Welcome to 'How I Made It Work' — Bustle UK's financial series which aims to demystify money and the process of achieving financial stability. This time HIMIW hears from a 33-year-old business owner in Essex who has grown her salary from £9,000 to £70,000 over the course of her career. Read on to find out how she made it work.
Occupation: Business Owner
How would you describe your current financial status? Stable.
What is your current salary and how long have you been earning this amount?
£70,000 [roughly £5,800 a month] for the past 3 years. Early days of working I was on £9,000 per year. Work hard and it pays.
Do you receive regular financial help from friends, family, or a partner?
No never. I worked while at school to earn money and help pay the bills as I was brought up in a single parent family. This had a massive impact on me and my relationship with money. My priority was to ensure I had enough to help cover the bills and I quickly realised that money is the best and the worst of everything.
How would you describe your relationship to money?
Sensible. I am conscious of spending but only because I want to be able to buy the nice things that I want when I have the opportunity to do so.
Do you believe you feel you are currently in a stable position financially?
Yes I do, I have seen times when I haven’t had any money but with goals and determination it’s possible to have a little pot with savings in.
Concentrate on you and your goals and you will get to where you want to be
How did you achieve stability?
I saved a small amount of money each month from my wages. I calculated what that would look like in 12 months time. The key for me was to pretend I never received that money in my wages. I would deduct it straight away and forget that I had it in the first place either in a savings account or have the will power to leave it in my account and not spend it. I would soon smile when I saw the figure rise.
Have you felt financially stable for most of your life, a few years, or is it a very recent thing?
Mid to late 20s I started to become more stable. I wanted to travel but could only do that if I saved, I wanted to dine out and experience new things but could only do that with disposable cash.
Do you own any properties? No.
What does financial stability look like to you?
That you have enough money each month to pay your outgoings (utility bills, travel fares, rent/mortgage) and live comfortably to eat out now and again, and also visit new places and not have to worry about how you'll pay next month’s bills.
To be debt-free is an amazing feeling
What advice would you give to young women who are worried about achieving financial stability?
Stay strong, don’t lose hope. It is possible to be financially stable. Concentrate on you and your goals and you will get to where you want to be. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a life while saving, it just means you have to budget and prioritise social events.
What one piece of advice would you give to young women who want to improve their relationship to money?
If you have debts, clear them first. To be debt-free is an amazing feeling and will leave you more disposable cash. If this also means that the spare money used to pay one bill goes towards paying another debt then so be it, avoid racking up those debts if you can, focus on savings and you’ll soon see that pot of money grow that you can say you worked hard for. And it’s your own to do what you want with it — a holiday, a car, a business, you have the luxury of choosing your path. Money unfortunately doesn’t grow on trees, you have to earn it and what you do with that money is only down to you. The earlier you start saving, the bigger the pot later on.