Instagram Live Catch Up: Talking Personal Finance with Mary Agbesanwa

Instagram Live Catch Up: Talking Personal Finance with Mary Agbesanwa


This week's BYP Blog is a guest article from Mary Agbesanwa, a management consultant working with fintech and banks, founder of a women’s network and a career blogger. Mary is passionate about the future of the financial services industry, diversity in the corporate world and encouraging millennials to tap into their full potential.



Last month, I jumped on Instagram live to chat to Kike about everything personal finance during this pandemic. It was an amazing discussion. For those who missed it or who want to re-cap the gems, check out the key takeaways below. 


What personal finance principles should I remember during this pandemic?

Cash is king! Just like businesses are now cost-cutting and monetising and trying to be liquid, you as an individual need to do that too. Cash is king right now so this is probably not the time for super risky investments and large costly purchases.


Income - expenses = savings

A recent study showed, that in the UK, 16 million people who have less than £100 in their bank account in savings. This leaves you very susceptible to economic shocks. Start by reducing your expenses as much as you can. I.e. this is a good time to switch energy providers, start budgeting, cut out luxuries and negotiate your wifi and phone bills.


Protect your mindset

I always say as black people we are always having to protect our mindset. Pandemic or not the news can be very triggering for black people - sadly mainstream media loves to write about black stories in relation to stabbings, ethnicity pay gap, higher death rates for diseases and now COVID. Don’t welcome constant trauma into your home or your mind as this will impact how you spend and treat money too!


What should I be doing with my finances?

If you run a small business do think big about how you can pivot during this time. If you truly can’t sell, consider how you can show your customers that you are purpose-driven during this time. Additionally do research the lending support available to you such as the CBILS and Bounce Back loans. COVID-19 has taught us a long known personal finance principle: the importance of diversifying your income. This outbreak has really hurt many of us financially, emotionally and mentally. Having only one stream of income is really dangerous. Ask yourself: How can you diversify your income? Do you have untapped talent that you could be monetising? Effective wealth building starts with increasing your income so if you haven’t already this is the time to start diversifying your income through multiple income streams. I am really passionate about role content creation and ran a webinar recently on this, find out more hereHowever do consider your personal situation, are you a risk-prone millennial with no dependents and a stable salary as well as other streams of income or a risk-averse new mortgage owner with a growing family?


What do you think about entrepreneurship at this time? 

In my opinion, this is a great time to start a business. This will help keep the economy stay afloat and you also have less to lose if you have limited employment opportunities or have extra free time right now. Don’t let the news fool you. Despite everything not so great happening at the moment, there are many opportunities all around us. Open your eyes!

Link to tweet:


What lessons do you think the black community need to learn about money?

Spending money should not be an emotional experience. Too many of us have spending patterns that are linked to emotional pain and generational trauma. Own up to yourself and address this. Remember everything you buy now that you don’t need is effectively money stolen from your future. Lastly, life insurance! The black community generally doesn’t like to talk about death but think about how many families could be in a better situation if we had a discussion pre-COVID about the importance of life insurance.


Just start talking about money 

Putting money away with friends or family may be a step too far for some instead just try and remove the stigma about the topic by discussing it more with your friends and family. Ideally, find a group that works for you and discuss personal finance regularly. Additionally, if you have time, use this lockdown to level up your financial literacy. It starts with baby steps; spend the time to educate yourself about the basics. Or ask yourself is it time to take the next step and invest in a financial advisor? 


Great Instagram accounts for learning more about managing your money: vestpod, finimize, theemaneffectuk, ellevest, moneymedics + thepennypal


Good luck on your journey! Let me know how you get on.


Mary Agbesanwa (millennialmarya) works as a Management Consultant advising banks and fintechs through operational and technological change programmes. She also co-leads her firm’s Multicultural Business Network which celebrates the multiculturalism of their UK firm. Outside of work, she blogs on her Medium blog A Millennial's Diary about careers and personal development for millennials and co-runs a female millennial self-development and entrepreneurial community called Now You’re TalkingShe has twice been awarded Number 13 in the EMpower Top 50 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders List, was a Professional Services Rising Star Award and featured in Brummell Magazine's 30 Ones to Watch in 2019.

Find out more about Mary, her network and her services here

Please note Mary is not a financial advisor so do take this information as insights from her lived experiences and not advice. 


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