This finance guru shares her top money tips
Emma Edwards, the brains behind The Broke Generation shares some of her top money tips with us as well as the important document you probably haven't organised
1. You're known as a finance guru...can you tell us a bit about your career to date?
In 2016 I started really digging into my finances and my relationship with money.
I was in credit card debt, not making much money but spending or misallocating the money I did have, and just really struggled to keep money in my account. I was all over the place and I'd tried and tried to fix it but nothing was working. Instead of trying one-size-fits-all budgeting strategies, I dug into my own personal spending habits and cut everything back to get really clear on where my money was going, and gradually I started to feel more confident with money, set a plan to pay off my debt and start building an emergency savings at the same time.
I was working in social media so I started making content about my money journey online, with the aim of filling in the knowledge gaps I'd experienced with the learnings I was absorbing.
Now The Broke Generation is my full time project, where I focus on creating enjoyable, consumable finance content with a lifestyle flare. My vision going in was for finance to become something women consume in the same way we do fashion, beauty and lifestyle content, and it's so great to see that coming to life. I'm also now about to start studying in the field of financial psychology to continue to add value to my audience in helping them feel good about money.
2. What are some of your best tips for saving for our future?
Firstly, start somewhere. I know how it feels to feel behind other people or like you've missed the boat. You absolutely haven't.
Work out what your surplus income is (that's the gap between your income and expenses) and then work on striking a balance between saving and investing for the future and still enjoying your everyday life in a way your financial capacity allows.
That might involve some deep work on yourself to understand where your money is going and why – money is incredibly closely tied to our mental health. The key to saving for the future is making it sustainable, so you've got to leave enough to live your life, otherwise it can become really demoralising and compound to form a really negative relationship with money. 3. Something we often don't think about is our wills. When should we get a will?
Wills are often overlooked by young people because they're less conscious of their own mortality. It's something that's easy to dismiss, for two reasons – your risk of dying young is much lower than when you're older, and secondly, people think they don't have any assets to leave.
Regardless of whether you've got $500 in a savings account or $5million in assets, a will is valuable for everyone because it makes the management of your estate much simpler if you die.
4. How easy is it to update or change a will?
So much easier than you think! You can create a will online in under 30 minutes – and for less than the cost of brunch if you do it during Do Your Will Month with State Trustees! – and you can re-do your will anytime.
Destroying or cancelling your old will and creating a new one is all you need to do to update it.
Another thing many don't realise is that marriage generally voids an existing will, so it's worth doing a new one if you're recently married. 5. When it comes to saving money, can you give us one piece of STELLAR advice?
Get clear on where your money is going – it tells you so much.
Reviewing your spending helps you spot patterns like self sabotage, habit spending, emotional spending, money leaks... it's less sexy than the thought of investing your money and making a profit, but this foundational groundwork of knowing where your money is really going is what's going to help you free up the surplus you need to play bigger when you're ready.