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Knowledge, Perspectives

Get Better with Money

Jess from @shesgotwealth has your back

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Are you crap with your money? It’s a bit of a cliché of millennials and younger people – that we spend too much on avocado and coffee and can’t balance a chequebook (what’s a chequebook?) But it’s worth remembering that there’s nothing in the curriculum about matters so practical as APR and ISAs. We’re just not taught it. I can tell you about photosynthesis, but fixed rate mortgages? No chance. That’s why when I saw Jess McGuigan’s new project, @shesgotwealth I thought we ought to shout about it. Here she explains what’s motivated her to take her profession to those who might need it more than most.

I’m a Financial Planner for Critchleys Financial Planning in Oxford. I started out in my career just under five years ago as an administrator, scanning post and the like, and soon decided that I wanted to be a Financial Planner to help people and make a difference to their lives. So I decided to complete my qualifications and transition into a client-facing role, which I’ve been doing for about two years now. I am currently also studying towards Chartered status and was awarded Rising Star at the 2019 Women in Financial Advice Awards (see left!)

I really enjoy the work that I do and the clients I get to meet however, there’s an ‘advice gap’. I get frustrated when I have to turn people away when they don’t meet our minimums or can’t afford to pay for advice. Where do those people get advice from?

There’s also the fact that growing up you aren’t taught ANY financial literacy at schools. Things like compound interest, APR, how a credit card works – I have friends who have got themselves into debt simply for properly not understanding how a credit card works.

So I have had plans to set up an Instagram account for a while, but wasn’t sure on how to do it, or what sort of things to post. I’m in the Instagram generation so I use it daily and often think of how it could be used as a platform to post content that people want to see, in a format that isn’t so… boring.

With what’s going on currently in the world, young people’s anxiety is heightened – especially in terms of finances – so if there’s a time to start, it’s now. So far: guidance around easing financial worry, how income taxes work in relation to second jobs, how credit cards work, how to apply for universal credit and more.

The account is themed towards young women as I am passionate about helping to close the gender gap through financial education, though it should be valued by all.

I’m up to 71 followers in three days and I’ve had great feedback from people asking me to post about specific topics, so I’m keen to grow it further. I’m building a website alongside this where I want to do lengthier blog posts and eventually I’d like to hold events in Oxford – like ‘Wine & Investment’ nights, that sort of thing.

What financial things tie your brain in knots? Are you worried about your income over the next few months? Follow @shesgotwealth for professional guidance and tips in your language.

Contact her for financial advice at Critchleys on 01865 261100, or jrmcguigan@critchleys-fp.co.uk

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