Internet Education: How I Learned To Manage My Finances Through Podcasts and Youtube. 

Lifestyle, Management & Business, missjessamy, Money

I’ve spent the last three months listening to and watching popular financial podcasts and videos targeted toward Millennials and Generation Z – so you don’t have to. And the knowledge I have learned I’ve compiled into the ultimate financial information list. So grab a notebook, coffee and get ready for my millennials guide to money.

To begin, here are the sources that provided the information I will discuss below. I highly recommend engaging in this content, as it has really transformed my financial situation.

My Sources

Podcasts

Youtube

All Round Financial Inspiration

Now that we have covered where I have gotten my information from, let’s get into my internet education in finances. Enjoy!

1.0 Super Important Superannuation

One of the most common topics when it came to Superannuation (Super) discussions was the focus on consolidating your accounts. When we start our first jobs we generally are signed up to our employer’s Super provider, and we get paid into that on every pay cycle. However, it is SUPER easy to have additional accounts opened when you change jobs, work more than one job or (overtime) forget about your high school job and the fact you ever even had previous accounts.

Not only is it vital that you are aware of ALL your Super accounts because it is quite literally the money that will support you once you retire. But it is also essential to be mindful of the fees you are paying. Because the more accounts you have mean more of the payments you’ll be making for administration and other company charges. So, the quicker you bring your accounts together, the less of a chance you have of losing track of your Super.

Unfortunately, like so many financial activities I have learned that they are not ‘cut and dry’. Meaning there is often not one clear solution for everyone and Super accounts and consolidation fall into this category.

For all the Aussies out there, the myGov website enables you to locate your Super accounts (if you have more than one) and consolidate them, if you choose to do so.

But remember, before closing accounts make sure you are no longer getting contributions from your employer to that fund. Also, ensure you tell your employer if you are changing your accounts, so you do not miss out on any contributions.

One piece of advice that is explained further on the moneysmart website is the importance of doing your research before consolidating your Super to ensure you are choosing the right account. They discuss how the account with the most money should not always be the one you choose to merge into. They also mention how research may show a brand new account to be more beneficial for you to consolidate into.

Interestingly, as I found on the moneysmart website, over 70% of Australians have life, TPD and/or income protection insurances through their Superfund. I had no clue that this was a thing because before listening to these podcasts and watching these financial videos, I had NO knowledge about Super and what it did. But this fact makes it super important for you to understand what insurances you have through your Super account/s to ensure 

  1. it suits you, and you are being insured for what you want; 
  2. the insurances you have from your fund plays a significant role when you consider consolidating accounts.

Also, be aware that some companies may charge exit fees, so make sure you are aware of this before closing and consolidating your Super. 

Also, another thing I learned is how one Super account equals only having one fund to keep track of and contribute additional money to if you feel financially fit to do so; making your life simpler.

2.0 Don’t Have Accounts With Fees

As Victoria Devine very simply said in her episode on the KIC Pod, there are plenty of accounts with no fees, so why are you paying for banks to hold your money and paying these fees?

It is essential to look into any bank account before you open it to ensure that these fees are either non-existent or understandable/reasonable. However, that is a critical discussion to have with a financial advisor or your banker.

I have spoken to a variety of bankers at a variety of banks over my life to get further insight into accounts I was looking into opening. This allowed me to get the full picture of the account in laymen terms, so I could make a personal decision as to whether or not I went ahead with opening the account.

3.0 Respect Everyone’s Money Story (including your own)

Money Story is a term I first heard the fantastic Victoria Devine delve into multiple times on the She’s On The Money podcast. And then she also continued to discuss it on other podcasts she appeared on including her episode on the KIC Pod. This concept is one that got me thinking when I started to focus on finances earlier this year and has helped me respect my money situation, but also be more aware and considerate of other’s.

I was fortunate to grow up in a family where money was an open topic. I never felt like I couldn’t ask my parents for money advice. And I think this has a lot to do with them opening a bank account for my sister and me when we were young and involving us in the process of going into the bank to deposit and withdraw pocket or present money.

I am incredibly grateful to have had such a positive money story, with my family always instilling within me the ‘it is not how much you earn, it is how much you spend’ mentality. And this advice is something I apply every day in my life which has empowered me to make sound financial choices and be considerate of my income before I make purchases. Also, coming from a family where they ran and continue to run their own company, the focus on hard work and commitment for long term success is something I saw every day. Understanding that success and money do not just come to you; you have to work every day for it and make sacrifices (within reason) to reach your goals.

I mentioned present money before because that was something that was always very present for me growing up. But is something I now know is a weird concept for other people. Being gifted cash is something that my family has always done. Always teaching me the value of money by being encouraged to save my money and buy something I really want. Rather than being continually gifted tangible items I really did not need or want. 

However, I have an extremely distinct image of me telling a close friend of mine that I got cash for my birthday, and she was quite surprised that that was considered a gift; always having been given physical items as gifts in her family. And from my money story point of view, I do not have a problem with that. I do not think that being gifted/not being gifted money is a massive reflection of money values or family financial situations. However, I do believe being exposed to actual cash and having to go into the bank to put that into a savings account, then withdrawing it when I wanted to buy something was a practice I am grateful for. Along with teaching me how to use an ATM, it also exposed me to the practice of taking out money and seeing my bank balance drop when I wanted to buy something. This taught me to value money and strive to shop as mindfully as possible.

4.0 Don’t Overlook The Importance Of Investing (& compound interest) 

Despite extracting so much knowledge and tips on investing from this content, investing is something I need to look more into to grow my financial portfolio. Apart from having a few term deposits over the past three years, I have not done any other investing.

Currently, I am looking into the super popular micro-investment platform Raiz, which is one that has been touched on a few times in the content I have listened to and watched. And I do have A LOT of friends who utilise this platform, but as I have been continually saying – you have got to do your own financial research, and that is precisely what I am currently doing.

However, as Victoria Devine and multiple other people have taught me, INVESTMENTS ARE KEY. With there being lots of small and large ways you can get involved in the investment game to boost your finances.

I always had the mindset that investing was for people with a cushy income and financial situation. And while it is vital that you can afford to spend money and part with it for however long your investment runs, you do not need to output massive sums to get a good return.

She’s On The Money’s ‘a rookie’s guide to investing: part one & two’ is a FANTASTIC starting point for understanding investing from a complete “I have no idea what I am doing” thinking process to a “hell yeah I am an in control money master” – that’s how I felt anyway.

As long as you can do so, consist investment is where I have learned you are going to get the most benefits, as it becomes part of your lifestyle. Also, the earlier you start investing, the more benefits you will reap from compound interest. 

Not sure what compound interest is? 

Well, as Victoria Devine very clearly discusses it on She’s On The Money, it is your interest’s interest. So, the longer you have money invested, the more interest you will receive. And then when you re-invest your investment with your interest, it compounds as you continually invest more. (how many times can I say ‘invest’ in one paragraph?).

But remember, that all investment ventures come paired with a certain level of risk. You must educate yourself to find out what suits your financial situation and seek advice from friends, family or a financial advisor.

5.0 Have Clear Long & Short Term Financial Goals 

Want to pay off your Afterpay? Buy a house? Pay off your HECS early? Go on a holiday? Get a car?

Financial goals are a MUST when it comes to getting your finances organised and feeling in control of your money. And these do not always have to be massive long term goals like buying a house or saving for your wedding. 

While long term goals are essential, I have also learned that we should all have short term goals that are easier to reach in terms of timeframe and monetary amount. It is easy to lose motivation or forget about goals when they are so far down the line, and we struggle to see the endpoint with the small amount of money we have in our accounts currently. 

However, short term goals that may only be a few hundred or thousand dollars allow us to ensure we stay on track. They enable us to receive the joy of reaching these goals sooner and reaping the benefits from achieving these objectives (e.g. no Afterpay debt!). 

These short term goals could be to paying off Afterpay, buying that handbag you’ve loved for years, saving up for a fancy dinner out to celebrate your birthday, buying your parents a really lovely Christmas gift of something they have wanted for a while. Whatever it is, make sure you are giving yourself the chance to reap the rewards of working to save so you can translate that motivation to maintaining your long term goals too.

