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 35-year-old paraplanner in Bristol who explains how getting into debt when she was younger has shaped her approach to money. Read on to find out how she made it work.
Occupation: Director of an outsourced paraplanning firm
How would you describe your current financial status? Stable and growing.
What is your current salary and long have you been earning this amount?
Prior to setting up my own business I was earning just over £45,000. Now I’m in the early stages of setting up, I’m taking £719 a month for now until everything is bedded in. I should be earning more than I was before by the end of the year.
Do you receive regular financial help from friends, family, or a partner? How do you think this has impacted your relationship with money?
I’ve had occasional support from friends and family, but I’ve always planned for it just being me and made my decisions based on that. I got into a lot of debt when I was really young and needed a lot of help for a few years. That made me really particular about money and I’ve always wanted financial independence since then.
How would you describe your relationship to money?
I like feeling financially comfortable and will work hard to make sure I continue to feel like that. I’m not a huge spender or into fashion or expensive things, but I do like to be able to spend money without worrying. That’s important to me, there’s enough to worry about!
Do you believe you are currently in a stable position financially?
Yes and no. Setting up my own company was a financial risk and I’m only in the early stages. However, I’m really busy already and it doesn’t look like that is going to calm down anytime soon so hopefully it will only get better from here.
If yes, how did you achieve stability?
To be honest, I moved around a lot. I got all kinds of experience in all kinds of places and always put my own career at the top of my priority list. I made a good reputation over eight to nine years and then was able to use that to help me get into the position I wanted to be in
If no, what would help you feel more financially stable?
I’d like a couple more years under my belt as a business owner and maybe a few employees so I can actually take holiday.
If you feel financially stable, has this been the case for most of your life, a few years, or is it a very recent thing?
This is something that has built up over a number of years since I was in debt. I never wanted to be in that position again so I always worked for the next promotion, the next exam, the next pay rise. We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up so I think I’ve always wanted to change that for myself.
Do you own any properties?
I own my flat with my boyfriend. I bought 40% initially using a shared ownership scheme and then bought the rest of the flat in the following years. It worked really well for us.
Did you have any help from partners or family members to put down a deposit or pay the mortgage?
I saved the deposit for the initial 40% myself and got the mortgage in my own name. My boyfriend’s income didn’t count for the mortgage but his parents helped with the deposit to take it up to 100%.
What does financial stability look like to you?
Paying bills and not being afraid of the post. Having the freedom to make decisions, have fun, and spend time doing things you enjoy.
What advice would you give to young women who are worried about achieving financial stability?
Take control of your money and career for yourself and don’t give the control to anyone else. It’s amazing what you can achieve if you just take things one step at a time and work on small goal after small goal.
What one piece of advice would you give to young women who want to improve their relationship to money?
Being in debt that you cannot easily repay is one of the most claustrophobic and stressful feelings ever. Only take on debt if you are sure you can easily repay it. If you have debt, make it a priority to pay it off early where you can. Also, pay into a pension as soon as possible. The compounding effect of growth over the course of your working life is HUGE.