“Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will” Nelson Mandela.
THE LOW DOWN
Let’s set one thing straight. We’ve gone on about how important it is to break the money taboo, which is 100% true, but unless we actually start talking about it - and no, not as some sort of abstract, annoying ghostly entity - there’s zero chance it’ll ever be broken. That means you, yes you, need to start being more honest about your financial struggles and goals.
To kick start this week’s newsletter, we want to give you an example of the kind of conversations we want to foster. Bustle, a nifty little US-based magazine that has launched a Growna$$ Finances series, surveyed and interviewed 21 millennial women making $30K to $150K per year who explained how they spent and saved their money; an inspiring and deliciously snoopy snapshot into the financial lives of women who are just like us.
Like it or not, earning, spending and saving is an inevitable part of our lives. Our salaries may vary widely, and some of us are better at saving than others. To top it all off, a recent survey conducted by Bustle revealed that more than 50% of millennial women said they never discuss personal finances with friends, even though 28% reported feeling stressed out about money every single day. How in the world do we reconcile such variables? Women are confident and resilient, yet are still somehow burdened by the idea of honest money talk? Nuh-uh, we’re not having it!
To get us moving in the right taboo-breaking direction, here’s some helpful takeaways from Bustle’s Growna$$ Finances series (which we highly recommend you read in full, by the way).
A woman can be earning 80k but at the same time be terrible at saving, and burdened with debt. Likewise, someone can be on a more modest 30k, and be a savings-budgeting jedi. Case in point: it’s not about how much you earn, but how you manage those earnings.
Stop buying into the myth that you need to be well-off to save and invest. Every little counts - even as little as £10 per week will do. Moneybox, an app we talked about last week, is great for encouraging you to save and invest a little at a time.
Budgeting is king (or queen) - even as a high earner, if you’re not careful/have no budgeting strategy, your spending can easily spiral out of control and leave you in some pretty scary debt. We’ve written about the 50/20/30 rule for minimalist budgeting, but there are no rules when it comes to how you choose to budget. Again, apps can come in handy to keep track of your spending - or just the good old pen and paper.
Falling behind doesn’t mean you’re bad at money. You need to believe in yourself and avoid the self-perpetuating money-guilt-vortex by being honest and talking to someone. Whether that’s a financial advisor or just a friend, it’s amazing how much better you’ll feel when you get your worries off your chest.
In your opinion, what’s the hardest part about ‘breaking the money taboo’? Would you feel comfortable sharing your financial woes, hopes and dreams? We’d love to hear from you! Please get in touch.
OFF TO YOU New tax year, new rules
Phew. We’ve just started the new financial year, and boy are we glad to have all that tax faff out of the way. But don’t relax just yet - the government’s making some important changes in the new tax year, and it’s crucial you keep in the loop. Here’s the latest:
GET INSPIRED 3 fascinating TED talks
One Life-Changing Class You Never Took (11 min)
Have you ever taken a single personal finance class in university (or, like, ever)? Yep, we thought so. Alexa von Tobel, the founder and CEO of Learnvest - a leading personal finance website that brings financial literacy to women worldwide - addresses this issue, and talks about a hypothetical girl, “Jessica”, and the five financial principles that shape her life. Key takeaways from Alexa’s talk are simple, but vital: 1. Have a budget, 2. Prioritize debt repayment, 3. Build and maintain an emergency savings fund, 4. Negotiate your salary and 5. Start saving for retirement today.
Could your language affect your ability to save money? (12 min)
Here’s a thought that’s a bit out there, but has plenty of merit: have you ever considered how your language may contribute to your ability to save? Behavioural economist and professor Keith Chen conducted a fascinating piece of research that shows the correlation between “futureless” and “futured” languages and the ability to save money. When speaking a futureless language, the way you express the future is similar to how you would express the present; the opposite is true for futured languages, in which the future is expressed distinctly from the present. Kind of refreshing to think we may not be entirely responsible for our (in)ability to save, huh?
Know your worth, and then ask for it (8 min)
Pricing consultant Casey Brown makes the compelling point that you may not be paid what you think you’re worth, but what your employer thinks you’re worth. Don’t undersell yourself and know your worth - we often forget that the best way to increase our net-worth in the long run is to increase our pay. Instead of grumbling about being underpaid, get inspired by Casey’s full-proof tips on communicating your value and get paid for what you deserve.
Enjoyed our newsletter?
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Thanks for reading, and have a fabulous Easter weekend!
We are not certified financial advisers! The articles and information made available on Vestpod are provided for information and educational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice. You are advised to consult with an independent financial advisor for advice on your specific circumstances. Read our Disclaimer here.