It’s never too late to learn about personal finance, with Deborah Tan-Pink, Senior Communications Manager at Revolut

Episode summary

Deborah Tan-Pink talks about how she turned her poor spending habits around and got in control of her finances.

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Episode transcript

Philipp: Welcome to another episode of  In Your Best Interest, your personal finance podcast. I'm your host Philipp Muedder, and today we will be talking with Deborah Tan-Pink on what it takes to learn more about financial literacy, talk about when she started to be interested in financial literacy, and so on.

But before we get there, I want to give you a little quick background of who Deborah actually is. Deborah leads the communications and PR efforts for UK fintech, Revolut, here in Singapore.

And prior to joining Revolut, she was a CEO at an edtech startup, where she led the then 2-year-old company to record an ARR of $1.5 million SGD with marquee customers, such as the Institute of Banking and Finance, the Singapore College of Insurance, and the Thai Banking Academy.

Deborah made her foray into tech after spending 15 years in lifestyle publishing, during which she served as the editor of Cleo and launched Cosmopolitan in Singapore after it was banned for 22 years. When work isn't keeping her busy, she runs a home bakery business and co-hosts the podcast called Good Girls Talk About Money. Deborah, thank you so much for joining me today.

Deborah: Thank you for having me.

Philipp: Yes, it's really exciting. I think just in your bio alone, there's really a few super interesting topics I want to get to. [02:00] I'm a big fan of passive income, so I can see already a few things that are happening there. So I want to get to those for sure later on in the podcast. But as we always do, with all of our guests, we like to dig a little bit deeper into their background, and kind of like, where does your affinity to money come from? Or was there even an affinity with money early on, right? Growing up in Singapore, going to school, going into the working world and starting your first salary. What was your first experience with money? Did your parents give you an allowance? Or did you have a job growing up, where you were like earning some money? What was that like? And yes, what were the first kind of lessons you were taught?

Deborah: Well, I must say growing up, I was rather fortunate. My parents gave me pocket money every week and left me to spend it as I like. And there was very little nagging, so to say, to sort of take care of my money. My parents didn't go, you know Debs, you've got to save your money. And every year during Chinese New Year, when we collect the ang pao. Unlike other parents who would take the ang pao money and sort of stash it in the bank account on our behalf. They just left it to us to manage that ang pao money, and I think this is where a difference in our attitudes towards money actually started to show between my sister and myself. My sister - she saved up those monies; she really had a good savings account going on there. And in our teenage years, she was the one with like a fat bank account. Whereas for me, I'm the kind who like you give me money, I'll spend it. And when I need more money, I'll ask for it. And sometimes, maybe I'll get a scolding, I'll get nagging from my mom saying that I spent too much money. [04:00] So I think somewhere along the line, when we were in university, I got into a bit of trouble with my handphone bills and also with my handphones. I kept losing them for some reason, but I would never dare to tell my mom about it because they were expensive stuff back in those days, right? And it was my younger sister who always bailed me out. She would dig into her own savings; that's how much money she had. She’d buy me new handphones whenever I lost my handphone. So yes, so I guess growing up, my knowledge of financial awareness, financial literacy was pretty much close to zero.

Philipp: Close to zero. But you had a younger sister who was actually really good with money, so she started bailing you out. Was that then a lesson that you learned? Hey, I can't always rely on my sister at some point? Or what was it like? So now you get out of university, start earning a salary that is not just an allowance, right? So probably a little bit more money. But you're saying you didn't have much financial knowledge. How did you start out? Keep spending it? Did you start putting money aside right away? Or what was kind of like your first steps there?

Deborah: Well, as you mentioned in my bio, I spent 15 years in lifestyle publishing. So lifestyle publishing for women included a lot of beauty, fashion, clubbing, eating at great places. So obviously, a lot of my salary during my magazine days actually went towards supporting a lifestyle that people would tend to associate with people working in the magazines, right? So I don't think I had a large savings account because I was depending on my paycheck to kind of support the lifestyle that I really wanted to lead. It's really embarrassing if you come to think about it, [06:00] like how can someone be this terrible with money? And I think the realisation actually hit when I left my magazine job to start my own business.

