The How I Manage My Money series aims to understand how people in the UK spend, save and invest to meet their costs and goals.
This week we talk to 49-year-old Hannah Martin, co-founder of the Talented Women’s Club. Hannah lives in Worthing with her husband, their 18-year-old son, and their 12-year-old daughter.
I’ve always been careful with money. Neither of their parents were rich, so they knew they had to keep track of where their money was going.
When I was in college I got a full scholarship. Semester is £815 and I just received a student loan. After paying for room and board I found it was around £10 a week. Of my friends, I am the one who still has money at the end of the semester.
I studied art at the University of Southampton but left it in 1994 at the end of my sophomore year.
Then I worked in Worthing for a year to save money on one-way tickets to Hong Kong. I had never been to Hong Kong before but I didn’t know what to do with my life so I thought it might be an exotic place if I had to do some stupid work! I want to do something creative, but I don’t know what I want to do.
In Hong Kong, I got a job as a lawyer for the editor of an international financial magazine and decided to become a writer, not a journalist.
My boyfriend worked in advertising at the time, but when I went to my girlfriend’s office one day it was like an art college. I love it; I feel at home and want to be a copywriter.
I don’t have any experience or qualifications, but I was able to meet with Ogilvy & Mather’s Executive Creative Director and talk about getting to work – and I enjoyed it!
I’m back after living in Hong Kong for five years. I have £15,000 that I want to use as a security deposit on my property. I first moved to Brighton and went to an advertising agency in London, but when I was ready to buy my apartment it was so much cheaper that I bought it on Worthing Beach.
In January 2002, at the age of 29, I graduated from the Edward family with 3 beds with my sister. I paid £156,000. Four years later, he wanted to buy his own house, so we each bought £40,000 in stock.
Then I bought another 3 bed house for £192,000. Needed a total upgrade, but my family helped me because I was buying on a budget. I am now renting both houses, selling my Notting Hill apartment, and then living with my husband in the house I bought in Worthing.
When I traveled to London for eight years, I took out a 12 month loan every December to buy an annual pass. I did it before the price went up in January. Loan repayments are always much less than a monthly card.
The idea to set up a club called “Talented Women” came to me in 2011 when I saw many friends having difficulty continuing their careers after giving birth.
They are successful, talented, and ambitious women, and should have no problem making a lot of money in a job they love.
In 2013 he founded TLC with his girlfriend, designer and illustrator Carrie Fisher. Now that I can do it myself, when I started TLC, I sent my two children to private schools. We are used to a certain standard of living, but we are not rich.
The cost of training is at least £14,000 a year. But I don’t invest money in my pension to pay for expenses. I also save money on food. I cook from scratch so I spend around £250 a month. Besides, at that time we didn’t go on vacation and didn’t have a car.
Until recently, I realized that with TLC I was earning almost minimum wage. He is doing well now, but didn’t make any money until 2015.
Now the income from TLC is flowing into my pension. I’m still writing for some private clients and it’s paying off. I want to be 70 so I don’t have to worry about money. I currently make a total of £100,000 from small freelance work, TLC management and lending my fortune.
The property I rent out is much heavier than the investment in many ways. But I see it as an asset, not just rental income, so I am willing to spend money to maintain it.
I still keep track of my expenses, but I’m not as worried as I used to be.
For example, when I go out to dinner with a friend I always pick the cheapest bill, but even if someone orders the more expensive one, I never split the bill and argue about it. No, now you no longer have to look at your bill and you can even order a bottle of champagne from your friend.
I bought a Tory Birch bag for £500 as it was on sale recently. I paid the full amount, which is a real luxury for me. I used to look for something cheaper but I really wanted it so I bought it. I dyed my hair in the color offered and my boyfriend cut my hair for 25 pounds every 6 weeks. I buy most of my clothes from M&S and TK Maxx.
I managed to buy a Versace dress for a month, but I’m no longer happy. To me, buying clothes is like a treasure hunt, so I can’t spend most of it on something. I now own a BMW 1 Series but bought it three years ago for around £3,000. He’s about 10 years old, why would I want to spend £40,000 on a car? What else now?
One may wonder whether I am rich or poor. It is very important for me to buy good wine and share it with my friends. If you can’t enjoy it with your loved ones, there’s no point in getting rich. I’m also very happy to be able to help bring out people’s potential. We started to help mothers, but now there are many members who do not have children, including boys.
One of my faults is that women are still being exploited. For example, MLM companies that promise women can make thousands, but in reality women often don’t do it and spend their own money. I think my mission is to make sure the world really understands the values of mothers and women.