Aaminah is a financial coach and CEO of 30-Day Money School with 7+ income streams who paid off 30,000 pounds of credit card debt in 2.5 years. We spoke with her to learn more about her advice towards gaining financial independence.
Q: What is your current position/role and when did you first develop an interest in finance?
A: I am currently a financial coach and the CEO of 30-Day Money School. I started the company earlier this year, shortly after publishing my book which is targeted at college students and young adults with the mission to empower them with the financial knowledge that they most likely didn’t receive in school. My main driver is to make people realize that with the right financial knowledge under their belt, it is possible for anyone, regardless of background, education, race, etc. to achieve financial freedom.
I first developed an interest when I started working as a financial consultant at a Big Four corporate firm. I realized during my time there that there was a huge difference between finance and personal finance. My personal finances were out of control and I knew I had to take action to rectify that and that is where my journey began as I tried to give myself a financial education.
Q: What challenges have you faced with personal finance?
A: I was very unhappy at my job – it wasn’t a great fit. I didn’t have the knowledge to understand the best ways to manage my money, so I was overspending as a coping mechanism for my unhappiness. I managed to get myself in about 30,000 pounds of credit card debt. I was on a great salary and I had no huge financial responsibilities and I still managed to get myself into debt without fully understanding the consequences. The biggest financial challenge was paying off that debt and getting myself into a situation where I could quit my job. I managed to pay it off in about 2.5 years and I started three businesses to replace my income, allowing me to quit my job.
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Q: If you could give advice to your 18 year old self about managing your money, what would you tell yourself and why?
A: The first piece of advice I would give myself is to never put anything on a credit card that I can’t afford to pay for in cash. I would also be sure to really understand credit cards and how they work. They are tools, they can help us build credit, collect rewards, and save money – but only if they’re used sensibly.
Also, not to rely on your job for money. I really believe that multiple income streams is critical to ensuring that there is a balance between enjoying yourself today while working towards a financially secure tomorrow. That is the nicest way to achieve financial freedom, though there are other ways of course.
Next, to understand investing and the stock market. I believe knowledge is power and if I had the knowledge earlier I could have started investing earlier. It is very important to start investing as soon as you can.
Last, to surround myself with the right people.
I love the quote that “your network is your net worth.” I believe that if you want to build real long term wealth you have to surround yourself with people who are talking about the same things and have the same aspirations. When I joined communities online with people who wanted the same things as me and found a coach to help me I saw real changes in my life.
Q: What is your top tip for budgeting?
A: For me it is to choose a method that works for you. I believe that personal finance is very personal. I’ve found that a lot of my clients force themselves to use Excel when they hate Excel and it stops them from being consistent when consistency is the key to budgeting. It doesn’t matter what mechanism or tool you use to budget as long as you do it consistently.
My second tip is to make sure that you have some room for fun – deprivation is never the answer. There should always be some space for self care. If you don’t have room for that you are going to burn out and you won’t be consistent.
Q: What do you think is the most critical step to ensuring financial independence?
A: The most critical step is to invest early and often. The magic of compound interest is amazing. If you invest early and consistently, there is nothing stopping you from retiring as a millionaire. Investing is incredibly powerful but time in the market is the most valuable thing. What I mean by this is, the earlier you start and the more consistent you are when investing, the more likely you are to attain financial freedom.
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