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Follow my blog for news and insights into financial planning for women. 
I regularly share information, informal support and sometimes the odd giggle as we try to help you navigate the world of finance. 
As a busy working Mum with lots of commitments, I know how hard it can be to find the time and energy to think about financial planning. I want to break down some of the barriers and make you think positively about your financial future. 
Get in touch if you would like to discuss any of the topics in my blogs.

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  1. How a side hustle can get you more financial security...

    startup_marketing_tools

    The effects of 2020 and the Coronavirus impact has been dramatic for everyone, and whether you have been fortunate to have retained your work, or have benefitted from the Governments furlough scheme or other support, the financial pressures can be very worrying, and particularly for women, who have less in savings and pensions than thier male counterparts (source: The Independent). 

    More and more women are now turning to starting a side hustle to help them create additional financial security, and provide additional revenue streams that allow them to put money back into that savings pot that they may have had to delve into during the coronavirus pandemic. Starting a side hustle can be an effective way of bringing in that all important extra cash that can relieve pressure and stress, or maybe replace those nice to haves that we have all been missing druing lockdown.

    Starting a side hustle is not always easy, so it is best to be mindful of that and look to actively avoid "get rich quick schemes" or promises of overnight success. Here are some top tips when looking to start a side hustle...

    3 things to consider before starting a side hustle:

    1. Why do you need the side hustle in the first place? It is no good starting a side hustle if you don't have a clear goal for the actions you are going to take. 
    2. How much time can you afford to invest in your side hustle? If you have limited time then this can help you with finding opportunities which require less effort - it can also stop you getting involved with side hustles which are not matched to your skill set.
    3. Think about how much you can afford to invest in your side hustle. There are different types of side hustle and all of them will have different costs associated with getting started...

    How a side hustle can help you with financial security

    Additonal revenue streams give you a source of income which you can use to plan for and save for the future. If you know that you have gaps in your pension and savings caused by maternity leave, or the current coronavirus pandemic affecting your finances then starting a successful side hustle can help to plug those gaps (you should always seek regulated advice with regards to pensions and investments). 

    A side hustle can also give you that extra income to enjoy the things that you may not be able to afford with just your core income. It can be a great way of giving yourself a treat fund for example. As it grows you may find that you can scale back on your core work to focus more on your venture, and possibly even get to the point where your small business takes over as your full time career. It all depends on how much you are able to work on the hustle and nuture and develop it.

    choosing a side hustle

    Types of side hustle to consider:

    • Product based

      -Drop Ship
      -Craft/handmade
      -Reseller
      -Second hand
      -MLM
    •  

      Service based

      -Administrative
      -Call handling
      -Mystery shopping
      -Passive Income from your expertise

    All of the above can provde great additional income streams which you can use to support your finances and provide more financial security. The trick is to research carefully and look at the pros and cons of each option so that you choose the one that is best suited for you. 

    Below is a case study for a woman thats done just that - shes made a business from her passion for design, and now has an additional revenue stream that gives her the extra financial security on top of her day job...

    Case Study - Moira Kimber, Pearl Vine Print

     Moira Kimber

    Being of the millennial generation, we are an age of workaholics that are constantly multi-tasking and always thinking. This is exactly me, working full time as a Lead Digital Designer but also fulfilling my dream with my luxury wedding stationery business on the side. For me, I always love to be busy, my mind never shuts down and I'm always thinking of what I can do next and am up to my ears in lists. In my day role, it's managing a team of designers for an online retailer, whereby it's predominantly digital web design and all other ad-hoc duties from e-mail marketing to building landing pages to driving sales within the in-house Marketing Department.

    How to Determine Your Side Hustle?

    I absolutely love my job but having worked as a designer for over 10 years, the design industry is an age of mainly digital and print is becoming less and less sought after as a full time role. This is where my idea to start my own business sparked while commuting home one day, driving is where I have the most time to think. I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and after planning my own dream wedding it drove my business idea. I absolutely loved the wedding planning journey and designing our very own wedding stationery and wedding signage and there's nothing I love more than print, receiving a finished item, the quality and print is truly special.

    To understand what your side hustle will be, it’s about finding something where there’s a gap in the market, your niche. Not only that but something that you have expertise in and are passionate about or otherwise you will quickly tire of what you’re doing. The driving force behind my side business is that it’s my passion project, I don’t see it as working, as it’s a joy to work for myself. If you wake up every day and look forward to what you do, it doesn’t then feel like a job anymore.

    Luxury wedding stationery liverpool

    So How Do You Launch Your Side Hustle?

