January 6, 2018

My Story

  • Name: Catherine Morgan, The Money Makeover Expert 
  • Likes: Builders Tea, sunshine and stationery 
  • Dislikes: Peppa Pig, Jeremy Kyle and strong cheeses
  • Money Habits: An emotional spender
  • Qualifications: Diploma in Financial Advice, Certificate in Mortgage and Practice, Certificate in Pension Transfer Advice, Financial Coach Practitioner Certificate with Wise Monkey Financial Coaching. 
  • My name is Catherine Morgan and I’m an emotional spender.
  • When my son, Thomas, was five weeks old he was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and I was told that I might lose him. It was an awful time but it wasn’t until Thomas came out of hospital that the enormity of it really hit me. I became incredibly anxious and I started overspending. I’d go clothes shopping and was constantly buying stuff online. I was spending money that I didn’t have on my credit card and going into overdraft every month. I was lucky. I’m a financial expert so I was able to recognise what was happening and change my behaviour around money before I got into serious debt. But not everyone’s that fortunate. That’s why I set up The Money Panel – so I could use my knowledge and expertise to help people understand more about money and empower them to take control of their finances. Be their personal Money Makeover expert!
  • One thing I really want to do is get people talking. Money can be a very isolating subject so I want to be the person they can talk to about money without feeling like they’re being judged. Someone might have had a bad experience that’s left them fearful about money, so they bury their head and don’t deal with it. Someone might feel ashamed or embarrassed that they’ve got themselves into a difficult financial situation. I want to be there to tell them that it’s OK and I can help them take back control of their finances.
  • One of the first questions I ask clients is ‘What’s your earliest experience of money?’ Our money personality can be formed in childhood and looking back at your past can really help to unravel your money triggers and your attitude to money. I remember when I was young my dad used to take me into the building society to put a bit of money into an account for me each month. Then one day, the £3,000 that had been saved, was gone. I was shocked and only later found out that dad had withdrawn the money because he was struggling financially. That triggered a need to spend money as soon as I had it. When I got my first-part time job – picking asparagus on a farm – I thought, ‘Oh my God, if I don’t spend this money quickly someone else is going to spend it for me.’
  • I’m happy to share my personal stories because I want people to feel comfortable sharing theirs. I’m also very honest about my own money mistakes and the bad financial decisions I’ve made in the past. I think it helps my clients to open up and be honest about their own financial situation. With The Money Panel, it’s very much a collaborative approach.
  • I truly believe there’s a gap in the market for a business like mine. Currently there are great money-saving experts like Martin Lewis and some awesome financial planners – but there’s not enough inbetween. Clients can come to me for guidance about all sorts of money issues – identifying their money habits, looking after their financial wellbeing when they’re going through emotional turmoil such as divorce or redundancy, budgeting, money management, financial planning for the future and investing.
  • I’ve met so many people who have investments that they don’t actually understand because nobody has taken the time to explain things in a clear, jargon-free way. And people often feel too intimidated or lack the confidence to ask questions.
  • I’m on a real mission to demystify all things financial and to help educate people. As well as the services I offer with The Money Panel, I’m also running workshops and have set up a Facebook community where people can share their stories as well as watch webinars and live videos that make learning about money simple and fun.
  • It’s amazing how things change when you understand more about yourself and money. My husband, Gareth, and I used to have little disagreements over money all the time. He’d get anxious when anything went on the credit card, and I’d get annoyed because he was a slave to the spreadsheet, always putting everything onto a chart. Then when we sat down to talk it through we discovered that I’m a spontaneous spender while he’s a planner who needs to see where his money is going. Just having that one conversation helped us to understand why we both reacted so differently around money.
I hope that my work will help empower women to feel confident and in control of their money. Catherine x
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