the penny mix

The Penny Mix Talks Pensions

For our next personal finance interview, we’ve spoken to Katie – creator of The Penny Mix Instagram account, as well as co-host of The Risky Mix podcast.

Hi Katie, please can you introduce yourself? 

Hey! I’m Katie – a self-professed finance nerd with a particular passion for insurance!

I’ve worked in life and health insurance for the last 10 years and currently run my own consultancy business supporting big insurers with product development and marketing.

I also co-host The Risky Mix podcast which aims to make the financial services industry a more diverse and inclusive place.

And of course, I run The Penny Mix too! (I like to keep myself busy 🙂 )

Could you give us some insight into why you started The Penny Mix?

Over the last 10 years that I’ve worked in finance, I’ve come to realise that our industry is just not as accessible as it should be. Personal finance is confusing, full of jargon, and I don’t think it’s particularly fun or engaging either.

I’m on a mission to change that! I set up The Penny Mix to provide simple money tips to help young people take charge of their finances. But The Penny Mix is about more than financial education. We also focus on career and mindset, two things that I think have a huge impact on our money and financial wellbeing.

You’ve spoken a lot about pensions on your Instagram account recently. Is paying into your pension something that you prioritise? 

If you’d asked me this question five years ago I’d probably have said no. Back then I had a nice workplace pension that I never really thought much about and assumed would grow to be more than sufficient for retirement (oh how wrong I was!).

Now that I’m self-employed I’ve really had to start paying more attention to my retirement savings because I no longer get those nice employer contributions and now I have to set these things up myself.

I’m definitely far more proactive with my pension today than I’ve ever been – got to make sure that dream retirement spent on some hot deserted beach becomes a reality right?! 

Can you give us your favourite personal finance tip? 

You probably saw this coming, but I’m going to have to say get on top of your pension!

Pensions are one of the more complicated areas of personal finance, and dare I say, probably one of the most boring too (at least that’s the perception!)

We don’t talk a lot about pensions, but I think we should because chances are you’ll be spending a good few years in retirement, and for many of us, relying solely on government support won’t cut it.

There are loads of things you can do to get your retirement pot in tip-top shape, for example, max out those employer contributions, claim full tax relief and consider some different investment approaches. 

You’re a fairly new Emma user – which feature have you used the most so far? 

I am very new to Emma and have only been using the app for a few weeks (and am still learning the ropes), but overall I’m pretty impressed with how easy the app is to use.

Everything looks good and the design is intuitive. My favourite feature by far has been the ability to pull all of my accounts into one place – including my pension savings. Everything suddenly becomes much easier to process when it’s all there.

Oh, and I also love the subscription functionality which helped me to spot a few sneaky recurring payments that I’d missed. My only disappointment is that I can’t yet link my Vanguard investments – fingers crossed the API will become available one day!

If someone gave you £1,000, would you save it, spend it, or invest it? 

Five years ago, the answer would have been to spend it. Today, there’s only one option for me – invest!

And lastly, if you had to describe your finances using one emoji – what would it be and why? 

What an awesome question! Not very original, but I’d have to say the popular sassy girl emoji describes my finances perfectly.

She’s cool, calm, and collected and is 100% confident that her pension savings are going to deliver the dream retirement (I’m sure that’s exactly what sassy girl is actually thinking)

We hope you enjoyed reading this interview with Katie from The Penny Mix. Find Katie on Instagram, Youtube, or listen to The Risky Mix podcast here.

Emma is a money management app that connects all your bank accounts to track your monthly spending and subscriptions. Emma will help you visualise and take control of your finances. Make sure you aren’t overspending and show you practical steps to start budgeting effectively. 

Rebekah May

I'm Bekki and I'm the Junior Marketing Manager at Emma. I'm a foodie-loving Londoner who likes nothing more than helping people with their finances!