According to recent reports, self-employed builders and quantity surveyors are 40% more likely than other professions to accumulate personal debt.
This is according to a report by PayPlan, a debt advice provider, in an in depth study which was originally based in the UK but could hint at a worldwide trend. Other reports across South Africa and Europe have also indicated similar findings.
The research shows that those people who work for themselves in the building and construction sector are more likely to experience serious personal money problems.
For instance, self-employed construction workers under 65 owe on average 36.4% more personal debt than those in an employed role elsewhere. The study also showed that 50% of people worried about their personal finances regularly.
It seems unclear. Perhaps construction workers risk more of their own money for their business and as such, accumulate larger sums of debt. Self employed people in any industry will know how difficult it is to maintain a healthy, regular income, but it appears construction workers take a bigger knock than others.
What to do.
Many debt advice charities are urging people in self-employed roles to educate themselves on debt and managing their money more effectively, so that the stress and anxiety caused by accumulating debt never takes effect.
A recent blog post discussed just this topic. The blog post suggested that if you educate yourself to understand debt, you can be in a healthier financial situation overall. Before drawing out a loan or applying for another credit card, you should ask yourself, what is the debt for, can you afford it, and how much will it cost you? This, the blog post states, means that you more effectively consider each purchase you make and don’t make as many reckless and impulse financial decisions.
Making such impulsive decisions is very easy to do these days – so don’t beat yourself up over it. Online payments mean that you barely ever touch and part with money, so it is more difficult to track what you have spent or even feel like you are spending any money at all. However, debt can easily stack up by spending in this fashion. There is no problem in taking out a loan or paying for things on your credit card, so long as you pay the debt off when you need to so that you don’t accumulate excess interest.
You should also be wary of what you spend – do you really need that second holiday? As a construction worker, do you really need to pay up front for these materials or can you negotiate a different deal? Being savvy with your finances can put you in a better position for the future and improve your credit score.