Finance meets fashion with our latest #MoneyMoment interview. Meet sqHERmile - the modern day (more fashionable) Warren Buffet. The wealth of knowledge behind the posts on the Instagram account, sqHERmile is one we reason why it’s one of our favourite accounts to follow. Another reason we love sqHERMile is because of the Sunday Summary videos where she shares a round up of what has happened in the financial markets over the last week but in super simple terms! If you don’t follow already, we highly recommend you do!
What is the mission of sqHERmile?
It’s a page I wish I had when I started working in the city. When I first started working I wore the same drab Marks and Spencer's suit every day as I just had no idea what to wear. I also was absolutely terrible with my own personal finances. I genuinely thought investing was for boys as I had never met a female who invested. I just put my spare cash into a savings account that paid me 0.5% and hoped for the best.
I want to help girls find the perfect workwear wardrobe — stylish, affordable and appropriate. I also want to help them start managing their money more successfully and close that £15bn gender investment gap.
If you were to tell us about one financial high and one financial low of your financial journey so far, what would they be?
High – Negotiating my first pay rise and finally realising my worth.
Low – Being stuck financially. I was 18. I had saved up all my Saturday job money for a car, insurance and driving lessons. I spent every penny on passing my test only to drive into someone’s car and be landed with a huge bill. I had absolutely no money to pay for this so I had to beg/borrow from my parents to pay the insurance premium. I spent the whole summer holiday working to pay it off. It made me understand the point of an emergency fund… and the value of money when working for £4.50 an hour!
What is your first money memory?
My dad paying me 1p a minute for musical instrument practise and homework. I would time myself and then tot up my total at the end of the week. I was very sensible as a child, I would put it straight into my savings account. My little sister was the opposite, she would go straight to the sweetshop, buy chocolate and share it with me. Now I am older I try to be a mix of the both of us, sensible yet also generous.
What is the one thing you would tell your younger self about money?
Manage your money and start investing early.
I’ve grown up in a low interest rate environment… I was 17 when the Financial crisis hit so interest rates have always been close to 0. I honestly didn’t start investing until I turned 26. Why does no one teach you about it?! I was getting maximum 1% on my money. Even if I had put it in a basic tracker fund, I would be in a much more comfortable position than I am now.
Also… you will never be able to afford a London house with no help in your early 20s… stop crippling yourself to save for one and go out and enjoy life ;)
Tell us your favourite investing tip.
Only buy good companies that you understand… and when prices dip, buy some more of these companies. I sat with famous fund manager and he spoke about how he was completely unfazed by COVID 19 and any crisis that worries the general public. The companies he invests in are good quality companies with strong balance sheets that he understands inside out. He uses prices falling to buy into the dip. So I now have that as my motto: Only buy good companies that you understand… and when prices dip, buy some more of those companies.
If you could do a Ted Talk on one money topic, what would it be and why?
The gender investment gap. It’s valued at £15bn. I’d talk on why this is, why we need to close this and how I plan on doing this.
Could you give us a day in the life of your typical spending?
There are two spending me’s. One during the week where I like to spend as little as possible – I hate the idea of paying to go to work. At the weekend, I spend what I feel. I’m still fairly sensible but if I want to go shopping after a bottomless brunch…. I probably will. With disastrous consequences.
Life is about balance!
I will run you through a working day as I don’t want to come across as an alcoholic/spendaholic.
Tube: 6:25 am: £1.60. This means its off peak and also my young persons rail card kicks in. Means my daily tube spend is £3.20 rather than £5.80. This is £13 in savings a week. That really adds up over the year…
Post morning workout: I sometimes treat myself to a Pret Soy Latte. Bring your own cup means its £2.05 — saving you 50p. Alternatively, I’ll make my own at work.
Lunch: I bring my own. My boyfriend and I make double portions for dinner and bring it in to reheat for lunch.
Drinks or dinner with the girls: One day a week after work I tend to meet up with various friends. I always search out a deal or a bar doing happy hour. You would be surprised how many have deals on — especially earlier on in the week.