Hanri, Photographer – moving to self employment

Hanri initially wanted to explore the possibility of setting up her own business and knew she needed to take control of her personal finances to make a success of it. She told me that she was ‘frittering away’ money and that she wanted to be in control; to be able to look at bank statements without feeling embarrassed at how much frivolous and unplanned spending they revealed. She felt she still used money like a student, spending at the start of the month and living frugally for the rest, and wanted to feel more ‘grown up’ when it came to her behaviour with money. Although she knew she wanted to turn her passion – photography – into a business, she felt overwhelmed by the financial implications and responsibility.

We looked together at her plans for the new business as well as the financial implications of moving in with her new partner, steadily working through financial issues as they arose: cash flow and pricing structures for the business; saving for tax, NI and occasional costs; calculating fair contributions for household spending and mortgage.

She’s now really embedded these strategies and has successfully made the step to self employment, running her own photography business. We initially had sessions once a month, then every two months, then every three – the regularity of sessions becoming less frequent as she felt more in control and empowered to use the strategies herself.

Check out Hanri's website: www.hanri.co.uk

"The sessions really opened my eyes to how personal and business finances can be managed side by side easily. I would not previously have had the confidence to leave my full-time employment and work on a freelance basis. They have also validated my dreams and future plans – helping me to not be afraid to dream big and see possibilities that I would otherwise have shunned as unrealistic.

The main change for me has been the removal of fear regarding money management. I simply used to think that as someone who is ‘bad with numbers’ that financial management was just beyond me and I’d always have to ask someone else to do it for me. I feel much more confident in managing cash flow, and I no longer avoid looking at my bank accounts on a regular basis.

My greatest behavioural change has been how I spend my money. I spend much less money on small insignificant purchase, and I feel more confident paying for larger spends such as holidays. I feel confident that I have the skills to sort out where money comes from or how I can go about putting money together for holidays, Christmas, lifestyle purchases etc.

I have so much more respect for the money I earn and save now. I automatically think ‘do I REALLY need that?’ and I’d rather save up for two months to buy the perfect winter coat, than buy a quick decision bargain which will end up in the charity shop next year. Quality has replaced quantity and I have far less clutter.

My financial situation is by no means perfect, but I have so much more confidence in my future financial security.

I have definitely learnt that it’s not how much I earn, but how I spend what I earn."


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