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28 min listen

Work In Progress season 2 – Money Talks: Creating a positive relationship with cash

Money – it can be a tricky thing to talk about, but it’s a core aspect of running a business (or making the world go round…). We’re talking to two experts in this episode, diving into the conversations on spending, saving and salaries.

Who’re we talking to?

Lucy Mullins, the co-founder of StepLadder, an innovative platform helping first-time buyers pull together their house deposit. By using a collaborative finance model, they’ve managed to reduce the average time of raising a property deposit by 45%, and support buyers throughout their journey.

We also have Claire Sweet, a financial adviser helping women become savvier with their money. Originally a pharmacist, Claire retrained so she could help people organise their money and achieve their goals.

After a quick summary?

When it comes down to it, you’re never really taught how to handle money. Your parents may influence you, but that doesn’t mean it’ll stick. “I grew up in a family that was so good at saving,” says Lucy, “yet at the end of every month, I think ‘I wish I had more money’”.

Claire says she makes sure she’s got the money for what she’ll need, including future bills. “I’ve been through stages…and not necessarily had the money that I needed. That was really the wake-up call.”

But how do you make sure you’re staying on top of your cash? “You need to know what money you have coming in and going out,” says Claire. But what if budgeting isn’t your thing? “Get somebody who can help you,” Lucy suggests, whether it’s a professional or a friend who really likes spreadsheets…

For freelancers, who might not have a regular income, it’s also important to try keep your spending in check. “Pay yourself a fixed amount that’s sustainable for every single month and let a surplus build up,” Claire says, “so in the months when you earn less, you’ve got something to fall back on.”

And what about charging? How should a freelancer work out their worth and charge for their services? Lucy thinks “…you need to work out the minimum amount you can charge” by factoring in insurance, parental leave, holiday, pension etc. “Then factor in what other people in your field charge at a similar level.” Your rate will be somewhere in the middle.

And don’t underestimate your abilities and skills. “You can get turned down for being too cheap,” Lucy warns. Claire agrees, “It’s more about what you can do for the clients you’re working with.”

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Lucy Mullins | Claire Sweet

The views and opinions expressed by any individuals interviewed or participating in our Work in Progress podcasts are their own and do not represent the views or opinions of Asto.