6.0 Credit Cards Are Only For The Essentials 

We can’t always afford to cover emergency costs including doctor bills, car problems (etc) which make credit cards a great financial support system IF YOU NEED. However, if you are trying to get on top of your finances, getting a credit card and using it for everyday items like clothes, coffees and holidays it not such a good idea.

In the KIC Pod episode featuring Victoria Devine, Laura Henshaw commented on how her mum said there is nothing worse than going on a holiday and still having to pay for it when you return home; and I agree! Credit cards (especially at our age when we are trying to assist our financial situation to flourish) are for unexpected essentials that we need the money for right away. We can’t be dipping into our savings to cover these expenses or prep for them in our budgets, so these cards do offer peace of mind.

However, make sure you 100% understand the card you are signing up for and have read the terms and conditions; preparing for fees and charges that may occur for using the card or missing repayments. So again, make sure you speak to a professional before committing to a credit card.

7.0 Make Money a Talking Point 

One thing that these podcasts and youtube videos have made available is a source of accessible, honest and relatable financial discussion and education from a mix of everyday people and professionals.

For me personally, I don’t want to go a speak to my family accountant or a financial advisor at this stage of my life. Not only does that intimidate me a bit, but for right now I don’t feel like I need to be spending that money when I can find this generalised information online and then disperse it into my personal life as I need to.

Being able to find this wealth of relatable information online has empowered me to talk more to my friends about money. It has allowed me to strengthen my bonds with them as we learn each other’s money stories and help each other get our budgets in order. Between one of my friends (who I share the same pay cycle with) and myself, it has become an exciting Thursday night activity to split our money up into our saver accounts and speak openly to each other about our budgets for that coming fortnight. This has allowed the trust in this friendship to flourish and creating a supportive environment for us to speak frankly with each other within. We are also able to work through our money problems and worries together; taking the scary parts out of money and saving at this young age.

8.0 Empower Others

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to write this post was to empower others to deal with their finances. As I understand, not everyone wants to or has the time to listen to and watch the multitude of content that I have been immersed in over these past three months to educate myself around my finances.

And the best way, in my opinion, to empower others is to educate and support them. So, despite not being able to control other’s financial decisions as money is something so personal. We can be as open as we feel comfortable with and encourage others to do the same. Even something as simple as sending others a link to this blog post, or sharing a video or podcast link with them. Or also listening and watching this content together so you can both discuss your thoughts on the financial topics discussed is a great way to empower others and also grow personally.

9.0 Be Realistic and Honest With Yourself 

If you are only earning $1500 a fortnight, is it really attainable for you to be living in an inner-city, multi-bedroom apartment that is taking over 50% of your pay in rent costs? My answer to that and from what I have learned from all of the information I have taken away from these podcasts and videos is NO!

There is a broad mix of information surrounding how much of your paycheck you should be spending on things like rent, food and so on, but I have seen 20-30% as an average amount.

Being realistic is relevant to all aspects of your financial life. How often can you afford to eat out? Do you ALWAYS need to buy high end makeup and clothing? How about you try thrifting, or finding dupes online?

Can you only stay in 5-star hotels on your upcoming holiday? Or should you look at some nice lower star hotels that would provide you with similar experiences; allowing you to return home with money still in the bank?

Being honest with yourself will allow you to unpack your personal financial needs, so when you break down your paycheck, you can better organise the dollar amounts or percentages you are splitting into different accounts. Being transparent with yourself will also allow you to catapult your control of your finances and reduce the risk of overspending or unexpected costs popping up as you are always preparing yourself. Is your best friend’s birthday coming up? Well if it is, be honest with yourself and distribute money to a fund that will allow you to afford something for them. You may need to pull back in your clothes shopping or eating out budget for that cycle- but at least you are prepared and do not fear those extras costs.

10.0 Budgeting Doesn’t Have To Be Boring (it’s actually fun)

Not only does budgeting not have to be boring, but it also does not have to be as stringent and mundane as we all think it is. You don’t have to input every single thing you spend into a bland excel spreadsheet and pull your hair out if you overspend in one area. Budgeting should make you feel empowered and in control of your money, not anxious and stressed every time you go to add something in. 

What I have learned is that if you are feeling anxious when it is time to look at or edit your budget, there may be something more profound happening that you need to address. You might need to be more honest with yourself with what you are spending compared to how much you are earning and adjust accordingly.

There are levels to budgeting, all aiming to just bring your awareness to what is coming in and going out of your accounts—also bringing awareness to areas where you could reconsider or pull back your spending in. Furthermore, allowing you also to be more prepared for upcoming payments and financial requirements including bills, debt repayments, and so on.


So there you go- there is your ultimate guide to getting on top of your finances. I still HIGHLY recommended listening to these podcasts and watching these videos as I have merely scratched the surface on the wealth of information they provide. But I hope this post has inspired you in some way to get in control of your finances. 

Please remember that I am NOT a financial advisor and everything in this post is here to collate the information I have learned via the aforementioned sources and through personal experience. Please seek in-person professional advice for tailored financial guidance.

Have a great week x. 

Social Media: The 21st Century Business Non-Negotiable.

Lifestyle, Management & Business, missjessamy

We have all heard about the importance of having business non-negotiables that allow us to ensure our branding and workflow is on track as we strive for overall success. And these factors truly are ‘tales as old as time’ including: 

    • focus on customer service 
    • supply and demand considerations 
    • sticking to deadlines etc. 

However, there is now a new kid on the block, and despite it taking over the world at a rapid speed, it is still a seeming pain point for many companies due to the lack of education on its benefits. 

So, what are we talking about? Well, it is SOCIAL MEDIA

Gone are the days where paying big dollars for television and radio advertising during peak news and movie times was the only way to reach your customers. Nowadays, social media platforms have transformed the landscape for businesses when it comes to raising awareness and creating customer relationships. Additionally, it has also created a more cost-effective, controlled and insightful form of advertising and marketing that allows YOU to target YOUR target audience directly. Along with being given the ability to track their movements online (peak usage times, click-through rates, viewing time, what they are searching for, etc.). 

One of the most significant benefits of having an established social media presence and utilising adverting and marketing opportunities through this is that it is innately free. Even though to fully maximise the effectiveness of social media for your company, I would recommend putting some money behind your content and accounts. However, this is not to say you HAVE to pay to see growth online. Making a business social media account, posting branded content, hashtagging and tagging are all ways to propel your business to reach target audiences, and they are all free. Additionally, replying to comments and making genuine connections with your audience and other businesses without having to do face to face communication in meetings or at events are timesaving activities that offer an invaluable growth opportunity to your company. 

If I could say one thing about social media, it is that you truly never know who is watching you. You never know when you might gain 100+ followers instantly from a shoutout from a larger business or influencer. Or when your hashtags reach the right audience at the perfect time, which leads to a bunch of your followers tagging their friends and sharing your content on their accounts. 

In my view, the risk of consumers missing your advertisement on social media is a lot harder than something like television advertising. If you think about, when people are watching television, they are rarely sitting there totally committed to the footage they are seeing. Instead, they are talking, eating, taking toilet breaks, on their phones etc. However, when you are scrolling through your feed, you see each image or video that appears and can consciously or subconsciously take in that content. Also, instead of relying on customers to take the information from television advertisements to then further investigate the company (online or in-store). On social media, consumers can immediately click through to company’s accounts and websites; overall streamlining the advertising process and increasing the accessibility to your company’s information at a (literal) click of a button (or screen tap). Also, once your target audience shows interest in your company or similar companies, advertisements can be directly re-targeted to them to encourage further engagement and appeal to their specific interests.

Who Does Social Media Work For?:

Short answer? Everyone. 

On the surface level, pretty much every potential customer utilises some form of digital/social media through search engines or platforms. Even if they are looking up a phone number for a nearby plant shop, they are going to have to use an internet-based application to find this. 

And realistically if you think about, what is the first thing you do if you cannot figure something out? You Google it or look it up on YouTube. 

Speaking for myself, my Youtube watch history was filled with IKEA furniture tutorials when I first moved out of the home. And I am continually googling how to cook certain types of food or how long I can keep my Spaghetti Bolognese in the fridge for before it goes off. And, those searches right there should be opening me up to advertisements from cooking schools, food safety courses or groceries store deals; as they are all companies that could assist me in solving my problems I am turning to Google to solve. 

