10 Sep 2020 • 5mins • Fonk

Finspiration: The Yolt team chats with fintech enthusiast, Viktoria

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Finspiration: n. That buzz of inspiration you get when someone smashes their money goals. Our Finspiration interview series explores that very feeling, tapping into real money stories from the Yolt community and beyond.

For this edition of Finpiration we’re chatting with recent graduate and lover of all things fintech, Viktoria!

Thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Viktoria: I’m a recent graduate from the University of Edinburgh with a major in International Business. As part of an exchange program I spent one year in Berlin which enhanced my interest in Fintech and data science. After finishing university, I started working in IT management in the financial services industry so I can pursue my ultimate goal: applying data science to areas in the financial industry. My favorite work-related quote is ‘Data is the new water!’

Have you got a money goal – a finspiration, so to speak?

Viktoria: My main money goal is to save up for a deposit for a house. I haven’t decided where I want to buy my first home, but it’s never too early to start saving, right? Aside from the deposit I also put some money aside to travel.

Have you got a plan for reaching that goal – or any tips for other people saving for something similar? Aside from Yolt, are there any other tools or fintechs you’re using/ would recommend?

Viktoria: I’m very strict about my budget. I set myself a mental daily budget and if I know I’ll spend more over the weekend then I would try to reduce my spend during the week. I also use a number of marketplaces to get the best deals for utilities, accounts and insurance – these are great if people want to save a few hundred pounds fairly easy.

How has your relationship with money changed over the years? What was it like transitioning from student to being in the working world?

Viktoria: It took a 180 turn. As a student, I didn’t really have a budget. I was just trying to spend as little as possible to make my money go longer and it didn’t require much planning. Since I started my first full-time job, I can afford a lot more things but it also means that the temptation is bigger to treat myself. Budgeting with Yolt has been an essential part of my personal finance habits. My manager told me about Yolt shortly after I started my first job, and I’ve been using it almost daily ever since.

You mentioned you’re a big fintech fan – could you tell us a bit more about that?

Viktoria: Well, I think people naturally prefer simple and easy processes where possible, because it enables them to spend more time on things they enjoy. This philosophy drives a lot of the start-ups and the biggest changes are occurring in industries that are very complex. As technology advances it’s becoming more accessible to disrupt big industries and make the customer experience smoother and quicker. The financial services industry is a good example because traditionally it’s been driven by big, old companies which now are being challenged by new, dynamic teams who want to provide slick services to customers. I’m very interested to see where Fintech will be in 5-10 years’ time. Whether it’ll be dominated by the tech giants like Google or Tencent or a lot of small apps – I’m intrigued!

What’s your favourite Yolt feature?

Viktoria: I pretty much like all the features, but if I had to pick one, it’d be the notification that shows that I’m getting close to my credit limit as it has saved me a fortune! Also, I really like the Total Balance feature because it allows me to see how close I am to my money goal.

When it comes to money, our mission is to take away the hard work so you can focus on enjoying life. What does enjoying life mean for you?

Viktoria: I’m the happiest when I’m learning new things. Be it travelling, attending courses, or having engaging conversations with friends, the point is to feel that I’ve learned something at the end of the day.

And one last question just for fun - If you won the lottery, what would you do?

Viktoria: Oh… I’d buy an ex-industrial house block and do a makeover. I’d make the ground floor into a bar and communal areas, the first floor into a cool office space and the other floors into studio apartments. The ideal location would be central Berlin, London, Singapore, Palo Alto… or any other start-up hubs. Then I’d find a very cool bunch of super clever people who would move into the house and we’d start building the next big thing.

This interview has been edited for concision and clarity.