Hey! My name is Nikos Melachrinos and I'm one of Quirk's co-founders and the company's CEO. I’m originally from Athens, Greece in case my name didn’t give it away! I have an undergraduate degree in Economics and Psychology. I also love football, boba tea, and talking to people about personal finance!
I am an “Optimizer”, and it’s definitely a very accurate description! I’m very detail oriented and love researching the latest and greatest around money management. I also agree that the Optimizer mindset can sometimes be anxiety-inducing so I try to not obsess about things too!
I always felt that financial services are not well designed to help people, and was worried that even with an Economics degree there were a lot of things that were hard to understand when it came to my personal finances. I remember the day that customer support at American Express couldn’t even explain to me how their own fees work. I knew we could have something better that is based on transparency, good design, and good use of technology. With my background in tech, economics, design and with a very capable co-founder to get into building a company, I was inspired to start Quirk.
Financial literacy I think is a big missing piece of our education today and when I realized my own gaps in knowledge, I started educating myself as much as possible, because studying Economics was quite different to managing my personal finances. Currently, I’m fully committed to building Quirk and making that journey of financial education more accessible and enjoyable for others too. It’s core to our lives, but we don’t get enough support right now.
I love the old school method of “envelopes” so keeping money separate whether it's through totally different accounts or just using pots in Monzo, spaces in Starling, vaults in Revolut to keep money in different “envelopes” based on their purpose. And then I force myself to think that the money doesn’t even exist unless it’s on my spending account. That pretty much does it.
I love boba tea. I also generally enjoy when I spend on technology, but probably because those are in-frequent and it's a big event in my life to get a phone or a computer.
Building Quirk has been my main activity! Last year was exceptionally busy while we were starting the business, building the app, and trying to fundraise on top. I was also consulting and doing freelance design work on the side to pay the bills! One thing that has come up through the pandemic is having more time for myself and trying to take care of my mind and body. While excited to have an outside life again, I hope I can keep a good balance between work, self-care, and socializing!
Investments I check nearly every day (which I really shouldn’t) and budgeting at least weekly. Once in a few months, I’ll take a look at all my finances and see if I need to change anything.
Current accounts: Monzo, Lloyd’s
Savings account: Marcus
Credit: Amex everyday cashback, Tymit
Loan: Student loan with student finance
Investing: Stocks & Shares ISA (with Fidelity for ETFs), Freetrade (for stocks), Gemini (for cryptocurrencies)
Other: TransferWise for money transfers/currency exchanges
Finally I use Quirk to keep track of all the above(!!), and generally stay on top of my spending.
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