In this day and age, most of us cannot go a day without using the internet for something, and that is an EXTREMELY privileged opportunity consumers are giving to companies.

So, if you are not on social media, why not?

It truly needs to become a part of ALL successful business toolkits in the 21st century and it is definitely something that is not going away. So if you cannot fight it, then join in!

Top Tip – Engage, Engage, Engage: 

If you want people to comment, like and share your content, then why are you not returning that engagement? This is a trap I had fallen into before purely because I had become lazy and just continually scrolled on my feed instead of remembering to like, comment and follow new accounts. 

Do not be hesitant to tell people that you love their content/social media strategy. Because as this form of media continues to develop we are all striving to keep up and keep on top of everything to grow our accounts – so a pat on the back from likeminded strangers or companies is always really reassuring and creates a supportive online community.

Engage with me online today @jessicatathem and comment that you came from this post and I will be sure to return the social media love. 

What are your experiences with maximising social media’s offerings in your personal or business life? Let me know below. 

Also, if you want help understanding the world of social media more, let me know, and I can share more focused content around this developing topic. 

Have a great day!

Going from Miss Bossy Boots to being The Boss: A 20-year-old female manager’s thoughts on and experiences with the #girlboss movement.

Lifestyle, Management & Business, missjessamy

All my life, I have been called bossy. Told I should ‘rein in’ my personality at times because it might ‘rub people up the wrong way’ or make people, not like me.

‘Bossy Boots’ was a nickname I became quite accustomed to and to be honest, it never really impacted me too much until I became a boss in 2018 at 18 years old. Suddenly, I was extremely conscious of people thinking ‘the power had gone to my head’ and that I was ‘too demanding’ when requesting for specific work tasks be completed.

But WHY was I thinking this? Leadership had always been something I was involved with. Since Grade 6 (to be exact) where I was a semester year level house leader every year until I became one of two house leaders in my final year of school. Through my degree, I also requested the Account Manager or similar positions in group work to ensure I knew what everyone was doing and to enable me to learn more about leadership.

So, it makes sense that management is a field I have always had an enthusiasm for. I am innately passionate about management and leadership practices that promote growth in both the leader and team members. Along with being fascinated with the exploration of applying different management frameworks in various situations to maximise the effectiveness of company functions.

I also love the challenge of management. The constant demand and requirement to keep learning and need to stay connected to ensure I can empower and guide my team is exciting to me.

I also like how focused management keeps me. I quite literally can not be selfish or singleminded in leadership situations, and I love that.

However, as the second year of my management position rolls around, I have been reflecting on my management practices but also trying to reflect on how I have grown as a leader. And what has blown me away is what I have learned about the #girlboss movement through personal experience with staff and customers while trying to establish myself as a ‘worthy’ leader in a male lead workplace and with an at-times challenging and confronting customer base.

Being someone who tends to struggle with stress, anxiety and social anxiety as well as being a complete Type A personality who continually strives for the unattainable level of perfection in everyday life and work. Being in ‘control’ through leadership roles has allowed me to apply this energy into something beneficial to a community or workplace. However, after once being told to ‘leave work at the door’ I was faced with the reality that my mind wouldn’t let me.

Things affect me, and although I try my best not to show it publicly; I am incredibly vulnerable. Situations get to me, I work myself up so much I feel physically sick, I get shaky, I cry, I get angry, I second guess myself, my breathing increases and my head spins. I feel ashamed when I show that something has impacted me in a management situation, I think the only way to be taken seriously is if I am a brick wall and keep it cool. Acting like I can quickly shake things off and move on once I leave the shift, especially after an aggressive customer or other serious incidents.

Furthermore, I second guess myself in the way I ask for tasks to be done and tend to feel a sense of annoyance or judgement when I (respectfully) execute my managerial role to get staff back on task or deal with customer’s issues.

Unfortunately, we still live in a world where any emotion is a ‘female weakness’, instead of being interpreted as an individual working hard to maximise their workplace through their leadership skill.

In a recent work incident, I was put in a situation where I felt threatened and felt the safety of my staff, myself and the workplace was at risk and working through this issue was hard. Trying to hold back the fact that my stomach was flipping out and I was covered in goosebumps from my adrenaline was not easy.

