Interviews

FIREside chat with Hannah: "I help people take control of their money"

May 21, 2021
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FIREside chat with Hannah: "I help people take control of their money"

Hi! Could you introduce yourself?

Hello, my name is Hannah, the creator behind @budgetwithme1 on Instagram. I manage a financial page, and I have been sharing my money journey for over 3 years, including all the ups and downs. My aim is to make money fun, especially for young people. I help people take control of their money.

What personality type did you get? Did you find the results to be accurate?

The Optimizer. I would say that this is very accurate. I am someone who checks their bank account all the time and I do like to be organised when it comes to my finances. 

What inspired you to start a social media presence about personal finance? For completely new readers, what is the “tl;dr” of your brand?

I was inspired by the many people in the financial community. It amazed me that people were sharing their REAL money journeys, and I loved it! It made me realise that anyone can look after their finances if they learn and research. It was also great to talk to young people about the struggles of being on a low income and saving for a house deposit. 


I do think poor handling of personal finances is something that has always been in my life, by myself and family members. I have seen loved ones struggle with money by getting into debt and having no savings/ borrowing money. And I am determined to take control of my finances now, before this happens to me.

What is your relationship with personal finance? - If applicable, how has that defined your current pursuits? What changes have you made that have helped? How has it changed over time?

I now have a great relationship with personal finance, it is more of a hobby for me than a chore. I love it! I love seeing my savings increase each month. But I used to have a really bad relationship with money, I used to spend money like I had millions of pounds, and got myself into debt. I also believed that everyone spent money like I did and what I was doing was “normal”.

Over time, I have learnt how important money is to me and how I can do more to look after it. One of the big changes I made was tracking my spending, knowing exactly which money leaves my account has helped find  the problem areas in my spending. 

What’s the worst money advice you’ve ever received?

“Everyone has debt so you're fine”. I was told many times that it was okay to have debt, and I should get loans and over spend on my credit card because everyone else does it! This affected me, I thought if everyone else can do it then so can I. I have also been told so many times that I am too young so I don’t need a budget because I won’t be able to have fun! How wrong were they?! I have been able to have more holidays and more fun because I have the money saved. 

What are some things that worked for you for maintaining balance and managing your spending?

I have been creating a balance between working hard and doing overtime as well as looking after myself. Looking after your finances is fantastic and it can help mentally as you are less stressed, but looking after you is important. Every week after I have tracked my budget and reach my savings goals I buy something for myself. This helps so much, evening spending £5 on a face mask makes me happy!

Is there a specific financial goal you are working towards right now? What steps are you taking to achieve that goal?

I have finally reached my house deposit goal with my partner. So this year we would like to buy our first home, so I am working on building up an emergency fund and other sinking funds to be as prepared as possible. I am also learning about investing and my main goal is to invest a small amount each month and build from there.

  

What do you most enjoy spending on? Or any guilty pleasure you can share?

Does spending money on my small business count?! I absolutely love buying new products/software for my small Etsy business. But apart from that I love spending money on short UK breaks with my partner. Yes, it does mean we have to save all year round for them but I love it. We took the decision to not go abroad and holiday around the UK and it is the best decision we have ever made. 


How have you been spending your time through the pandemic? How does it feel to be on the cusp of normalcy?

I have sadly been on furlough so I have had a lot of spare time! But I have been using this time to really improve my Instagram page, my small business, and myself. 

How often do you check your finances?

Every day! It is the first thing I do every morning as soon as my alarm goes off. This may seem a bit excessive, but for me this is the best way I can control the money leaving my account. 

For someone who is starting completely new to personal finance, how would they get started? What specific tips would you have for newbies?

Take your time. There is no point rushing into a budget without taking small steps. I always start by thinking about my goals and ask myself these questions:

  • What? What is my goal?
  • Why? Why have I got this goal?
  • When? When would I like to complete it?
  • How? How am I going to achieve this goal? 
  • I then plan accordingly. I would also do trial budgets, track your spending. Being prepared has helped me massively.


What's your stack? (Accounts, credit cards, apps or other tools)

I have a lot of accounts:

3x Current Accounts

5x Saving Accounts

Multiple saving points in my Monzo

Can you tell I am obsessed with savings accounts?! I also track my budget by using budget trackers and excel spreadsheets.

You can follow Hannah at @budgetwithme1 or on her blog


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