“Money Talks” is a three-part series including interviews, workshops and panels. The events will take place over three nights between May – June with the aim of creating a space to demystify the world of personal and business finance. Tickets for PT.2 which is a workshop on investing, are now available.
A big thank you to our amazing panellist:
Alex Holder, Freelance Journalist and Author of Open Up
Part 1 was filled with so many gems, here is a breakdown of some of the topics we covered.
As this week marked Mental Health Awareness week, we opened up the event with an intimate conversation with Alex Holder about her new book Open Up. An outspoken, warm and timely book that destigmatises the way we talk, think and feel about money. It’s full of conversations about money in everyday life – how we earn it, how we spend it and how it affects us.
A few learnings from Alex:
The greatest cause of mental health is anxiety about money, spend time in understanding your money habits and cultivating a healthy relationship with money.
If money is affecting your mental health, the first thing you should do is find someone you can confide in. Find someone you love and trust in a space you feel safe and try to open up about it. Often, this first conversation will be the hardest you’ll most probably have but on the other side of that conversation is liberation, advice and information.
Talking about money can solve several problems, it can help close the financial gaps between men and women.
Research shows 2/5 friends are in debt, the average amount of debt not including mortgages is £8,000. When deciding on how to have fun with friends, remember there are many options to having fun without spending money.
You are not your salary or promotion and it’s important you detach this from your value as a person.
When creating a budget, start out by listing all of your expenses including social activities, shopping etc. Once you have this figure then subtract this from your total monthly income which should be your salary including any money you make from a side hustle or freelancing. The figure that you are left with is what you can decide to save, invest etc
General advice on creating an emergency fund is to have 3-6 months worth of expenses saved. So, my monthly expenses x 3 = emergency fund.
If you don’t need your savings instantly then it is advisable to move it into an ISA (Instant Savings Account) you’ll have the choice between a cash ISA or Stocks and Shares ISA. In any type of ISA the government will allow your money to grow completely tax-free (up to about £20,000), with a Stocks and shares it means your savings will be invested into the stock market.
These are used to check how creditworthy you are, it’s a reflection of how much debt you have and how well you make payments on time. Late payments can affect your score, if you miss a payment it can affect your score for about 7 years. You can calculate your credit score on Experian. They are important because these are factors used in everyday circumstances such as buying a car, getting a house etc
Below are some tips on credit scores:
You can repair your credit score with little steps such as paying your bills on time, signing up to the electoral roll.
Credit cards provide the ability to build a credit record and help you receive an increase in your credit score when used responsibly. When using a credit card, keep your credit utilisation low. The balance describes it as “The ratio of your outstanding credit card balances to your credit card limits. It measures the amount of credit limit you are using.” eg if you borrow £1,000 don’t use everything, good credit utilisation means keeping the balance below 30% in this case that would be about £300 and your credit utilisation for this credit is 30%. To calculate your credit utilisation – credit card balance divided by credit limit and multiply that by 100. Keep it as LOW as possible.
If you have a big expense to pay for, use your credit card and then a week later transfer the cash back to your credit card. This tricks the system into thinking you are responsible for borrowing big amounts and making payments on time and will, as a result, increase your credit rating.
All debt is not bad, there is good debt. Good debt can be described as debt that helps you gain some sort of interest or has a long term positive impact.
Some examples of good debt:
Student loan, we all hope to leave university with a job offer in our preferred industry as a result of getting the necessary degree.
Mortgage, with the hope that in 10-15 years the house will appreciate in value and you’ll either sell whilst making some money back or live in your property rent free.
Examples of bad debt
Borrowing money for things that don’t add value.
If you are in debt, the first step to take is to list all the credit institutions you owe money to (be honest) and before paying the money back call them and let them know your situation. Some institutions may make an offer to help you by offering to set up a payment plan that is internet free, refund the interest and much more.
Our next event is June 5th and will be a workshop on Investing 101 led by Wealthsimple. Get tickets.