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7 Signs You’re Playing Too Small With Money

Article by Faye Watts

Founder of accountancy firm www.fuseaccountants.co.uk Faye Watts says that one of her frustrations is meeting women who play too small and don’t earn what they are capable of.  Here she identifies some signs that hint you might be missing out and not living up to your money potential.

  1. Worrying about paying more tax

I really don’t get this one. You only pay more tax when you’re earning more money in the first place, so what’s the problem? I look upon it as an indicator that I’m doing well. If I wasn’t paying much tax then I’d be worried.  It’s this sort of thinking that holds women back from really going for it.

  1. Not having Serious Money Goals

We’re all working to pay the bills and enjoy life, but what’s your money goal? Is it to invest in your own home, build a healthy pension pot or start a business? When you know what your money goals are, then you can work backwards and work out what you need to earn to reach them. People have life goals; money goals are just as important.

  1. Playing Small with the mortgage

Do make the most of your mortgage opportunities. It might be worth considering stretching yourself here (within reason). If you can stretch to that home with an extra bedroom then you always have the safety net of being able to let that room to a lodger or student. In the long term, however, you will have a property that has more potential for capital growth.*(remember property value can go up or down)

Meanwhile, if you’re outside your fixed term rate and not doing anything about it, you could be giving money away. If you haven’t got time to research go to a mortgage advisor who will be able to advise you and you may be able to re-mortgage completely if there’s a better rate and/or terms.

Unless there’s a good reason for a second property, ie for investment purposes, then think carefully before making that investment. It may be better to sink that money into your own house to upgrade or extend. That way, not only do you get the benefit of enjoying a bigger/nicer home, but when you do come to sell it you can also avoid capital gains tax on any profit made on your main home.

  1. Thinking you shouldn’t have to work

The current trend of eluding to a 4 hour working week has everyone convinced that there’s no need for long hours of work when, in reality, often the most successful people are those that put in the hard graft. And, what is wrong with that? Hard work doesn’t just bring financial rewards, it keeps you interested, motivated and focused. If you’ve got kids you’re also acting as a great role model.  More importantly if you can earn a good living in 4 hours, why not earn double in 8!

  1. Comparing yourself to the wrong people

If you’ve decided to go part time then don’t compare yourself to other people and what they’ve got. Fair enough if part time work is right for you, but enjoy that choice and don’t worry that your friend who works twice the amount of hours as you can afford different things.  If you’re comparing yourself to someone in your department who does the same job as you but gets paid more, that’s another thing, and you should try to do something about this.


  1. Being scared to Invest in yourself

Education can be a great investment and really multiply opportunities open to you, not to mention your confidence. If you’re not sure however, use potential earnings as an indicator. Will your earning increase as a result of this course? Can you see yourself landing a better job or new career?

Likewise, educating yourself about money is good. Leaving everything to your partner should be a thing of the past. Educating yourself by taking a short course, reading the money section of the newspapers or money websites means that you should be able to make more informed decisions. Talk to experts like us as well as IFAs and mortgage advisors, you don’t have to take their advice, but it will open up more options that you might not have thought of.

  1. Making False Economies

Whilst it is good to save money where we can, getting het up on collecting vouchers, changing TV packages or spending three hours a week of your valuable downtime (or even worse working time) cleaning when you could have got a cleaner in keeps you in that playing small mind-set. Think bigger. How can you do more? Earn more? In short, make life more exciting but more financially rewarding at the same time!


playing too small with money imageWorking by the age of 13, Faye Watts believes in absolute graft. It’s this quality that got her started in her career as a tax advisor and business consultant, and now as one of the founding partners at FUSE Accountants. As well as her work in tax consultancy, Faye sits on the boards of a number of companies, and advises businesses on planning and growth strategies.





Faye Watts

Faye is no ordinary accountant and tax advisor. Her background with creative industries and seven years as a freelancer in the fitness industry, followed by running her own accountancy practice since 2008 means that she has a real life understanding of the pressures of running and growing a business. As well as her work in tax consultancy and business planning, Faye sits on the advisory boards of a number of companies, including Funny Women and Sister Snog.

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