So many people do not have a good relationship with money

Financial wellness coach Bola Sol on changing our money mindset.

When Sky News needs a down-to-earth, tell-it-how-it-is opinion on financial matters, there’s usually one person they call - financial wellness coach, Bola Sol.

Most recently, she’s appeared on the programme giving her take on the cost of living crisis and what people can do to cope with rising costs and inflation.

Her opinions on financial wellbeing are highly respected and sought-after. You’ll often see her interviewed or quoted in magazines and online publications like Forbes, Glamour, Gal-Dem, Huffington Post, Stylist Magazine and Refinery 29 to name a few.

So many people do not have a good relationship with money. I’m here to change that.

Her book ‘How To Save It’ was published last year by Stormzy’s publishing company #MerkyBooks and she recently fronted its series of live-streamed events to teach school children about money.

Very cool.

Raised in Brixton, South London, the Mathematics and Finance graduate, content creator and author is on a mission to empower people ‘to take the fear out of finance and harness a healthy money mindset’ one conversation at a time.

“So many people do not have a good relationship with money. I’m here to change that. I started financial coaching to help people in my community get on the right foot when it comes to understanding money and their money mindset. Once we change those things, we can build on them but first, you train people up and that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

Bola’s the first to admit that she herself hasn’t always had a good relationship with money and talks openly about how it affected her.

“People forget how much money can affect our mental health. When I felt like I didn’t have a lot of money, I saw what it did to my mental health and how it played into my emotions. When we don’t feel a sense of security in our lives, the notion of finance can affect us emotionally quite adversely.”

People forget how much money can affect our mental health

I don't want financial institutions helping communities if they are not helping the people who work for them.

As a finance coach, Bola’s led panel discussions about money for the Financial Times and The Guardian and delivered finance workshops to major brands including Amazon and Snapchat - something she thinks financial services companies would benefit from.

“I'm really big on financial institutions starting within. I don't want financial institutions helping communities if they are not helping the people who work for them. There has to be an order to these things. Financial institutions need to get more financial coaches on board to teach their employees the ways they can be better with their money. I’ve never known a coach go into a session and have someone from the audience say that was not needed.”

One of her passions, in particular, is bringing women together to discuss money matters which led her to create Rich Girl Chronicles, a financial accountability group for women. So what’s her take on equality in the industry?

“It is very hard for a woman to work in financial services and to be seen as an individual as opposed to a woman. You never get to just be in financial services. It's typically always been a bit of a boys club and that really has to change. That change can only come from men because a lot of them are in charge. And are they willing to give up their seat for women? A lot of them aren’t so the problem continues. Many financial companies say they’re for diversity but you look around the board and there are about 20 people who look very similar in the room. So where exactly is this diversity?

And that’s not the only change she’d like to see happen.

“Financial services need to stop working in what I call a waterfall environment. They need to work in a more agile way. Technology is moving so fast and we've got people who are CEOs who've been in the game as long as Logan Roy from Succession. That's great but it’s digital time now. It's tech time. Get on the boat or get left behind. Every financial services company needs to work on digital transformation and move forward, move with the times.”

We've got CEOs who've been in the game as long as Logan Roy from Succession

What I love about financial services

I love talking to my friends and family about money, and I also love that money can be such a great help to others, especially those who are in need. You want to remember that while some of us may be living large, others don't have that opportunity. So often as we walk forward, we should look back to help others, too.

Bola Sol - Financial coach