Interviews / Writers

Balancing the Grind with Kate Campbell, Personal Finance Writer & Podcast Host

Kate Campbell works in financial education at Rask Australia, and is the host of The Australian Finance Podcast and the How To Money podcast.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

Absolutely, I currently work at Rask Australia, an Aussie start-up providing investment research and financial education resources, in a marketing and education role.

It’s the perfect role for me, as I’m really passionate about improving the financial literacy of other Australians. I also host The Australian Finance Podcast and the How To Money podcast, which is a lot of fun. 

I actually had no interest in finance leaving year 12 and honestly thought it was a boring topic of conversation (yes, I find it a tad ironic now). I ended up at an invoice finance startup by accident after high school and have been working in the financial service’s industry ever since!

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

2020 has been a pretty crazy year, but putting some structure into my day has been really important! At the moment a typical work day for me looks like waking up at 7am, having a cup of tea and getting ready for Taekwondo practice (which I started learning during lockdown via Zoom). 

I’m then working from home during the day, doing everything from recording podcast episodes to writing content for our free financial education courses. I generally listen to a few podcasts during the day and try and get out for a walk in the afternoon (if I remember). Interspersed throughout all this are regular cups of tea and snacks!

In the evening (around 6pm onwards) I’m usually doing some study or watching something on Netflix/Stan to finish off the day. I’m not great when it comes to cooking, so have fallen prey to the HelloFresh ads this year, and that’s helped take some of the stress off in the evenings. 

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

It certainly does which I’m incredibly grateful for, but I think the plan moving forwards is to have 1-2 days in the office each week to allow for collaboration and idea generation.

It’s always different when you’re bouncing ideas around and getting feedback off others in the team in person, then waiting a few hours for a response to your Slack message. 

I do find I can focus a lot more at home and power through projects, so I’d like to keep a good balance between office and home work in the future. I definitely have to change my routine on days in the office, as I need to allow time for getting into the city and getting organised, which is something I’ve gotten out of the habit doing this year!

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

For me, work-life balance means I’m able to find a comfortable medium between work and achieving my other goals.

For example, I’ve been doing some units from a postgraduate course this year so sometimes it feels like I’m always working, so I’ve put a schedule into place to know exactly when it’s time to switch off and relax. 

I also find my time expanding and contracting around what I’ve got on my plate, so it forces me to decide on what my areas of focus are. To do this I work out what my current priorities and non-negotiables are, and that informs my decisions on where I spend my time during the week.

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5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Working from home was a massive change for me during 2020 as I’d never done it before, so it’s definitely shaken up my traditional routine.

At the start I realised I wasn’t getting much exercise during the day, as I no longer walked around the city on my lunch break or walked home from the train station. I realised the best time for me to exercise was before work, so I knew it was done, so I structured my morning routine with that in mind.

I’ve also started using my calendar more to map out my week on a Sunday afternoon, so I know when I’m getting everything done and ensure that nothing that’s important gets forgotten!

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Well, I’m certainly biased here but if you’re keen to learn more about personal finances, check out The Australian Finance Podcast and the How To Money podcast.

I’d also recommend subscribing to the newsletters of Mark Manson, Nat Eliason, James Clear and Tim Ferris. I’ve also compiled a list of some of my favourite money resources as well! 

I’ve just finished reading Morgan Housel’s new book, The Psychology of Money, which is a wonderful read about how we think about money and ways to avoid falling prey to our behavioural biases. 

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Apple AirPods have made everything better this year. I can take calls, listen to podcasts and dictate articles while going for walks or sorting things out around the home.

I also love my audiobook, podcast and Spotify apps, and they help me get through the week working from home!

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

I was going to say Jacinda Ardern but I saw you’ve already covered that, so maybe someone like Mark Manson.

I’m always interested to learn from people who learn, think, synthesise ideas and write for a living, to discover the thought process and behind the scenes action of what they do every day. 

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Spending 30 minutes on a Sunday scheduling and building out your week with purpose, is never a waste of time. You’ll know just where your focus lies and what you’ll be doing each day, so you don’t have to waste time working out what you’re going to do next.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.