What do you think of when you hear the words ‘financial literacy?’
“Goddamn that sounds boring?!”
“Finance is confusing af!?”
“This shit is way too hard for me to understand?!”
Yeah, those are pretty normal thoughts to have… Learning about finance, although super important, is usually boring af. Most young people don’t want to hear lectures from old white dudes about how the economy works, and why we should start saving for retirement, because that shit just ain’t relatable. What we do want, however, is for someone to give us all of the financial information we need in an engaging way so that we can actually understand wtf is going on. That, my friends, is where Holly comes in.
Holly is a 25-year-old Londoner who wants to teach young people how to get their financial shit together. She’s an investment consultant by day (basically she advises large pension funds where the hell to invest their money) and an avid blog writer at night. Her blog, Get Woke Not Broke (GWNB), is full of money memes, witty banter and relatable financial content that makes learning about finance a hell of a lot more fun than it’s ever been before.
I recently had a chat with Holly to find out more about what motivated her to start creating entertaining financial content, and what she thinks are the most important things for twenty-somethings to know in order for us to get our financial shit together. Check out our chat below.
Hey girl! Firstly, let’s talk about your blog Get Woke Not Broke! I am obsessed with it btw. What inspired you to start your blog?
Thanks so much – ditto!
The inspo really came from talking to my mates about their pensions – or superannuation as you Aussies like to call it (I’m real fun at parties…). I discovered that lots of them had opted out of their workplace scheme and when I explained all of the free money they were missing out on they were shook. I thought – hold on a minute, there’s probably tonnes of young people who are in the same boat, so I decided to write a blog about it – and GWNB grew from there really!
Your money banter is my fave thing about your blog because it keeps it super relatable and easy to follow. What’s your fave money bant you’ve ever shared?
It’s gotta be this:
It’s super nerdy, but I love a good pun. Something really cool about sustainable investment funds (bet you’ve never heard that sentence before!) is that they can be up to 27 times more effective in reducing your carbon footprint than giving up flying AND becoming vegan combined.
*Side note – if you’re an Aussie wanting to switch to an ethical super fund, check out this post.
Do you think that working in finance is what motivated you to sort your own financial shit out?
Oh 100%! I used to feel so embarrassed when I started working – I would spend my days telling other people where to invest their money yet I didn’t have the confidence to invest my own – I felt like a fraud!
The problem is, the finance industry does an awesome job of making investing sound super complicated and, tbh, some of it is! But the truth is, you don’t need to be an expert to invest your own money. There are so many amazing apps nowadays that do all of the hard work for you – all you need to know is:
a) your risk tolerance and
b) how much you have to invest
How do you manage your money and why do you do it that way?
I legit spent the first year of my adult job in overdraft. My plan was to save anything I had left in my account at the end of the month, but guess what!? There was never anything left! So I basically went 12 months working my ass off with nothing to show for it.
That’s when I realised that, for me, #paydaybaeday (i.e. paying yourself before anyone else) was an absolute must. I’ve now set up direct debits that go straight into my saving and investing accounts each payday so I’m free to spend whatever I have left guilt-free. You should try it – it’s a real game changer!
How do you find a balance between working full-time, writing your blog and living your life?
This is something I actually really struggle with. I work a pretty hectic job as it is (and I’m just about to start a new qualification) – so trying to fit GWNB alongside this can be tough.
I live in the UK and we’ve been in lockdown on-off for almost a year now so this has given me plenty of time to work on my blog, but I am a little worried about how I’m going to manage it all when I finally get my social life back!
Something I’m really trying to work on is cutting myself some slack. I think this whole ‘side hustle’ culture is dangerous. It puts way too much pressure on us to be productive 24/7 when, in reality, that just isn’t healthy. When I first started my blog I used to get so stressed out if I hadn’t managed to post my blog at exactly 7pm every other Sunday. But then I realised, who actually gives af!? I’ve gotten a lot more chill since then, but still have the occasional wobble. I think it’s really important to:
a) Stop comparing ourselves to others – I follow a lot of other money bloggers on Insta, many of whom do this full-time, so it’s just not fair to compare myself to them and
b) Remind ourselves of our why – GWNB is something I do for free in my spare time to help people get their financial shit together. At the end of the day, it’s a hobby and it’s totally fine to take a break every now and then!
Do you prioritise saving or investing?
It depends what goal I’m working towards. I have a 6-month emergency fund which I keep in a savings account. But for my longer-term goals (i.e. a house deposit and retirement), I like to invest this money to earn a better return.
Any good financial books/podcasts/IG accounts that you recommend for young people?
Tbh, given I spend most of my time talking about money (not in a weird way, it’s just hard to escape when you work in finance and run a personal finance blog!) I try to avoid listening/reading anything money-related in my free time. That said, I do love The Imposters Club podcast and The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k books – both of which talk about adulting, and so money naturally comes up.
If you could give only one piece of financial advice to young people, what would it be?
a) Define your #moneygoals
b) Work out how much you can afford to save per month
c) Decide where’s best to save that money (i.e. for short-term goals consider a high yield savings account, for long-term goals (5+ yrs) consider investing)
d) Set up a direct debit that goes straight into that account each payday
This method is minimum effort, maximum gainz – and leaves no room for excuses!
And finally – why do you think twenty-somethings need to prioritise saving for their retirement?
When you hear the word pensions (aka superannuation), you immediately think wrinkles and bingo. And it’s just not true. Yes, your money is locked up until you reach retirement age, but saving for retirement is giving you financial freedom throughout your life. For example, if I want to take time out of work to go travelling, raise a family or turn GWNB into a full-time business – I can do so without worrying so much about having to make up for this loss of income.
Also, the earlier you start saving for your retirement, the easier it is. I hear so many people saying ‘I really need the money now, I’ll just save more when I’m older’ – but the fact is, once we’re used to a certain lifestyle, it’s so much harder to give stuff up. Want my advice? Start contributing now and make sure to up your contributions each time you get a payrise. Then you’ll be able to save without feeling like you’re giving something up. Plus, compound interest makes your money grow over time, so the sooner you start the less you need to contribute each month.
Another side note* If you’re an Aussie and want to know how to start contributing more to your super, read this.
To stay up to date with Holly’s awesome money memes and witty bants, be sure to follow her IG page @getwokenotbroke (I’d recommend – her page is dope af)!
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The Stingy Bitch
Based in Sydney, Australia.
Created in 2020.
This site and all of it’s contents are provided for entertainment purposes only and do not constitute personal financial advice. All products that are mentioned are general product advice only, not personal product advice. Not all options are presented and my opinions are subject to change. All content and posts have been prepared as a general summary only and is not intended to be financial advice with respect to any particular matter. This post should not be relied on with respect to any particular matter. If you have questions about any aspect of the content or this site or otherwise require personal financial advice, you ought to seek financial advice. The author disclaims liability to any person who relies on this post.
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