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Jane took a salary $40,000 less than her peers. Then came the debt.

Jane took a salary $40,000 less than her peers. Then came the debt. 1024 683 Fox & Hare

In a nutshell:

  • When Jane arrived back in Australia from London, she translated her salary from GBP to AUD – unknowingly accepting a salary $40,000 less than her peers.
  • The cost of living in Sydney coupled with her decreased earnings resulted in Jane running up more than $20,000 in credit card debt. Three years later and one solid financial plan later, she’s debt free and ready to buy her first home.
  • You can book a free 45 minute coffee catch up, to discuss your own financial situation with Matt’s team at Fox & Hare here: book now


I’d been living overseas for eight years and just come back to Australia.  

I’d never worked full time here and had no idea how the wages worked! So, when my employer asked about salary expectations, I’d just translated my British salary direct.  

I must have missed the gleeful looks on their faces when they hired me – because I’d accepted a salary $40,000 less than everyone else!  

In Sydney the rent was more expensive, the food was more expensive, and I was living with this massive wage gap. 

But, at the very same time, everyone seemed to have these amazing credit cards they were amassing all these fun things on.  

You could get lounge points, airline points and that, in 2019, seemed like a great thing to be having.  

So, I signed up. And it was while I was having this massive wage shortfall that the credit cards really started to creep up. 


When Jane accidentally accepted a salary $40,000 less than her peers, she fell into a cycle of running up and ignoring debt – topping out at more than $20,000. It wasn’t until a friend told her to seek financial advice that she was able to get on top of the situation.

There’s this pattern of behaviour in my family. It’s not necessarily being bad with money; it’s more putting your head in the sand when things come up.  

So, rather than saying “oh, I need to deal with that”, you just pretend it doesn’t exist. And that’s what I started to do with my credit card.  

The balance was just going up and up and it was getting to a point where I didn’t even need to spend anymore. It was just the interest pushing up my debt! 

So, what did I do?  

I didn’t look at it. That’s how I solved that problem. But as you would expect, that’s never going to end well. 

Simultaneously, I’d made some new friends and started to feel like a lot of them were having these financial conversations that I just wasn’t clued on to.  

I’d been living this very carefree life in London – which is phenomenal in your twenties! But I started to feel further and further away from the things the people around me were talking about.  

My friends were talking about shares and property purchases; I had a $20,000 credit card debt.

Of course, I kept telling myself I’d pay it off. But I’d always spend more. 

Jane grew uncomfortable hearing friends talk about long term investments and property ownership while she was carrying debt. She felt scared that she’d ‘missed a stop’ or somehow set herself up wrong going in to her thirties.

I felt a little bit scared, to be honest.  

I was scared that I’d missed a stop in life. Like I was meant to get off at this point and do something – but I hadn’t done it. So, I was really quite frightened that I’d set myself up wrong going into my thirties… 

As I mentioned, I don’t come from a background where these conversations are happening, and I couldn’t help feeling quite a lot of resentment about that. I was thinking “why hasn’t anyone spoken to me about this before?”.  

I’ve had a very nice life, so I’m not complaining about that, but I definitely felt a little left behind.  

Eventually, a new girl came in as my manager. She took me aside and asked, “do you know how little you’re being paid?” And I had literally no idea.  

I told her I’d been earning £30,000 in the UK and just translated that to $60,000 when I got back to Australia.  

She said “for what you’re doing, that’s really low! Then she helped me negotiate a salary increase and everything”  

It turns out she was also a member at Fox & Hare and as she was telling me how much they’d helped her get her finances in order.  

I was immediately thinking “I think I need help with this, too”. 

I was sitting there in debt and looking at all the people around me who were buying houses, who had shares and I felt so many steps behind.   

So, I booked in 

Setting up a cashflow plan with buckets was a transformational moment for Jane. Rather than thousands of dollars landing in her spending account every month her finances were automatically sorted. Putting an end to the feast and famine pay cycle and automatically paying down debts.

I think until that point I’d had my head in the sand. But the second I faced up to the issue, there was this immediate relief. I’d acknowledged the problem 

It was actually a little jarring at first. Because it wasn’t just turning up to one meeting and then your life is sorted out.  

