for them.

Often, very small changes made early enough can make a huge impact on your financial future. One of the first things we do is assess the income coming in against the essential expenditure. Essential expenditure is everything that has to be paid every month. For example, mortgage/rent, utilities, phone/internet, etc. Then we look at the discretionary expenditure, which might be things like gym membership, children’s activities or eating out, etc. These expenditures are still important because they are things that will give you the lifestyle you want. It is always amazing, though, after we’ve done this exercise, how much surplus income there still is ‘on paper’. Most of my clients will say things like, “But there’s nothing left at the end of the month”. This is not unusual as most of us live to our means and spend what comes in each month. This simple exercise usually helps point out the amount of money that is ‘frittered’ away each month. This is not me pointing the finger, as we all do this, me included. What it does do, though is it allows us to see where we could be making better choices that could really change our futures.

Where does your money go?

A simple example could be as follows:

‘The average takeaway coffee costs around £3.40 per cup’ (at 23rd July 2023)

source: https://freshground.co.uk/learning-hub 

Let’s say you had 3 takeaway coffees a week (156 cups per year), that would cost around £10.20 per week, £44.20 per month and £530.40 per year.

The most popular takeaway coffee is a Latte, you could buy a pack of 8 Latte sachets from around £2.50 (source: Poundland). So, the equivalent would be that 20 packs of 8 sachets would be needed, costing a total of £50 per year. This could save you £480.40 per year.

If we then utilised the saved money and put it aside for our future. Saving £480.40 per year over a period of 15 years, assuming an interest rate of 5%, you could have a savings pot of £10,366.

That’s saving just over £10 per week!

This is obviously just a very simple example of an exchange that could be made without compromising your lifestyle but rather just making a simple swap that could free up some available cash to put away for your future.

Financial planning can help you save for the future

I am a huge advocate for saving in a pension plan as they are an extremely tax efficient savings vehicle. If we take the same example as above, but now take the £480.40 available capital and put it in a pension plan the additional tax relief could help this money grow even more.

For example:

£480.40 grossed up to include 20% tax relief equals £600.50.

£600.50 invested in a pension every year for 15 years, assuming a 5% interest, could give you a savings pot of £12,958. That’s an additional £2,592 without paying any more money in yourself.

This is a very basic example of what some simple financial planning could do to help you save for your future and create the lifestyle that you want.

For more information you can find me using the following links

https://www.instagram.com/natalie_blakebrooke/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/natalienorman79/

https://www.facebook.com/natalieanorman

https://www.blakebrooke.co.uk/

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How are you going to look after yourself this summer?

Guest blog from Natalie McCoy at Urban Sole Holistics - look after yourself.

So with the schools breaking up for the summer holidays, how will you make time for yourself and protect your well-being so you don’t get burnout? You don’t want to be harassed and stressed when the children return to school.

Many of us will be trying to plan the summer holidays down to a T to ensure that they run smoothly and without arguments or the usual “I’m bored, Mommy!” Well, this is definitely what happens in our house, and those of us with children have to keep the children entertained. This sometimes, for many, is their main priority, and they forget to think about themselves.

Well, there are several ways that you can incorporate well-being into your daily routine and for it not to interfere with the summer holidays themselves.

Balance family time with solo activities

Why not connect with nature and go on a family walk where all of you are getting exercise, and the endorphins are increased to allow you to feel mentally and physically better?

Set your alarm slightly earlier and make time to meditate to set you up for the day. Go into your day with clear intentions, and this will allow you to be more focused and refreshed.

Once a day, why not do a mindfulness practice with your family, and get them to focus on the here and now? Get them to look at a picture and really reflect on what is happening just in that moment. 

Be prepared

Remember, when planning for the summer, make sure to schedule you time in for yourself and don’t forget your own well-being. Make time for yourself by doing something solely for you, go with for a coffee, a walk, or even booking a treatment as a treat. 

Preparing healthy meals over the summer and sometimes meal prepping can be a godsend to stopping any of those emergency visits to the supermarkets when everyone is hangry. 

If you’re not feeling 100% in yourself, you will struggle to look after the ones you need to, and subsequently, you will end up exhausted. 

So the time is now for you to plan and prep to keep your sanity in check. 

Natalie McCoy teaching you how to look after yourself.

If you would like to learn more, then please follow my links below.

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/urbansoulholistictherapySolihull

Instagram – https://www.Instagram.com/UrbanSoulHolisticTherapy

Website – https://www.urbansoulholistictherapy.co.uk

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How a VA can help you get your bookkeeping basics right

How much did your expenses come to this month?

Did your income for the month cover these costs?

You may think that these are two very simple questions. So it may surprise you that many business owners can’t answer these. Or maybe you’re wondering if you can answer this question accurately or have a good idea.

As your VA, I aim to understand what is working well for your business and what is not and how much you know about your income and expenses.

