Flexing those finance muscles: a chat around the Table with Sarah

Sarah has pulled up a seat at the Table to help flex her financial muscles and inspire other women to do the same.

Want to make your money work for you? Looking to boost that bank balance and secure your financial future – but aren’t quite sure how? You’re not alone!

Just like perfecting your form at the gym, mastering financial habits takes a few reps – and sometimes, starting out is the hardest part. But by taking it one rep at a time with a can-do attitude, you can pump up your financial muscles and crush your money goals.

Sarah is one of the awesome women who has tapped into our resources at the Table for a financial flex. Read on to get inspired by her journey.

Financial wellness is for everyone: you don’t need to have a finance background

Sarah has a creative background, working in the Arts and Culture sector. She studied Classics, English Literature, and a Masters in Museum and Heritage Studies.

Her career path is a great example of how financial wellness is for all of us. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking if we don’t have a finance or accounting background, growing wealth isn’t “for us”. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Whether you’re a whiz with a spreadsheet or paintbrush – and everything in between – you belong at the Table and deserve to improve your financial wellbeing.

Sarah’s financial journey – milestones and mindsets

Sarah revealed that up until 12 months ago, she didn’t think managing money was her strong suit. But all of a sudden, she realised she had enough money in her KiwiSaver for a house deposit – so how bad could she be, really? After all, saving enough for a house deposit is no small achievement in this day and age! Around the same time, she also reached one of her major career goals of earning a six-figure salary.

How often as women have we been taught to downplay our achievements? We know from our conversations around the Table that many women are lacking confidence when it comes to cash, believing they just aren’t good at it. But when Sarah actually realised she was reaching some major money milestones, her self-belief was boosted and she was able to reframe the way she thought about her finances. She now recognised she had the funds - and the smarts - to improve her financial wellness. It was all about working on her mindset, making a plan, setting her priorities and being realistic.

The recurring themes of being confident and having a determined mindset have definitely been crucial in her journey. She says:

“I think confidence is a big thing. If you've grown up in a family on a lower income, you're in the mindset that being comfortable with money or gaining financial security just isn't something you'll ever achieve, so you sort of just tune out of the convo. Having the confidence to read up or ask questions is a big step towards understanding the terminology, and being brave enough to take action.”

How to start boosting your financial future today

Some of Sarah’s top tips for building a better financial future include:

  • Checking out online resources and tools to help get your head around your personal finances and the world of finance and investing – like here at the Table!
  • Learning the basics of budgets and how to start a savings account
  • Taking a bit of time to learn the basics and set yourself up for success will help ease your fears
  • Just start talking about it! Find a close girlfriend you feel comfortable chatting about money with. It's really empowering, and it can be super fun with the right mate.

One of Sarah’s other great pieces of advice is to get brave when it comes to saying no to spending. In so many ways, learning to say no is a big one. When it comes to money, we’re often pulled in so many directions that sometimes you've just got to draw a line and not spend what you can’t afford. If anyone hassles you for it, they're a dick. So true!

The future of finance is female

Over the years, Sarah has seen the shift towards more equal representation for women in all things finance. She says:

“In the past, when you did see a woman in an ad for anything to do with money? It was always a "wife and mother" role, so basically you could only think about finance in the context of providing for or supporting your husband and family. That just isn't the case for women, so it's great to see things moving in a different direction.”

So… who runs the world? Women with financial finesse, of course! No matter where you’re at on your own journey, this is a muscle you can learn to flex. We’re here to help you train it up – just pull up at the seat at the table and learn from awesome wahine like Sarah who are growing those muscles and showing us all how it’s done.

Fun fact about Sarah: She shows her friends and whanau her love through feeding and hosting them. Cooking, hosting parties, and being an entertainer is what fills her cup – she’s a classic extrovert!

Sarah’s quick tip for beginners looking to set up a healthier financial future:   Do the mahi!

The above article is general information and does not purport to give financial advice. The Mercer KiwiSaver scheme and Mercer FlexiSaver are issued by Mercer (N.Z.) Limited. Product Disclosure Statements are available free of charge at seatatthetable.co.nz.