• Alaine Bradbury

Money and Mindset

Throughout my 20’s I worked and played hard, I worked as many hours as I could in multiple day, weekend and evening side jobs. I was focusing on earning money to eat at the worlds best restaurants and growing a designer handbag collection. If you caught up with me in my early 30’s I’d had similar a target of saving for a luxury trip away.

I’d grown up on a council estate in Bolton, the thought pattern went like this; get your name on the list for a council flat, learn a trade, go for a job that pays sick pay and you’ll have a state pension.

I recognise those views so that messaging got through to me, but I didn’t want that to be my way of life.

Looking back, I remember we had a pound TV. If you don’t know it’s where you have a slot for money on the side; in return for 1 hour of TV you popped in a £1.00, then weekly someone comes around to empty it and collect the cash. It was the same as the house pay phone, like a credit system. Several house callers came round weekly; phone, TV and the Friday man who you couponed with for Christmas.

I look back with fond memories of having jam butties for supper, after being 4th in the bathwater on a Sunday night. Sitting in front of the one gas fire we had to heat the house with Jeremy Beadle on. But I know today from sharing those memories with mum, that my parents struggled and often went hungry to feed us. Typing that out makes me feel terribly sad, and yet I know lots of people are today in that situation.

In my 20’s and early 30’s paying for a handbag and posh meal felt like an achievement. Its one incident that created this almost obsession for me, my 13th Birthday. ‘’Teenager at last’’ my dad had banners all over the mini metro car when he collected me from school. He beamed ‘’get dressed were going out for tea’’.

WOW! I was excited.

As we approached Bolton Royal hospital I thought what are we doing here? Thinking we were visiting one of his friends we parked up. He obviously saw the look on my face and said ‘’ its good food and not too expensive’’ as he smiled back at me.

Oh my god how my heart sunk.

Dining with heston blumenthal at the fat duck for my 30th Birthday it felt like I was far away from the past. Rebelling against the early messaging of stability in council housing and state pensions.

I’d actually spoken to my manager at the time and agreed to clean the office 3 nights a week for several months to be able to try the food and wine for one night.

Fast forward to more recently and it wasn’t until I was looking at raising my newborn daughter with single finances, that it dawned on me. What use are all these handbags?

I actually went through a painful self realisation that in fact I was one wage away from being in the situation of raising my daughter in similar childhood circumstances to my own.

I can’t say I’m at the point where I have worked through my relationship with money to total clarity. I’m certainly still a massive fan of eating out and holidays, yet the bags, cars and other nice to have’s have dropped from my priorities.

I can say that it’s a continuous improvement for me. I still go through periods of being terrified by money at times, yet I know from talking to others that are much more successful than me, they can feel the same. My rental properties and sourcing business have focused me to swap my short term financial decisions to focus on long term passive income.

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