01 Feb Ten Things You Need to Know About Work And Money
Work and Money: Ten Confidence Hacks
Most of us have issues around asking for what we are worth, knowing what salary we should be asking for, or raising our prices. They can happen at any age, and not just to young people starting out! Whilst some of this is down to having the right information (not always easy), confidence plays a large part. Here, we’ve gathered together ten very tangible activities that can help raise your confidence around work and money.
Talk and learn about work and money
Money isn’t a dirty word. The more we talk about it with each other, the more we can learn. Suggest a setting up quarterly a money club with friends where you can talk about money – how to earn more, negotiate pay-rise, invest and even think about pensions. Have a theme of the night and discuss or come to the table with a money issue or money question and brain storm.
Start reading the money pages and business sections of websites and newspapers. Visit websites to learn what the best ISA is at the moment. Get to grips with money language.
Let go of comparisons
As you start learning more about what you earn compared to other people, it’s natural that comparisons will come in. Try and let go of these and concentrate on your own position and resources and not let yourself be distracted by how someone else is doing. The truth is, you don’t know their true story. I know plenty of people who bring in a lot of money, but have huge debts they don’t tell you about.
Asking for money is not easy, especially if you are the sort of person who doesn’t ask for much anyway, It feels clumsy and clunky. Get used to asking for things, not just money, and practise doing this with charm. It could anything from asking for extra mayonnaise with your steak frites to asking boutique shop owners if they can do a discount for cash.
Know your worth
What do other people in your industry earn? You can glean this form job adverts, industry surveys or by calling a recruiter and having a chat to find out if you are working below the going rate.
If you set your own rate, make sure you are thinking about your travel time, and preparation time too. You might not be able to openly charge for this, but can include it in your fees. If you really do want to land a client but they’re not paying what you want, can you offer them a negotiated option, i.e. if they pay less, you do less!
Check if you are saving enough
Savings aside, we should all be looking at how we are going to sustain ourselves when we are older. In the UK the basic pension is around £168 a week at the time of writing. I don’t know about you, but that’s not going to keep me going for long. While you can downsize, a lot of your bills are going to be the same as now – your heating and electricity for instance, phone and groceries. Have a plan in place to help you plan for your later years, even if they seem far away right now. This is where your investments come in, whether they are property, pension fund or investments.
Take action now by reading, visiting pension and retirement seminars for inspiration.
Be Prepared For Knock-Backs
If you’ve decided you need to go on a budget, or that you are not going to work late again because you have your own side hustle to attend to, people around you are not going to like it. Being serious about money means that you may have to take some flack.
You may have to give it too – if you’ve been overcharged on a bill or a dodgy workman is trying to get you to stump up more than originally agreed, you do need to stay resolute and stand up for yourself .
Perhaps you’re a freelance and you know that you re charging clients far less than the going rate. You will need to explain to your clients why you are putting up your prices. Alternatively, you can slowly divest yourself of clients who are paying the lower rate. Some may not stay with you, so plan accordingly. Tax consultant Faye Watts says, “Choose whether you it do it incrementally or all at once. This may depend on your clients. If your clients are individuals or small business owners, putting your fees up incrementally may be more manageable for them. If you are working with corporates you may have more scope to make the jump in one go, unless you were specifically hired on price.”
Follow the Money
If you run a business, it’s easy to spend time doing the nice social stuff – visiting networking events or taking part in discussions on LinkedIn for instance. However, for most of us, picking up the phone or whizzing out some emails to past clients is going to be more likely to bring in the money. Stick to money making activities for the bulk of your time, and have the others as additional nice to have extras.
If you are applying for jobs, or considering your career choices, don’t be afraid to follow the money. In fact, if you’re not quite sure right now, following the money at least gives you some financial security.
Investigate what’s Holding You Back
You may be holding back on earning good money because you don’t want to start paying off your student loan, lose your Child Tax credit, pay VAT, or suddenly fall into the next tax bracket. These fears are very real and valid. Nevertheless, they do hold us back. The only way to stop that is to bulldoze through them. Remember, you may not actually get rid of the fear, but that doesn’t means that you don’t do it anyway.
Being nice may be stopping you from visiting the accounts department to ask exactly what is going on with your national Insurance contributions. It can also hold you back from those who owe you money. People often say “If I chase then they might stop working with me”. Err.. if they are going to be like that do you actually want to be working with them anyway?
Know Your Numbers
If you’ve been playing at a small business on the side, but haven’t got to grips with the figures, it’s time to do so. Find courses to help you do this. In short you need to know what you are bringing in, so you can do more of that. You also need to understand your costs, so you can reduce them, if possible, to increase profits. You can make some guesses. However, it’s by looking at the data that you will be able to make informed decisions.
If you’re employed, it’s vital to know what’s going out as well as coming in. Are you still paying £60 for your gym membership (which you only use once a month?). Can you reduce costs by subscribing to things, or paying by direct debits? Can you share a Netflix subscription with your flatmates, or cook together to share bills?
Set SMART goals
Whether you are in employment or own your own business, setting money goals will help you move forwards. Again, SMART goals are ideal for this.
Let me give you an example:
S- Specific. I will save £5k by September. This is specific amount and not just, I will save.
Measurable – there is a set figure here. You can not only tell if you have succeeded, but chart your progress along the way
Attainable – is £5k realistic? Would £2k be more attainable, or perhaps you can even work towards a higher figure!
R – Relevant – yes, saving that much money is vital for my future plans to start a family/travel/take some time off to write a book
T – Timely. I have a deadline. September. I can be more specific by saying the end of September.
Even if you only implement a small selection of these, you will find that it improves your confidence around work and money pretty quickly. Do let us know below if you have any other tips or suggestions….
Asking for what you are worth is one of the things we address in our career coaching. Book your session now.