Today we are having a conversation with Eileen from Your Money Sorted. She works with UK women as a money coach, with the aim to help others have better relationships with their finances. Eileen’s goal is to make people more confident and comfortable when it comes to managing money and secure their financial freedom.
Hi Eileen, thanks for joining us today. Can you first tell us how and why you decided to become a money coach?
My pleasure. Thanks for asking me.
I have been a PE teacher for over 20 years, but after having 3 kids in 2 years (not my fault….twins!), I found that I couldn’t cope with the demands of having a young family and teaching. I decided to start my own bookkeeping business, and reduce my teaching commitment to 2 days per week. This worked well for a few years, but it had a detrimental effect on our income, which made me stressed in a different way! I then started learning about money mindset, and realised that it was ME who was holding us back, not the actual money. I was so fascinated by this discovery and by the changes that it helped me to make in my life, that I decided I wanted to share my learning with other people.
After learning my trade, firstly as a life coach, then as a money coach, Your Money Sorted was born. I now coach women all over the UK, helping them to learn how improving their mindset can make them happier, healthier and wealthier.
What’s your current financial strategy? Are you saving, investing or recovering from debt?
My husband and I both want to retire in 9 years’ time, but before that we potentially have 3 kids to help through further education in a 6 year period. With ever-increasing costs for students, this is a situation that has caused us some pressure. We are investing money in Uni funds, as well as in retirement funds for us. I plan to continue to work as a money coach, after leaving teaching and we are planning a campervan adventure around Europe to celebrate the start of our retirement. Although I am planning to still run my Your Money Sorted business after my “retirement”, I don’t count that as work, because I love it so much!
What’s the biggest financial mistake you have ever made? Even a money coach has one. 😉
My biggest mistake has definitely been cutting my teaching hours, without giving any thought to how it would affect my pension. My teaching pension will not allow me to retire when I want to. Therefore I have had to start making other plans to supplement my retirement income, so that I am not “stuck” in teaching until I am 68! Unfortunately there are so many others in the same position, but they ignore it and are likely to get a shock when they do start to face the problem. I now use my learning to help other teachers to plan their retirement more effectively.
As a coach, what’s the most recurring mistakes people make when it comes down to money?
It has to be doing the same thing over and over again, and thinking that the outcome will change. People try to take control of their money, maybe by making a budget, using cash only or trying to stop spending. It works for a wee while, then they fall back into old habits and discover that the same problems are still there month after month. They must tackle their mindset and work out WHAT they want from life, WHY they spend, WHERE the money goes, and WHAT they can do about it. Only by doing this can people can make massive changes in their lives.
How do people’s personal finance differ? Do you always coach people with the same problems or are there new patterns every time?
People’s finances vary as much as people vary and that is what makes money coaching so truly fascinating. As I coach more and more people, I do see similar problems come up time and time again, but the solutions to these are as diverse as the people I coach.
What personal finance tools do you currently use to track and manage your money?
I love apps for keeping on top of day to day spending, but for organising my finances I am still a fan of a good old excel spreadsheet. There is something satisfying about being able to see it all clearly laid out on one screen and to be able to make adjustments on that same screen.
How often do you check your finances?
To be honest, not that often! My finances are set up so that I don’t need to constantly check them.
Is there any financial product you would recommend? It can be anything, even your bank.
My new favourite product has to be my new friend Plum! Plum analyses your spending and then saves small amounts of money from your current account into your Plum savings account. People rarely notice the small withdrawals, but they really add up by the end of the month. It is just a brilliant way of saving money and makes it feel fun to save.
What would you say to a 21 years old graduate who’s starting to work in September and has a salary for the first time?
Start preparing for your retirement NOW. The power of compound interest means that saving a little regular amount from the start, will ensure you can have a very comfortable retirement.
This is part of our personal finance interviews series.