Author of Black Girl Finance, Selina Flavius, Sits With Us
Author of Black Girl Finance, Selina Flavius, Sits With Us
Published in January 2021, Black Girl Finance is a book by Selina Flavius dedicated to providing Black Women and girls with financial tips and encouragement to normalise money talks. The Black Girl Finance book also stems from the platform Black Girl Finance UK, also created by Selina Flavius which has been created to fill a gap in the personal development space within the UK for Black Women. The author of the Amazon #1 Bestseller book, Selina Flavius sat with me to talk more about this and her background.
Listen to the audio interview here, with the transcript below.
What type of jobs did you go for before releasing Black Girl Finance?
I always had an interest in money and finances. I speak a little in the book about how I considered doing an Economics A-level but ended up studying sciences. When I finished university, I ended up working with tech companies, basically. The last company I worked at was like a competitor to Zoom. So, I have a long Sales and Marketing career with Tech companies. But my interest in money and finance never went away. So, I recall in the book with a colleague of mine that I really wanted to help support women on their financial journey, so bBack girl finance was the birth of the idea that I had quite a long time ago.
Was money something talked about growing up as a young Selina Flavius?
I would say no, definitely not. When the book came out, my mum saw an extract of it in The Guardian Newspaper. She called me up and was in hysterics.
She said the two things you wouldn’t discuss with your children were your age and money. That was like a rule, basically.
Growing up, there was the expectation to be educated, get a good job, and save for a rainy day. But in terms of providing a strategy around how to do that or general money conversations at all, they just didn’t exist. I relay an encounter in the book about a time when I asked my mother how much she earned, and then got completely shut down.
This is one of the reasons I wanted to start Black Girl Finance. I wanted to create a safe space for Black Women to talk about money unapologetically. I think that’s quite important because as a woman, often there is an expectation that you are only meant to desire money as part of being the caretaker for the family. Wanting money in and of itself and wanting a large amount of it is often frowned upon.
Why did you specifically want this book to be for Black Women?
A book written by a Black UK Woman prior to this year did not exist. When I think of my journey of interpersonal finance books, a lot of them were by white male American Authors. Those were my first introductions to personal finance books and then slowly over the years, there were female authors. But for Black Women finance authors, they tended to be US-based books. There was a clear gap in the market for a UK finance book written by a Black Woman.
What would you say your relationship has been with money and how does that compare to now?
It’s been a journey! Like me, if you’ve grown up in an environment where money conversations are not the norm, you have to kind of figure it out yourself. Our money habits are formed at quite a young age. There’s research that shows that our financial habits form around the age of about 7 or 8. Typically when we get to 17/18 and start going to university, we tend to get larger chunks of money. So, you might be out-sitting your student loan or some other financial product and if you have not been given any clear strategy on how to manage it, it can be quite difficult. So, I’ve been on quite a journey. From never-ever talking about money to, and I speak about this quite a bit in the book, speaking about how I hit a bit of a financial rock bottom and I had to figure out a way of how to claw myself out of it; which I did. Then I wanted to share my hints and tips on how to do it.
Can you give us examples of what strategies Black Girl Finance includes?
The book covers what strategy you should use to save, how to pay off debt or how to ask for help if it gets to a point where it’s quite serious. People need to know the strategies around the best way to do it or whatever works for them. Also, it’s not just about saving and paying off debt. At this time where interest rates are very low, the cost of living is increasing, and we’re slowly coming out of COVID, how do we navigate these changing scenarios?
The book gives clear strategies around creating assets, investing because it’s important for us as a community to get into these areas that traditionally we may have felt locked out of, but we are not anymore.
What research did you discover that illustrated the financial disparities between Black Women and white women?
In the book, I talk about, not just the gender pay gap which does exist, but, the ethnicity pay gap too. I believe the ethnicity pay gap equated to 2.6 billion of money a year that people from Black/Asian minority backgrounds lose out on each year. Job roles, amongst Black female graduates, they were seen to have the highest pay gap in comparison to other women. I think it was 9% but it worked out about £3000 per year less. We need to be aware of these inequalities. It also has a long-term impact. When I was researching for the book, in terms of risk factors when it comes to pension poverty in the UK, being from a Black/Asian minority background has an impact. For every £1 from a white British household income, there is 20p from families from a Black Caribbean household, then it drops to 10p from families from Black African households.
What do you think of Quotas?
Understanding what the gaps are that exist in the first place is a good start. In the UK, businesses with over 250 employees have to report their gender pay gap. And there have been a lot of people pushing for the same to be done for ethnicity pay gaps. But for whatever reason it is low. So, I do think quotas are a good thing. In order to create change, you need to highlight what the issue is and be proactive.
What top financial tip would you leave Black Women with?
Definitely grow your knowledge around specific strategies on money and whatever area you are struggling with. Pick up the Black Girl Finance book! It’s available and covers various different strategies.
You heard it here first- pick up the Black Girl Finance Book! Selina Flavius shared some stellar gems in this interview. It’s just a hint of what you can expect from her book!
Written By: Maxine Harrison our Business Editor. She is also a freelance writer and founder of the Remi Reports blog – a blog helping freelance creatives build their business and lifestyle.
Header Image of Selina by Quercus