Having a second income is becoming more and more popular, partly due to necessity to meet increases in living expenses which can make all the difference in having disposable income left before payday, or because the perceived security of employment is considerably lower than it was in previous generations.
Many women may have taken career breaks to raise children or find that by the time rising childcare costs are met, (the average cost for UK childcare is £242 per week full time*) there is little change left over for essentials, let alone small luxuries. The average monthly cost of living in the UK ranges from £706.81 in Hull for a single person (£1437.74 for a couple) to £1676.51 in London (£2937.07 for a couple) ** so although wages can be commensurate with location, the cost of living progressively rises, meaning everyone faces the same degree of financial challenge regardless of where they live in the UK.
In line with the percentage of marriage breakdowns, it must be recognised that while there are around 1.8 million single parents, making up nearly a quarter of all families, almost 90 per cent of them are women, a colossal responsibility that needs appreciating, negotiating, and supporting. Many women also feel the pressure to elevate not just their own lives, but the lives of their dependents with integrity and often inexhaustible commitment.
It’s true to say that while men generally keep a steady working momentum and have a vocationally progressive finger on the pulse of what’s happening in their working world, a woman faces various disruptions – children being the primary responsibility, but also relationship breakdowns and the role of a carer which is more commonly embraced by women. This leads to an inevitable erosion of momentum and self-belief in picking up where they left off in a working environment in which they were happy and established, or even beginning something fresh and new.
Female empowerment, a phrase that has many implications, refers to a broad range of extra impetus a woman must overcome in order to believe they can embrace the strength and confidence they need to break through their own mindset and sometimes unfair perceptions of women in the workplace.
Statistics show that financial independence and success has a hugely positive impact on their offspring, the commitment and drive to improve the standard of living for the family with balance and dedication plays a significant part in being a great role model and inspiration for your children, and indeed partner, family and friends.
Following the last recession, it became ever more needful to find sustainable financial security, in terms of shared responsibility within relationships and families. As a nation the UK lives in a perpetually anxious state of another imminent impact, the latest political uncertainty further compelling our anticipation.
Studies made by the BITC (Business in the community) *** show that unleashing the full female workforce potential could be worth £23 billion a year to the economy. Numerous references are made to their role played in the board room, down to women’s qualifications and the need for that to be embraced by many sectors; for example, 1 in 3 female graduates have a degree in health related studies compared to 1 in 11 for men.
Home based businesses are also being successfully established and grown by a healthy support network embraced by many entrepreneurs; anything from network marketing brands, starting a blog, affiliate marketing, or playing to existing career strengths and freelancing, ie copywriting, design or social media management. Some flourish at making products and selling them via an online shop like Etsy, eBay, or Amazon. Physical work such as waitressing and bar work, cleaning work, helping in schools, dog walking – all kinds of convenient and flexible work can be utilised to make just that little bit of difference.
One has to be wise to online scams that promise you’ll get rich quick which usually means the opposite, but the collective experience of the accrued wisdom and explorations already made are available in several networks (ie Women in Business, Athena etc), as well as providing business opportunities themselves. Help is of course on hand for the necessary insurances, registering with HMRC, tax returns and administrations.
It’s also good to note that 72% of women who run their own business say they’re in their dream job!
Why not investigate what is available now? It can lead to less anxiety, a feeling of greater security and also the ability to put aside savings for the future, helping to bolster your resources and enjoy the fruits of your labours later in life.
- Birchwood Investment Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.