Mar 23

Benefits of self-employment outweigh the financial risks

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A new study has revealed that people are deciding to take the plunge and go for self-employment at a younger age, despite the risk of greater levels of personal debt for freelancers compared to those who are employed.

PayPlan, which helps millions of people overcome their financial worries each year, has conducted an in-depth study of business owners and freelancers, assessing the attitudes and anxieties surrounding their personal finances.

The results suggest that the perceived benefits of self-employment, such as independence and flexibility, greatly outweigh the negatives.

Across the UK self-employed people under the age of 65 owe on average 36.4 per cent more in personal debt than both employed and unemployed people.

Even so self-employed people today are starting out young, with the study highlighting that almost a third (32.6 per cent) decided to branch out independently before their 35th birthday.

East Anglia’s self-employed workers start out youngest, with the average age of those choosing to go it alone being 33, compared with those in the South West, who tend to wait until later on in life, with the average age of 38.

The study does reveal, however, that the financial risks of being self-employed do not go unnoticed, with over half (50.4 per cent) seriously worrying about their finances, either often or all the time – regardless of whether or not they are currently in debt.

PayPlan has launched a free online portal for those who are self-employed, offering advice and support for those who want to solve their debt problems but keep their businesses trading.

Jane Clack, money adviser at PayPlan, has been in debt before as a self-employed businesswoman, so knows just how hard it can be. She explains, “More and more people are deciding to work for themselves, perhaps in the hope of taking back control of their lives, working hours, and personal finances.

“However, the results show that, financially, self-employed people are even more at risk and thousands may already be struggling without admitting it to anyone. We want to encourage people to open up about their money concerns and that’s why we’ve created a free online advice portal especially for self-employed people.”

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