Brighton Girls’ alumna Jasmine Birtles chatted with Head Miss Rosie McColl for the September 2023 instalment of our In Conversation With series. Jasmine has built a stellar career in the traditionally male-dominated world of finance, as a money expert, speaker and writer. With an array of achievements that make her a true stand-out in the personal finance space, Jasmine is best known as TV and radio money expert whose mission is to break down the mystique around finance and, as she puts it, “put the funny into money”. She is also the founder of moneymagpie.com – her own advice website.
Growing up, Jasmine’s biggest role model was her mum but she also spoke highly of some ‘pretty inspirational teachers’ at school. She admired the way her Head was able to get up and speak so confidently. Brighton Girls gave her such a range of things she was interested in that she had difficulty choosing what to do.
“Going forward, flexibility and a willingness to change from one discipline to another is going to be very, very helpful”
Jasmine went on to tell us about how she went from studying English into the world of Finance. During her time at the University of Cambridge, she often discussed changing her subject with her lecturers. In her final year, she took part in a Radio 1 competition and won – one of the judges was on Women’s Hour and offered her some work in journalism. But, it wasn’t until Jasmine ended up ‘horribly in debt’ that she found herself in need of stable work, eventually landing a job at the BBC Business Unit. She realised back then, that money is really common sense and she shouldn’t be in debt but nobody had taught her about finances. That’s when she had an epiphany..
“This money stuff, it’s not hard, it’s just common sense mostly… I’m going to make it my thing to explain money in a way that somebody like me can understand.”
When asked for her advice for students going to university, Jasmine spoke enthusiastically about finding ways to make money on the side – she took part in psychological research tests, made dresses and even cut hair whilst at university!
With a passion for financial education, Jasmine spoke about her plans to create a good education package right from the start of school. She spoke of the need to train teachers about finances. ‘Teachers have not been taught about money. We could do with teaching teachers so they can impart it with young people.’
Over 50 alumnae, staff, and students tuned in for the conversation, as well as being live streamed in the Brighton Girls’ sixth form common room.
Brighton Girls’ and the GDST look forward to a potential collaboration with Jasmine in the future on a financial piece for our schools’ curriculum, recognising that this relatively straightforward but undervalued topic should have a place in the curriculum.
Watch the full conversation with Jasmine below
The GDST In Conversation With… Series
The In Conversation With… series sees us talk to different GDST alumna, and other brilliant women succeeding in their various fields, about a range of interesting topics. Learn more about our next In Conversation With event with Mechanical Engineer and Shrewsbury High School alumna, Emilie Weaving.