And I left with this high optimism, thinking that you know what? I'm always going to be able to have a paycheck. I'm just going to leave my job, start my own business, and then the money will take care of itself. And unfortunately, that wasn't true, right? Like leaving a job without actually having a comfortable savings account. You know, that really does wonders to somebody's level of financial literacy. And about 1.5 years into doing my new business, I ended up having to sell my car because I could not afford keeping up with the car loans. I had to change my lifestyle, and I definitely got a lot more disciplined when it comes to saving and starting to put money aside for investments.

Philipp: Yes. So it took you a long time, as you said. Like obviously being in that lifestyle publishing industry, as you said, you're exposed to a lot of nice things, right? And you're buying things, so also peer pressure. And it's also a lot of FOMO, right? The fear of missing out with other people. So I always talk about this in our financial literacy courses actually, a lot about lifestyle inflation, right? Because a lot of people say, oh, I put off saving until later on because I will make more money, I can spend it now. But you make more money; you want nicer things, right?

So being disciplined is super important, right? So I think it's great that you like took it back because I think you're not the only one. So first of all, don't feel like that's the terrible thing. You came out the other side, and we're going to talk about this and how that happened, but I think it's the real talk, right? This is what happens to a lot of people. And I think it's very normal, and I always say I'm very fortunate because I was always in finance. So for me, it came more natural to start saving. But if that's not your main job, it's quite daunting [08:00] to start. And it's also not the first thing on your mind, right?

Deborah: Yes. And it's really embarrassing because I remember once I started drawing my first salary, obviously, as with, I'm semi-sensible, I would like to think that. And you start thinking about yes, maybe it's time for me to get myself an insurance policy, and so you meet up with insurance agents, financial advisors, right? And the first thing they would do is what's your budget, like basically what's your monthly budget? How do you spend your money? And I found that I was always getting very defensive when they asked me about how do you spend your money because I had no idea how I was spending my money at all.

Philipp: Yes. One of the big things that people hate me for, but I tell them, hey, do a budget for 6 to 12 months once in your life at least. Huge insights it gives you, right? Where am I spending money? Where am I spending too much? Where can I cut some? Especially if you're not saving enough, right? So then you can really go back and say, hey, oh, this is ridiculous. I spent x amount on Grab, or I spent this much on going out to dinner. But at least that way, you have a good overview, and you can actually say to yourself, hey, okay, maybe I can cut that, and I'd be disciplined about it next month. So is that something that you started doing after talking to these financial advisors? Or was it something you're kind of like, because you set you were defensive, so was the first reaction no, I don't care?

Deborah: Yes, I think you're spot on. Like my first reaction was always like, I have no idea. How is it possible for anyone to start tracking their spending, like my utility bills? They fluctuate month from month. Sometimes I eat out more, sometimes I shop more, how am I supposed to know what my budget really looks like, right? And I think it really took a very patient financial advisor to sit down with me, go through everything. She didn't leave the cafe until I got my budget sorted out. [10:00] I would say that really played, made a lot of difference, because most financial advisors, probably they see you for the first time and then they go like okay, you have an hour, right? And they try to sell you something. Maybe they ask you about your budget, and if you can't answer it, they'll probably be like, oh, it's okay, give me a ballpark figure. But this financial advisor that I ultimately end up building a very good relationship with, she really sat down with me, talked to me on budget, told me how a budget actually works. And I think that was the defining moment, where I started getting a lot more clarity about how I was spending my money. And how I was actually using my money, yes.

Philipp: I think this is a great example of a very good financial advisor. Like you said before, there are lots of them out there that are just trying to sell you a product. But if you really find someone that takes the time to educate you, right? Because I think it's a gap in the education segment for most people, right? They're afraid, it's a daunting topic, again as we said before, there's a lot of things you can do wrong, right? So that's really important, so then you got a financial advisor, you started doing a budget, what were like, this is after the 15 years that's when you started doing your own business? Or before?

