My money story

Image of Fleur in an orange top and scarf.

I’ve been there

Shifting your behaviour around money when your life is in chaos can be a particularly confusing and unspoken kind of pain. Everyone seems to think you’re doing fine, but you are dying inside. It’s hard to talk to someone who hasn’t experienced it. I have.

With a solid banking career, I moved from low-tax Hong Kong to high-tax UK. I knew it would be a lifestyle step down, as a friend deftly put it.But I thought I was prepared for the income drop, believing it would lead to better career opportunities in the long run. Or so I thought. Within a month of arriving in London on my new career path, I was pregnant. A real SNAFU (situation normal, all fucked up). Every time I looked for support or advice, I received an answer on the theme of “It’s never a good time to have a kid.You’re earning plenty.Suck it up.”

In the grand scheme of things, I had sort of planned for a child. Maybe. A bit. But deep down, buried under all the career success and lifestyle goals, I was not really ready for parenthood. In fact, I was so un-ready for it, that I had completely failed to plan, save up a Cash Buffer, or mentally adjust to the baby and parenting idea. I had always thought that people who had whoopsie-babies were irresponsible gits with no control of their lives. And yet, there I was – finances already stretched – and looking at one of the most expensive choices in my life, a child.

Money anxiety and depression

Cash crunched and bank balance racing to zero, I rushed back to work after a short maternity leave. On the first day back in the City, I trudged up the stairs to the office. The weight of responsibility to support my family and the chains of dependence on my banker’s income grew heavier with each step. By the time I entered the office, I was gasping for air and terrified of losing my job. The pressure didn’t ease. I couldn’t admit that I was having problems with money because I had a job where I made recommendations about millions of pounds of investments! I indirectly managed other people’s money. If I couldn’t manage my finances with this generous income, who was I to be in this job?

I knew our household was reasonably well off compared to the rest of the population, but we were still struggling. In fact, struggling seriously understates the effect our money worries had on me and my relationships. To cut a long story short, my anxiety about our finances and how I couldn’t afford to lose my job threw me into a trench of depression. Just six months after returning to work, I had to take sick leave, and it took nearly a year to regain my mental health sufficiently to return to work.

Ouch, that hurt

So yeah, I know how money worries can hurt. I know that not being able to talk about money can make you feel isolated and alone. I know that people’s expectations and image of you – because of who you are, your education level, or your income – can have a profound effect on whether you ask for help, receive it and ultimately recover. And I know it’s not your fault if you are struggling to talk about money. Whoever you are and whatever you earn.

I also know that certain behaviours, which may have served you well in the past, are not helpful when your circumstances shift. These habits are tightly wrapped up in our values, identities, education and beliefs (along with a whole lot of other stuff).

And do you know what? I know how to crunch the numbers, and I can tell one end of a financial product from another. As a Chartered Financial Analyst, I am required to maintain an extremely high standard of financial knowledge. And I am dedicated to maintaining strict ethical standards when it comes to dealing with my clients, their money and the financial markets. In this book I share with you many practical methods – backed by extensive research – to help you change how you think about, and what you do with, your money.

How I can help

If you are confused about money in any way – I want to help you gain understanding.You can develop greater awareness about what money means to you and where you need to focus your efforts.You will be able to see clearly that money is not only about the numbers, it is about so much more.

Thank you for reading my story – I hope it has help you in your own money journey.

If you would like to book in a time with me – you are welcome use this link here Book A Money Conversation.

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