"Financial independence = freedom to me" by Eilish

In the What On Earth? section, we want to feature women who are willing to talk about their money. Our goal is to break the taboo around money, share experiences and learn from the community. We have the pleasure to interview Eilish today!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I moved to England just over three years ago for a job very loosely related to my field of study. It was a real leap of faith but as it turns out, I absolutely love it! I’m an occupational hygienist for a health and safety consultancy group so I get to travel around to work in lots of different industries. I enjoy the travel, and it's rewarding to be able to advise clients on how best to protect their employees and see those changes being implemented when we return.

What’s your relationship like with money and personal finance?

It used to be a lot better when I was younger. I was always really good at saving pocket money, birthday money, babysitting money. I got my first job when I was 15 spent it all on CDs and DVDs, and by the time I was in College I had advanced to gigs. So my savings were definitely neglected for quite a few years while I indulged my joie de vivre. But I’m gradually building myself back up and re-learning how to be more disciplined and forward thinking.

What does financial independence mean to you?

Financial independence means not having to rely on others to pick me up if I have an overly expensive month, I have enough squirrelled away to keep me afloat for a while. It means that even if I do dip into my savings I have enough money coming in that it can be immediately replaced when pay day arrives, and it means I don’t have to worry about large credit card repayments. Financial independence = freedom, to me.

Budgeting - do you follow any guides, or are you more of a freewheeler?

I’m definitely a freewheeler, but I have started to exercise more control and use budgeting apps like YNAB. I’m still building up a picture of where my money is going and I’m looking forward to being able to pull back a bit when I recognize trends appearing.

What’s the one thing you indulge in? 

I’m definitely a sucker for a clothes sale to the point where my poor boyfriend has implemented a “one in, one out” rule (at the moment he has about an 8th of wardrobe space, poor chappie!). But I also love going to gigs and trying new experiences, that would be where most of my disposable income would go rather than on fads.

What is the best financial decision you have ever made?

Not to spend my birthday money all those years ago. It may sound silly, but I didn’t need it when I was younger and now it's sitting pretty at home, earning interest, and is safely out of my reach!

Have you ever experienced a financial epiphany? A sort of wake-up call, where you suddenly think - “I must start doing things differently”? 

Every time I go to Click and Collect!

Own up. Have you made any major financial faux-pas?

I’m quite open about talking about my earnings with friends, and celebrating promotions and bonuses. I think there is a generational gap there and it wouldn’t be seen as correct to talk about this in certain circles. Personally, I think it helps encourage younger/newer colleagues to push themselves and aspire for greater things when they know what is achievable.  

What is Vestpod for you?

Vestpod is a new discovery for me. I’m really looking forward to delving in and reading through all Emilie’s tips. To a lot of women, myself included, the financial world can seem like a different universe. I once read that women are traditionally better at saving while men are more open to investing, so Vestpod helps break down that barrier by educating us on how to change things up.

Favourite book?

The book that changed your life: The most memorable book I've read was my first sort of "grown up" read as a teenager and it’s called Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann. Compassion and consideration I think are my two strongest values, and this book beautifully illustrates the importance of compassion in our lives.

A podcast? I don't listen to podcasts but I'm hoping to tune into for 2018 - the first one is called 2 Dope Queens.

Thank you Eilish!

Hi! I’m Eilish, I’m an occupational hygienist by trade so I work in the field of health and safety carrying out noise, air, and vibration surveys mainly. I love my job, I get to travel around and constantly meet new people from different industries. I’m also the founder of a new project called Small Acts of Empowerment. It’s a photo-series which documents the little ways women empower themselves on a daily basis. It is due to debut the first week of January 2018 so keep your eyes peeled and let me know if you’d like to get involved! You can find me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram