If you find it hard to know how best to handle your finances, you’re not alone. We rounded up the best tips from women who’ve been there and done that…
Money. It’s probably the last taboo when it comes to conversations you’d be wary of broaching with even your closest of friends.
But while it can be an awkward subject to navigate, being on top of your finances is literally life-changing.
There’s endless literature with all kinds of acronyms on how best to handle your money.
Truth is, the best advice often comes from people who’ve been there and done that.
We asked seven successful women for the best money advice they’d ever received.
Here’s what we learnt…
1. The career coach
Career coach Alice Stapleton broaches the awkward topic of lending money and when to say no.
“The best tip I’ve ever received is only loan money that you’re happy to never see again,” she says.
“Otherwise, it’s likely resentment may build if that money takes a while to be repaid. For it not to impact your relationship with that person, be prepared and willing for it never to come back. That way, it’s given with generosity and nothing else.”
So, think long and hard next time that friend asks for a cash injection for a start-up they thought up after a few pinot grigios and an episode of Dragon’s Den.
2. The VP
Investing isn’t all about pinstripe-suited, Wall Street types.
“My parents encouraged me to not only ensure I had savings, but also to invest where I could,” says Sara Gordon, VP of brand & design at florist Bloom + Wild.
“Financial services have come a long way, so there’s no excuse not to. Your future self will thank you.”
3. The divorce lawyer
Naturally, leading divorce lawyer at Payne Hicks Beach, Catherine Costley knows a thing or two about protecting your assets.
“During my early twenties, I read that as a rule of thumb you should save into your pension the percentage of your salary which is half your age at the time you start making pension savings,” she says.
“It was pretty painful to think that at the age of 24, I would effectively say goodbye to 12% of my salary, but having that ratio as a guide helped me to see that early planning for your retirement is key.
That ratio is probably out of date now, but the idea of early, regular saving, in whatever format you choose, stands true.”
4. The CEO
It’s tempting to start spending as soon as the word ‘payrise’ is mentioned, but Nails Inc founder & CEO Thea Green advises it’s best to hold your horses.
“The best piece of financial advice I’ve ever received was during fundraising for my own business; to never bank on money until it actually lands into your account,’ she says.
“When raising money to build a business, you will have many a successful, positive business meeting, but until the money is actually in your bank account, keep going.”
5. The finance blogger
If you’re hoping to see an investment grow or a business thrive, you’ll have to bite the bullet and cough up.
Bola Sol, founder of money blog Refined Currency explains: ‘The best money advice I’ve ever been given was from my sister, Yemi, who owns a gym in Brixton – she said that it takes money to make money.
You have to be willing to put your money where your mouth is if you want to see your money grow.”
6. The charity worker
We all know about the gender pay gap. What we don’t always know is how to make sure you don’t fall into it when making your next career move.
Bex Bailey from Young Women’s Trust, a charity that supports young women living with low or no pay, advises: “When applying for a job, research how much other people are paid for similar roles.
Also, don’t answer the question about how much you were paid in your previous job.
This helps to reduce your chance of getting caught in a gender pay gap trap and pushes the employer to pay you on the basis of what the role is worth, not what you used to be paid.
7. The investment pro
While it’s tempting to give yourself a pat on the back for transferring some leftover cash to your savings account, the best tip Michelle Pearce-Burke, co-founder of Wealthify has ever received is to do things the other way round.
“Spend what you don’t save; don’t save what you don’t spend: if you approach savings as an afterthought, you’ll never get far,” she explains.
“Treat savings as importantly as any other outgoing and you’ll soon find you’re building up a good quality pot of money.
A good tactic is to set up a regular Direct Debit to go into your savings or investment account on pay day and then forget about it - after a while you won’t even miss the money.”
This year, Aviva is encouraging women to pledge to make one change to their finances as part of its #Planuary campaign.