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Wary Women case study: Rowena

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Rowena Macdonald, 41, is an author, creative writing teacher and works part time at the House of Commons. She lives in London. In spite of an array of literary prizes for her first book ‘Smoked Meat’, finances remain tight and she admits that managing money is ‘all a bit mathsy’ for her. She has had money in premium bonds and cash ISAs in the past, but sees the stock market as another world. She’s always been good at ‘cobbling a few quid together’, but has just had her first child and is starting to fret that she and her partner don’t own their own home. She does have savings, built up over 15 years, but the property market keeps moving out of reach. She’d love to have the financial freedom to write full time and not have to worry about money, but that feels elusive.

Rowena’s priorities: Building a nest egg to give her a bit more financial stability.

OUR EXPERT SAYS

Cathi Harrison, one of our favorite paraplanners says, “With regards to the property purchase, Rowena should ensure her savings are earning as much interest as possible, while remaining easily accessible. She should therefore look into high interest savings accounts and ensuring she is using her ISA allowances, keeping in the funds in cash. Now they have a child, Rowena should review her protection planning, ensuring the family are cared for should anything happen to her or her partner. For the financial freedom to write full time, she will need to have an alternative source of income; this is likely to be a longer term goal, once the immediate priorities are dealt with, and the new income might come from investments, private pension and state pension”.

OUR 6 MONTH CHALLENGE

Consider setting up a stock and shares ISA for longer-term savings. See who we rate here. So-called “Equity Income” funds are baskets of shares which pay their investors out some money on a regular basis – what we call dividends or distributions.

Holly's preferred picks are currently Artemis Income and Woodford UK Equity Income which currently pay about 3.3% – 3.7% out each year.