Just hearing the term ‘budgeting’ can invoke yawning, groaning or general despair about bad spending habits. But for YouChange founder, Min McKay, a passion for saving and budgeting was the catalyst for setting up her own business offering financial planning and coaching services.

“I was always interested in saving and budgeting and had managed to get ahead financially by watching my own budget and carefully managing my finances,” says Min.

From corporate life to the entrepreneurial ladder

After spending 12 years working in banking, in 2019 Min decided it was time to quit corporate life and setup her own small financial planning and coaching business – YouChange.  

“My career in banking allowed me to see big gaps where people would often fall down in their finances. I identified a huge need for people earning decent wages to be better with their spending, saving, and improving their mindset around money,” she explains.

YouChange offers financial planning and financial coaching to clients who want to improve their financial position and money mindset.

As for the most common threat to budgeting success and achieving your savings goals?

“People spend way too much on food! Whether it’s groceries, take out or eating at a restaurant, people whittle away their savings on food. Debt and credit cards – particularly for things such as cars and personal loans – are also dangerous.”  

“The way people have their bank account structure set up is often setting them up to fail before they even start. People need a good structure in place to support them in achieving their financial goals.”

Seeking business growth support

Min’s business was growing but not at the speed she had anticipated so earlier this year she enrolled in Venture Taranaki’s PowerUp Ideas Competition, a collaboration with Soda to drive growth and innovation in the Taranaki region.

Min completed the six-week CO.STARTERS programme which helped her learn more about running her own business.

“I learnt about pricing points and how to calculate the best way to price your offering to customers. One of the most useful aspects of CO.STARTERS was gaining feedback from others which helped me to refine my offering and messaging. It was a good opportunity to talk to other people about the business and was a place where you felt safe to confidently discuss the business, raise concerns, discuss challenges and be open about the process,” says Min.

Changing financial mindsets

In the future, Min would like to expand her services and deliver financial programmes to groups as well as individuals. She also wants to change people’s mindsets about budgeting and asking for help.

“So many people are fearful or embarrassed about seeking financial help, but I want to show that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

“If you think you might not be capitalising on your current income, a second pair of eyes could be a great way to help you make every dollar go further. Don’t let fear stop you from reaching out to someone for help with your finances.”

Applications are open now for Soda’s next CO.STARTERS programme which starts in August 2021. Find out more.