Deborah: This is after 3 years, after the start of my own business. When I realised that I was going to be dead broke if I didn't start planning something now.

Philipp: Yes, this is good, right? So it was when you finally realised, hey, I need to do something, right? And do you feel like that? I don't know; I want to get to your podcast later on, right? You guys call it Good Girls Talk About Money. Do you feel like there wasn't enough education or financial literacy courses offered in school? Or they were mostly catered to man? What was kind of your experience when you were growing up with that?

Deborah: I think growing up, a lot of the financial literacy [12:00] education we were like coming in contact with, focused a lot on good habits. Like they will tell you you've got to save your money, try not to borrow money from your friends, or like very moralistic stuff.

Like if you want something but you don't have it, either ask your parents to buy it for you, save up for it, but don't steal people's stuff, right? Or don't go shoplifting and stuff like that. But it was always more about establishing the habits rather than inspiring long-term thinking.

So basically, save your money, but then they stop short at telling you why. And if you do need to buy certain stuff, maybe set up saving goals or if, let's say, for instance, they don't talk about opportunity cost. For example, they just tell you don't spend your money in one go, right?

But then they don't tell you things like if you spend your money in one go all on candies; you're not going to have money left to buy food during recess, right? So I think a lot of things like growing up, my financial literacy education just consisted of things like you should be doing this.

But they don't tell you the reason why, and I think that's why after drawing my first paycheck, or even when I started having my own money to spend and stuff like that, it never did occur to me that I needed to worry about the future. I think also partly because when you're in your 20s, you're just drawing your first paycheck; life looks so exciting and just go, you know what? I'm only 20; I have about 40 years before I retire, I have lots of time to think about retirement.

Philipp: It's such a daunting thing to think about, if something is 40 years away, it’s so long for people. Especially nowadays too, when everything is so instant. It's very difficult, that's why when I do some financial planning, as [14:00] I call it now more financial freedom. So people can think about this faster, because then they think, oh, if I can reach this at 45 or 50, and I can actually do whatever I want to do. Then that gives them a little bit more extra step, a spring in their step, right? To get started.

Deborah: Actually, you just reminded me of a story. So when I was in Cleo, I started the magazine’s first money column. Which is really ironic if you think about it, right? Because this person is actually spending her entire paycheck on shoes and dresses, and there she is, writing the first money column. But I remember interviewing a financial advisor, and she was like telling me that oh, so basically, we have this, we plan with our clients and we tell them like you are $100,000 to D-day. And I was sitting there writing my notes, right? Interviewing her, and I was just like, what is this D-day you're talking about? And she actually meant like, you know if you want to retire at 45, this is how much more you've got to start stashing away and stuff like that, right. And I was just like, why would you want to retire at 45? And I was thinking, because I love my job, and I was like if I could do this forever, I would. Why would anyone think about retiring? And now when I think back to that conversation, and now that you brought it up, and I was like oh yes, I think. When you're 40, and you're thinking I wish I could retire at 45, this is exactly what they're talking about. And it really just hit me really too late, way too late. And I hope anyone who's listening to this podcast, and if you're 25 or you're 20, just in your first job, just remember to start planning for your retirement now.

Philipp: Yes, start planning now, because it just gives you so much freedom, right? So I'm not saying you don't have to work or you stop working completely at 45, or 50, or 55. The point is you could survive without it, but you can do whatever you feel like. [16:00] Whatever you want to do, right? So you said after being 15 years in a stable job, you have your income every month, you don't have that many savings; yet you still take the risk of going out on your own. What was that business that you started first of all? Was that decision process like, no, I'm done, I don't want to work this day-to-day stable job anymore, and I want to do my own thing?

Deborah: Yes, so I think the defining point where I kind of decided that this is not sustainable was when I realised that despite what I started out with, when I started my business, I was very confident that things will pick up, that things will go back to normal, maybe after 2 and a half years, after 3 years, right? And in the meantime, my CPF will support my mortgage payments.

