Ellie from This Girl Talks Money talks – money! ðŸ’ļ

The best thing you can do to improve your mental health around money is to work on reframing how you see it.

💖 Tell us about ‘This Girl Talks Money’ what’s the premise of the site?

I founded TGTM after a number of conversations over the last couple of years, which highlighted a gap in knowledge that many of my friends/colleagues had when it came to managing their money & making their money work for them. Rather than vice versa.

I set up the blog/social media channels, & pushed aside my perfectionism to get it up & running! 

💖 What’s the simplest thing that people can do to be better with money?

Know what is coming in . . . but critically, know what is going out!

Getting a handle on your income & expenses is the first step to improving your situation. 

💖 I know for many money is a really big issue that impacts their mental health, what things would you suggest people put into place to protect against this?

I totally understand why money is such a cause of stress & anxiety – this is often down to our mentality towards money & how we perceive it.

It isn’t a quick fix, but the best thing you can do to improve your mental health around money is to work on reframing how you see it.

Once you begin to see money as a tool rather than an end destination, you can start to feel more in control of it. 

‘The best thing you can do to improve your mental health around money is to work on reframing how you see it. Once you begin to see money as a tool rather than an end destination, you can start to feel more in control of it.

💖 I often find that if I’m wanting to save money, I end up staying in which impacts my mental health a lot. What tips do you have for saving money whilst still maintaining an active social life?

From my perspective, it’s all about planning & knowing what money is going where.

Creating a budget which has room in it for social activities is one way to save money whilst keeping your social life – ensuring you have a pot dedicated to socialising removes the guilt which you can feel about spending.

💖 I know many people talk about attending free events but the money doesn’t always go on tickets, travel & food also factor in as sometimes pricey overheads. What do you suggest for keeping costs down around an event so you can still look to attend?

Think ahead! One of the tips I often give freelancers when it comes to cutting back costs is eating before you head into town, & carrying snacks with you.

Also, set aside a pot in your budget for ‘business development’ & similar activities & remember that these activities are, in fact, essential to your business & your wellbeing.

The same goes for networking & potential client meetings – you will inevitably have to spend on some of these activities, so ensure you have put aside an allocation for this & you’ll feel less stressed about spending the money. 

💖 You do a lot of work on self-care – how do we make sure that we are spending to ensure our well-being whilst at the same time not feel guilty or breaking the bank?

It sounds obvious, but it’s about finding a balance.

The balance for each person is different as we have our own expenses, incomes & also external financial circumstances.

We all have our own money stories which develop from our childhood, & dictate the way we treat money & behave with finances – yet not many of us understand our stories.

One of the most helpful things you can do here is spend a bit of time writing down & reflecting on your own beliefs & attitudes to money, tracing where these come from & challenging them.

Yes, it may be uncomfortable, but it will help you start to understand your feelings. 

We all have our own money stories which develop from our childhood, & dictate the way we treat money & behave with finances – yet not many of us understand our stories.

💖 Do you think there’s an issue with spending money to make yourself feel better? 

I don’t believe that we should feel guilty about spending money in any circumstances – it isn’t a healthy mindset & I encourage everyone to aim to foster a positive relationship with money.

Inevitably, there will be times when we feel we could have spent money a little better, but being confident in your spending decisions is important, & having a budget can facilitate this. 

💖 I’ve heard you talk about non-negotiables in spending, what are your top 3 pieces of advice for this?

Think about what is important to you individually.

I don’t think that non-negotiables are the same for anyone – it’s about what you need as a minimum to make you feel like the best version of you.

Of course, it needs to be able to fit into your budget but otherwise, consider what you feel you need to maintain your base level of happiness.

‘It’s about what you need as a minimum to make you feel like the best version of you’

💖 Food is a non-negotiable for sure. What is your advice for cutting down in this area whilst still maintaining a healthy diet?

Good question! Learning to cook is a great way to cut down food costs, as well as incorporating more plant-based items into your daily diet.

Often, going back to basics can save a lot of money – think potatoes & pasta – both of which are filling, healthy (in a balanced diet) & extremely versatile.

Yes, eating out can be expensive but home made food is healthier & cheaper in most situations! 

💖 I find that health & a lack of time can often cause trouble in terms of keeping costs down & I end up phoning a friend (deliveroo) far more than my bank account feels comfortable with.

What advice do you have for people that have trouble getting to the shops or doing extensive meal prep?

I think that unfortunately, there is an element of prioritisation which has to happen here.

For those who are time poor, arranging a supermarket delivery is always an option, or planning to do a weekly shop which can easily carry through the week.

Purchasing staple items with long lives, such as potatoes, & freezing items such as bread are very quick moves which everyone can do.

There’s no excuse for not having some frozen staples at all times which can save you from the delivery order! 

💖 It’s great to think of ways of reducing spending, but many people are starting from minus figures. What are your top tips for getting out of debt?

Getting out of debt is largely about understanding where you can reduce expenses & where, if possible, you can create more income.

Review your debt situation & understand what you owe & whether you are paying interest, as there may be opportunities to reduce the rates.

Speak to your bank – often they will be understanding & more helpful than you anticipate.

Create a plan – there isn’t a quick fix to get out of debt & it is a journey, so take it day by day & step by step. 

there isn’t a quick fix to get out of debt & it is a journey, so take it day by day & step by step. 

💖 Do you think it’s possible for the majority of people to move to a place of having savings? & if so, what steps would they need to take to get themselves into this position?

I certainly do, however debt is the priority for anyone who is paying interest on any borrowing.

Once you are debt free, return to your budget & reassess – understand where you can allocate money to savings but ensure that you leave enough room in your day to day pot to enjoy life, as life is for living!

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