View more on these topics

Correspondent’s Week

This week Emma Lunn, freelance finance journalist

Monday morning kicks off with a rather slack attempt at making progress on a piece about Government-backed shared-equity schemes. Trouble is, my head is full of my own property-buying dilemmas.

I have decided to upsize to somewhere bigger than my current shoebox-sized abode so I can be a proper freelancer and have an office. Since looking for a new house is more fun than thinking about mortgages or other minor financial considerations, I am a position where I have found my ideal property but have done nothing about selling mine.

It is a little worrying that, when I write so much about mortgages, I have so little clue as to what I am doing.

In the afternoon, Emma Simon from the Sunday Telegraph calls and commissions a piece based on an idea I had about the cost of credit reports. Just as I am about to start, Sam Dunn from the Independent on Sunday calls to commission a feature on switching energy suppliers. With both pieces having deadlines of Wednesday afternoon, I am in for a busy couple of days.

Tuesday is spent with my nose to the grindstone trying to research and write the two features simultaneously. Eventually, I am tempted away from my desk for a couple of sets of tennis, hoping the pieces will somehow write themselves. Strangely, my friends labour under a misunderstanding that my freelance life consists of lie-ins and daytime TV with little or no work. So no one, least of all me, believes it when I announce I am off home for a couple of hours more work before bed.

Wednesday sees the punctual completion of both pieces. Just as I am about to let out a sigh of relief and tune in to the 4pm showing of Holby City on UKGold, I get an email from a mortgage publication wanting a 2,000-word piece about lead-generation firms by Tuesday morning. I pause for a moment, trying to work out if this is do-able. Then I remember that I never turn anything down – work, men, nothing at all. So Wednesday sees another late night planning who to talk to for the feature.

First thing Thursday, I tackle readers’ problems for my page in B magazine. As the resident “careers expert”, I have to reply to problems such as: “I am sleeping with my boss’s husband and my colleague has found out and is blackmailing me to do her work. What shall I do?” The rest of the day is spent investigating the murky world of lead generators, interspersed with regular visits to Ebay. In an effort to fund my upsizing project, I am auctioning my unwanted gear. I never cease to be amazed by the rubbish some people will buy and I wave goodbye to some rollerblades, a mug tree and four box files.

On Friday, I head into London for lunch with the guys from uSwitch. Working at home means going into town is normally a treat but it is a bit more nerve-wracking these days, with armed police everywhere. We have a nice lunch, talk about a broadband piece I have lined up for next week, then I head home in time for the estate agent to come and take some pictures of my flat. So, if anyone wants an attractive one-bed flat in one of Crystal Palace’s most sought after roads, get your offers in early.


LiverpoolVic aims at IHT planning

Liverpool Victoria is offering whole-of-life guaranteed premium life cover. The policy pays out a lump sum, with premiums guaranteed for the duration of the policy. Minimum premium is 5 a month and level or index-linked options are available. It features additional inheritance tax-guaranteed insurability options, which cover marriage, divorce, inheritance, and legal adoption of a […]

Executive decisions

The FSA’s fourth life insurance newsletter issued last month warns insurers about the standard of advice given by their representatives.

Don’t put all your eggs in RPI basket

I am in the process of buying an annuity with my pension fund and have been offered a contract which increases annually in line with the retail price index, subject to a maximum of 5 per cent a year. The initial annuity equates to my current annual spend. Am I right in assuming that if inflation is less than 5 per cent a year, I will be able to maintain my current standard of living?


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment