MoneyTalk With Precious: IT Business Analyst In FinTech
Hello Precious! So glad to have you on board!
Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I recently turned 25 and moved into my own home in Kent a few months back.
How did you get into fintech?
I’ve been working in finance since I graduated and have always been interested in Financial Services as an industry, even when I was still in school. I found a great role at an Investment Banking FinTech start-up. It was a great company, very young, just four months old when I joined – and like most FinTech start-ups today, they had tons of funding. Initially, I was looking for a way to work within the Investment Banking sector, without being an analyst, and that’s how I came across project-related roles there. Fast-forward a year and a half, and I've moved on to another FinTech firm and find myself falling more and more in love with FinTech as a sector every day.
What’s your relationship like with money and personal finance?
I think I have a very positive relationship with money. I've never been afraid of spending a little for the sake of enjoying my life while I'm young, but I've always known when to get serious. My focus has always been on getting my career to a place where it can sustain the lifestyle that I want to live, and I'm getting there through vertical and horizontal moves along my career ladder. I've also had a focus on investments and creating multiple streams of income. When I was in secondary school, I did this by getting an allowance from my parents and using part of that allowance to fund my Tuck Shop; which turned a healthy 50% profit each month. In university, I did this by using the money I earned from my summer internship to buy a house in my university city. With help from my brother, we renovated the property and rented out the other rooms, while I lived there for my final years of university.
What does financial independence mean to you?
Financial independence, for me, is about not being reliant on a single source of income. Alternatively, if you are, then that single source of income must be substantial enough not to cause financial strains and constraints on your desired lifestyle. A person who is financially independent should be able to comfortably live within their means, without needing to take on too much negative debt. I believe a person can acquire positive and/or negative debt. Positive debt is debt on appreciating assets (such as property, art or other collectibles), whereas negative debt is debt on depreciating assets or liabilities (such as Car Finance).
What’s the one thing you indulge in?
Handbags and shoes! I have a ‘somewhat' unhealthy relationship with shopping, and I will never refuse myself a lovely new pair of shiny shoes or handbag. My only rule is that I'm not allowed to use my credit card on such purchases – if I want it, I need to have the cash available in my bank account first.
What is the best financial decision you have ever made? Moreover, what is the greatest long-term investment?
The best financial decision I have ever made and also my greatest long-term investment is the house I recently bought in Kent. My sister and I decided we wanted to flee the nest after a few years in the rat race, so, we banded together and decided to buy ourselves a home. I spent a few months narrowing down the best locations in and around London; weighing up the pros and cons, and we finally made a decision at the end of 2017. We were extremely lucky with the property we found regarding price and location. Just months after our purchase was complete there was a boom in investments around the area, which benefited us financially already and will continue to do so in the future.
Have you ever experienced a financial epiphany? A sort of wake-up call, where you suddenly think - “I must start doing things differently”?
I have never been a fan of short-term debt (overdrafts and credit cards) however I found myself slipping into bad habits at university. I found that I would often overspend early on in the term and end up living on my overdraft toward the end of the term. By the second year, I found myself constantly in overdraft and got a credit card, which I was using to make day to day purchases. Then a tutor told me about credit scoring and how it worked. This discussion scared me senseless, and from the moment I left that room, I made it my mission to eradicate my short-term debt. It's a goal I've never really been able to achieve, as, in this day and age, that isn't realistic in your 20's. However, it has meant I've maintained very low levels of short-term debt.
What is Vestpod for you?
For me, Vestpod is a financial advice hub for women just like me. It’s a place I can go to find interesting tips and tricks I can implement in my day to day life to help me become more financially independent.
What would you recommend to younger women?
There is nothing more important than creating multiple streams of income and making medium to long-term investments. It's good to have a solid foundation, where your primary source of income is secure, and you can cover your basic needs such as rent/mortgage, bills, and travel.
Finding a second income stream is easier than you think! Write down your top 5 hobbies, and then think about how you could make money out of each one (you can make money out of most things…even watching movies). Once you have a decent list together, give each one a try for a fair amount of time and eventually you will find something sustainable. Medium to long-term investments don't have to be complicated - take advantage of the ISA offered by your bank or building society and get used to making investments, before moving on to more complex investments.
Favorite book & podcast?
My favorite book series is A Song of Ice and Fire: everyone needs a good escape. I'm an earnest person at work, and I find reading serious books far too tiring. I love being able to escape into another world and allowing my imagination to flourish (I'm a naturally creative person).
Where can we find you?
Thanks a lot!
-- Emilie & Christina