And while I stood there, talking to the perpetrators, my mind was questioning everything I said. I felt that if I raised my voice and made my tone sterner, it would only worsen the ongoing situation and cause a more aggressive reaction from the male I was trying to deal with.

The condescending and derogatory way this male and many other people in the past have treated me while in a management position is shocking. I regret not writing down all my experiences so I could share them with you.

I became a manager in my workplace when I was 18 years old. Midway through my university degree, with chubby baby cheeks and a severe issue with second-guessing my decisions in and out of the workplace. I was forced to deal with customer commenting on my ability, age, gender, looks and more. Being questioned as to why I was wearing a blazer instead of the work uniform to being spoken to like it was my first day on the job was and still is a very regular occurrence to me. I couldn’t tell you on how many occasions I was met with a puzzled face from customers when the manager was called out the front, and little ole’ me came out of the office.

I had a discussion with my sister recently (who also works in a position of management) about how not only is the perception of women in leadership positions consistently condescended but also how vastly their road to promotion varies from their equal or lesser male co-worker’s journey and access. I look at males in similar or the same positions as me and see how easily they were accepted and integrated into management status. And how although I am there striving to always better myself, I still feel I am two steps behind with my ability to establish authority to staff and customers.

How about instead of judging someone’s leadership ability on their gender, let’s look at their skill set and ability to inspire and empower a group of people to reach their individual potential that promotes team growth and company success?

I have been fortunate to grow up with strong-minded females both in my family and friendships. Additionally, going to an all-girls school since my early school days exposed me to major #girlboss vibes throughout my whole upbringing.

However, I still grew up in a world where to not be reserved and accepting as a female was not the norm, where I was surprised to see females in management positions and where the glass ceiling was still very much existent.

Unfortunately, despite being very grateful for my private all-girls education which exposed to a high level of opportunity. At the end of the day, my school was a religious school that strived to ‘keep us in line’ when it came to the way we expressed ourselves physically and verbally. And I do not want this statement to be interpreted as me saying a level of respectful behaviour is not necessary! I think EVERYONE should learn how to be courteous and polite to one another and themselves. However, I believe these ingrained practices need to be reviewed to try to lessen the overt inequality that is still inflicted onto females in this modern age.

So, if I am still experiencing this level of inequality in 2020, do I feel optimistic that it will change?

Yes, I genuinely do. When I feel particularly defeated or low on my leadership ability or persona, instead of being pessimistic I make the active decision to fill my mind with powerful #girlbosses who show me that there are plenty of us out there fighting a patriarchy that is slowly breaking down, with shards of the glass ceiling slowly beginning to crack away.

I am a person whose mood can be significantly impacted by my surroundings, so taking the time to fill my mind with inspiring people helps me to refocus on my job and goals when it comes to management.

So, where am I going with this post?

Well a) I just wanted to express my feelings and experiences as a #girlboss. But b) I wanted to provoke thought about this topic and to inspire some other girls out there to know their leadership worth and ability. And c) hopefully, in the long run, I can make someone rethink their view on managers and how gender has NOTHING to do with one’s ability to lead a team to success.

So, can’t we create a world where a manager is a manager? Or even better, a person is a person, and we all speak and treat each other with respect and equality.

Being in front of house for a company turns you into the face of the company, and I think people need to learn that that does not negate basic human to human respect. You are not superior to the person behind the counter, desk or phone and vis versa. Nor are you superior to a different gender, age group, race, sexuality or personality type.

Just because I am a 20-year-old female does not negate my ability to be a BOSS who knows what she is doing and who is willing to lead a team to success and empower the people around me.

And I am not just saying this for other people, I am saying it for myself. Because change starts with one person, and I believe with confidence being key, my mindset and hopefully, this post will inspire me and you to think harder about how we view different genders in leadership positions. Or how we could work together to break that glass ceiling a bit more. Because all we need is a crack to start an explosion and for the #girlboss movement to gain further positive momentum; leading to a more supportive and empowering leadership industry.

What are some management or leadership barriers that you have had to deal with? Let me know! I would also love to hear your advice or thoughts on ‘the glass ceiling’ and the #girlboss movement.