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Financially free people answer, please

(73 Posts)
Naty Sat 30-Nov-19 23:42:10

Hi, I'm very impressed with this site. I joined because I wanted to mine this website for the wisdom of experienced women. I have not yet been disappointed.

I am a 34 year old woman on matetnity leave. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology and am a teacher.

Lately I've been feeling very lost and unhappy with my career. I feel like I should be making a lot more money to live a more financially prosperous life. I feel like there is something more I need to do. Could you financially independent people tell me how you "made it"? Were your husbands the breadwinners? How'd they do it? Advice is so appreciated.

GagaJo Sun 01-Dec-19 00:04:07

I'm NEARLY free. I'm a teacher. I went to work abroad in a highly paid job and SAVED like crazy (working evenings too).

I'm going to do it for 5 more years and then stop. Again, 5 more years of HARD saving.

grannyactivist Sun 01-Dec-19 00:50:32

I can't offer you advice about how to live a more financially prosperous life, but I can tell you that, in my experience, happiness is not something to be chased after. I think it's more a by-product of investing yourself in something that's satisfying and brings contentment.

If what you want is happiness then maybe check out this link.

love0c Sun 01-Dec-19 06:00:13

Naty, from reading your post I do wonder if you are feeling down due to be tired with a new baby to care for. You do not mention your husband? are you managing on your own. IMO you are already successful in your career! Well done to you!! One of my AC was a teacher but left as they really were not happy doing it. They literally started a new career form the bottom. Earned very little money to start with but they were happy. Now they earn more money but nowhere nearly as much as they would be earning as a teacher. But, they are happy in their career. Naty, money is not everything. You ask about 'making it'. Well I say to you 'making it' is being happy. Try to stop worrying so much, enjoy your maternity leave with your baby and then return to work and see how you feel then. Sometimes it is all too easy to think ourselves miserable or to make ourselves feel we haven't achieved much. You have! Give yourself a bit of time to adapt to motherhood. I hope you feel a bit differently in a little while, I think you will.

EllanVannin Sun 01-Dec-19 06:39:33

In the present climate money IS everything. It never used to be but you do have to be realistic about it for your futures as the cost of living has increased enormously and will continue to do so.
While you're on leave it will give you time to think things over and make decisions for the future by finding the right balance if it will involve child-care too so ideally, hours to suit.

Because you have the type of degrees that you mention I'd be looking for a position in child psychology within schools to give support to those pupils who have problems .
I can see educational psychologists being very much in demand and would be something worth looking into.

harrigran Sun 01-Dec-19 08:02:39

Nobody is going to hand it to you on a plate, life is hard work unless you find yourself a rich husband.
Do you think we are sitting on GN with our cashmere twinsets and pearls ringing for the butler ? 😁

Esspee Sun 01-Dec-19 08:35:54

In my day we didn't go into debt, lived within our means and saved any money left.
I was a stay at home mum, my husband had a good job (nothing too high powered) with no pension provision so we salted money away for our future.
At one point (1989ish) interest rates were extremely high and we were getting 17% interest on government bonds. A crash in the stock market made us switch to buying property and it is the rental from those flats which are now my main source of income.
I am still frugal and it depresses me to hear my children complain about how difficult it is to live on a six figure sum these days.
Young people are not content to live within their means and are always wanting a more prosperous lifestyle.
Happiness is not so much getting what you want in life but being satisfied with a lifestyle you can achieve.

Naty Sun 01-Dec-19 09:00:46

Excellent! I am happy to hear from a fellow teacher!

Naty Sun 01-Dec-19 09:02:32

Hi grannyactivist,
There was no link provided because the site blocks them, perhaps?
I agree that happiness comes from investing yourself in what brings contentment. Spot on.

Naty Sun 01-Dec-19 09:06:35

Well I guess I should have been even more transparent in writing that I've felt like this for years. I think the birth of this baby and extra time to think has left me unhappy with what a lack of progress in upping my earnings. I do have a supportive and generous husband, but even he knows we should be earning more, especially to provide more for our child down the road and for our retirement.

Naty Sun 01-Dec-19 09:09:27

Spot on with the comment about being content with the lifestyle we can achieve.

And yes, many people can't make ends meet on generous salaries because they just buy and consume far too much.

My grandmother also bought properties in the 80s/90s and always recommends it.

Naty Sun 01-Dec-19 09:11:18

No, I don't think people on here are ringing for their butler...but I do believe there are many wealthy women (and men) who have advice to share about how they achieved their financial independence.

Naty Sun 01-Dec-19 09:12:12

Thank you for your suggestion about educational psychology.

Naty Sun 01-Dec-19 09:13:46

Oops! I see the link now. My eyes couldn't see the colour difference from the regular text and the link. I'm reading through the link now. Thank you.

sodapop Sun 01-Dec-19 09:19:30

Well I feel quite peeved that Naty should assume my husband was the bread winner. Some of us women can manage to support ourselves and have a successful career all on our own. I also think successful does not always equate to earning a lot of money.

janeainsworth Sun 01-Dec-19 09:20:19

GA’s link works for me. Just click on or press the words ‘this link’.

I’m not sure what advice you’re looking for. How to make a fast buck for an easy life in middle age? I can’t help you there.
How to have a satisfying career? Look for a mentor within your own field if you want to stay in the education/psychology sector.
How to have a financially secure retirement? Start saving and investing now.

GagaJo Sun 01-Dec-19 09:29:21

Explore the idea of teaching abroad. It has the double benefit of offering your children FREE private education.

