Welcome back to My Life in Money, a series from Good Housekeeping where we ask our favourite financial gurus for their thoughts on everything from how they invest to their biggest money mistakes.
This time, we’re speaking to Maike Currie, editor-in-chief of the Investment Times and head of content and marketing for the UK’s biggest savings and investment platform, Hargreaves Lansdown. You may have seen her — or heard her — talking about money on the TV or radio, from Sky News to BBC 5, and her book, The Search for Income, sets out to demystify investing for ‘even the most die-hard investophobes’.
What did you learn from your parents about money?
My mum taught me the importance of always having a ‘fallback fund’ and making your money work for you. Having a mum, and a grandmother, who invested in the stock market in their private lives had a huge impact on me. It made me realise that investing is for everyone, no matter your age, gender or level of wealth.
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Are you a saver or a spender?
A good balance of both.
Have you ever struggled to make ends meet?
Oh yes – as a student, when I was starting out in my career as a journalist, and as an expat moving from South Africa to the UK.
What is the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought (besides property)?
Citizenship. I worked for it, but I did need to shell out a fair bit on visas, passports and the like.
What is your favourite money app and why?
I like the challenger banking apps – the instant rundown of your spending patterns and the ability to set savings goals. And for money content and tips, HL’s financiallyfearless account on Insta:
What do you splurge on and what do you save on?
I splurge on: Ubers, diamonds, and travel — not necessarily in that order. I save on food and clothes, as I’m not bothered with brands and I love a bargain.
What’s the best money decision you’ve ever made?
Investing in a stocks and shares ISA in my mid-twenties. I was a journalist and interviewing a lot of fund managers at the time. I realised the best way to get into the subject matter was to buy the funds of the managers who spoke the most sense. It also worked as an investment tactic.
What was your biggest money mistake?
Not getting engaged with my first workplace pension, understanding how much I could put in and where the money was invested.
Do you invest your money?
Yes. In the stock market (via a stocks & shares ISA and a Lifetime ISA), in my pension and in my home – extensions and renovations bring me joy.
What’s your money mantra?
Money is a feminist issue.
What’s your number one piece of financial advice?
Once you’ve got a ‘fallback fund’ in place for those inevitable rainy days — from redundancy to broken down relationships, boilers, cars and the like — start thinking about investing. Even with interest rates rising, leaving all your savings in cash will mean inflation chipping away at the real value of your money.