Who are ya?
“My name is Kia, I am 23 years old, I am a personal finance guru, public speaker, and presenter.” She spoke as we connected via zoom, at such a young age, she’s confident and assertive in describing her journey and career titles. While Kia cannot single-handedly amend all of our financial woes, she is this generation’s go-to digital finance guru. Providing the basic tools for financial literacy.
Pennies To Pounds has seen well-deserved recognition, including features in The Guardian, HuffPost, Barclays to name a few. It is also worth a mention that she built her platform and following, all while graduating in the summer of 2020, which admirable to say the least. The work does not come without graft, “I’ve had some sort of side hustle since I was like 9, no joke. But this has now become my main, so I’ve had a lot of things to do.“
The P2P tagline is to “simplify financial jargon, rectify your own personal problems. All while trying to entertain you,” which began with around 4000 followers in March 2020. Fast forward to today and it’s a platform which has accumulated over 30k followers on Twitter and Instagram. And it isn’t surprising that Kia has been able to achieve this.
“I’m such a big goal setter. I have a vision board, that’s actually a good way to see what you want to achieve. Having it on the wall helps me keep motivated, like sometimes at 5 am I have to be on the radio and can’t get up. But then I look on the vision board and remind myself why I am getting up at that time.”
How did you get here?
Kia doesn’t take sole responsibility for her success. “My parents were really instrumental in teaching me personal finance. I was like 9/10 and they took me to the bank to open my first savings account!” As she began to figure it out independently, her friends started seeking advice, inspiring Kia to expand her knowledge to a larger audience.
Something that I admire about Kia, is her ability to plan and set attainable goals. She shared that even her impeccable content planning doesn’t always work in her favour. When launching the platform in 2018, she began with a Youtube channel, which didn’t go to plan “I think, in 2018 I could’ve given up. For me, it was the growth, trying it and figuring out that it maybe wasn’t the right medium or I could have gone about it differently.”
And she was right, in 2019, a thread explaining the importance of Help To Buy ISA went viral. It was how I, and thousands of others, began turning to Kia for financial advice.
Her ability to keep going and persevere with authenticity is showcased throughout her journey, sharing that her lowest moment was when she was offered an opportunity that had her calling her dad with excitement. “It was like a 5-10-minute delay between me getting back to them and them sending it. 20 minutes later they replied saying ‘sorry we offered it to someone else’.” While it was disheartening it reminded Kia that “if I was meant to have it, I would be doing it”. So, she persevered, and has accomplished so much, including being awarded podcast of the year 2020, at the Brown Sugar Awards.
Even though she is determined in what she does, Kia isn’t free of our old friend Self Doubt! “You know what I feel like I don’t talk about it enough. Not only am I trying to figure it out for myself, like every entrepreneur, I’m also doing that in the public eye because I’m on platforms all the time. Then I have other accounts that now look up to my account. So, I do think that all the time, I say to my friends that I have no idea what I’m doing sometimes”
What sets you apart?
“I like to think, I’m good at simplifying financial jargon. I do try my best obviously I am young so I can understand better how young people consume things. They don’t really have time to sit there and listen to a 30-minute podcast about finance, so I’ll cut it down to short episodes, and even Youtube videos. By talking about things differently.”
Kia uses her platform to teach young people the importance of money, something a lot of us are usually shocked with in later life. “When it comes to success, there are different factors to it but one of them is learning how to manage your money. For example, people who have won the lottery have blown it in two years and now they’re back to being broke. No matter where you are, money management is key early on. And early on doesn’t mean at 16, it could be at 30, anytime is a good time. There are so many resources online, my platform is there for that. You have to be proactive and find the resources to manage your money.”
Next 5 years… Where are ya?
“I see pennies to pounds being a really really huge platform, something like the money-saving expert by Martin Lewis, but for young people. I see myself on TV, whether it is my show or working on something else. And yeah just it being on a much bigger scale, an across the country thing.
But I want to get into another side hustle again. I need to do something else, I am learning to code, but I will defo find another side hustle before summer so watch out.”