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Iona Bain

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Iona Bain is Scottish-born musician turned financial journalist who has become the UK’s go-to voice on millennial money. She founded the Young Money Blog in 2011 and has since beco...

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What is your background?

My background is in music, so I'm a classically trained musician, and I thought that I was going to be a musician or work in music for the first 22 years of my life.

Are you a financial expert?

I don't consider myself a financial expert, which might sound surprising, but the reason why I don't see myself that way is that I'm still learning about money all the time. I don't come from a financial background. I come from a musical creative background. So I've had to get on the learning curve fast when it comes to money, and I'm still discovering new things all the time. I'm still making mistakes, but I guess the reason why I do what I do is because I want to encourage other people to learn about these things the easy way rather than the hard way. And to see their relationship with money as a lifelong process is something that never ends. You don't get to a perfect destination where you are absolutely on top of all your finances. You just get to a place where you have a better, healthier relationship with money, and it's something that you take seriously and it's something that you prioritise in your life.

Why do I just keep spending?

A lot of people spend money in a reactive way, or they spend in order to make their lives easier, or they spend to keep up with other people or they spend because it's payday or they spend because they don't want to miss out. There are so many reasons why we spend money, and a few years back, I actually decided that it would be really helpful to try and figure out all the different reasons why we spend money and come up with a few different spending personalities. So you've got the payday spender, the FOMO spender, the bargain spender, the hurried spender, and what I realised is actually we are all these spending archetypes and we will have different reasons for overspending depending on what's going on in our life, what's stressing us out, and therefore, that's why I think it's really important to have hyper-awareness of your spending. Obviously, you don't want to get to a point where you're feeling guilty and beating yourself up about your spending, because obviously spending is a fact of life. We can't get away from that. But if you're the kind of person maybe who has been on autopilot with your spending, then it's really helpful to then switch into a much more aware state of mind when it comes to your spending.

Was there a moment that made you realise you needed to be better with money?

How did you become interested in being a financial expert?