Your questions about job interviews, savings and pensions: Susan on

Susan talks to Niamh Maher on the Girls with Goals podcast. How do you answer "What are your salary expectations" in a job interview, when to start saving for a pension, and how to calm money anxiety for good.

"I'm going to tell you, you're going to have a job in the future, and you can set your wages now - are you going to tell me you couldn't be bothered? That's what you're doing when you don't take care of your pension."


I was recently a guest on the Girls With Goals podcast with Niamh Maher, and I enjoyed it tremendously. We chatted away for the better part of an hour, and while the mood was very relaxed, we did tackle some hard-hitting themes.

Niamh is on Twitter at @Niamh_Maher

Niamh asks powerful questions that are keeping a lot of women up at night:

  • "I'm sure I don't have enough in savings...",
  • "I will never be able to save for a pension...",
  • "How can I save up for a down payment on a house..."
  • "Will I ever be free of money worries?"

Here are some choice tips from the podcast. Listen to the full podcast here



Saving for a rainy day? Well, yes, but... how about saving for a sunny day, too?

You don't save just for 'negative' emergencies. What if you had to 'deal' with a positive emergency? For example your best friend calls you excitedly to say that there's an incredible deal on a 10-day luxury cruise in the Caribbean, all-inclusive, with flights from Dublin... and it's only 1000 € if you can pay in full before midnight.

Wouldn't that be an exciting savings goal? Then, when you've made a habit of putting money away, saving will happen on autopilot. But to make the switch and start saving when you've never been 'good with it', give yourself a goal that truly motivates you.


One hour a week to look at your finances - set time aside for your own "Power Hour"

I know what many women are thinking - 'God I'd love an hour, or even five minutes!' Start with the time that you have. Every week, take some time to look through your finances. Is every thing in order? Is there anything you need to sort out? Apply for health insurance or a pension? Are you on track to reach your goals? This power-hour (or power-five-minutes!) has cumulative effects over time.

Start now, and you have the potential to turn your finances around in the next year - or less.


Pensions are complex? Maybe, but you don't have to do this alone. 

  • Look up the Pensions Authority: their website is a gold mine of valuable information, and these people are actually waiting for your call. Their wages are paid by your taxes as they're a government body, so use that service!
  • The government is waiting to give you money back and you don't want it - you're not taking it! How? You get a tax rebate for putting money into a pension. On the other hand, if you're not putting money into funding your pension, you're leaving money on the table.
  • What is a PRSA (Personal Retirement Savings Account)?


Girls with goals podcast


More about pensions on Savvy Women Online:

How much pension will I get? A case study of a woman at different stages in her life.

Women and pensions: don't sabotage your future.

Another great resource is (formerly they have a huge amount of really useful tools, like Life Stage - what should I be knowing, what should I be doing at this stage?

Read more about

Life Stages: How to navigate choppy financial waters with serenity

This free resource can turn your finances around


What's the outcome? Don't focus on money, focus on the things that money can buy

A lot of worries around money focus on a number, but think about the outcome: what is it you really want? And can you get the same outcome, or a similar one, for a lot less money than you think? In the podcast I discuss specific case studies.


...And the dreaded interview question: 'What are your salary expectations?' 

As Niamh says, even confident women who have aced the interview up to that point suddenly go into themselves and feel embarrassed to ask for what they're worth. So how do you address the question? Should you answer it at all? Yes, and here's how: evidence it.




I'd love to hear your feedback by email email or on twitterTwitter

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