Life is all about balance and finding ways to fuse your strengths with your passions. This week, we met with Finance Manager, Yemi Awopetu who is doing just that. Although his 9-5 involves him working for one of the largest Credit Card companies in the world, he has begun volunteering his financial acumen in his 5pm-9pm to help others get their money right!
Why it all started
I just wanted to help people who didn’t have access to the type of information that was out there. Around 80% of billionaires have someone to help them with financial planning and wealth management, so you’re wondering if they have one, why don’t people who don’t have as much money have one? There’s a big disparity, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class get squeezed.
Overall, the common themes were saving, strategizing for a house, cleaning up spending habits and manage expenses. There are some people that wanted to buy a house within the next two years but based on their incomings and outgoings, there were compromises that needed to be made and changes to their timeline to accommodate that. With the students I spoke to, it was about managing their student loan and how do they make it stretch. I think we need to be more open about our finances because people have so much knowledge and information on schemes that they are doing, and we can learn from them.
"Now that I'm qualified, I asked myself- what am I going to do in my spare time?"
One is definitely you have to spend money to make money, and if you want create wealth, you have to manage your expenses. A lot of people think ‘if I want to save more, I’ve just got to get a higher salary’ but what you don’t realise is that you get a higher salary but your expenses go up, so instead of going to Tescos to get your meal deal, you’re now going to Pret. In the long run, you’ll find that you’re actually saving less.
One of the things I’m looking into is the app called Money box, and you can invest as little as £10 a week, and they have this functionality that links with your main spending account and it rounds up what you spend. For example, if you spend £9.40, it rounds it up to £10, and deposits 60p to your savings as investment. Overtime time, that accumulates and it could be up to £5 a week depending on your spending. Across the month, you could be investing £60, your £10 and your additional £5 based on your spending, which doesn’t sound like a lot but by the end of the year you’re looking at over £700 to invest in something. For people with a lot of capital, Manage Portfolios are also good places to start.
"The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class get squeezed"
When I got a credit card! I like a good deal, I like earning points and stuff like that so if the deal is spend a certain amount, and get this bonus, I’ll find a reason to spend that money and I was spending too much. It was hard to wend myself off it but now I know my limits!
Creative vs corporate
I think life is all about skills. It doesn’t matter who you work for or what you do, it’s more about what skills, knowledge and experience you can pick up. When I started working in finance, all of my spare time was taken up by revising for my exams. Now that I’m qualified, I asked myself- what am I going to do with my spare time? It’s about finding something you’re passionate about, even if it doesn’t make you money. At the end of the day, entrepreneurship is not for everybody, but giving back to the community is.
In line with International Women's Day and Mother's Day at the end of March, Yemi's inspirational woman is Rosa Parks. "For her to do what she did demands great courage especially during a such a turbulent time, as black people fought for their civil rights.
We probably don’t even think about where we sit on a daily basis, but by her defiance this small thing led to a lot of change in America. It reminds me to be bold in my actions, not to be afraid and that even small actions can lead to something great."
Yemi talks all things money as one of the contributors for a great online hub for guidance advice and recommendations, Adzvice, (we plugged him when we spoke to Jamelia Donaldson too). For a more in depth analysis on finance and investments, check out his article on Adzvice and have a listen to the podcast too!
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