According to a recent MoneyBrilliant on-boarding profile questionnaire completed between May and August 2015, 67% of Australian women and men feel worried or disheartened about money.
It’s an experience MoneyBrilliant’s founding partner Peter Lord knows first-hand. When his mum and dad divorced 20 years ago, Peter’s mum was financially worse-off and didn’t feel confident in managing her finances. The issues Peter’s mum faced are the driving forces behind him starting the online money management tool MoneyBrilliant.
We talked to Peter and CEO Jemma Enright to find out more about how MoneyBrilliant is working with AMP to help Australian women and men better manage their finances―and what you can do to be better off.
Why did you start MoneyBrilliant Peter―how did it all begin?
“I originally developed a version of MoneyBrilliant for my mum. When Mum and Dad divorced, Mum missed the opportunity to see a financial adviser and just didn’t have financial confidence.
“When she retired she wasn’t moving towards a comfortable lifestyle—Dad was worrying about where to go on his next holiday and mum was worrying about $8 bank fees.
“I developed MoneyBrilliant to help Mum with everyday money management. I could see she needed to get the basics under control, spend within her limits and move to a better financial position from there. She gradually moved from a weak financial position to a stronger one and she also gained financial confidence.
“When I saw how it helped my mum I wanted to help other people who experience financial insecurity.”
And how did you turn such a personal experience into a business reality?
“It can be genuinely hard to go from an idea, a passion and a sense of purpose to making something happen in reality. It has been important for us to persevere through learning and challenges.
“We have spent a lot of time talking to customers―and continue to. That’s been really important in helping us build a truly customer-centric business from the ground up.
“About a year after the launch of MoneyBrilliant, I brought in our CEO Jemma Enright and she really brought my ideas to life. Then in October 2014, AMP came on board as a strategic partner. It’s a good fit because AMP is helping people own tomorrow and we are also helping people better manage their money today.
“We’re now a busy team of 11 people and going from strength to strength”.
Jemma, as CEO you really brought Peter’s ideas to life. Can you offer advice to people who believe in a business idea, but don’t know where to start?
“Sure—start by identifying the need you’ll meet with your business idea. And find a partnership that works.
“For MoneyBrilliant it’s been important to have people who complement each other. For example, Peter and I are very different. Peter tends to think big-picture and I work out how we’ll get from A to Z. It’s true of the people we have coming into the business now too. We look for expertise and aim to find harmony between people’s skill sets.
“And the most important thing for us has been to test and learn. So I’d say, start by identifying the problem then build a small part of the solution. Test it and learn from your customers. Ask whether the solution has solved the problem―and if not, start again.
“The key to the way we work at MoneyBrilliant is listening, listening, listening. And then we adapt. We’ve become better at this over time. But remember that the customer knows better than anyone”.
Jemma, what can MoneyBrilliant offer that is different to other online finance tools?
“MoneyBrilliant can help you be money-brilliant in about 15 minutes a day. The app was recently released and it’s been very popular so now you can become money-brilliant on the bus, train or when you’re waiting anywhere.
“A lot of other budgeting tools are not connected to live information about you and your spending. So your bank balance alone can’t tell you much if you don’t have a complete financial picture—for example, you may walk past a shop and think you have $500 to spend because that’s what your bank balance says.
“With MoneyBrilliant you know when you can spend and how much is within your safe spending limit. MoneyBrilliant communicates with you to give you an understanding of your complete financial picture.”
Thanks for sharing your insights Peter and Jemma. Do you have any finance tips for our News & insights readers?
“The most important thing is to get your day-to-day finances under control. It’s the only way to move to a better financial position.
“Start by downloading the MoneyBrilliant app so you can get a true picture of every aspect of your finances. It’s free to download on the App store and is also available for Apple Watch.
“And automate payments to make it easier to meet and manage your essentials. Direct debits are a good way to do this. And don’t waste money on fees. There are lots of fees you may be paying unnecessarily. Make sure you’re paying any credit card balances on time and don’t waste $2.50 on things like ATM fees. It all adds up and can eventually make a big difference to you.
“The key is to work from a clear picture of where you’re at financially. Once you have that, you can start setting yourself small goals and move on gradually from there.
“You need to set yourself up for success and you may be surprised at how easy it can be once you’re working from a true financial picture”.
A budget can help you work out what you’re spending money on and when