Kate: Changing money mindsets

Client since: 2016

Location: London

Raj has helped me shift the shame I felt about so-called “good money behaviour” and “bad money behaviour”.

I met Raj just over five years ago. He came recommended to me as a mortgage broker from my financial coach at the time. Raj helped me to arrange a mortgage, and then to re-mortgage and during that time, we had a number of long conversations about money and life. In that time, Raj also finished his financial coaching qualification.

I was 40 at the time and wanted to get more of a grip on what I could do to plan for my future.

I moved to the UK from Australia 20 years ago. I moved, intending to travel and have an adventure: I wasn’t looking to settle here. But I did end up staying here and bought a property as I felt settled by then. It was at that point that I realised my focus had changed. I’d reached a very different period in my life. In Australia, there is a culture of putting away for the future from your very first job. Whereas I didn’t encounter that as much here.

I felt like I was rolling through life, “winging it” and that I needed to have a conversation about where I was going.

Raj stepped in and was particularly helpful. I’m now looking at what options are available to me if I want to step away from work in the future, and what adjustments to my arrangements that means I need to make now. There are some terrifying statistics about how many women fall into poverty in old age because they fell out of the workplace and find they haven’t put enough money away for retirement.

I’m not married, I don’t have anyone looking after me, so I feel that I need to get my ducks in a row.

It’s been really interesting working with Raj. One of the things I like about him and why I’ve decided to go down this path is that I have never ever got the feeling that Raj is just after my business or that working with him is a “quick sale” kind of transaction. He’s always, from the very first meeting, taken the time to get to know me as a person and understand what I want out of life.

There’s never been a question I’ve not felt able to ask.

Often when it comes to money, you’re made to feel stupid if you don’t know things. But I’ve never felt that way by Raj. And I’ve never felt judged. That’s enabled me to have deep, honest, impactful conversations and interventions. I’ve been able to be vulnerable and truthful about where I want to go, how I want to spend my money and what my values are. The conversations I have with Raj now are around what is important to me, and how I can best use my money to get what I want from life.”

What I value most about our relationship is that I feel very hopeful all the time.

I switched careers five years ago into a new space. It was a big step for me. My income was up and down and all over the place for a time because of that move and it meant I built up a bit of debt. It knocked my confidence a bit and I’ve had to work out how to re-evaluate the world. It’s been a bit of a slog financially, not being able to go into the new career at the same salary level as my old job. But Raj has worked hard with me to shift negative mindsets around money and debt that I’d found myself stuck thinking.”

He’s helped me shift the shame I felt about so-called “good money behaviour” and “bad money behaviour”.

“His help is always very practical but sensitive. We have very thoughtful discussions around the stage of life I’m at. And sometimes the money feels like an afterthought!

Raj has got me into a position where I’m making mindful choices about where I want to be going and then, ultimately, how I use my money.

He’s a super guy! He’s very sensitive. He understands the narrative around shame and judgment and the narrative around “waiting to be rescued” that women so often experience. He understands how that can play into women’s experiences and feelings towards money. And why so many women feel “stupid” when it comes to money.

Raj’s superpower is his ability to hold a very safe space to allow vulnerability and to find a really positive way forward, even if you’re not feeling it.

"Raj has helped me shift the shame I felt about so called 'good money behaviour' and 'bad money behaviour'."