I often wonder when money first became important to me. Was it because my mother said no to something? Was it when my brother gave me £5 to go to the shops? Or maybe it was when I got my first job at 16 and realised that it was up to me to decide how to spend and save the money I made.
With age and experience, I’ve come to realise that money is not everything. In my youth, I thought that if I could buy whatever I wanted, I’d be happy but I now think a little more about what my purchases cost the environment. Moreover, I try as hard as possible to subscribe to minimalism. It gives me more clarity, less stress because I don’t have much to clean and it means I can buy higher quality items. Whilst I enjoy spending just as much as the next person, I know that there has to be a balance which means saving and investing too.
Often people ask me, “How much should I be saving?” or “How do I get started with investing?” These are never straight forward answers to give because we all have unique circumstances. My love of educating others on personal finance came from wanting everyone to understand their situation and have the confidence to know with strategy and patience, their finances can be changed for the better. Something I tell myself often as well as others is to be grateful for where you are and don’t get into the comparison game.
Here are some helpful tips from my book to make your financial journey unique to you:
1. Change your mindset 🧠
At times we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to our finances. Casually saying “I’m broke/skint.” or “I’d never be able to afford that.” creates a defeatist attitude which may stop you from trying to get your money organised and budget.
2. Budget ✍️
Someone asked me the other day if it was too late for them to start budgeting, my answer was and will always be no. Any time and any age is fine to get started, the key is to start and continue. There are countless apps you can sign up to free and some even let you sync all accounts you have online banking with. I’m a spreadsheet kind of girl and there’s many available online. Whatever method you choose, make it work for you.
3. Save 💷
I call the 50/30/20 rule the NWS which stands for needs, wants and savings. This is a great way to break down your income and ensure you’re still putting money away for a rainy day. The best thing you can do for yourself is to find out how much interest you get on your savings account. If there’s a better rate somewhere else, think of switching or opening up another account. You work hard for your money so let it work hard for you too.
4. Debt 💳
Prioritise getting out of debt and keeping your credit in good standing. You can choose the snowball method, pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first or look into debt consolidation. The good news is that everyone has had some experience with debt. Don’t let it consume you, set up a payment plan and when possible, make extra contributions.
5. Wellness 🧘♀️
I don’t think people put money and emotions together as often as they should. We look at our physical and our mental health but I truly believe our financial health is tied into the other categories mentioned. When you don’t take care of yourself, it can become increasingly difficult to take care of your money and track where it’s going. Get enough rest, have a healthy diet and do things that make your heart smile. Life is to be enjoyed, not endured and that goes for your money too.
We’re excited to have partnered with Merky Books, the award-winning publishing imprint within Penguin Random House created by Stormzy, to write the foreword for their new book – How To Save It by Bola Sol. 📖 In this pocket-guide book, Bola shares her handy tips for budgeting, investing and breaking down money myths. We hope it will help inspire more people to take control of their finances. 🚀
How To Save It is available to buy as a paperback, ebook & audio download.
Bola Sol is a Financial Wellness Coach who studied Mathematics and Finance BSc. She found passion in helping women come together to discuss money matters in 2015. Through one conversation at a time, the conversation around money is becoming less of a taboo.
She has been featured on the BBC, Gal Dem, The Financial Times thanks to Black Ballad, The Telegraph, The Guardian, BET thanks to UKBBS, Stylist Magazine and Refinery 29. Through one conversation at a time, she wants to help build more financial confidence in everyone but women especially. Follow Bola – Twitter, Instagram, Podcast.