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Nine-steps to gain control of your finances

New Irish Post columnist Susan Hayes

WITH financial thermostats and economic SatNavs Susan Hayes promises to make 2013 a year of financial freedom for everyone – offering a nine step plan designed to rid you of your money worries for good.

A financial trainer by trade, Ms Hayes is better known as the ‘Positive Economist’ back home in Ireland – with her regular national media contributions predicting a brighter outlook for the state if it takes the necessary action to climb through the downturn.

More recently the Co. Cork native has put that PMA to paper and directed it at the female of the species.

More Business:

We met the impressive entrepreneur, managing director of international financial training firm Hayes Culleton, this week as she visited Britain to launch her first book – The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom.

The frank-talking businesswoman told us why she was perfect to write the neatly-wrapped tome – in which she claims anyone can regain control of their finances – as she has made every mistake in the book herself!

“I didn’t write this book because I know it all, but because I learnt the hard way – like we all do,” she told us.

“I’ve gone and spent money without budgeting, I’ve blown money because it burnt a hole in my pocket, I’ve tried to keep track of my finances and let it all fall into disarray and I have planned to spend £100, spent three times as much and berated myself for it. You name it I have done it, but this book is dedicated to showing you all the things that I learned to do right.”

While the self-styled Savvy Woman’s nine steps to financial freedom can well be applied to either sex, her first book focuses primarily on affairs of the fairer of the two.

“Finance is very different for a man or woman,” she admits.

“So as this is a book about women’s personal finance there are a number of contentious issues that needed to be dealt with – such as the choice a woman has between staying at home with their kids, going back to work or starting a home business.”

She explained: “In these sorts of cases I like to talk about the emotional P&L, the profit and loss in your life.

“So you might earn £500 a week and work out how much goes on tax, outgoings etc. But I also ask how much of you will be left for your husband and kids?
“Will you be unfulfilled if you don’t work, is it a lifelong dream, and what will that mean in terms of your own personal life – will you have time for you or will your time be going to everyone else?”

She added: “Women have to deal with this realistically. They also tend to be guilt ridden when it comes to spending. There is always a better recipient of our money, presents for the kids, saving for the future, the family holiday. We are wrong if we spend it on shoes, or a cream. We are wrong, wrong, wrong. That can lead to a very hostile relationship with money and a feeling that there is never enough, or it can lead to comfort spending and hiding it.”

For Hayes women must sit back and take stock of their situation to realise anything can be rectified and our economic dreams are not necessarily out of reach – with the right planning and attention.

“I started off writing this book thinking about where I wanted to bring someone,” the author told us. “I decided I wanted to bring them to their financial dream. A lot of us have dreams we think are impossible, but the only reason they are impossible is because we have not pin-pointed what they are.”

She explained: “There is a real sense out there that being too ambitious about money means you’re greedy, but I wanted to take that away completely and just say what is your dream and can we articulate it? The rest of the book is designed around getting there.”

She added: “Ultimately I really wanted to give women – and everyone – the confidence to accept where they are and that it’s ok to make mistakes; had I not made mistakes I would not have been able to write a book. More importantly, I want us all to realise it can all be fixed – whatever situation you are in and irrespective of it.”

The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom published by Penguin is available in all good bookstores. £12.99. ISBN 9781844882908

The Savvy Woman, Susan Hayes is the newest columnist to join the Irish Post team!

As a regular business visitor to both Manchester and London Ms Hayes will provide a unique, informative and entertaining insight into life as an Irish businessperson manoeuvring their way through the markets and networks in Britain.

She also brings her expertise in the financial industry to our Irish Post readers – offering her uniquely refreshing and…well, savvy style to give a digestible take on the world of economics.

We are delighted to have her on board so look out for the Savvy Woman’s first column on our business pages later this month. In the meantime grab a sample of what you can expect at

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The Savvy Woman’s Nine Steps to financial freedom:


Work out your attitude to money

Decide your financial destination

Learn to love budgeting

Curb your spending

Talk to the experts

Share your financial journey

Identify the costs and benefits of your choices

Challenge your beliefs about making money

Make more money






Fiona Audley

Fiona Audley is Managing Editor with The Irish Post. You can follow her on Twitter @fifiaudley

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