Money, Money, Money

If my blogger life were a play, there’d be a crescendo of euphoric music right now, and I’d be shaking in the wings, ready to make my debut performance.  Rehearsals? I’ve had a few (understudy performances in which I played the bride, the irritable old lady and even the fighter spring to mind). Today I’m taking the plunge.

As you know, along with the others, for the past few months I’ve been beavering away in the background. Together we’ve pulled together and worked to our strengths. We’ve taken the blog from being the kind, friendly girl next door to being that same kind, friendly girl next door but one who’s taken her glasses off, had her braces removed and bought a more glamourous frock. The same blog that you know and love but better. Better in so many ways – and ways we haven’t revealed just yet.

I’ve loved the blog from its infancy and am delighted to be a part of it. Clare, Aisling and Anna have each inspired me, in very different ways, and because of them, and because of the commitment to the blog by you, the best extended team in blogsphere, I am a better writer.  A more confident writer. These peachy pages have given me the freedom to write about the things I’m passionate about  and being inspired by something makes it far easier to be credible when putting digits to keyboard. After months of behind the scenes work, I am delighted to step out from behind the curtain and be here as part of the gang. I feel I should be holding up a peach and grey (with accents of navy, natch) sports shirt with the number 4 emblazoned on the back. The Fourth AOW’teer. I always thought D’Artagnan had the coolest beard. 

But why me? After all, I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him sorry, gets me every time. I have asked myself ‘Why am I here?’ and not in an existential kinda way but, despite my handwringing nervousness at being ‘outed‘ last week, the reality is simple. Anna wrote recently of the need to surround yourself with people who know what you don’t know and one thing that I do know, and I know well, is how to set up, run and succeed at having your own business.

When not discussing the finer points of Emmi’s blossoming relationship, or talking about Any Other Party, I spend my days running around the city in fancy frocks and killer heels, talking to the likes of lawyers and architects, or am tucked up in my home office, rocking the pyjama and slipper look (I’m much more likely to be looking scruffy enough to scare the postman), preparing for pitches, reviewing business plans and CVs. Sometimes I might be with an interior designer client advising how to increase revenue and prepare a marketing plan aimed at wealthy foreign property investors or I might be teaching a jeweller client how to increase the text size on a Word document.  It’s a really mixed bag of work and I love the flexibility of what I call, much to my husband’s amusement, my ‘portfolio employment’.  I absolutely adore what I do and the variety I’m able to have in my working life. I’ve worked very hard to be in this position and realise just how lucky I am to be here.

Interwoven through all of my roles is money. Whether it’s some sort of megabucks deal between professional services firms or the tricky situation of turning a hobby in to a business, it’s utterly fascinating to me. Whether it’s watching some sort of Billy-Big-Balls bravado being played out or seeing someone realise they simply cannot afford to kick start their dream project for another 6 months, it pushes my buttons. I want to roll up my sleeves and get involved. I want to find the solutions and, particularly with the small businesses, however twee this may sound, I want to help them make their dreams come true. After all, love might make the world go round but it’s money that keeps it lubricated.

And that is why I’m here and why we, as a team, are so passionate about addressing the issue of money. We know it’s difficult to talk about but that’s one of the reasons why we should. We want to tackle head on the stigma surrounding money. We want to be a place you can come to find the answers, to share your experience and to talk as openly as you want to about money without the fear of being judged for it. It’s a huge subject, with nothing off limits. Over the coming months we want to talk about so many important financial things ranging from the crippling money woes that make your heart pound, stomach sink and keep you awake at night to why sticking away a few quid for when you’re old and wrinkly matters. We’ll discuss budgeting – not just the how can we afford to travel the world/get married/buy a castle with a moat, a thousand rooms and a helipad* but also the bloody-hell-I’ve-only-£5-left-and-it’s-a-fortnight-until-payday scenario that is so common. Deposits, debt, divorce and death. The my money/your money/our money decision, kids v work, planning for the future, the recession, the global situation of dooooooooom, all sorts of things. It’s not just about number crunching but the practical and emotional side of things too. It’s about options and choices. If it’s bothering you, the chances are it’s bothered at least one of us, either now, in the past or might in the future and it’s so important to talk about it.

We won’t try to flog you financial products (besides, you know our views on not selling out for sponsorship), nor will we be offering you the service you’d receive from an independent financial advisor but what we do want to offer is a place where no question is too stupid and no problem insurmountable. Ultimately we hope to promote financial health because, whilst money can’t buy you happiness, sometimes a bit of extra knowledge, support and advice might help to get rid of a few worries. If you’re already doing pretty well financially hopefully there’ll be extra food for thought and, if you’re a super rich oligarch with a shoe collection to die for and the aforementioned castle, then the first three rounds at the Any Other Party are on you!

The first post will be up on the blog soon but do feel free to email me at if you have any questions, comments or requests to make regarding these new posts. I’ve loved receiving the emails I have so far. (Perhaps a little too much, they’ve made me say ‘Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!’ which is not ideal if I’m surreptitiously checking my email when I shouldn’t be. Did I mention I’m totally not cool?).

Here’s to the next few months.

*Just me? Perhaps we’ll just aim for a house.



Categories: Behind the Scenes at AOW, Health, Life Experience, Money and Career, Wise Women
26 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Sam
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Very exciting! As someone who’s stumblingly blindly through trying to get a little home business off the ground, I’ll be keeping an eye on this series (and probably badgering you by email!) for hints and tips.

