MoneyTalk With Lisa, Product Designer and Sustainability Warrior
Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a product designer currently working in Fintech. I moved to London 3.5 years ago from Vienna, Austria to study graphic design. It was never my plan to stay in London but here I am! I have a very deep love for typography and book design and love everything tech. I enjoy keeping myself busy with all sorts of side projects. Be it producing a podcast about diversity in the creative industries (coming soon!) or setting up an email campaign to inspire a more sustainable way of living. I love being out and about and working on lots of different projects at the same time.
What’s your relationship like with money and personal finance?
It’s been a rocky road for sure. I have never really had any serious financial problems but money - for me - was always linked to feelings of shame, guilt and anxiety. My parents have always had quite a lot of debt and money was generally a rather uncomfortable and touchy topic in my family. Even more so when my parents got divorced and had countless arguments over child support payments. This has caused me to be very anxious about money in general and resulted in me being unreasonably stressed and constantly worrying about not having enough. I had to drastically change my attitude towards money when I started freelancing though. Freelancing really taught me to embrace uncertainty, instability and a very fluctuating income as well as a lot of freedom.
What are the challenges you face as a freelancer? Do you manage your finances differently?
I have always worked as a freelancer/contractor so I can’t really compare. I do think that that has positively impacted my relationship with money. As a freelancer your cash-flow is usually not as stable and predictable as for someone who is full-time employed. Having a very irregular income and being responsible for my own tax payments, pension, insurance etc. has definitely forced me to become more educated about everything concerning money.
What does financial independence mean to you?
It means that I can afford the life that I want to live. That I can work whenever, with whoever I want to work and that I can take time off when I want or need it (without feeling any guilt). It means that I can support myself and my loved ones without having to worry about the future. Financial independence to me is being free from anxiety and worry about not having enough and being able to enjoy the things I love the most (travel, good food, spending time with friends and family, supporting good causes etc).
What’s the one thing you indulge in?
I travel as much as I can. Last year I decided to take 3 months off to travel to Iceland, parts of the United States and South East Asia. I also really enjoy eating out and discovering new places, which I think goes hand in hand with my love for travel. I don’t mind paying a bit more for an extraordinary culinary experience – especially if it’s vegan.
What is the best financial decision you have ever made?
Set up a Lifetime ISA and a Stocks & Shares ISA with Moneybox. It’s so so easy and i don’t even notice the money that goes into it. It’s so satisfying watching my savings grow over time. I think it’s an absolute no-brainer.
Have you ever experienced a financial epiphany? A sort of wake-up call, where you suddenly think - “I must start doing things differently”?
I listened to Jen Sincero’s audiobook “You are a badass at making money” and every single chapter was an absolute eye opener. I had such an internalised aversion towards rich people that I kept myself from making more money. I thought having more money would turn me into a world destroying monster. It took me a while to realise that money itself isn’t inherently evil and that being broke is not a noble thing. It keeps you from living the life you want to live.
What is Vestpod for you?
A community of women who empower and help each other become better at managing their finances. It is a safe space where women can share knowledge, ideas and experiences around money, saving, investing and planning for the future.
Own up. Have you made any major financial faux-pas?
I have significantly underpriced my own services as a designer in the past. I would argue I didn’t know better at the time and didn’t have the confidence or knowledge to justify a higher rate but that was definitely a big learning curve for me. Now I know my value and would never drop my prices ever again unless it is a pro bono passion project that I really care about.
Favourite book & podcast?
My all time favourite podcast is ‘Dear Sugars’ with Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed. Cheryl Strayed is my number one celebrity crush. She is such a powerful and compassionate writer and storyteller (‘Wild’, ‘Tiny, beautiful things’) and just a total boss woman in general.
I also really love Slack’s podcast ‘Work in Progress’, which is all about the meaning and identity we find in work.
As for books I would say it really depends on my mood. I have to admit I am totally into self help and found Robert Wringham’s ‘Escape Everything’ a very life-changing read. And obviosuly every book by Jen Sincero.
Where can we find you?
Thanks a lot!