Why does tracking your income and expenses matter?

After putting so much hard work and time into your business, the last thing you need is for it to fail just because these very simple everyday basics were not in place. You are busy doing what you have chosen and are bloody good at it too! The admin takes up a whole lot of your time. It stresses you out and doesn’t earn any money. It’s much easier to sweep it under the carpet and pretend it has gone away. The thing is, it does not go away, and that pile of paperwork is getting bigger and even more overwhelming, and it is going to take forever to get it sorted!

It is important to know how much money you need to bring in each month to cover the essential costs of running your business. This is before you even think of paying yourself for all your hard work.

Getting invoicing right

You need to make sure that your invoice templates are in the correct format. I don’t know how many invoices I have seen that do not even have the word invoice on them, never mind an invoice number, and then they’re not sent out as a PDF. Don’t even get me started; believe it or not, it really does matter. If your invoices, statements, proformas or quotes are sent out in Word, the person receiving this could change it. You definitely do not want to have that issue. So please, please be mindful.

Then you need to send out your invoices, be it immediately, weekly, or monthly. Then you must make sure that payments are made and reminders are sent out if payment is not made within your agreed terms. You do have terms and conditions, don’t you?

How a VA can help

If your business has really taken off and you are busy, it makes sense to find a VA if your budget allows it. It is important to find one you trust. This person can look out for you and will support you to achieve your goals as you build up your working relationship). Just a few hours a week could make a big difference to your business and your work-life balance.

A client once said to me that he had got in touch with me as he had been given some advice by one of his clients, a retired accountant. It had made him think hard about what was happening in his business.

He had told him:

Don’t be too busy being busy that you don’t have a business.

Now go and get some help with your bookkeeping!

Quite a good thought, is it not?

Kirsty’s note

Ann is a brilliant VA (I can personally recommend her). If you think you might need some support, you can get in touch with Ann here:

Email: ann@ahsupport.co.uk

Website:    http://www.ahsupport.co.uk

 fb.me/annhuntadminassistant 

www.linkedin.com/in/adminann

Ann Hunt - VA helping you with your bookkeeping basics!
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The Benefits of Using an Independent Travel Agent

Guest blog from Independent Travel Agent Lynne Page

Why should you use a travel agent when you can book everything so easily yourself online?

I can tell you several reasons why!

An Independent Travel Agent can help you find your ideal holiday

Using an Independent Travel Agent is a valuable resource and can save you so much time, and we all know how precious our time is.

We are experts in our field, can give you personal recommendations due to being well-travelled, and can help you with unexpected situations should they arise.

When you are looking for a holiday, it can be overwhelming as there are so many choices out there, and you may not know where to start. If you like to travel but spend all day at a computer, the last thing you are going to want to do is spend hours trawling the internet trying to find the best deal. The thing I hear the most from my clients is, “ I hate looking for holidays! “

This is where I come in. I can do all the research for you and find hotels and attractions that suit your budget and taste. I can find deals from my many suppliers that are only available to people in the travel industry. I am ABTA and ATOL protected, and you can check my reviews on Google, Facebook and LinkedIn.

My service is personal and flexible

I am a home-based travel agent, and I like to be accessible and personable. I like to build a relationship with my clients. You choose how you would like to communicate with me, whether by email, phone, WhatsApp or meeting locally for a coffee and a chat.

I don’t charge a fee; I earn commission directly from our travel partners upon booking. For example, if I booked your holiday through Jet2 or EasyJet, they would pay me a commission. You would have paid exactly the same as if you had booked it yourself online, but you have me for support. And you are supporting a small business.

I look after my clients before, during and after the trip. I can check-in for you and print your boarding passes, or you can do this yourself if you prefer. I can recommend places to visit or maybe avoid. If there are any changes to your flights or itinerary, I will be able to support you with this.

Whether it’s a family holiday to Greece or a solo tour of India, I will be able to help.

How you can get started

Before contacting your travel agent, it would be a good idea to have some information ready to give them. An idea of where you would like to go, a maximum flight time, and the airports you are willing to travel from? How many nights would you like to stay, and on what board basis? Do you want to be near a beach and local amenities, or are you happy sitting by the pool with a book and a cocktail? Are you willing to pay extra for a sea view and/or a private transfer? What is the minimum star rating you want your hotel to be? The most crucial piece of information is your budget. This is key as everyone’s idea of a ‘bargain’ is different, and it needs to be realistic to avoid disappointment.

So the next time you are thinking about booking your holiday, please consider using an Independent Travel Agent.

Lynne Page - independent travel agent

Find out more:

https://www.lynnepagetravel.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/LynnePTravel

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lynnepagetravel

email: lynne@theholidayvillage.co.uk

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How do mortgages for the self-employed work?

I’m a whole of market Independent Financial Adviser and advise on investments, pensions, wealth planning, protection, and mortgages.