So there came a time where suddenly I was looking at my CPF just going down, and it suddenly hit me that if things don't pick up, it really means that I would start to have to pay my mortgages back in cash. And I'm barely living month-to-month, knowing what I was going to get the next month because the business that I started was a content agency. And it was like a professional service kind of agency, right? And if you're in business, you will know that professional services, they're so difficult to scale. Because you kind of like offer freelance writing to your clients, they're used to your way of writing, they're used to your way of working, and if let's say you try to scale the business and say what I'm hiring a junior writer to take over this account, they're likely going to take their money and go okay, look I'm just going to go to someone else who can sort of give me that kind of experience that I actually want. So my partners and I were finding it really hard to scale that business. 

And after 2 and a half years, [18:00] it seemed like we've reached a peak like there was just no way I could double my income or make my income go any higher without duplicating myself or kind of hiring junior writers but bringing them up to the skill levels that my clients are accustomed to, right, and it was our first business; all four of us were from the lifestyle magazine background, we were all writers. So obviously, we weren't aware that there was such a thing called investors. And we weren't aware that you could get people to invest in your business and stuff like that. So we were bootstrapping it the whole way, right? And it just became unsustainable, and I decided that look, we've got to come out of this business. We've got to exit, go back to our regular jobs, you know, find a way to learn how to run businesses again and then meanwhile, and go back to earning a regular salary, get our financial health back in shape. And maybe in a few years down the road, we can start thinking about starting businesses again.

Philipp: Yes. So you went back to work, that's kind of when you did the education tech startup kind of scene? So you get out of the regular workforce, so to speak, kind of still doing what you've done before, but on your own. I think that's a good lesson to learn as well, right? I think also doing something while you still have a job to get a side job, they call it side hustle nowadays, right? Or whatever you want to call it. But having these different income streams also make you financially independent, right? So that's also one way that you don't rely on one; if there's a crisis and you lose your job, you still have other revenue streams. I think it's a super important concept when it comes to personal finance. I think you've done it without actually planning on it; it was kind of like, hey, we want to go out on our own and [20:00] do this. So now you're doing the edtech startup, getting into the space. Were you still running at that point the content agency? Or did you guys shut that down?

Deborah: Oh, we didn't shut it down completely. In the first six months of me joining the edtech startup, some of my partners were still keeping the agency going. We had some contracts that we still needed to fulfil. So we kept that going until we could, you know, either complete those contracts or when our clients were ready to hand it over to a new set of writers to take over, right? So we kept it going till about December 2016. I joined SmartUp in January 2017, so there was like a little bit of an overlap.

Philipp: Yes, good. And then now you're at a fintech, at Revolut, which is obviously a great company. We know you guys really well as a fellow fintech. So from being financially not-so-literate to having your encounter with your financial planner - who got you really on track, really worked with you on this - to now working in communications and PR for a fintech, dealing with day-to-day finances on a daily basis, right? How was that jump over there, and what have you been learning so far that's been helping?

Deborah: I think that I've been lucky to sort of have very smooth transitions into the fintech world. When I left my agency and joined SmartUp, SmartUp’s roster of clients were mainly from financial institutions, right? So we dealt with [22:00] clients like the Institute of Banking and Finance and the Singapore College of Insurance. And all of them wanted to sort of gamify their training content. So I had the opportunity to sort of get very hands-on with content such as money laundering, risk assessment, understanding different types of insurance, how insurance works, things like that. So that was very fortunate, so I managed to come into contact with a great deal of financial training content. I think coupled with my experience in lifestyle publishing, I kind of like, imagine a Venn diagram, where the two of them meet. And in the centre, it's just this perfect space where I could see for myself, you can take financial literacy, financial education and make it relevant, make it easier to understand. Have you written it in such a way that even a complete novice would be able to understand that content. So with that, I think I took that experience with me when I joined Revolut, and then you know using my background in Comms and PR. Then I think about how I create content, how do I create press releases, engage the media in like story angles to sort of help people understand Revolut offering a little bit better. So yes, I've been lucky to be able to transition very smoothly from one industry to another, thanks to my time at SmartUp.