    For me the side hustle is real and I do love it while I work towards my end goal of running my own business full time. I absolutely love the buzz of working my 9-5 job but then fulfilling and sending out orders in the evenings and the weekends. However, I do take the time to enjoy my Sundays and call it self-care Sunday's as by juggling a business alongside a full time job there is that risk of burnout which is not at all good for anyone. I find by pre-planning my social media and putting processes in place to fulfill orders etc I ensure I know the capacity of work I can comfortably take on without being unrealistic. As I work towards my full time self-employed goal I make time to learn and absorb knowledge and put in the groundwork to make this dream come true. It is tough but if you don't put in the legwork that small business dream will never come true.

    For me getting my website live was absolutely essential and building a brand that I was proud of. My brand identity was created and the name Pearl Vine Print came about, I am half Italian so the vine aspect tied in nicely, as well as the fact that the vine leaf on my brand is from the region my husband proposed to me, Bologna in Italy. Not only that, pearls are a good luck charm for a bride on their wedding day and it was also my grandmother’s name. She was a truly inspirational figure to me. With my brand created and my website launched I then expanded onto Etsy to further grow my business. From attending wedding fairs and throwing myself out of my comfort zone, I soon realised how much I loved meeting couples face to face and getting to know them.

     pearl vine print wedding stationery

    Next Steps and Growing My Side Hustle

    By creating quality and bespoke printed goods for the couple that wants a collaborative approach to creating their perfect wedding stationery I continue to fulfil my dream while expanding my business. As once said by Winston Churchill "Never give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about".

    For me it’s not only about fulfilling my passion but also having that sense of financial security rather than relying solely on my full time role. Having my wedding stationery business gives me an extra source of income and in the current climate having this buffer has made me feel that bit less worried as I know all of my eggs aren’t in one basket. I am building a future for myself and having that extra pot financially, gives me that security, I do dip into it to either book wedding fairs, boost paid advertising etc but I am very smart about what I do and don’t spend with it, and keep everything listed on spreadsheets so I know the ins and outgoings of my business. 

    I had one of my busiest years yet last year, everything from wedding invitations to welcome signs, wax seals and this year amidst the Covid-19 pandemic I have still been able to take orders and spend time working on growth. This has really set me up for this year as unfortunately having a lot of postponed weddings it has still given me a good base amount to work from and save. It’s my main goal to not spend too much and keep adding and saving more and more into my business account to really give me a strong sense of security with my business earnings and to then expand my offering branching out even more so.

    I have since been published in the Scottish Wedding Magazine and on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings as well as an Etsy Awards 2019 Finalist and am taking 2022 bookings which is a great sign for me. With the help of Online Visibility Specialist Pamela and the SEO Privilege Group, I am continuing to grow my organic traffic and visits and am loving taking every day as it comes.

    Do not be afraid to take the plunge, by having a full time job it gives that security while you test the water and who knows where it may lead, if you don’t try you’ll never find out.

  2. A letter to my younger self about money...

    A letter to my younger self about money

     

    If you could have your time again - what would you want your younger self to know about money? When we begin to think about our financial future and taking control of our finances, taking a look back to the money mindset we created as a child can help us to understand our behaviour and money mindset now. In this post we have a series of letters from female entrepreneurs and professionals writing to their younger selves about money, money mindset and attitude to money starting with mine! 

    Letter to my younger self - Rebecca Robertson, Independent Financial Advisor

    Rebecca Robertson

     

    Dear Becky,

    Don’t believe them. They aren’t telling you YOUR truth. They are telling you THEIR truth. Their version of events, what they understand from life. Its doesn’t make them right. If you want to be a vet, do what you need to make it happen. Just because they tell you that you aren’t capable enough, doesn’t mean they are right. They are only trying to stop you from getting hurt or disappointed. That failing would be the worse thing that can happen. Its not the worst thing, actually not trying and doing nothing is the worst thing. You will only learn by failing.

    You will go onto achieve amazing things, win awards and a write books. All the stuff they are telling you, you aren’t capable of. Although I do wonder if we should thank them. Maybe you were driven to achieve because their lack of belief. Well, you have nothing to prove to anyone.

    When Dad moans about things being too expensive and horses are for rich people, know that you will be rich as your heart wishes. Try not to get into too much debt in your twenties, that spending wont make up for anything. It will only hold you back on your future plans. Oh and get into investing sooner, don’t wait until you feel that its time to do. The right time will never come. 

    So, do me a favour please. If you don’t want to do something, don’t say yes. Say No. check in with yourself and ask if that’s what you really want. Slow down, its not a sprint race, it’s a marathon. Things will happen when they need to and forcing it wont make it happen any sooner. So be kind to yourself and remember you are the best friend you have been looking for.

