We caught up with Charlotte, a newlywed in-house lawyer for a luxury travel company, one sunny afternoon in Essex. She filled us in on how financial coaching has helped her meet her goals and what she’s learnt from her coach.
Hi Charlotte, thank you for giving us your precious Friday afternoon. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ve actually just got back from my honeymoon. I got married two weeks ago today. We had to rearrange it several times because of Covid. But it was all worth it in the end. It was such a perfect day – third time’s a charm! I also work as an in-house lawyer and do a lot of Cross Fit. I’m obsessed with it.
And besides the wedding, what was the best bit about last year?
Actually a lot of UK holidays. I haven’t really explored the UK since I was a child and my husband and I did a few great trips to Scotland. We did lots of lovely walks, including one along the Loch Ness. I used a travel company to carry my stuff from place to place. Even though my husband said that was cheating and carried his own!
If you had to give this chapter of your life a name, what would it be?
A tale of two halves. In some ways it has been the most stressful year ever, both professionally and personally. But then in other ways there were so many positives to come out of it all. Like extra hen parties! I think I had six or seven in total. It’s been so amazing to just appreciate all the small things, like seeing your friends or having your family over for dinner.
So what got you into financial coaching?
It was through work. I’d never heard of coaching before, but I was offered it just as we were about to buy our first property, so it worked out really well. I thought it would be only prescriptive tips and tricks, but actually it was so much more tailored than that. It got me to think about things from a completely different perspective, which I didn’t expect at all. I didn’t realise there would be so many options and different ways of achieving my goals. For instance, we were considering increasing our mortgage payments, but my coach showed us we might actually be better off putting that extra money towards something else, like an interest account. It helps to have someone put everything in context of your long term goals.
Were there any goals you were working towards specifically?
Buying the house. Then also thinking about planning for the future. My coach made a spreadsheet for me to work out what changes to my circumstances would mean for my income, what my expenses would look like and so on.
What’s the relationship with your coach like?
Very relaxed. I feel really comfortable talking about everything. I don’t ever feel judged – it’s always completely impartial and neutral advice. You don’t have to share anything you’re not comfortable with which makes the process feel really natural – like you’re just having a chat. My coach also gives me a monthly update on anything relevant she’s seen. Articles on saving for retirement, the best interest rates with different accounts or new budget planners.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve taken from coaching?
That your options aren’t always black and white. For instance, we were thinking of making our next step on the property ladder and my coach talked us through the different options. Moving in five years, eight years or staying put and doing a loft conversion. It’s so interesting to see how those different scenarios have such different impacts! Staying here for longer means we’d have a much bigger deposit to take onto our next house, than if we moved sooner. It’s amazing how interactive the coaching is, it can be tailored so it’s completely bespoke to your circumstances.
And finally, who would you recommend financial coaching to?
I think anyone who is coming up to big changes in their life. Starting a family or buying a house. It’s for anyone looking for guidance on how to achieve your particular goals, whether they’re short or long term!
We provide dedicated financial coaching to help you achieve all your goals and improve your overall well being. Want to find out more? Book your first session here.