    • Posted June 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Please do, Sam. There will definitely be business related posting.

  2. Posted June 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I used to be so good with money until I didn’t have any. Now it is a fear-laden subject that I avoid at all costs (no pun intended) until it hijacks my subconscious at silly times of night. Was awake til 5am this morning worrying about it in fact! Really looking forward to hearing others experiences and your ever-practical and positive advice, Sarah.


    • Posted June 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Oh Penny, that’s horrid. There’ll be a post up about this very sort of thing soon x

  3. Posted June 28, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always been good with my own money but I find juggling personal, household and business finances a real challenge. Looking forward to the posts!

  4. Posted June 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Another excellent string to the majestic AOW bow!

    I have an idea for a post, will drop you an email Sarah x

    • Posted June 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Super – thank you! You will let me know if you can hear the ‘Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee’ from where you are, won’t you? x

  5. Esme
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Sounds great, Sarah! I am fascinated by others’ financial situations, how they work out their earnings etc. I also look at saving in a completely different light after saving more than £10k for our wedding.

  6. Becca
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Fab timing. I worry about the fact I should have a pension and don’t so some basic ‘how does a pension work thing’ would be good.

    Money is crappy and I’m glad it’s being discussed. I had years of not having any and then now having got some (but we’re saving for a house and a wedding so read have none) I just want to BLOW IT on SOMETHING COOL (like a kitchen aid in cream).

    • Mahj
      Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      But man those kitchen aid’s are purdy!

      I think I’m quite good with my finances (sometimes!) but I’d like to read about any improvements I could make so I’m really looking forward to your first money post.


      PS. I now have the Abba money money money song running on a loop in my head!

  7. Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    This is very timely because I’m doing my tax return right now and it’s making me more than a little suicidal. This will teach me to do half my work PAYE and half of it as a self-employed freelancer. Ugh.

    We’ve had quite a few (read: hundreds upon thousands) of debates in our house about whose money is whose (Gareth = all the money is *ours*, I = you earnt it, how is it fair that *I* can spend it?), so I’m looking forward to that post!

    K x

  8. Alex D
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Money is one of those subjects often people hate talking about (myself included). So bravo for bringing it to the fore! Personally, I’m rubbish in the cashola department. I’m trying to remedy this as I’m getting older (and greyer, sob). I think by speaking about our shared experiences we will have the necessary information and advice to help start sorting our finances out. Great post & look forward to reading more in future! x

  9. Sarah
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got worse with my finances as I’ve got older! I’ve gone from working all hours when I was a teenager and student and making sure I always had enough cash, to burying my head in the sand and just hoping for the best because it’s too boring to save and be organised. I know, not good.

    Would welcome some help on topics like mortgages /maternity pay/pensions/budgeting tips etc.

    I’ve recently considered seeing an IFA, but worried some of my questions are a bit too silly/personal for them? I might send you an email Sarah.

    • Posted June 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Send away, Sarah! Looking forward to hearing from you x

  10. Sandra C
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I think the money posts will be of great help. Its so difficult to fund good impartial advice with no jargon. I’ve always been good at saving, but a previous partner took advantage sadly, so now I know all about budgeting!! We should be able to speak freely and without fear of asking a silly question and now we know we can. Xx

  11. Sandra C
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    *find* of course. Thought fund is apt. Im quite impressed.

  12. Posted June 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Please can we explain mortgages, the different types, what all the jargon means please? I seem to struggle with this one- I always expect there to be a catch when it sounds a realistic price for us. We’ll be renting forever at this rate!

    Interested to read the post (and comments) on joint incomes, I earn soooo much less than my husband because 80% of the time I do the nonworking parent bit…. but it is our money. Most of the time I am completely fine with that but sometimes something will throw me and it feels weird.

    Looking forward to this series.

    • Posted June 28, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad you’re interested in this – both mortgages and the balance of money are on my list. It is tough though, I agree x

  13. Beth
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    I’m looking forward to this series – thanks Sarah. I’m also intrigued to hear a bit more about your job and your portfolio career – can I suggest a ‘jobs for the girls’, perhaps? As someone who has always (so far) worked for an organisation of some sort, I’d love to hear more from you and others who work independently.

  14. Carly
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Interesting. It would be good to see something about how those reeeealy bad financial decisions we make as a young, naive 21 year old come back to bite you on the arse massively when we’re older and how cheesed off we are with ourselves for doing it!

    Just me?!

    • Posted June 28, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      My student loan letter makes me cry. I never had credit though thank goodness!

    • Alex D
      Posted June 29, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Carly – not just you, trust me!

  15. Vivienne
    Posted June 29, 2012 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Really looking forward to your money posts Sarah!

  16. Cathie
    Posted June 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    As somebody who definitely made bad money decisions in my 20′s I’m really looking forward to these money posts! Graduate loan? 10k? Oh yes please! – Store Cards? Spend now Pay Later! Yes please… the list goes on and All still continuing to bite me on the backside at 32… just 1 more year on my debt management plan – how can a year go so fast but so slow at the same time?!

  17. another Sarah
    Posted June 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Definitely a ‘Jobs for the Girls’ – lover hearing people so passionate about their jobs (and a little envious too).

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  • By Money and Career: The Division of Finances on September 12, 2012 at 7:01 am

    [...] to look at practical ways to improve our financial affairs. Over the coming months there’ll be a series of posts covering everything from the emotional impact of money, dealing with debt, handling joint finances [...]

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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