You Know That We Are Living in a Material World? 🎼 💰

This week on Vestpod: why settling isn’t an option, deconstructing financial planning and how to spend money on happiness.
“If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.” Melinda Gates
Why you deserve more

Women = power, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the bleak gender pay gap statistics. Male graduates earn 20% more than their female counterparts, and women earn £361,000 less than men over their working life. If that doesn’t convince you that something needs to change, get this: a recent study found that unleashing women’s full work potential could be worth up to £23 billion a year to the Exchequer. It’s safe to say that if women get paid more, everybody benefits.

Now that we’ve identified that the gender pay gap is very real and very uncool, the question is what can you do to reduce it? One way to do this is to evaluate where you at in your career and ask for a raise. Yep, we know, easier said than done. However, at Vestpod we follow the mantra that “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”, so stop being so humble and go out there and convince your employer that you deserve this raise.

How to ask for a raise - and get it:

  • Do your research: find out what your colleagues in similar positions are earning and look at jobs advertised online. What is the highest salary offered? This should help you determine how much to ask for.
  • Demonstrate your accomplishments. Make sure the senior management is aware of how valuable you are to the company.
  • Focus on why you deserve it, not why you need it. Stick to discussing your performance and try to avoid talking about your financial struggles.
  • Talk about your future, and make it clear to your employer that you are invested in the company. Managers value loyalty, and it gives the impression that you are serious about your career.
  • Ask for a meeting with your boss and request a pay review. Remember to have everything in writing.
We recommend you check out this podcast by Maggie Neale  (Stanford Business School), aptly titled ‘The art of getting what you want at work’. Maggie is an expert in the art and science of negotiation, and her advice will boost your chances of successfully asking for a raise (and more!).
Spending for happiness
Turns out, money can buy happiness. And no, it doesn’t come in the shape of holidays on private islands or a pastel-blue Tiffany’s box, although we certainly wouldn’t mind having both. No, the key to happiness, according to a study by Harvard University, is spending money on something that benefits others. A study by Cambridge University makes a similar point, but goes a further to say that money can buy happiness when the spending fits our personality.

Sure, most of us are familiar with that rush that comes with buying material possessions. However, Dr Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades, points out that such a rush is short-lived. To achieve longer-term happiness, you should spend money on experiences rather than things.
 Read more about spending for happiness over at Vestpod.
Financial Planning 101

“What is the main goal of financial planning, and is it really personal?”

This week in ‘Ask an Expert’, Sophie-Jane Keelaghan, our friend and professional financial adviser, will be answering the question. Sophie-Jane will also help us understand how financial advisers work. Sophie-Jane says that the primary goal of financial planning is to align our finances with our lifestyle, and that the key benefit is reducing stress and feeling more in control - sounds pretty reasonable to us.

She goes on to explain that yes, financial planning is, indeed, very personal. Sophie-Jane uses a 4-step approach to help understand who you are and where you want to be:

  • Learning about your goals
  • Diving into the numbers
  • Building a strategy
  • Following-up with regular progress meetings

 Read Sophie’s enlightening article on Vestpod.

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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.
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