If you’re self-employed and want to increase your chances of getting a mortgage, it is worth noting there are many differences from lender to lender. 

You’ll need to fulfil the following fundamentals to facilitate a self-employed mortgage. Here are some of the things to consider.

You’ll need two years’ Full Accounts

This is usually in the format of a document SA302 – (tax year overview and tax calculations). 

These can be retrieved from HMRC or your accountant.

Many lenders will average the earnings over the two years on increasing profits; however, for decreasing profits, it is the lower one they work on. 

It’s therefore advisable that the latest year is the best year. Make your accountant aware of a pending house purchase when they’re compiling the accounts.

  • If two years’ accounts are not available, some lenders will accept one full year’s accounts and an accountant’s certificate.

However, this limits the number of lenders available and requires your accountant to provide this information.

Image shows a house to get you thinking about self-employed mortgages.

Distinguish between Sole trader vs Limited Company

As a sole trader, you are the sole owner of your business. You may employ staff to work with you, but you have complete control of the company. You keep all the profits after tax but are also personally liable should the business get into trouble. 

If you form a limited company, you are setting up a separate private organisation. You are not personally liable for the business – even if you’re the director and sole shareholder. The company is its own legal entity, so you can only lose what you put in. Rather than keeping the profits, you pay yourself through a combination of salary and dividends.

Have both your business and personal bank statements available.

  • As with employed mortgage applications, there is a requirement to have a deposit available.

10% is usually the minimum for most lenders. However, a few will accept 5%. You’ll need to provide evidence showing the source of the deposit. There is a gifted deposit process with some lenders, where you’ll need extra proof of where the funds are, with identification and written confirmation from the donor, noting that this is a non-refundable gift.

Credit checks

  • All mortgage applications will have a credit check; some leave a soft footprint, and some a hard footprint. 

Experian and Equifax are the main two credit check providers many lenders use. However, be mindful of how many applications are processed, as this could negatively affect your credit file.

To improve the credit file, regular use of small amounts on a credit card and the balance repaid in full could help the score over a longer period – ideally before a mortgage application.

Affordability calculators will vary from lender to lender

Lenders will consider whether you can afford to pay your mortgage. They’ll look at the number of dependents you have and any continuing commitments (credit card/loans etc.). 

Other forms of income could also be considered, depending on the lender, such as child benefits, maintenance payments and PIP. Also, some lenders will accept debts being cleared before purchase, and others will not.

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE

Hannah Cowell DipPFS CeMAP Certs Cii (MP & ER)

IFA

Mobile 07870898474

Email hannah.cowell@2plan.com

Website Hannah Cowell (2plan.com)

2plan wealth management Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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Your menopause and the butterfly effect

Guest blog - Mairi Taylor - menopause rock star

We know that for a caterpillar to transform into a butterfly they have to allow themselves to turn in to the most glorious goop where their imaginal cells – I always thought they were called “the magical cells” – recreate the butterfly the caterpillar was always destined to be.

If anyone tries to hurry the process or help the delicate butterfly emerge from their cocoon too early their lives are shortened & they don’t get to live their full glorious next phase of life.

What if your menopause transition is your glorious gloopy phase?

A full breakdown of the woman you are in order to become the woman you are meant to be in this next chapter of your life? This is a true “unbecoming” as you have to allow yourself time to be the gloopy mess, a mess where everything you thought you were is allowed to disintegrate & you recreate a new glorious version of yourself.

This time can be confusing, frustrating, irritating & downright frightening as we appear to rage against the two aspects of ourselves. For many of us we hold on so tightly to “our caterpillar” that we simply don’t allow the potential magic to happen. There can be such a sense of loss for many as society doesn’t honour our “gloopy mess” phase, or the wise wild woman we can become.We haven’t been shown how to navigate this transition in between family, work & all the other 100’s of responsibilities & commitments we face as modern women, but maybe just knowing this “mess” is all part of the phase may help your butterfly emerge just a little easier.

You can’t rush it, force it or deny it because to do so would impact the quality & vibrancy of the next phase & you would be dishonouring the woman you were & the woman you are yet to know.

What if we could all enter this phase of life knowing we need to allow time & space for the breakdowns, setting strong boundaries to protect some “chrysalis time”, the reimagining, the gloopy, sticky mess & see, hear & feel it for what it is? Knowing that by allowing it to take it’s time & simply swim in the soupy mess we will emerge as a newly formed & glorious post menopause woman who can open her wings & fly with a new sense of freedom as her next chapter takes form?

Mairi Taylor

Get in touch

If you need or support navigating your menopause / midlife transition then know you don’t have to be on your own. I can offer a range of services and a support network of resources and people to help you navigate.

www.mairitaylor.com

https://www.instagram.com/mairitaylor_menopause_rockstar/