Dance artist

Expert financial advice: London dance artist Pandemic finance

Welcome to Money Matters: GLAMOR’s weekly dive into the world of finance – your finance. These uncertain times have reminded us of how important it is to understand our money and yet… how little we talk about it and how much secrecy it is.

It stops now.

Eager to break this taboo about money, we discuss everything related to personal finance, from money saving tips to ISAs and pensions. Each week a woman in a unique situation will give us an honest breakdown of her finances, and our expert will give her simple tips on exactly how to deal with it. So have a cup of tea, sit down and let’s talk money …

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Cassandra is a 28-year-old dance artist in London who has lost most of her work in the pandemic. It’s his silver diary.*

I have been a professional dancer for a little over six years, working and not in various companies, traveling the world and living comfortably. I managed to buy my first property last year after looking around two years ago, it’s definitely a process!

I was on tour when Covid-19 erupted and since then it has been a volatile and anxious time for the theater industry. There was no work for me for a long time. During this time, I was trying to stay motivated and keep my physical shape so that I was fit and ready to work when the industry opens again. We have taken an extreme hit because of the pandemic. I have felt incredibly vulnerable all this year, trying not to drain my “savings” while making the most of my year to learn, create and enjoy the move into my new home.

I haven’t worked half as much as before the virus. I was lucky to be able to get out of it – but I’m only doing it. We / the industry are starting to pick up and I have high hopes for a better year financially next year.

My biggest worry is that I will not be able to exit my Home Buyers Assistance Program to buy more properties. I would like to have a second property with my partner and rent out my current apartment, but without paying back the 40% loan (around £ 120,000) this is impossible for me. I’m stuck in this knot of never being able to profit from my property until I find over £ 100,000 or sell it. I am also very worried about being mentally unable to save, if there is money in my account, I will find something to spend it on.

MY ACCOUNTS

Current account: £ 1,700
Savings account: £ 2,500

MY REVENUES

Annual salary: I do not know anymore. Pre-Covid, around £ 30,000 before tax and £ 24,000 after tax.
Monthly pay: Varied! Pre-Covid, around £ 2,500 before tax and £ 1,850 after tax.
Any other incoming payment: I can get great paid movie jobs in a year, but I can also not get paid movies.

MY OUTINGS

Mortgage: £ 409
Invoices: £ 400
Other: £ 200 (car, phone)
The follies: £ 600 per month. I love going out with friends and am an advocate for being present in life and living in the moment. I also have a weakness for beautiful things around the house. I have a lot better to splurge on fashion for myself.
Weekly budget: I don’t have a budget, but I probably easily spend £ 150-200 a week and would like some advice on that – is it a little pointless? How extremely inconvenient at the moment.

MY DEBTS

I have no debts.

MY MONEY THOUGHTS

My worst money habit: Buy the more expensive version because it is designer.
My biggest money worry: Will I ever be able to save? And own several properties.
My financial hopes for the future: Work for fun, not income.
Current mood for money: 🙏 🙃

1. Help to buy help
The H2B scheme is confusing for AF, so my main advice through all of this is to talk to a mortgage broker about your options. You are correct that you cannot rent your house until you pay off the equity loan. You are also right that once you do, you don’t have to follow the rules of the plan. In an ideal world, helping buyers would save money over five years so they could pay off their 20% (or 40% in London) loan in full. However, with house prices and the cost of living as they are, this is easier said than done. One option is to remortgage – essentially paying off the equity loan with a new mortgage. However, as with any mortgage, you will need to prove that you can afford the repayments, which could be difficult when your income has been affected. A good broker is your best bet, but here’s a handy guide to paying off your mortgage purchase help.