Talk Money Talk Pensions Week is in full swing, it sees us opening the conversation about our financial wellbeing and breaking the taboos around talking about money. Here at Women Who Do we are getting the conversation started by talking to Sade from The Penny Pal. The Penny Pal is a financial advice blog for everyday people which aims to help others by sharing knowledge of money management in a way that we can all understand without the jargon and boring black and white text. Watch out for our next instalment of Talk Money Week where Sade will be sharing her top 5 tips for managing your money.
Hi Sade, tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, I currently work in the buying industry and I am completing a degree in business finance. Something that surprises a lot of people is that I originally went to university to study fashion design, it lasted a year! I have always been creative and have always looked for other methods of learning as textbooks were never really my thing, that is one of the motivation factors behind getting The Penny Pal on Instagram.
Talk to us about The Penny Pal, what is it and when did you start?
After my first year at university I had maxed out my overdraft and realised that I knew nothing about managing money, I couldn't believe I finished compulsory education and had not had one lesson on money management. My interest in personal finance grew from there and I was determined to share my knowledge to ensure others didn’t find themselves in the same position that I did, so that is when I decided to create The Penny Pal. I started the account last year (December 2018).
In short, The Penny Pal helps millennials level up their finances. In our first year we have grown to a community of nearly 5000 people which I think just highlights the need for money management education. The USP with TPP is that I am determined to make finances as digestible and interesting as possible. I am naturally a very creative person, I don't enjoy reading pages upon pages of black and white financial jargon so I design posts that are exciting, informative and engage people who might not necessarily enjoy reading about finance in the format that it is currently presented to us.
And you certainly make things interesting and digestible! So tell us, where did the idea for The Penny Pal come from?
I have always wanted to start a business that helped solve a problem for people, I just never knew where to start. I looked at my own problems and what I would want help with and that is when I came up with the idea of a money management advice blog and it felt only right to start it on Instagram, an app that my generation spends most of their time on!
I have learnt self-motivation skills which funnily enough, I thought I had before starting The Penny Pal. However, motivating yourself is a little different when you have no one to answer to. The Penny Pal shares 5 unique posts a week, so I'm creating 20 posts a month while working 9-5 and studying a degree so I have definitely been forced to learn about self-motivation.
If you could give one bit of advice to someone thinking of starting their own business, what would it be?
Think about how your product or service would help someone. The best businesses solve a problem. Amazon identified that consumers are wanting affordable goods delivered as quick as possible and they created Amazon prime. Apple identified our need for clean and aesthetically pleasing products and created one of the most identifiable brands in the world. Facebook identified our need to share our life experiences and created the biggest sharing platform in the world. What problem is your business fixing? If your business fixes a common issue, there is no reason why it shouldn't succeed.
What has your biggest success been since starting The Penny Pal? The one thing that I feel is my biggest success is simply knowing that I have helped people. When I receive emails and DMs from people telling me that the content has helped them or that they have recommended The Penny Pal to family and friends because they love the content, that makes me feel like I am accomplishing what I set out to do 12 months ago.
Who inspires you? In general, people who think outside of the box and challenge the norm. The way we learn and communicate is changing drastically and therefore businesses are having to become more innovative and adaptable. Businesses like Monzo, Starling, Thriva, Amazon and Google all inspire me to think outside the box.
If you had any super power, what would it be?
If I could have any superpower it would be to be able to speak every single language. I don't know why, it may be slightly influenced by the show 'Killing Eve' (if you know, you know) but that would be my superpower.
If you love the sound of The Penny Pal, or are struggling with where to start with your personal finances, you can find them on Instagram - @thepennypal, Twitter - @thepennypal & Facebook - @thepennypal
Small Business Editor, Alex Preston
Alex is a small business owner, her retail outlet The Bottle Top offers an array of zero waste, sustainable produce, artisan food and craft beer. Recently shortlisted for Business of the year, Alex works on a number of community projects and initiatives to aid sustainable living, conducts
improvement planning to promote economy in her local community and mentors other business owners to help improve their social media marketing. She has been self employed for 5 years since becoming a mum and prior to shop life worked as a manager in the financial services industry,
Alex loves all things sustainable (obviously), crafting and will often be found researching climate
change or business news.
If you would like to be featured as part of It's Her Business, please contact Katie Eade or Claryn Nicholas; firstname.lastname@example.org