Introducing Ellie Austin-Williams, Founder of This Girl Talks Money, your financial wing woman, money educator, content creator & coffee lover.
Bored of the same old financial tips written by middle aged white men in suits, Ellie started This Girl Talks Money to open the conversation up around earning, spending, saving and managing money. With an online community of over 25,000 people, Ellie provides knowledge, insights & a safe space to help people gain confidence and ownership of their finances. Alongside building the community of financially empowered women, Ellie has worked with brands from Glamour to American Express, as well as providing financial expertise for Refinery29, Stylist, BBC News & more. Ellie is also the co-host of one of our favourite podcasts, Money Unfiltered.
It’s no secret that talking about money can be awkward. In Ellie's own words, 'conversations about the one thing that impacts us all but no one wants to talk about are notoriously difficult'. That's why her engaging and relatable approach to this subject matter is so refreshing. Find out how what she loves about her work, how This Girl Talks Money started and how it's going!
Thank you so much for chatting to us today, Ellie! Please tell us what you do and what you love about it?
I'm a financial writer, speaker & content creator which basically means that I write and talk about money, wealth, work and financial wellbeing all day every day. It's the epitome of a multi hyphenate career which suits my personality, as well as allowing me to have more than one income stream within my work. I love that it's a role created from a project I started without any real long term plan, so it's been built and shaped as I go along. Having no expectation or plan had its challenges along the way, but starting a project without it being a full time business in mind takes off the pressure in many ways. I love the community I have built online - I'm so lucky that my audience is supportive and fun.
It's so brave to start a project without the pressure immediately of it becoming a full time business. So delighted for how it's working out for you. How did you get into the position you're in?
I started becoming interested in personal finance early in my career, when I realised I had no idea how to manage money. I couldn't find any content online that spoke to me, so in 2019 I had the idea to start a blog and instagram channel talking about basic money topics.
I started to be approached to write blogs for other finance brands, then from there I started to work with more companies. I also trained as a financial coach, but realised 1 to 1 wasn't for me and instead, used the skills and learnings to build a financial wellbeing practice. Today, that forms a huge part of my work and I love speaking to a whole range of companies and their employees about how to improve financial wellbeing.
What are the challenges you face in your line of work?
Working for myself, one of the biggest challenges is self confidence and dealing with uncertainty. As any self-employed person will know, the lack of stability that often comes with the nature of being your own boss isn't for the faint hearted. It's not only financial uncertainty but it makes it tricky to plan your time, manage your energy and capacity and often feel under control. It's something I struggle with a lot and am slowly getting to grips with.
Comparison is always a challenge too in business, but I am a big believer in focusing on your own lane!
What advice would you give to someone looking to get into this industry?
Experiment and try things out. There's no right or wrong - figure out what your skills are and how to play to your strengths, and find support in the other areas where you aren't as competent. I have a VA who helps me manage all of my content and stay on top of it which has been a godsend. Speak to people too - networking is essential in business.
How do you prevent yourself from burning out, especially in a line of work synonymous with wellbeing?
I wish I had the answer! In all honesty, it's something I'm still working on and learning to set boundaries for my own wellbeing is hard, but I am getting there at knowing where my capacity lies and scheduling my week around how I tend to feel. I had a particularly rough period before Christmas where life and work overload collided and I have no desire to return to that, so this year I am determined to say no to more, especially where it isn't benefiting me.
Thank you so much for your honesty and wisdom, Ellie. We love that you've pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone and are in awe of how you turned a genuine interest into a career path, without loading the pressure onto yourself from the start about making it work. The best businesses arise from genuine problems and when you noticed that you were unable to find finance related content that appealed to you, you spotted something that needed fixing. We're delighted to see your brand, This Girl Talks Money, go from strength to strength, empowering people by demystify finance as you go.
This guide forms part of the Stripped Back series which have been designed to provide open, honest and encouraging information. They're a chance for you to understand the real ups and downs those being featured have experienced in their journeys to date. The aim is to demystify entry points to certain industries, as well as outline tangible advice for those looking to get into a new area of work. We hope you enjoyed this guide by This Girl Talks Money.