It turns out finance isn’t like that, it’s a bit of a longer journey. 

I was sitting there with $20,000 debt and Simon’s asking, “what are your goals?” “What do you like to do?”, “What do you want out of life?”  

I was thinking “what!?”  

“I don’t know how to pay off this twenty grand and you’re asking me what I want to do with my life?” It all felt very wishy washy. 

But it turned out that goal was what I needed. That’s what gave me the purpose I needed to pay the debt off! And I smashed it.  

It’s probably finance 101, but the first thing we did was put a cashflow plan with ‘buckets’ in place.  

So, rather than thousands and thousands of dollars just landing in my bank account every pay day, it’s all automatically sorted.  

Here’s how much I have to spend; my bills are all covered by this; and my savings are safely stashed away over there.  

There was no more spending an entire month’s pay in one week, then counting pennies for the next three. It was so transformative! 

Within about a year and a half I’d paid off all my debts. Which, I can’t even begin to describe how enormous that was. 

I still remember calling AMEX to cancel the card and them trying to get me to stay.  

I explained to them I’d been in debt with the card, and they were actually great about it. They even sent me vouchers to use the points I had left! 

After that, my partner joined Fox & Hare and it felt like things started to move a lot more quickly.  


Within just three years Jane’s gone from feeling ‘scared’ to ‘free’. She’s still got level 3 Mecca membership, she can afford to book the last minute trip and, most importantly, she’s ready to buy her first home in Sydney.

We set the goal to build a share portfolio and save for a property.  

So, the team set us up with a plan and we’re already in the position to be speaking with mortgage brokers and going for approvals.  

In the very near future, we will definitely be making that purchase. Which is such a fast turnaround for me, considering where I was.  

In just three years I’ve gone from being quite scared, feeling a little bit resentful and out of control to this deep relaxing sense of security.  

And in a funny way, even though financial advice is all about planning, buckets, cashflow and all of that, I feel so much more freedom now than I did then.  

Because I’ve the freedom to choose what I do with the money I put aside.  

If I wanted, I could quit my job tomorrow and I’d be fine.  

I still have level 3 Mecca membership and 

I can afford to book that last minute trip if I want it. 

Which is a really a really nice spot to find myself in life 

A place that gives me the chance to say, “Let’s just get on a plane!” 


The Fox & Hare team’s 100% personalised financial advice has helped hundreds of 25-45 year olds pay down debts, buy homes, build investment portfolios and achieve financial freedom. Tap this image to book a free 45 minute virtual coffee and take the first step toward financial freedom today.

What’s next?

If, like Jane, you’re ready to take the next steps toward financial security, you reach out to Fox & Hare for a free virtual coffee catch up.

We have helped hundreds of 20-45 year olds – just like Jane – unlock their potential and find the freedom, security and stability they deserve.

We can assess your current financial world – and give you 100% clarity on how to:

  • Pay down debts
  • Save to buy a home
  • Quit work for a career change / to start a business
  • Achieve financial freedom

With clear, reliable and realistic time frames.

If you want to be debt free? We can tell you exactly how long that will take. If you want to own a home? We can tell you how long that’ll take too.

We only take on 10 new members every month, that’s a maximum of 120 spots every year!

And right now there are less than 5 advisories in Australia servicing the more than 10 million 25-45 year olds currently eligible to work with us. So, if you want to put an end to that feeling of unease “when will I be able to buy a home?” “When will I be debt free?” “Will I ever feel financially secure?” Hit “Book now!” and claim your free virtual coffee with Will today. 

Book now!


About Fox & Hare: Founded in 2017 by two former Macquarie execs, Fox & Hare aims to empower and educate Australians in the wealth accumulation phase of their life journey. Through the provision of a safe, inclusive and accepting environment, they’ve built a diverse and devoted following of 30/40 somethings, from many backgrounds, abilities and genders. The organisation and its co-founders have  featured in the AFR, IFA and Sydney Morning Herald, been included in Financial Standard’s Power 50 and voted IFA’s Thought Leader of the Year.