On Friday 12th June BYP Chapter Lead Lynn Abhulimen sat down with Talia Loderick, a Cardiff based Money Coach and Financial Education Consultant to discuss the impact Covid-19 is having on personal finance especially for black women and how to overcome feelings of anxiety and stress brought on as a result.
This guest post by Talia Loderick summarises the conversation and provides additional notes and links to resources mentioned on the live.
Q: We talk a lot about money and how we use it but don't really focus on the emotional aspect and how that links to behaviours. Money is a source of stress for many, more than personal relationships and careers. How do we overcome negative emotions around money and lack?
My upbringing shaped my interest in money. I’m an 80s baby. Mum, dad, three children. We were always clothed, always fed, roof over our head. But with little extra – nothing to cover any unforeseen events, emergencies, day trips but no holidays. So there was that feeling, for me, of there never being enough. A real scarcity.
And then in adult life, I went through boom and bust cycles in my twenties and thirties of earning money, spending money, overspending, racking up debt, paying it off… and then doing it all over again.
And that’s how I came to coaching. Because I realised that while I’d always had an interest in personal finance from a young age and knew what I should be doing to manage my money better – I just couldn’t put it into practice.
I came to realise that you can learn all the practical money management tips you want but until you take a step back and identify and examine your emotions and beliefs around money, it’s hard to be better with money.
For example, if you repeatedly tell yourself you’re ‘bad’, ‘useless’ or ‘hopeless’ with money, it’s no surprise if this shows up in your actions. And it’s hard to change your behaviour without first trying to understand what causes that behaviour.
My background is as a journalist and writer but I've had a longstanding interest in personal finance.
Anyway, despite covering money stories for outlets including the BBC and MoneySavingExpert.com over the course of my journalism career, I wanted to do more. I wanted to be better with money and help others who felt the same. So I retrained as a money coach.
The people I'm seeking to help are those who value freedom - the freedom to design, create and live a life on their own terms - but who currently feel 'stuck' due to money.
I tackle money mindset – our emotions and beliefs around money that drive our behaviour with money. Because you need to understand why you do what you do in order to bring about positive behavioural change.
I also tackle financial capability – our practical money skills. Eg explaining how mortgages work, how to set goals.
As a coach, I offer emotional support and practical help and I provide a sounding board to help people move from where they are now to where they want to be. I don’t tell people what to do – I help them solve their own problems.
As well as being a money coach, I also deliver financial education workshops to 11-19-year-olds in schools and colleges for an organisation called The Money Charity. Because managing money is a life skill so let’s start with the young.
Q: Let’s talk about black finances in the UK. I understand there’s been new research on the financial impact of Coronavirus on black communities in the UK, for example. Can you tell us more about that?
New research by gender quality charity the Fawcett Society and other organisations found increased concern about the financial impact of Coronavirus among black and ethnic minority women (BAME).
4/10 (42.9%) BAME women believe they’ll be in more debt as a result of Coronavirus and worry they’ll struggle to make ends meet compared with 3/10 (37.1%) white women.
And then there’s increased concern among BAME women about not knowing where to go for support. 51% of BAME women say they were not sure where to turn for help compared with 19% white women. So the financial impact of Coronavirus is a real worry for many, and particularly black and ethnic minority women. I think it’s important to address this.
Plus, there’s the ethnicity pay gap: UK-born black African, Caribbean or black British ethnic groups were paid an estimated 7.7 per cent less than their UK-born white British counterparts with the same educational and occupational characteristics. These are the latest figures, published July 2019, by the Office for National Statistics.
Q: So, given that a large number of people have been furloughed and/or lost work as a result of Coronavirus, what help is there available?
I think it’s important to read up on the support available can really help combat panic and worry at what is already a stressful time.
And the following are my top four practical steps for those worried about their finances:
- Where are you now – do an emergency budget. Literally draw up a list of income and outgoings so you know where you stand financially.
- Look at what can be cut or paused. Whether it’s mortgage payment holidays or payment holidays on credit cards and loan repayments.
- If you do have savings, use them, that’s what they’re there for.
- Ask for help. Family, friends, money advice organisations, lenders.
The following sites detail financial support and advice available:
https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ Coronavirus Guides
And I know BYP Network has also raised just under £25,000 to support at risk black key workers and their families at this time. Find out more about the fund here.
Financial wellbeing is the sense of security and ease that comes with knowing you can pay your bills today, deal with the unexpected and that you’re on track for a healthy financial future.
I guess, for me, being able to offer people a space to talk about money is really important. Because I know from my work and personal experience, all too often we keep it all in our head and it affects our mental health and then you have no capacity to think clearly. You’re just in overwhelm.
Q: You specialise in helping women develop healthier relationships with money. What does that look like? Feel like?
The barrier for women is often feeling they understand enough, knowing where to go for information and then having confidence to make decisions. So it’s important to me to offer that space to women, that they can talk freely about money to someone without that feeling of being judged.
The gender pay gap which stands at around 17% in 2019. These are the latest figures, published July 2019, by the Office for National Statistics.
Many mothers who return to work after children opt for part-time, earning less than women who work full-time. This impacts their wage progression and pension contributions.
64% of working-age women don’t feel they understand enough about pensions to make decisions about saving for retirement, compared with 46% of men. (Money and Pensions Service).
And to top it off, we live longer than men!
It was a female colleague who taught me (without meaning to teach me as it just came up in conversation!) that I could and should negotiate my salary. At the age of 29/30, it had simply never occurred to me to ask for more than I was offered. Thanks to my female colleague I never made that mistake again.
Q: There's been a surge in online shopping naturally due to everyone being at home and as a by product a huge surge in ads. I've personally felt an added pressure to shop more - either as a distraction or to support the economy. But also the algorithms are more intelligent and showing me ads for things I'm more inclined to want to purchase. What practical tips can share with us that can help to not overspend and only really purchase essential items?
-Spend with intention:
Working out what matters to you most and linking that to what you spend your money on is the basic starting point of financial wellbeing. Your core values are how your express what matters to you most. For example, if ‘integrity’ is one of your core values, you might prioritise shopping at your local, independent book shop instead of on Amazon. You can find a number of core values exercises online. Aim to end up with around five core values.
-Give every pound a job:
It's easier to say yes to the things that matter to you and no to the things that don't if you make a plan for your money.
-Create a ‘needs’ shopping list:
When you feel the urge to buy, buy off that list! At least you always know what you’re buying is useful!
My list currently includes the raincoat I’ve had my eye on for six months, a new backpack, a printer for my home office, houseplants to introduce much-needed colour and nature to my home.
“Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”
This is one of my favourite quotes about spending and it’s by Anna Lappe, an American author and sustainable food advocate. It reminds me to shop where it matters. For me that includes buying local, buying from black-owned businesses, buying independent, buying sustainably.
Understand your relationship with money
Writing down your answers to the following questions in this self-awareness exercise can help you start to understand the beliefs and emotions driving your behaviour with money.
- What’s your earliest memory of money?
- What did you learn about money from your parents/guardians?
- What does money mean to you now?
- How do you feel when you think about money?
Talia Loderick is a Cardiff based money coach and financial education consultant. Through her coaching practice TLC she helps women understand their beliefs and emotions around money that really drive their behaviour with money. She also delivers financial education workshops to young people in schools and colleges helping them to build good money management skills. Find out more on her website www.talialoderick.co.uk.
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