RAISING THE BAR: HOW TO REDUCE FINANCIAL STRESS
As if being a barrister wasn’t stressful enough, with all the UK’s uncertainty – stemming from the likes of Brexit – financial worries are now as present as ever.
As Penny Lovell, Head of Private Client Services at Close Brothers Asset Management, explains in Barrister Magazine, “We are not yet a nation of savers” and “the average British household saves just around five per cent of income each year” which “alone is not enough to prepare for long-term goals such as funding retirement.” Yet “for those who do not have a consistent monthly pay cheque, such as barristers, long-term saving is even more challenging. Cash flow is a significant consideration for barristers when it comes to setting aside money for the future. Paid on a case-by-case basis, inconsistent income can be a real issue, and it is difficult to plan ahead without concrete knowledge of where the next pay check will be coming from, no matter how much that pay check could eventually be. Barristers also face substantial business costs”, she continues, as “beyond daily expenses and bills must pay their chambers a percentage of their earnings in rent – typically 20% – cover day-to-day costs such as travel and contribute towards the chambers running and overheads.”
According to another article in the Law Gazette, “one in eight barristers are ‘emotionally exhausted’ and more than half do not sleep properly” – per the findings of a Bar Council’s survey into barristers’ wellbeing. And, as ever, financial concerns were found to be part of the problem.
Luckily for you, we’re here to help guide you through the haze that, for the time being, doesn’t seem to be getting any clearer. Below are our top three tips, but the possibilities truly are endless!
Be aware. “Barristers must understand their different financial stresses, cash flow squeezes and even tax commitments before a sustainable plan can be built”, explains Penny.
Don’t neglect your personal finances. Keep on top of savings, pensions and anything that impacts your general wellbeing and future retirement. Otherwise, you could be faced with additional avoidable tax charges. If you find this difficult to stick to, put a date in your diary to ensure that you don’t put it off any longer.
Seek help. If your finances are getting on top of you and you find yourself short, don’t suffer in silence! Companies (like us!) exist primarily to give you that boost when it’s most needed.