Philipp: Yes, absolutely. I think it's a good storyline also for the listeners, right? Especially the younger ones, there's not a set path that you have to follow your whole life, right? You kind of move, navigate around it, find the opportunities and things like that. So what I do want to get to is [24:00] your current situation, right? We talked a little bit about the pasts, kind of like where you come from, what you're doing. But where are you now in terms of building up financial security and planning for the future? What are like the top things you're doing right now to enhance your personal well, financial well-being?

Deborah: Okay. Oh, that's interesting that you asked this question because I'm a huge fan of StashAway. And I think having a service, an app, like StashAway, is beautiful when it comes to improving your financial health.

Because I think one of the biggest obstacles that I initially faced when it came to sort of knowing what my financial health looked like was the lack of visibility and clarity. I know I was putting money into various insurance policies. I knew every month something is GIRO-ed out of my bank account to support something. But I was never quite sure what those things would eventually lead to, right? And then when StashAway launched, you did that profile thing; they told you your projection. And they tell you that if you put away a certain sum of money every month for a certain number of years, and I hope this prediction will come true. You will end up having this sum of money. So I felt like it was a very easy way for me to get my head around the whole if you put in your money over a certain time horizon; this is how much you can expect to get at the end of a certain number of years. 

And through that, then, I started wanting that same level of visibility from all my policies, existing policies and stuff like that. And that was when I sat down again with my financial advisor, and I really asked a very specific question, right? How much am I putting away every month into these policies? At the end of how many years, what am I looking at getting, right? And with that, I also came to realise that [26:00] there is just no point; I mean, this is advice that's just personal; it may not apply to everyone. There's actually no point in having a savings account anymore. Because something like StashAway makes it easy for you to also take out that money, there's no lock-in period. And I think one of the pain points of insurance policies of investment-linked policies, things like that, even unit trust with banks. There is a lock-in period. But if you should find yourself suddenly without a job, and you need to access a certain sum of money to sort of keep life going as it usually is, you don't want that lock-in period. And I think something that I appreciate with StashAway is that yes, I'm saving that money; I can see how that money is growing. And touch wood, if I ever need to access that sum of money, I can always draw it out without some kind of penalty. Yes, I may lose that trajectory that I'm looking forward to, but that's just in case, right? If I need to, and I won't be penalised.

Philipp: Yes, I think it's an important topic, right? I don't want to talk too much about StashAway on my end because we're biased, of course. But in general, anytime you look at an investment, I think there's a few questions you have to ask any adviser or any person selling you the product: what are my fees? And what are they really? Even if they say there are no fees, there are fees. So asking about fees, but I think lock-in period is super important, right? It's one of the most important things. Not just what's my surrender value, if I surrender early, what's the penalty? Things like that are super important because too many people I've seen when I do financial planning and go through their old policies. It's sad and horrendous to see some of the stuff, right? It holds you back; you want to have control, like you said. Having control of your finances is the number one thing [28:00] that you can do, right? So you've done a lot of that. So you use StashAway as one option, but obviously, you do other things. You still have a home-run bakery business; you also do a podcast. So how did they both come about?

Deborah: So the bakery business was really something to keep my mind away from the COVID lockdown. So last year as you know we all had to work from home. We couldn't go out very much. And I think it was a period of time where the government also told people that bakeries will no longer be selling cakes. They could only sell bread, right? So one of my friend's birthday coincided with that period, and I was wondering like oh, it would be so nice if we could just send her a cake, right? So I started making this traditional Peranakan dessert called Kueh Salat. But I made it into a cake form, like round instead of like just pieces. And I actually delivered it to her house. And her mother-in-law, who's Peranakan, took a bite of that kueh, and she said “it's really authentic tasting, she should consider selling it, because nobody makes it like this anymore,” something like that. So everyone messaged me and said you should sell it now. I said, oh, I was thinking maybe after the pandemic, no silly, you should sell it now. So I was like, okay, so I started it on Instagram; it's a really simple operation. I don't take too many orders. I just take enough so that I'm earning maybe $200 every weekend. And if you multiply that by 52 weeks, that's quite a substantial like side income that you can use to invest and make your money work harder for you, right? So I started that, I started taking orders, and before I knew it, I got some write-ups in magazines, and stuff like that and more orders came in. And so, every time I release all the slots, they get taken up quite quickly, and people have to pay to [30:00] confirm their orders. So that's a nice income that's always coming into my bank account. So that's my bakery business in a nutshell.

