Before and after inspiration for using money as a transformational tool

career progression confidence pay rise Mar 03, 2024
Lata in blue top smiling; text: before & after: money transformations

I’ve always loved money. When I was a kid I used to collect money boxes (also known as piggy banks) and I had them in all different shapes and sizes - a classic sterling silver cube with alphabet letters, a colourful clown, a ceramic duck. I got pocket money every week and I was a terrific saver, so much so that my older siblings would prey upon my naivety and convince me to swap the little boring brown $2 coins I had for their big, shiny, sparkling 50 cent coins (I only found this out recently - those rats!). 


So I’ve always had money but when I started in my career I didn’t necessarily earn that much and lived a very different life to the one I live now. The real difference came when I tripled my salary in the space of 3 years to almost $200,000, after making the career change to Change Management. 


Here are some of the biggest things that have transformed in my life because of the extra income from my career change:


1. My home

When I first started in my career, I lived at home and didn’t feel at all grown up or adult. After moving back to Sydney from a graduate rotation in Perth, I needed to find an apartment and I moved into a ground floor, dim but clean unit in Ultimo near the city centre. I shared with a uni student for the first year, then a friend of a friend the second year. Our place got broken into one night, all our valuables stolen, and I vowed never to live in a ground floor apartment again. Afterwards, I hung out at my folks’ house and my sister’s house for a few months waiting for my off-the-plan property to be finished and moved into the tiny 1-bedroom apartment in Parramatta. My boyfriend came to live with me, and we lived there for 3 years, my income increased dramatically and we were finally and thankfully able to move to a luxurious, 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom in the Sydney CBD. Our apartment has a massive garden terrace, two car spaces, and open plan living, so it feels like we’re in a house in the heart of the city. The building has incredible facilities: a swimming pool, spa, sauna, gym and library. But the best part? We don’t live on the Ground Floor and it’s a secure access building with a 24/7 concierge. Feeling safe and secure is priceless (as was the space during COVID)!


2. My food

Another big thing that changed when I had more disposable income was the quality of the food I was eating. I was always a big foodie and enjoyed eating out at restaurants and cafes, but early on in my career when I had a much lower salary, I would buy the cheapest of everything at the grocery store. The only thing I’d splash out on was free range eggs and chicken. Everything else: budget. I made big batches of stocky meals and froze them in portions in the freezer, both for convenience and for cost. Since earning a higher income though, we make just a few bulk meals and the rest of the time we eat high-quality or organic ingredients, freshly-made. We shop at high quality fresh food grocers or the in-season stock at the local farmers’ market. We choose grass-fed beef and free range pork to avoid hormones and chemicals. We opt for higher quality sauces and organic canned goods to avoid preservatives and additives. And splash out on gourmet items here and there, choosing flavour and quality over price. I think this shift has really been about prioritising both our health and longevity, but also our enjoyment of what we’re eating.


3. My travel

I’ve always been happy to spend my savings on international travel, and as an Aussie any overseas trip is sure to cost a lot. I went overseas for the first time at 16 and remember backpacking with my sister through the bitter cold of Berlin in early January before gratefully thawing out for 6 days in Rome. We stayed in hostels and saved our money for tourist site entry and local delicacies. My next trip was at 23, and I wasn’t yet working in my corporate career. I stayed with my sister in Austria, did Contiki in Italy, did a few days in Paris in a hostel, and then spent a month in England, staying with family friends the first two weeks with day trips across London and the surrounding towns, before trekking across the countryside in hostels and B&Bs. Without a car, I was stranded several times on country roads, in tiny villages, or in the rain and I didn’t have the money or the means to change accommodation or pay extra at any places. I did a few more trips to Japan and California, but it was a few years into my Change Management career when I really found a style of travel I enjoyed: spending a month in an AirBnb, hiring my own car, and exploring a region in depth. I’ve done this twice now, in Provence in Southern France and in Tuscany in Northern Italy and I really enjoy the ability to make a home base, have the freedom and ease of a car, cook my own meals when at my Airbnb, eat out at incredible Michelin-starred restaurants and local institutions, know a region really well, and do cooking classes in the local cuisine. I tack a couple more weeks on for other places and countries (which I’m able to do because of the flexible nature of contract and consulting work), and if there’s something I’m not enjoying or not feeling a spot, I carve a different experience for myself.


4. My outlook

Finally, my outlook has really changed about money. I’m not stressed or scared anymore - I feel positive, calm and content. Money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it does provide a sense of security and allows you to have more choice to invest in the things that you really want and that make you happy. I realised I care more about experiences than possessions. That I favour convenience and ease over DIY and making-do. And that I am worthy of success and abundance. Money doesn’t change who you are but it can transform your lifestyle. I’m still the same me - I just live a more luxurious, joyful, and relaxing life. 

I’ll be sharing more about my transformational life and lifestyle that I’ve been able to create through changing careers to the highly-paid, female-dominated career of Change Management in my free Change Tools Masterclass. The Masterclass kicks off on Tuesday 5 March. 


CLICK HERE to register your free spot for my Change Tools Masterclass


Lata xx

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