MoneyTalk With Eleni: Student, Intern, Model
Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am 20 years old and currently studying Tourism Management and Spanish at the University of Greenwich in London, commencing my third and final year this September. I also do some modeling part-time which can be very exciting as well. And last but not least, I am a summer Intern at Vestpod!
What’s your relationship like with money and personal finance?
I am usually all about planning, knowing exactly what comes in and out, watching my student budget on a daily basis. However there are days where I treat myself to city trips abroad with my friends!
When it comes to my relationship with money, I talk very openly about it especially with my family as they taught me to appreciate the value of money. My dad always wanted me to have a summer job in order to learn how long it takes to save a certain amount of money. With modelling it is quite easy to earn money but also much easier to spend. So I have learnt from both experiences and have a general view of my finances.
Can I ask you how did you get into modelling? Do you enjoy it?
Long story short, I was 16 when I got scouted by one of the best agencies in Brussels on the street right by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. As I was still quite young I decided to continue with my studies. A year later I took the train home from school, and the scout was on the same carriage. It felt like it was meant to be...however I did not fit in at that agency so left it at that. Another year later, before I moved to London I met a friend who took me to the agency I am signed with now!
I have definitely enjoyed the journey - ups and downs - but overall it’s been an incredible experience from meeting interesting people, to encounters with celebrities and my first show at London Fashion Week for Mulberry!
What does financial independence mean to you?
Financial independence means having the freedom to do whatever you want in life without having uncertainty.
What’s the one thing you indulge in?
Wining and dining with friends and living life to its fullest potential.
What is the best financial decision you have ever made? And what is the greatest long term investment?
Setting money aside in my savings account has been my best financial decision, however if I were a few years older I would definitely invest in buying an apartment of my own, the greatest long term investment!
What are your favourite apps and websites ?
My daily go-to apps are Instagram for inspiration, Business of Fashion for the latest news, and Spotify for the best grooves. Apps regarding money I really love to use are Wally which tracks your spending and earnings, and Revolut which is so user-friendly and sets a monthly budget which makes budgeting so easy!
Favored websites are The School of Life for some food for thought, Gurls Talk as a safe space for ladies, Time Out for the best spots in town and Secret London for the coolest things to see on any occasion. And of course Vestpod for lots of info on finances.
Have you ever experienced a financial epiphany? A sort of wake-up call, where you suddenly think - “I must start doing things differently”?
Yes - several times. At a certain point in life you realize that money makes the world go round. I started to think more of the future, started adding to my savings account and Vestpod was one of my wake up calls. So thank you!
What is Vestpod for you?
Vestpod is a space where ambitious women can inspire and learn from each other, motivate and give each other that much-needed wake up call.
We love your style at Vestpod! Can you tell us where do you look for fashion inspiration?
Thank you! Usually I go for comfortable and easy to wear. Still, there are days where I lust to dress up for a night out with friends or a fancy dinner. It depends how I feel and how much time I want to put into that. My fashion inspiration comes from day-to-day experience or visual content that I see, like during fashion week, seeing the latest trends or walking through London.
Own up. Have you made any major financial faux-pas?
Spending my earnings without even thinking or planning… a small faux-pas that I learnt from and improved on.
What do you wish you have done earlier in terms of financial planning?
Start saving at an earlier stage - having that financial backup is everything!
What would you recommend to younger women?
Think about the future and not just in the present moment. Be financially independent.
One of the reasons I decided to work while at university was because my mum has taught me to be independent. She has drilled it in me! It also helps me to balance my time better: social time to work time. There is such a great feeling of accomplishment knowing that you have worked for something you bought! Since university has started I have already worked part-time as a model and still do, so that variation is exciting too. At this point in my life, early twenties, I feel a lot stronger being able to live on my own by earning money, with a diversified income stream. My encouragement came from Queen B who once said: “I felt like it was time to set up my future, so I set a goal.” - I fully agree. Since then my goal is independence.”I dream it, I work hard I grind 'til I own it. I twirl on them haters”.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years... nothing’s set in stone, but somewhere in a key position in the fashion or tourism industry or maybe even my own startup would be a dream. Living comfortably with a loved one in a place I am happy to live and settle.
Favourite book: The Magic Of Not Giving A F*** by Sarah Knight - a real eye opener!
& podcast? TED Talks - My absolute favorite podcast. Lifelong learning is key! Not anyone that comes to my mind but the ones on health, work/life balance, education and technology.
Duolingo - To improve my language skills and keep it up when I don’t have Spanish class
Business Of Fashion - Interesting information on fashion
Where can we find you?
Thanks a lot!