Philipp: That's awesome. I didn't know, but this is interesting, and obviously, congrats to you. And I think like you said, it's $200 a week, that adds up, right? You said 52 weeks a year, and now you do this for multiple years; that's good money to put away, right? And to start earning passive income from. So I think that's one of the things that people need to think about, you can do this next to your work, right? You can try things out; if they go bigger and greater, and you can make it your full-time job, that's great. But you don't have to quit or anything. There's a lot of things when people are afraid, like taking the plunge, you don't have to take the full jump into the water, right? You can actually do it like this. And then obviously, on top of that, you also just recently launched a podcast, we’re fellow podcasters here in beautiful Singapore. So Good Girls Talk About Money, so obviously now, after talking to them, I have a lot more background on why you started it because you did all the educational efforts at the old companies and then obviously with Revolut as well. Do you do it alone, or do you have a host? Or did you guys come up with it?

Deborah: Well, I don't do it alone. I have a co-host, and that co-host is the financial advisor who actually helped me turn my finances around. So we’ve become friends.

Philipp: Full circle.

Deborah: Yes. So like so it started, because 1 year ago, she came to me and said look, I have the knowledge, and you write really well. So maybe I could get you to help me write some content on education, educating people about their finances and stuff like that. So I wrote a few articles for her, and she shared it on her LinkedIn and stuff like that, so that's great. And then after a while, we started talking again like, oh, how can we sort of [32:00] make this a little bit more friendly, right? Because as we know, a lot of people don't really like reading nowadays, unfortunately.

So last year, we sort of had coffee together, and I said, you know what? I really like this whole podcasting thing. I started one when I was at SmartUp as well called Humanising Learning.

And I realised that hey, you know what, it's so much more natural and organic when you have a conversation going on, and you just pick things up as you talk and your listeners kind of benefit from it. So I said, why don't we co-host a podcast about money. And it's not just going through the whole dry topic about what is interest rate, what's compound interest etc. But really just talking about money, like sometimes when I meet up with her for coffee, I would go like oh, you know, like Donald Trump is the president now, do you think it's really worthwhile going into the US market? And it's just normal conversation, plain English, nothing too jargon-ish that we wanted to bring to our listeners. So it's more like girls talk about money, and it's named that way because a long time ago, it would be seen as rather vulgar or crass for women to talk about money so passionately. So that's why we kind of like wanted to play on the fact that we're two girls, we're coming together to talk about money, and there's nothing materialistic or crass about the whole thing. It's just like friends having a conversation and empowering each other with good financial information and knowledge.

Philipp: Yes, I think it's a super cool concept. I listened to a few of your episodes, and we'll put this also in the show notes for all our listeners so that they can have a listen too as well. You said something there just now. Is that like a few years back or like 10-20 years back? It wouldn't be women or girls talking about something like this in a public domain, right? So what do you think has changed that allowed that to happen now? [34:00]

Deborah: Well, I think what has changed is that you know basically a lot more women are now more aware of what is happening out there with their money. And surprisingly, I think it's to do with this entire advent of digital financial services and tech that's coming up, right? So you're engaging the audience in a safe space. So it used to be that if you wanted to talk about money, if you wanted to challenge someone about anything about money, like the stock market or talking about trading. Imagine yourself at a dinner party, and you're a woman, and you're talking about like I think it's pointless to go into the US stock market right now etc. And a man challenges you, I think it's pretty intimidating, and I would still find it intimidating, right?

