Natalie Scott is a finance coach and mentor, based in our borough. Emilia Bayer meets her to discuss her top tips for financial wellbeing during a period that is difficult for many people.
Hi Natalie! Welcome to our Circles. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Natalie Scott, a 30-year-old South Londoner, born to Caribbean parents.
I’ve worked in the fashion industry for almost a decade now and am currently based in Hammersmith & Fulham.
You work in a creative field, what sparked your interest in finance?
I’ve always had an interest in finance from a young age, from seeing my dad work for himself and my family members running their own businesses. Property was probably one of the first things that was introduced to me as a wealth builder and I knew I wanted a piece of that pie.
When was the first time you felt in control of your finances?
Five years ago, I decided to really take my finances seriously. I opened a private pension (so that I could receive a thorough understanding on investing), I started paying myself first each month and set my eyes on my first investment property.
Going through the process of buying a property really puts you in control of your finances and humbles you. I learnt so much from the process (7-months K, don’t ask) and understood finance from a totally new perspective. Having a taste of this experience brought me so much excitement, that I became an Angel Investor. Now, I invest my money with other property investors; instead of leaving my savings in the bank.
At the beginning of this year I sought out a financial planner, to help look over my growing portfolios (Yes, I now have two private pensions, my workplace one and property). Having just turned thirty, I knew I had to take more investment risks and get my money, long-term, working harder for me. This was the best investment I made for myself, to stretch and grow in my financial knowledge.
In your opinion, what are the most common modern day myths around financial wellbeing?
One of the most common modern-day myths surrounding financial well-being is that more money equals greater financial wellness. In reality, more money doesn’t always improve happiness. The more people earn, the more they tend to spend; as most adjust their lifestyles and don’t strike the balance between living in the moment and planning for the future. This is what a lack of financial knowledge and education looks like, thus leads many people unable to manage their money properly. We only have to turn to the lottery winners to see how quickly they squander their fortunes. This is why I’m a firm believer of living below your means.
As soon as the pandemic spread and lockdown began, a lot of people struggled and had to seek financial aid. This sadly, is a result of many people living paycheck to paycheck and not saving a single penny for an unexpected day.
Can you share your top 5 tips on financial well-being during uncertain times?
During uncertain times it’s always a good to look over your finances. Here’s my five tips of financial well-being you could be doing now.
Work towards building your emergency fund. What could you be putting away each pay day? Automate this payment and place it in a savings account;
See where you can cutback (subscriptions, memberships, gas/electricity);
Educate yourself on how to invest, compounding should be your best friend;
Get a budget planner: Look over your I&E [income & expenditure] with a fine-toothed comb and see where you can make some changes and hopefully some savings;
Follow me on IG @nataliescottempowers where you’ll find a wealth of resources to empower your money journey.
Do you have a favourite book/blog/website/podcast you could recommend for someone who would like to learn more after this interview?
My absolute two favourite books that I always recommend are Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway (Susan Jeffers) and The Compound Effect (Darren Hardy). Jeffers pushes you out of your comfort zone and reminds you that fear is unreal and something you’ve built up in your own thoughts which is yet to even transpire, if it does. This book helped me change jobs, leave unhealthy relationships and start a business. The Compound Effect made me realise how important investing is (made me start actually) and how much money you can easily make over a long period of time.
Other faves include:
You Are a Badass at Making Money, Jen Sincero
The Richest Man in Babylon, George S. Clason
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker
The Meaningful Money Podcast with Pete Matthew
How can we follow you?
Make sure you join my weekly money newsletter to stay up-to-date with everything personal finance by visiting my website. You can also follow me on social media:
Check out Natalie's latest video on emergency funds.