Money Stories | 2 min read

Money Stories - I thought I wanted to be rich

I always thought I was very money motivated and wanted to be rich. I remember the moment over 14 years ago that I discovered this wasn’t true. I was shocked. Earning great money and aspiring to have a top job had been the story of my university and school days. I’d always worked and I earned much better money than the average student wage - I taught aerobics and made the equivalent of 10 hours work in a bar or shop in one hour (all whilst dancing, shouting and wearing a microphone!).  I also spent a lot of money!

In the first few months of my graduate training programme at HSBC we had to fill in a motivation grid in which we had to compare and rank multiple factors against each other, e.g. having colleagues who become friends, meaningful work, a supportive boss, flexibility to go to the gym etc. As I compared each factor to a big salary, I realised there was so much more that was important to me. Needless to say my career in banking didn’t last long; the money was good but I just didn’t enjoy the work, the people, the culture and the drinking.

I moved on to a job which gave me so many more of the things I was looking for. It was not my dream job, but it had a culture which believed in education, flexibility and intellect. It was a decent salary, but not the heady heights of 100% + bonuses and “I’ll just pop out and buy a Mulberry handbag in my lunch break”. Since then, at each point in my career, I’ve had more confidence to follow the advice of a wise (and very wealthy man) who has built his own successful business... “Do not chase the money. Do what you love and everything else will work out”.

Could I be earning 3 or 4 times more than I do now? Yes. Would I be happy? No. I used to equate success with money, but as I’ve grown older, and a little bit wiser, I realise success is about doing what you love.

What isWhatsApp Image 2019-10-07 at 11.12.21 your biggest struggle with money?

Having worked for myself for many years, I always found it hard to work out how much money I had coming in each month and how to budget for the year. I have a completely YOLO philosophy to life so always say yes to stuff and worry about the consequences later. When you aren’t sure of your income, this can be a struggle.

What is your tip to help others save?

eBay - work out your size in your favourite brands and then put an alert on eBay (for me it’s “Diane Von Furstenburg wrap dress”) – I’ve just bought a £450 Diane Von Furstenburg dress for £70! (It's the leopard print one in the picture). 

Charity shops - enjoy pottering around the amazing charity shops we now have on the High Street (Mary’s Living and Giving shops are little designer boutiques at a third of the cost) and congratulate yourself on doing charity work whilst shopping! Everyone's a winner.

Patience - you don’t need it now you need it when it’s at the right price.

This money story was written by Lucy Mullins. 

Do you have your own money story to share? Share your story here.  


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We hope that by sharing stories we can help break the taboo around talking about money, inspire others to share their stories, and ultimately encourage people to take control of their personal finances.

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