Interviews

Meet Dennis, Marketing Manager at Quirk

April 26, 2021
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Meet Dennis, Marketing Manager at Quirk

Hi! Could you introduce yourself?

Hi! I’m Dennis, Quirk’s Marketing Manager, and the first full time hire! I’m originally from Germany, have a masters degree in Marketing Management, and have been working with several successful start-ups and scale-ups over the past 15 years. When I don’t do marketing, I race cars around race tracks, enjoy my bodybuilding workouts, and learn new skills and languages (...or drop down the Wikipedia rabbit hole and pick up random facts that nobody needs. Did you know that there's an immortal jellyfish?).

 

What personality type did you get? Did you find the results to be accurate?

The Optimizer, and it’s definitely accurate. I love to get into the smallest of details, do research, compare, and try to get the best deal.

What inspired you to join Quirk?

I enjoy working with start-ups, especially in the fin-tech space. And Quirk offered a fresh, new spin on the budgeting app (with many more exciting things to come). What really sold me on the company, though, were Nafeesa's & Niko's drive and ambition, and we have a great team dynamic going on.

What is your relationship with personal finance? How has that defined your current pursuits? What changes have you made that have helped? How has it changed over time?

It’s been a journey! Nobody taught how to properly handle money, and as my salary increased (and big performance bonuses were paid), I splashed most of it on an increasingly flashy lifestyle: fancy cars, designer clothes, expensive rentals, etc. But even with the big salary, I was always stressing about money, trying to make ends meet, and unable to build up any emergency savings or investments. This changed about 4 or 5 years ago when I started my first monthly budget, and realised how much money I was actually wasting on liabilities. 6 months later, I finally had a sizeable emergency fund, and was able to make my first investment into an ETF.  I’ve been hooked on personal finance and the FI movement ever since.

 

What are some things that worked for you for maintaining balance and managing your spending?

Just having a budget and seeing where all the money went each month was like a revelation! I also read “The richest man in Babylon”, which introduced me to the concept of “paying yourself first”. Everything else just fell into place after that. And if there’s one universal truth, it’s that money finds its way to those who know how to handle it.

 

What do you most enjoy spending on? Or any guilty pleasure you can share.

I’m passionate about cars, so getting new car parts is always an exciting event. And specialty coffee. Lots of specialty coffee!

Is there a specific financial goal you are working towards right now? What steps are you taking to achieve that goal?

I want to live life on my terms, so definitely financial independence. And buying a house. I’m playing the long game with ETFs, putting away as much as I can each month to increase my investments.

 

How have you been spending your time through the pandemic?

I was working at a high-growth company that went through a significant change, so that kept me busy. But even so, with WFH, I suddenly found myself to be having a lot more free time that I would’ve otherwise spent on commuting to work (and Dublin traffic can be brutal!). So, as to not get bored, I started to pick up new skills, like iOS programming, and Japanese.

 

How often do you check your finances?

I check my accounts daily, and my investments every week. I also keep my budget up-to-date as expenses come in.

For someone who is starting completely new to personal finance, how would they get started? What specific tips would you have for newbies?

1st of all, it’s never too late to get started. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes that you’ve made in the past. You can’t change them. Just take it as experience.

2. If you haven’t done so yet, create an overview over your finances. Keep track of your income and expenses.

3. Pay yourself first. Put away at least 10% of your income.

4. Save up an emergency fund that is about 3-6 times the amount of your monthly expenses.

5. When you have your emergency fund, move those monthly payments into investments, like ETFs. 

4. ‍Read. Read. Read. Then read some more. Check out our Instagram for recommendations!

What’s your stack? (Accounts, credit cards, apps or other tools)

Current accounts: Starling, Revolut, KBC

Investments: Freetrade, Coinbase

A credit card for emergencies.

Money management: A google sheets budget, and Quirk of course!


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