Q&A: Talking Money
Ola Majekodunmi is 26 years old and the Founder of All Things Money – an online platform including podcasts, designed to provide young people with some of the financial tools needed to help navigate the adulting world. Since very little is covered by formal education, they offer personal finance tips and information on a wide variety of topics from budgets and credit to tax and mortgages.
In this Q&A, we asked Ola about running her business, and some of her top money tips for students and recent grads.
What has been your most unusual job?
“Not many people know this, but I used to be a lifeguard during school and university. It was a great little cash earner whilst studying!”
How did you feel when you first left uni?
“I honestly felt so overwhelmed at the thought of finishing university, especially as I graduated in the midst of the pandemic, and there was a lot of uncertainty as to what they future was going to look like! I was meant to move to Australia after graduating but sadly couldn’t due to covid, so I was pretty upset about that at the time!”
What would you now say to graduate you?
“I would honestly say that everything works out eventually. Despite not being able to visit Australia as planned, and having no other concrete plans, I can now confidently say that things always work out, despite what the future may look like for you!”
Did you have an idea of what you wanted to do when you graduated?
“I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do, and I have learnt that there was nothing wrong with that! As mentioned, I had plans to live in Australia, so if anyone told my 20 year old self that I would be self-employed, running a personal finance business at the age of 26, I would’ve told them that they were lying!”
What inspired you to start All Things Money?
“I started All Things Money back in 2020 after graduating from the University of Birmingham during the very first lockdown. I started the platform after quickly realising how little we are taught about managing our finances in school or university, yet we are just expected to understand topics such as credit cards, taxes, and mortgages! Since starting All Things Money, we have become an online community of 24,000+ people, as well as a podcast which has received over 75,000+ listens!”
What are your top money tips for students?
For students, some of my top money tips include:
- Create a budget: It’s important NOT to blow up your student loan in the first few weeks of the semester, so a budget is crucial to help you see how much you can afford to spend on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Take advantage of student discounts: If you aren’t already signed up to student discount sites such as UNiDAYs and Student Beans, then make sure you do, as they enable you to enjoy discounts from a number of different retailers. If your favourite retailer or restaurant isn’t listed, it’s still worth asking them directly anyway!
- Utilise cashback websites: Cashback websites are one of the easiest ways to save money as a student. This is because sites such as Quidco and Topcashback allow you to earn a percentage of your money back just for shopping as you normally would.
Is there anything specific that people should do once they graduate?
When you graduate, I think it’s so important to try and start building an emergency pot of savings if you can! This is because having some savings can be useful in the event of losing your job, unexpected travel costs, car expenses… the list goes on!
It is typically recommended that you should have around 3-6 months’ worth of expenses saved in an emergency fund. However, please do not worry if you don’t currently have that amount of money saved up. In an ideal world, you just want to have as much savings as possible, to help you out if the worst-case scenario was to happen.
If you struggle to save, then apps such as Moneybox and Chip are designed to help you save better. Both apps come with an autosaving feature, as well as a round up feature that enables you to put aside your spare change into a separate savings pot.
Are there any good resources or apps you would recommend for money matters?
Yes, there are lots of apps I would highly recommend, especially if you are looking to budget or save your money better. A few of them include:
Monzo and Moneyhub: Both of these apps are great if you need assistance with creating a budget. Moneyhub allows you to view all of your accounts in one place such as your current account, savings accounts, and even your investments. The app can also help you set budgets if you struggle to budget effectively.
Moneybox and Chip: Both of these are great apps designed to help you save better. They allow you to create multiple saving pots and can also help round up your spending to the nearest pound. They will then put the extra spare change into a savings pot for you, enabling you to save those extra pennies.
Shopmium: A great app that gives exclusive discounts and offers to help you save money on your supermarket shop.
TopCashback: A free website that enables you to earn cashback for free from a number of different retailers.
Cheddar: A free app that also enables you to earn cashback for free when shopping day to day.
Honey: A great Google Chrome browser extension that helps find discounts for you, and automatically applies the discount code for you at checkout.
Running a business
Where did you learn the skills to run a business?
I studied Business Management at university, so I would say I learnt a large amount of how to run a business at university, and the important considerations you need to make before starting your own business. That being said, learning the theory at university, and actually running a business in real life, are two very different things! It can be very stressful at times!
How do you stay motivated when things get tough?
Running a business can be really tough sometimes, but to keep me motivated and resilient, I have a few of my best friends as accountability partners who help keep me accountable and on track, even on days where I just want to give up! If you are looking to run your own business, then it’s so important to surround yourself with like-minded people who will help keep you motivated when the going gets tough, as they usually are the best people to go to for words of encouragement.
How do you switch off when working for yourself?
As a business owner, it’s so important to switch off as regularly as you can, as we all need a break from working! To switch off, I usually go to the gym, or visit the spa as doing so enables me to be away from my phone, which is very much needed especially as most of my work involves being on social media.
What does it take to be an entrepreneur? Do you have any tips for people starting out?
I don’t think you need any specific knowledge, or skills to become an entrepreneur. I think one of my biggest pieces of advice for those looking to start their own business is to take that leap! If you have an idea, no matter how crazy, daunting or intimidating it is, go for it. I honestly remember how scared I was to post my very first Instagram post on All Things Money, but I am so so glad that I did! I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t taken that first step!
How would you define success, and have your views changed?
If I am honest, I am still trying to work out what success means to me. 16-year-old Ola would’ve viewed success as a high monetary value, but I have now learned that is no longer the case. I think success is all about being able to achieve your own personal goals, whatever they may be!
More from Ola
Have a listen to some All Things Money podcasts:
Find out more: