Nia on Investing Her Money, Blogging and Being an Entrepreneur
In the What On Earth? section, we want to feature women who are willing to talk about their money. Our goal is to break the taboo around money, share experiences and learn from the community. We have the pleasure to interview Nia today!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a 26 year old Londoner, working in FinTech and running my own Startup, a Wellbeing Brand that is set to launch around the end of next year. I also love blogging, travelling and generally being creative.
What’s your annual salary or income/net-worth?
To be ironically British about it, I have multiple income streams so it can vary from baseline depending on how hard I work, how lucky I get or the opportunities that come through. I love the flexibility and it allows me to live comfortably.
What are your living arrangements? Are you living with a partner and your children, flatsharing with friends or living alone with cats? (no judgment!)
I would happily live alone with cats one day. I actually use one of those co-living agencies.
How much do you spend on your rent/mortgage?
What’s your relationship like with money and personal finance?
Has it changed much in recent years? Actually when I was much younger I used to be incredibly stingy and hated spending a penny. Somehow that seems to have reversed over the years – I don’t know if that’s a millennial thing…
Budgeting - do you follow any guides, or are you more of a freewheeler?
A bit of a freewheeler.
Have you started saving for retirement? Why, or why not?
Yes but I don’t have a lot of faith in the traditional banking system and I don’t know how well they are going to be able to adapt to the newer Technologies on the horizon.
Do you invest? What is your investment strategy?
I use a few different platforms and mainly invest in cryptocurrency. I only invest in things I want to read about and understand for myself. I prefer to find something I believe in and invest long term rather than short term.
Do you feel like you live above your means (as in - do you spend more than you can afford)?
No but I wouldn’t describe myself as sensible.
Are you any good with your savings? Do you have a rainy day fund?
I have a rainy day fund but I prefer to invest than have savings sit there – that does mean there is a risk of loss as well as gain obviously. I once worked with someone who’d tell me ‘focus on making more money, instead of saving every penny’. I know it’s not the most sensible motto for everyone but I enjoyed it. At the end of the day I’m happy to take at least a little bit of risk because you never know what’s going to happen, look at Greece.
Have you ever experienced a financial epiphany? A sort of wake-up call, where you suddenly think - “I must start doing things differently”?
If so, what brought it about? When I discovered Cryptocurrency, started trying to understand more about it and met people working in the space.
What’s the one thing you indulge in?
Self-Care i.e. nice food, going to plenty of events, talks and workshops that I enjoy (London is amazing for this), things like that.
What’s your relationship with credit cards or consumer debt? Love ‘em, hate ‘em, avoid using them entirely? Do you have a plan on how to tackle them?
I’ve so far not got into debt where I’ve had to pay interest (student overdrafts were interest free). If I have to pay a particularly hefty fee I ask to spread the cost over a few months instead. This is what I’ve done with my startup to help with cash flow, so long as the DD is on time, my partners don’t mind. A lot of companies offer 0% financing these days. It’s also a much better way of ensuring you’re happy with the progress and quality of the work before you pay out the final sum. Therefore I try to avoid it as much as possible; having said that I do think that living with debt is the norm and unavoidable for most people these days, especially in London with things like Mortgages. You also have to spend money to make money.
Have you ever worked with a financial advisor? What were they like?
No but there is a lot of good information online and I’d say that although my father is an anaesthetist, he could probably pass as a financial advisor himself. Not that I listen to him.
Let’s talk gender pay gap. Have you got any personal experiences concerning unequal pay? Any ideas on how to close the gap?
I have an experience concerning unequal pay but it was actually the reverse of what you would expect. I waitressed at the Playboy Club London part time around university for a few months. The male waiters had ‘1 credit’ whereas we had ‘3 credits’. This meant that cash earnings at the end of the night would be split in the ratio 1:3. To be honest, I thought this was unfair; most of the male waiters probably worked harder than I did – carrying the heavier items and working just as long nights, if not longer because they would even have to pack away furniture at the end. The ‘credits’ were divided as such solely because of our uniforms, obviously. However, I signed up to wear the Playboy outfit and I found it fun to get dressed up! I wouldn’t have done it had it been any other boring attire. The division in pay soured the culture at times because the waiters often quite rightly, felt slightly bitter about the whole thing. To work towards closing the gap, I think there should be more transparency around what others in your company are earning for the same work, companies also need to review renumeration structures and report their findings to an independent body, women need to have more confidence in asking for a raise and we should collectively push for positive cultural change towards women in the workplace.
What are your biggest financial fears and concerns?
World War 3. The next Financial Crisis. Introduction of a UBI with increasing automation.
What is Vestpod for you?
An informed, female-focused and female-lead, financial independence lifestyle resource.
Own up. Have you made any major financial faux-pas?
Especially in business, be careful who you get involved with, always do your research and remember that context can change character. If there’s one thing I take away from the last few years (of which there are only 26, so I don’t take myself too seriously) it’s that if time is money, then I refuse to waste any more time. Time is the most precious thing and it’s also why I think it shouldn’t be so taboo to want to be proactive and make money. It’s not all greed and ‘evil’; It’s also synonymous with freedom, choice, opportunity, aid and often, more time. I would never choose a job I hated just to make more but we are all motivated by it in some form, or none of us would work at all. Do I think this is necessarily the best carrot on a stick system to have? No, but it’s the best we’ve got right now. I love this thought provoking piece about a futuristic, Technology-lead world.
I will save you the rest of my discourse about all that ;). Thank you for hearing me!