An introduction to money — for women & creatives who absolutely hate money.

Regards, a creative female entrepreneur who feels you.

This is not going to a long post, because honestly there is still so much I’m learning. Way too much. However, after about 12 months of reading, exploring, & trying a few different solutions — I think I’ve finally got a few useful tips worth sharing.

Yes having to deal with money sucks, just like having to brush your teeth… it sucks, but we all know that it saves us scary visits to the dentist in the future, so we do it anyway.

The summary is: EVERYONE needs to learn basic personal finances. Even creatives. Particularly women, and ESPECIALLY creative women.

(See HoneyBook >> here << for more crazy stats)

I always believed “Work hard helping others, and the money will come”. I still believe this is true. But there is one part missing — you can help others even more if you first focus on grounding yourself. You can create more, give more and find more strength that you never knew you had, by simply having the confidence to learn a new skill: finance.

My real turning point was while reading this amazing book, I wondered how could I ever expect to help other women gain financial independence and break the cycle of their poverty, if I can’t even get a grip of how my own finance works?

It’s time for us to take one bit collective deep breath and figure it out, because it turns out that it’s not so hard after all.


Lesson 01: You Are Worth It

I think my real paradigm shift with money happened after reading “Worth It” by Amanda M Steinberg. Women are dis-empowered when it comes to money, and this book helped me realise how sexism was playing a role within my own mind. It also vividly helped me to understand my own insecurities, discomfort and awkwardness speaking about the topic.

This book helped shift my perspective entirely; money is something that gives us freedom, not something that brings us shame. Money & Mindfulness was also a good confidence boost, by the amazing girlboss Lisa Messenger.

So many women tell me “finance is just not for me — I hate it”, which brings me to lesson number one: Kill that sexist, unproductive inner voice in your head. You are worth it.

Commit an hour a week to your finance goals. Put it in your calendar, and use that time however you want. Read, reconcile, review — just start.


Lesson 02: Get Visual with your Dreams

After changing your mind-set, jump right in and get started with a simple tool. For me, this was hard, because I really don’t enjoy trying to do calculations in my head, I struggle with anxiety when I see spreadsheets, and am impatient trying to learn how to keep track of anything.Which is why I was so in love when I discovered the beautiful PocketSmith!

PocketSmith is personal finance software with visual cash-flow forecasts, or as they like to put it: “A time machine for your money.” It’s very pretty, and very very simple to use. It really helps me see where I am and where I’m going.

And yes: it syncs directly into your bank feeds! yay! (No need for CSV imports… although it can do that too.)

Isn’t she pretty? Look at the colours!!
And there’s even a calendar so you can plan ahead on days you expect to spend!!

To get started, simply log in and follow their set up guide. The software can automatically categorise all your expenses for you — so straight away you’ll start to see insights into your spending habits without doing anything! Magic!

From there, you can start to allocate preferred spending amounts in budgets, and see how much you stray… it’s beautiful, simple and actually kind of fun once you find your way around. Set a goal and start working on it.


Lesson 03: Find your Community

When you’re trying to implement a lifestyle shift — like quitting drinking, saving cash, getting fit — whatever it is — it’s so utterly important to surround yourself with cheerleaders. And if you can’t find cheerleaders, at-least find a community (online or in person) which is supportive.

Thankfully, there are so many great communities out there that see the gender pay gap as a huge problem and are trying to tackle it.

Here’s a few that help me:

Lesson 04: Make it matter (when you sleep).

There’s a lot of hype around passive income — this idea that you can make money “while you sleep” through online products, startups or investments. For a creative person who sells themselves or their art as a service it’s a tricky one to tackle, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore.

Because ElleVest hasn’t launched in Asia, and (MissKaya is still yet to launch!) and there’s no such thing as OpenInvest here either, I’ve recently started with stashaway.

You can choose how much you want to “invest” each month, and off you go.

“We’ll ask you some questions about yourself, what goals you want to achieve and when, how much you can invest each month, and how much risk you are willing to take with your money. With this information, we’ll build a personalised investment portfolio just for you.”

But what really gets me excited it the idea of something like OpenInvest coming to Asia. Their concept is simple but powerful:

“mainstream socially responsible investing and make shareholder participation an easy, everyday part of activism.”

Other Australian companies like AusEthical have a similarly inspiring approach:

This is the future of the financial world. Equal, inclusive & sustinable. With financial equality we create financial power.

With personal financial wealth, we can do more.

Lastly, if investment is not your thing, you can still find other ways of passive income. Patreon is a revolutionary way of allowing your supporters to pay you on subscription for whatever they can afford in exchange for your art, craft or talent. For example, Kurzgesagt now get’s $33,824 per month to make “science look beautiful.” How cool is that?

Deep.


So. Incase I lost you to the world of Kurzgesagt for a while there, let me bring you back to the present moment and summarise the key points of this post:

In summary:

  1. You Are Worth It. Stop feeding sexism and start becoming a better role model for others. I commit a few hours each weekend. Make time.
  2. Get Visual. Finance doesn’t have to mean 1+1, it can also mean beautiful graphs and design where the computer does the work for you. Use tech.
  3. Find Community. There’s so many resources out there, start reading and surrounding yourself with women who’ve been there. Here’s a couple of great podcasts I listen too:

And lastly…

4: Make it matter. Try seek out sustinable investments or if you don’t like the idea of investing, try make a scalable product. Love painting? Maybe you can create an online painting course. Just find something that people will value and brings you joy to gift to the world.


So that’s all for now. I’ll be sure to share more if I discover new platforms or ways to evolve. And please do share with me your thoughts or advice, especially if there’s a story worth reading or a woman worth meeting.

Let’s grow together.

Love.


“‘It is so liberating to really know what I want, what truly makes me happy, what I will not tolerate. I have learnt that it is no one else’s job to take care of me, but me”
-BEYONCÉ
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