But with smartphones, with apps, that come up with things like, for instance, StashAway, where you can click on certain content about financial literacy. You have podcasts about financial literacy; you have blogs about financial literacy. And suddenly, women are reading a lot more in their own space and learning these information, picking these information up without actually having to second-guess themselves. Without actually having to sort of wonder, is this information legit? Or is this information correct? And if I were to share such information in the public space or in a public setting, will I be laughed at for being ignorant. So I think the availability of such content in a space where women are comfortable just engaging with the content on their own time, in their own space, that kind of thing. [36:00] That's really made it much easier for a lot of women to start becoming personal finance influencers. So yes, I think that's one of the reasons why.

Philipp: Yes, for sure, yes, the internet. Internet apps, I think in general the Internet, obviously just about the wealth of information that everyone can Google for themselves, right? But I think we also see this when we were; last year, we were still doing in-person events, and we easily get 50-60% female audience. They're very interested, especially on the financial planning topics. When the deeper investment topics are still mostly dominated by male people coming. But the financial planning one, which I think is the most important to start with before you even invest, a lot of female participation. So it's really good to see, right? So people taking matters into their own hands a lot of people, especially I think, I just had this discussion actually with a client. And his wife works just as much as he does. And we were doing financial planning, and he was saying they have 2 children, and they're expecting their third one right now.

But now, due to COVID, she works from home; everyone is working from home anyway, so she doesn't have to even stop working. Because now they can work from home, it's so much easier. I think COVID will have a lot with that as well, so that equalises it as well. You don't have to take like 3 years off, right? Because you can still be home and maybe work from home. So I think that all helps, so this is really cool stuff coming up. 

So to wrap it up, Deborah, I think if we could turn back the clock, right? What are some of the things you would, some nuggets of wisdom you would pass on to our audience that you would have loved to hear early on? I think you mentioned a few of them starting early, thinking about retirement or calling it some, whatever you need to call it to make it start. But what other ones do you have to share?

Deborah: Yes. I think I can't emphasise enough that it's incredibly [38:00] important to have full visibility of your financials. You know, knowing how much you are earning and how much you have leftover to use to grow your wealth. A little bit of a plug here when we talked about engaging the audience in a space that they're familiar with. Revolut recently launched an app, a product called Revolut Junior, and that's to help parents and kids, you know, get on with the whole financial literacy program. To give them a platform that they can actually start engaging their kids.

So earlier on, I talked about how parents used to just tell you to save, but they don't tell you to have saving goals. So Revolut junior has that function, where you can sort of set up saving goals for your kids, and if they want to buy, say, like a PS5 or something, you can say look, I will co-fund part of it. But you will have to save up at least $100 by Christmas for me to sort of buy the PS5 for you. So yes, so I think engaging, if I could turn back the clock, I wish there were more opportunities where I could sort of learn and be engaged in like a space that I felt comfortable and safe in.

Philipp: Yes, great story. I think it comes back to that right like getting early on, getting started, helping teach your kids about how to manage their allowances, right? And getting something and not just buying it for them.

I think it's a great step in the right direction. So again, Deborah, thank you so much for joining us; this was really awesome. Especially with your podcast going strong. I'm sure there will be other topics we can cover in the future. But again, thank you for being here with us, I really appreciate it.

Deborah: Thank you for having me, thank you.

Episode notes

In this episode, Deborah Tan-Pink opens up about how she turned her finances around after most of her life being an overspender. She also shares how a hobby turned into a weekly side hustle that now gives passive income that will help her reach financial independence sooner.

Revolut has a platform where you can teach your kids healthy money habits. Click here to learn more.

You can hear more from Deborah on her podcast, Good Girls Talk About Money, on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

For past guests, visit stashaway.com/podcast

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Episode contributors

  • Philipp Muedder (Head of Financial Planning at StashAway)
  • Deborah Tan-Pink (Senior Communications Manager at Revolut)