    Lots of love,

    Rebecca xxx

    Letter to my younger self - Shelley Bosworth, Shelley Bosworth Life Coaching

    Shelley Bosworth Coaching

    Dear Shelley,

    Do you remember how mum used to say money doesn’t grow on trees? How she always told us we couldn’t afford this, that an the other? That you have to save stuff for best? That we can’t have what we want all the time because we aren’t rich?

    Well not everything she said was true, she didn’t mean to lie? 

    She believed what she said … but please don’t let that hold you back.

    Working hard, like you always have and will continue to do, will get you where you want to (you might not know where that is, that’s ok!) and I promise you’ll find that financial security you’re looking for … but when you get there, enjoy it!

    You don’t always have to be waiting for financial disaster! Learn that a little earlier, we were heading for 40 when we realised and if I’m honest we still struggle with that one.

    Most of all know this, you will be ok. You will always have what you need, it might not be the ‘rich’ you used to day dream about but you know now you don’t need that, you know now that rich isn’t a number, rich is a feeling, rich is the experiences you have and will have.

    You have a rich life Shelley, enjoy it x

    Lots of love,

    Shelley xx

    Letter to my younger self - Nonie Leonard, Nonie Leonard Events

    Nonie Leonard

    Dear Nonie,

    I am writing this letter to you 10 years later from when you started to be financially independent. It seems like yesterday, you found your own place whilst at University and you started receiving your Student Loans.

    Back then life was so simple, it was Uni-Work-Night Out and then back home! How I wish you had foresight to what your future 10 years would be like filled with credit card debts crippling you. It was so nice going shopping when you felt sad and with access to the bank overdraft you thought the money was yours until they wanted it back.

    As soon as you finished uni and entered the working world, it was time to face your financial reality and oh my, you entered it with eyes wide open and with a vision to try and sort it out so you can be financially independent. That took a lot of discipline which you has to teach yourself from reading and watching other young women also trying to sort out their finances. How I wish you had someone during those years at university who could have been a support system and advise you on how to handle your finances.

    Lucky enough for you, as you grew older you met friends who had wisdom and also on a journey of financial independence which helped you on your journey and to where you are today. Would you have thought you will be financially free and owning a home?

    I am so proud of your journey from where you have been and the knowledge you learnt over the years. One tip I would give you is to learn how to not use money emotionally to make yourself feel better.

    Take Care

    Nonie 

    Letter to my younger self - Krisha Davies, Supermumma 

    Krisha Davies Founder of Mumma and Mia Super Mumma

    Dear Krisha,

    How nice is that new Paul Smith belt you have just treated yourself too! I know you will love it for a while! What you haven’t told anyone is that you paid for it on your overdraft. I can hear you saying that you will pay it off when you get paid, and in your head you really believe it! What I know is that it isn’t just a belt you will buy this month, it will be the matching shoes, and that you can’t pay it off this month because you still have to pay off last month! Plus, you have those store cards too! I know it makes you feel good to have these nice things, the problem is you can’t afford any of it. The high of buying it only lasts a little while until it is replaced with guilt and the worry of paying it all off.

    I wish I could tell you to save a little more, that in years to come when you are married with 2 kids, those nice things will be at the back of a cupboard collecting dust. Your priorities will change, you will finally realise that, as nice as those things are, they aren't important to you anymore. A new top or a designer bag cant put food on the table for your children or pay the mortgage to provide a roof over your head. Your girls have no clue how much that bag was, and that you can’t afford to damage it with crayons, a leaking juice bottle and muddy clothes from the park. It is just a bag!

    You worked hard for your money and still do, but if you had just been a little bit more sensible, instead of chasing an unrealistic lifestyle, you could have had some nice things and still have savings to buy a better first car, pay less each month on your mortgage, had savings to pay your bills when you got made redundant.

    Money doesn't buy your happiness, it gives you freedom, independence, opportunity and more importantly it lets you provide a secure home with food on the table for your children.

    Love,

    Future (a little more sensible/boring) Krisha x

    Letter to my younger self - Pamela Rae-Welsh, Manchester Branding Designer

    Pamela Rae-Welsh

    Dear Pamela,

    Things are going to be ok you know. You should know that you are loved and cared for and that people are proud of you. You don't need to buy friends, and you dont need to work ridiculously hard to prove to people that you are worthy and successful. 

    When you are older you will come to realise that you should have spent more time having fun and not trying to convince everyone that you are the best at everything. So rather than spending all that time working, go out and have fun. Explore more, take more adventures. Know that money and wealth and success will come to you because you do deserve them, not because you are sacrificing everything now. 

    You will make everyone proud - so just enjoy being a kid for a bit. 

    Lots of love,

    Pamela xx

    What letter would you write your younger self? Is it time to rewrite your money story and unlock some money blocks?