When I worked in China, I worked with a woman who was there with her family. They were paying off about 40K a year of her US student loans. I'm not suggesting it has to be China BUT there are many places overseas that will pay 4 or 5 times the average teacher salary AND pay for your accommodation, enabling saving.

aggie Sun 01-Dec-19 09:42:02

My Granny said one could be miserable in comfort with money in the bank !
I was a working woman and my OH was more or less the house parent , but he was a farmer so able to do it with help from his Parents , I was under the impression that this was normal as my Mum worked all her life too
I don't have pearls or cashmere but am content and still very careful with expenditure , the only "luxury" I have recently allowed myself is my new hearing aids , and it took some persuading to get me to part with the cost !
I loved my job , that is the most important bit of earning , no point in a huge salary and being stressed to bits

GrannyLaine Sun 01-Dec-19 09:42:30

Just for balance, a quote from the Dalai Lama:

' Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present, the result being that he does not live in the present or the future. He lives as if he's never going to die and then dies having never really lived.'
Something to think about....

Granny23 Sun 01-Dec-19 09:57:44

We did by both working two jobs for most of our lives. DH a full time Joiner and part-time drummer : Me a full time WA worker and part-time accounts for DH's business. My 'hobby' organic fruit and veg growing, also contributed to the family finances and working flat out meant little time for holidays so a big saving there. We used to scoff at people who spent there hard earned cash going to the gym, playing golf, attending Dinner dances, while our hobbies which we enjoyed, earned, rather than cost, money. This enabled us to supply the deposits for Student flats for both our DDs and they, in turn always had part-time jobs while at uni + flatmates whose rent paid for the mortgages. Flats sold when they graduated, giving them both a big start on the housing ladder.

No work pensions for us, so, on retirement we bought a flat, renovated it and let it for many years, then sold it at a profit, leaving us with a tidy sum invested in stocks and shares. BUT, The best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley - DH developed Dementia, had to give up driving, drumming, DIY and our nest egg is now being drained away by £4000 a month for Care Home Fees.

All this to say that a) One way to increase income is to develop a hobby or talent into a part-time job, and b) no amount of forward planning will protect you from the vagaries of fate.

MawB Sun 01-Dec-19 10:11:44

Gagajo I get the impression OP is already living abroad (Italy) from her MIL thread. confused
I am not quite sure what OP is hoping to glean from her request to “Answer please”.
With a new baby, is now the time to be making a lot more money to live a more financially prosperous life ?
If OP is unhappy in her chosen career, then yes, perhaps maternity leave is the time to take a career break and rethink, but, the demands of childcare (not to mention the expense) could make starting a new career difficult especially in the early years where time commitment is an issue.
One DD did just that after her first baby, but moved from a very highly paid but hugely demanding time wise career as a partner in financial recruitment to retraining as a secondary maths teacher. Her income is a tiny fraction of what she previously earned but she realised that if she ever wanted to see her children a more “family friendly ” structure was the only way forward. Still massively demanding but at least she gets school holidays.
“Kitchen table” entrepreneurs always seem such appealing role models- the ones who build a multi million pound business out of an idea they came up with at home, but they are few and far between and more women end up earning little more than pocket money “working from home”
Finally those of us who are “financially independent” may be so after a long career paying into a company or private pension, a lucky few may have made clever investments, and of course there are also many on GN who have lived “carefully” all their lives and still work hard to make ends meet especially if they depend on a state pension.

GagaJo Sun 01-Dec-19 10:23:07

Ah, but in overseas teaching there is abroad and abroad. Some places actually pay LESS than the UK. Usually, lovely, very in demand countries with a great quality of life. People go there for the quality of life NOT the wages.

If you are serious about wanting to save, teachers have to carefully research. Even the middle East doesn't pay teachers the way it used to.

Unless you have inherited wealth OR are a very skilled businessman or entrepreneur, I think hard work is the key. Probably clever investments too, but I'm not skilled in that area.

My mother worked hard ALL her life and is still poor. Not fair BUT at least she got a pension at 60. I won't.

Chewbacca Sun 01-Dec-19 10:37:19

I've worked every day of my adult life; 51 years now and still at it. I've never been anything more than "just ok" and been able to cover my overheads. I've never earned sufficient to pay into a company or private pension and so, when I do eventually get SRP, that will be all that I have to live on. But I suppose that's my own fault because I've chosen to work in a field that I've thoroughly enjoyed, has stimulated me endlessly and given me enormous satisfaction.

You pays your money and takes your choice!

trisher Sun 01-Dec-19 10:54:46

Well let's get rid of two of your assumptions for a start not all of us are that financially successful and not all of us have husbands. Some of us have never had one and some lost them somewhere along the way.
But if you want advice you need to find something which pays you enough and which you enjoy doing. It's not much use earning a fortune if you hate your life and work. I would say look at your talents and strengths including hobbies and interests not just work, then look at what might be needed in the future and where you might fit in. So if you chose child psychology I'm not sure you should go into a school, you would probably make more money setting up in private practice. Good luck! But remember to enjoy the life you have now even if you are planning a future.

Callistemon Sun 01-Dec-19 11:02:06

Hard slog!
Don't make risky investments.

I always think of the tortoise and the hare. We know some people and he was like the hare, boasting about how much he earned (we kept quiet), all his grandiose business schemes, his clever pension investments etc. Many of them came to nought although they had inheritances which we did not.
We were the tortoises and he did always look down his nose at us.
In the end, they are not much better off than us as far as I can tell, just plodding along reasonably in retirement.

It depends on your attitude to risk.