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  • Writer's pictureCornelia Costeanu

My Journey to Making Peace with Money

by Kim Masters - MU Money Mindset Advisor

It was a lovely sunny day in South Africa and my parents were playing golf, I was ten years old, and I was walking around the course with them. I don’t remember the exact sequence of events, and even why I made this decision in my head, but it was at this precise moment that I decided that I would never be any better than my mother, a vow that led me to creating my first serious money block, a limiting belief, that would impact every area of my life for the next 40 years.

It was only when I started on my own money journey about ten years ago, that I even realised the significance of this moment, not only had I made a conscious choice to live at a certain level, I had also created a belief that I couldn’t be better than her, which made it an even more powerful self-defeating statement.

Uncovering these sorts of statements is a key part of the work I do in helping people to Make Peace With Money.

I look at money and finance in a very different way to other people. The mix of my qualifications and experience has given me a rather unique approach to helping people; I have worked in finance and accounting for 20 odd years, and I am also qualified in basic counselling skills, industrial psychology, Reiki, and Shiatsu, so, not your usual accounting type.

I’m originally from South Africa, where I started out as a bookkeeper. At the age of 27, I decided to leave Johannesburg and move to the UK. Initially it was hard to leave home and my family and I had no job lined up, however I was lucky to get an accounts contract relatively quickly as an Accounts Assistant in a very big media company located in central London. Over the next twenty years, I worked as an Assistant Management Accountant, Assistant Financial Controller, Finance Manager.

Despite a long career in accounts, I never really fitted into that 9 to 5 corporate world and the politics that came with it; I’d had my fill of difficult bosses, impossible deadlines, and the constant slog of piles of work, so in 2008 I decided to become a sole trader and started my own bookkeeping business. More recently I’ve moved towards helping companies with their accounting systems and procedures and training which I love because it fits with my ethos of helping people to work smarter not harder.

Whilst doing this, I realised that there is much more to money and accounting than just spreadsheets and numbers, some of the people I worked with had some rather unusual money habits, like the business owner who never opened a letter from a bank because he had fallen foul of a bad investment, and the small business owner who went to her mum when she needed money for her business and told me that ‘money isn’t real’. I realised that there is an emotional and psychological side to money as well.

My biggest money lessons came in 2010; my husband, Paul, and I were married in Johannesburg, upon landing back at Heathrow, I collapsed whilst getting off the plane, and was rushed to a local hospital, where they discovered I had two blood clots on my lungs.

My life literally ground to a halt, I couldn’t walk without getting out of breath and I struggled to leave the flat for a long time. It would take me 2 to 3 years to get my health and my confidence back so the impact on both our lives and our finances was huge.

This was the start of a very difficult period for us, we were just starting to get back on track when in 2017 my mother died from a long battle with cancer, and in 2016 Paul had a work-related mental breakdown which meant he had to give up work.

I tell you this not because I want you to feel sorry for me or for us, but to show you that I truly believe the quote that “Difficult roads, lead to beautiful destinations.” We are all shaped by every experience we go through, and we can learn and grow at every step of our journey.

I absolutely would not be doing the work that I am able to do now if it wasn’t for every single experience, both good and bad that I’ve been through. Before my blood clots, I was earning well and I had savings, without the traumas I would not have been able to relate to people who are struggling financially as much as I can now.

In my Make Peace with Money course, I talk about building a bridge from where you are now to where you want to be. I started doing this with the help of Paul in 2007 when he asked me a very simple questions ‘What do you really want to do?’ and ‘How can you make accounting work for you?’

Randomly, no one had ever asked me this before, I think in the past I just did what others told me I should do, or what I thought they would want me to do. Thinking about the answers to these questions led me to becoming a sole trader, it was my first committed action to making a change and to doing more of what I wanted to do.

This first act led me to email every person I knew and tell them that I was starting in this new kind of work and did any of them need help. I got a reply from a copy writer called Emma who I had worked with in one of my contracts and she asked for my help in understanding her financial statements. Once we started working together, I quickly realised that although she was a very smart person, she had a complete block where the numbers were concerned so I asked her to be a Guinee Pig for a course I was working on called Make Peace with Money; I pretty much wrote it as we worked together.

Our work together had a big impact both emotionally and mentally, I had no idea of the longer-term repercussions it would have on both our lives.

I reconnected with Emma last year and asked if she would let me interview her to get her views on how Make Peace With Money had helped her. In the interview, she laughed as she told me that she had manifested every single thing on her vision board, even down to the wisteria on the house that she and her hubby bought in the UK. She is now running an award-winning creative agency, and she told me that when she faced her money demons and realised that money was not something to fear, it freed her on such a powerful level. The full interview is on the homepage of my website - MATS Consulting – Helping You Master Your Money.

Life is full of milestones and my next one came in 2019 at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic; I had been focusing on getting accounting contracts in order to pay the bills and I wasn’t really enjoying them, it was a lottery how they would turn out, on a couple of occasions they never lasted more than a day or so because what I was told, and the reality were very different, so I decided to commit to seriously changing my work situation once again.

By this time my Make Peace With Money course had turned into a monster with 21 sessions and I really wanted to get it out there so I sent it to a friend and business mentor, Helen Roberts, and asked her what she thought.

She read it over Christmas of 2019 and came back to say that she thought it was fabulous but that it would need to be 12 sessions, so I set about re-worked it and adding in some new tools like tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique).

Make Peace With Money was now a combination of practical money habits like budgeting, savings, cost management and debt management mixed in with understanding and improving your relationship with money, which is how you think, feel, speak and act relating to money.

Helen was so impressed with the end result that she pitched the course to Hounslow Council who were running small business support programmes as part of their Covid-19 response. In May 2020 I did my first online sessions and realised that this was the work I truly LOVE to do.

I learned the lesson that it is not enough to want to change your situation, you have to take action and commit to the change no matter what the world throws at you.

My mom gave me a couple of great bits of advice, firstly “The world is your oyster Kim. Go out and grab it.” And secondly “stop talking about it and do it!” Most of the time I would roll my eyes, and ignore her but now I know she was right.

Another great lesson is knowing that things will rarely work out how you expect them to.

Make Peace with Money is about more than money habits and money mindset, it’s a way of being, it’s a lifestyle. It’s full of the tools that I’ve used along the way in my journey so far. It helps you to free yourself from your past money traumas, and your limiting beliefs (money blocks), so you can start to realise that you have a choice to change your situation; It also gives you the tools and the confidence to go out and transform your money situation and your life.

Kim Masters has been part of Makers United since 2020. Her approach is very unique when it comes to money mindset and from our conversations to local makers we have identified that her services would be very much in demand

Until next time,


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