In the first of our ‘Quick-Read’ series, Stacey Cottrill discusses in three(ish) questions how she managed to overcome the challenges that come with freelance work.
After taking control of her financial future, she was able to make some important life decisions like extending her mortgage to invest in a business.
What are some of the challenges that come with being a freelancer?
The obvious challenge that comes to mind is surety of income. It helped a lot once I had a contract for a specific amount of hours a week. It gave me that financial stability that I needed.
I also reckon it’s a bonus to be contracting less than 40 hours a week, as anything less than that allows me the space to take on other work, offering more creative variety and a chance to extend my skills… And more importantly, I now get more time to bum about with my kids!
Can you briefly describe the process of how you were able to extend your mortgage in order to invest in a business?
I’ve been dreaming about investing in a new business for, well, ages. I realised if I didn’t get my ducks in a row, I’d miss the boat. And I hate missing boats.
So I chatted to my bank who were supportive but naturally concerned about my status as a freelancer. The team at Hnry provided me with a report of all my income and expenditure to support my case. They emailed it through and I forwarded it onto the bank instantly. I think the promptness took the bank by surprise!
Long story short, they approved the extension on my mortgage. Having that data at hand was great. I can honestly say that if I hadn’t been using Hnry, the task would have been too much for me and my creative head. And I’d probably be left standing on the dock, waving goodbye to that boat.
So what are some ways in which you control your finances? Where do you get advice from?
Having a mortgage is the best way for me to control my finances. As odd as it may sound, paying off my mortgage is how I actually save money. Before I had a mortgage, I had an automatic payment coming out of my account fortnightly: money that would be squirrelled away into an account I could not touch.
I manage to get a lot of advice from talking to people and being open to unorthodox options. For example, I sold the house we live in so I could buy a holiday home by the beach, which would have a much higher return on investment over time than a little house in Palmerston North. And now, by way of good fortune, I rent my house from the lovely people I sold it to.