The financians #1: Carla

Welcome to the financians series where we put the spotlight on our young professional ambassadors: they all have a different yet insightful story to tell.  Today, we’ll be taking a look at Carla's story.
Grégory Leclercq

Grégory Leclercq

Carla Carfagno | Vinidaily
Carla Carfagno | Vinidaily

Hello, can you introduce yourself within a few lines? 

Hello, I’m Carla! At 24, I am a happy co-founder of Vinidaily: the app that helps you find the perfect bottle of wine that fits both your needs and tastes. Just take a picture of the wine shelf in front of you and enjoy our recommendations.

People often describe me as an absolute positive & optimistic person; assertive and always smiling. I am obviously a wine enthusiast but I’m also passionate about sports: balance is key, they say! I love to spend my free time reading, walking, enjoying the ocean breeze, or going to the theater.

Can you talk to us about your current financial situation?

At this stage, Vinidaily is not cash-flow positive yet, it has been the case for more than 18 months now. In order to sustain myself, I work on the side as a freelancer. I am currently not satisfied with my financial situation, especially because I need to restrain myself from some of the pleasures I would like to enjoy.

I think personal finance is key. I love learning new things about it although I still consider myself a beginner. I am willing to balance it better and make wiser choices such as reducing impulsive buying or doing more research before investing. I don’t always feel fully in charge of my choices and I tend to rely on people I trust for investment advice. I don’t always fully understand what’s underneath certain types of investments and that is something I want to fix.

I’ve had the habit of saving money since I was very young, maybe because I was afraid to go bankrupt. But now that I’ve grown up, I struggle a bit more to save money with the little I make. Besides, I tend not to check my bank account too often to avoid anxiety. I recently developed a “nevermind-I-also-need-to-live” kind of bad habit. I began investing in cryptocurrency last year, but since then, I couldn’t make enough to be able to keep doing that. The only thing I am investing in as of now is Vinidaily.

Can you tell us more about your objectives as a young professional?

My objective, for now, is to focus on Vinidaily in order to make a living out of it. I want to spend more time learning about personal finance and investing to be able to have better management skills when I’ll have more income to invest. 

Eventually, I want to be able to enjoy the little pleasures life has to offer without having any doubt on whether or not I can afford it. Above all, I want to be able to spoil my friends and family and help them when in need. I would also love to be a business angel at some point or to take part in or even start an investment fund.

What advice would you give to other young professionals?

Work hard, but also invest a lot of time and consideration into yourself, your mental health, your state of mind. I truly think this is the best way to achieve and reach your goals. Whenever I feel the need to get inspired, I turn towards books, speakers, athletes, and entrepreneurs. A book that has really changed my life is “101 essays that will change the way you think” by Brianna Wiest. It almost sums up all the good things I try to implement in my life for the better.

 

I am really glad that I had the courage to launch my own startup and work that hard for almost 2 years now. I would say that I am proud to have listened to my inner voice & found passion and purpose in my daily work. 

 

I don’t actually feel like I have really failed at anything at this point, and that scares me a little because I know that failure has a lot of benefits, what I don’t know is how I will eventually react to failure. Maybe this is because I firmly think there is no such thing as a bad thing. Something could seem like a failure but I rather see it as something that helps me learn a lot faster. So it’s either an achievement or a lesson, which ultimately also leads to success.

Aim high, you’ll be surprised at how much higher it will lead you to keep that state of mind.

Carla Carfagno

What feedback would the financia.io team give to Carla?

It seems like Carla is the typical passionate entrepreneur. She has a strong mindset, that helps her turn everything into progress. Usually, this goes hand in hand with a strong vision. We invite her to channel that vision into more precise financial goals for herself, independently than her start-up. We realise this can prove to be tough for entrepreneurs, especially if they like going “all-in”.

 

Developing precise financial goals can seem counterintuitive when you pour your energy and money into your (side-)business, however, it is imperative to learn to do so even before more money comes in to be spent or invested. Basically, you need the foundations in place before you pour even more concrete. 

 

The law of attraction and good financial planning can make wonders. Do not be afraid to define clear financial targets, even when it seems too early, or even impossible. Do not be afraid to speak out about your financial objectives either. If you aim to be a multi-millionaire, better say it out loud every single day!

 

Another very positive point is that Carla has identified a few key points on which she needs to work on in order to improve her financial habits. This shows that she is aware and proactive, things can’t go wrong with that mindset.

Here are a few tips for what Carla mentioned wanting to improve:

 

  • Doing more research before investing: Make sure you understand investment dynamics, purpose, and risks but don’t get too caught up in analysing everything or wanting to become an expert. Being too active can reduce potential returns. There’s a sweet spot to reach.

 

  • Reduce impulsive spending: Find a personal rule that you stick with whenever you face a purchase decision. The secret might also be in budgeting and sticking to your budget quite strictly. This will also help feel more in control overall! Not to mention that budgeting kind of prevents you from feeling any guilt so long as you stick to it. 

 

  • Save more money: It’s hard to save money when you don’t earn a lot, but the best way to become an effective saver is to set strict percentage rules. For instance: “I decide that every month, I need to invest at least 10% of what I earn, no matter how much I earn”. Whenever your income lands, putting money aside should be the first thing you do.

 

  • Feel less stress: There’s no precious tip to reduce anxiety when it comes to money. We think that you are more likely to reduce overall stress by making several small improvements like the tips we just mentioned. This is much easier when you already have a great financial or entrepreneurial mindset. Time and experience will also greatly reduce anxiety for sure.

Just like Carla, you can identify your objectives, strengths, and weaknesses when it comes to personal finance. This is the best way to set yourself up for success.

Thankfully, financia.io is currently building a free personal finance platform to help you do that! We encourage you to sign-up below to get notified whenever it is launched.

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