32 episodes

Join FT columnist and personal finance expert Jason Butler as he interviews real people about their money journey and challenges and how they overcame them.

Real Money Stories Podcast Jason Butler

    • Investing
    • 4.6, 20 Ratings

Join FT columnist and personal finance expert Jason Butler as he interviews real people about their money journey and challenges and how they overcame them.

    Alex opens up about mindless spending, debt hangovers and finding an authenic life

    Alex opens up about mindless spending, debt hangovers and finding an authenic life

    This week I speak to Alex Holder, lifestyle writer and author of Open Up: The power of talking about money.
    Alex’s story starts with a humble working-class childhood in northern England. Money was tight and peer pressure to have the latest fashion brands caused Alex some embarrassment as a teenager.
    University life in London saw Alex accumulate significant consumer debt, as she enjoyed all that the capital had to offer.
    A lucky break as an intern at an advertising agency led to a phenomenally successful career which saw Alex go from earning £15,000 to over £130,000 per annum in less than 10 years!
    But despite her high income, Alex spent every penny she earned and more, to maintain the lavish and glamorous lifestyle which she thought was a sign of success and that her peers expected of her. She became more and more disillusioned with her career in advertising, and felt shame and embarrassment at her flippant attitude to money and increasingly precarious financial situation.
    The birth of her son and a desire to become a full-time writer was the epiphany she needed to take stock of her life, reassess her priorities and improve her relationship with money.
    Going through cold turkey on her lifestyle spending enabled Alex to get out of debt, build savings, change her career, and move her family to live in Portugal.
    As Alex says “Earning more money wasn’t more freedom. Learning to live on less money was real freedom. [You need to remember that] you're not alone. Seek out other people [who] are in the same situation, because often getting advice from people, peers that [are living a] similar life to you is much more valuable than getting advice from an expert.”
    This episode is packed with great insights on impulsive spending, work and identity, dealing with peer pressure, the importance of priorities and making positive changes to your relationship with money.

    • 55 min
    Simonne finds her calling as a money coach

    Simonne finds her calling as a money coach

    This week I speak to Simonne Gnessen, one of the UK's leading money coaches and trainer, about her own money story.
    A humble childhood taught Simonne that money wasn't the source of happiness and fullfillment, but could provide some options and flexibility.
    Working as a student in a shoe shop while at university gave way to travelling before eventually training as an actuary. But a sudden change of heart to find work that really fullfilled her led Simonne decide to train to become a financial adviser.
    Disillusionment with the sales culture that prevailed in financial services at the time, and a chance encounter with a financial adviser who suggested the possibility of becoming a coach, motivated Simonne to re-engineer her career a third time.
    From humble and tentative early beginnings in the early 2000s, Simonne tells how she developed one of the first money coaching business in the UK, to the stage where she has now trained nearly 100 other money coaches. 
    Simonne has some wonderful insights and wisdom on working, earning, spending, saving, borrowing and investing in yourself.    

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Henry turns money mistakes to his advantage

    Henry turns money mistakes to his advantage

    This week I'm joined by the UK media's favourite residential property expert and buying agent Henry Pryor.
    Henry tells of how a false start at agricultural collage saw him fall into the world of property with a firm of chartered surveyors, followed by a rollercoaster 10 years with a major property firm, and a decade of extravagent spending.
    After a short daliance with another property firm, Henry started his first business, met his now wife, and started a family. 
    After selling his first business, Henry explains why and how he started his current business, which was based on the previously unheard of concept of helping people to buy a home, rather than selling them one.
    And Henry makes the important point that taking considered risks is a key part of his approach and what has helped him improve his financial situation and life enjoyment. And do listen to the end when Henry explains why he includes his competitors on his website and never asks clients to sign a contract.  
    Henry's interview is peppered with great insights, wisdom, humour, humility and honesty. I could have spoken to him all day so I suggest you listen to this one twice.      

    • 43 min
    Robert learns to Earn, Keep and Grow his money

    Robert learns to Earn, Keep and Grow his money

    This week I speak to financial services entreprenuer Robert Gardner.
    Rob's money story starts with him growing up in South America, generating cash from collecting returnable soft drinks bottles, trying to buy food before prices rose while he was in the shop, and rushing to change his father's salary from the local currency to US dolllars before it fell in value.
    Nearly losing all his family's holiday money by leaving his money belt in a hotel room taught Rob an important lesson on the importance of keeping hold of money.  Surreptitiously working while at boarding school allowed him to buy his first car at 18, but a too good to be true motor insurance policy taught Rob another very important money lesson.
    Learning to live frugally and modestly and adopting what Rob calls his 'artificial horizon' rule for his cash buffer, are the cornerstones of how he has built his wealth. Taking a calculated risk to shake up the sleepy world of pension investment consulting ended up being very rewarding.
    And through his charity Red Start, Rob aims to teach at least 1 million how to effectively budget, save, and invest their money.
    This epsiode is so full of wisdom you might want to listen to it twice, and make sure you share it with people you know and care about. They'll thank you for it.

    • 54 min
    Helen keeps her finances lean and mean

    Helen keeps her finances lean and mean

    This week I speak to financial education champion and ex City fund manager Helen.
    Helen tells how she learnt the value of money from her mother's careful management of the family budget and then going on to do a variety of low paid jobs when she was a student, including a stint as a fitness instructor. 
    Being able to speak German lead to an interview with a major UK bank, and a job as a trainee investment manager, for which she had no qualifications or experience.
    Helen gives some great insights into how she and her husband transitioned to being parents, including how they both convinced their employers to let them both work 4 days a week, so they could balance their careers with raising their family. And the detailed written analysis Helen was required to give her employer to justify flexible working puts into sharp relief today's legal right to request flexible working.
    Many happy years in Edinburgh gave way to even happier days in Suffolk. Followed by Helen deciding to retire from fund management at a relatively young age, so she could focus on building her own social purpose business - missmoneyready - which enables children and young people to learn about money through the unique financial education platform Helen had designed and had built.
    Helen is a lady on a mission and she really does understand how to have a good relationship with money.

    • 41 min
    Will makes his numbers and life add up

    Will makes his numbers and life add up

    This week I speak to Will Rainey, who explains how he turned his love of numbers and a desire to build financial wealth into a career as an Actuary.  
    Will tells of how he quickly got control of his spending so he could avoid consumer debt and buy property. He explains why having aligned money values and priorities with his future wife was essential to making wise money decisions.
    Be sure to listen to the end when Will explains why and how he and his wife broke out of their comfort zone to reinvent their lifestyle and careers, despite having young children.
    And Will explains how he now helps other parents to save for their children's future through his start up Blue Tree Blog:

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

Louise Woollard ,

Robert Gardner Earns, Grows and keeps his money

This was the first time I have listened to this podcast series. I really enjoyed this episode including real life examples from Rob as to how he has learned valuable lessons about managing and growing money. Very relatable and enjoyable.

Gavin Scott Bawtry ,

Making money real, with real people

An excellent podcast that shares real money stories from real people, not your plastic types that pretend they are loaded who will quickly fall over at the slightest gust of wind. Looking forward to listening to many many more episodes. Thanks Jason.

James Mackay (CFP) ,

Absolutely brilliant!

A fantastic podcast, providing real money stories in an interesting and engaging way. Jason uncovers the challenges and successes experienced by everyday people, providing useful lessons that can be applied more broadly in life.

Highly recommended for anybody with even a passing interest in personal finance.

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