Photo: Nisha Haq
Named one of the UK’s top “online cash queens” by the Sun’s Fabulous Magazine, Iona is the founder of the Young Money Blog, the first and only British blog dedicated to young people’s finances.
Iona has become the country’s go-to voice on young people’s money issues. She was recently named Freelancer of the Year for 2018 by IPSE (the Association for Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed). Iona has also been made the youngest-ever governor of the prestigious Pensions Policy Institute and is a founding member of the agenda-setting Next Gen Pensions Committee. She is also an ambassador for the Chartered Insurance Institute’s Insuring Women’s Futures campaign.
The success of the blog led to Iona being named Money Blogger of the Year at the Santander Financial Journalism Awards. It also sparked a book deal with publishing house Hardie Grant and her debut – Spare Change – was published in 2016. Named one of the top five feminist books of 2016 by the Independent, it was described as “an important read” by Baroness Altmann, consumer champion and former government minister, and earned rave reviews from readers. You can find out more and buy your copy here.
Iona speaks at conferences and public events throughout the year, also giving her time to causes like personal finance education and young enterprise. You can find out more about her speaking engagements here.
Iona appears regularly on television and radio to discuss financial issues and how they affect young people. She is a trained senior broadcast journalist with the BBC, reporting and producing reports for Radio 4 Current Affairs and will soon be fronting her first video for the BBC Homepage on the top things 18 year olds need to know about money. She presented her first documentary on Radio 4 recently, all about financial education – you can listen to it here – and has been a guest on both Woman’s Hour and Late Night Woman’s Hour this year.
Other media appearances have included ITV Tonight, where she provided advice to the public on Brexit, and BBC Breakfast, where she commented on the housing market. She has also spoken about money issues on Sky News, Radio 5 live, Radio 4’s Broadcasting House, Radio 1 Sunday Surgery, Channel 4 News, BBC Scotland and the Max Keiser Report on RT. You can see Iona in action here.
In 2017, she set up the Young Money Agency with her dad, the multi award-winning writer Simon Bain. To commission work through YMA, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and take a closer look at the Young Money Agency here. Please only use the agency email for commissions or enquiries about work through YMA. Any press releases, story ideas or potential material for the blog should be emailed to email@example.com.
— Blackbullion (@blackbullion) August 1, 2017
Iona is also a busy freelance journalist. She was a staple of the Times Money coverage throughout 2016 and 2017, with her work also frequently appearing in Money Mail, Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday, Prospect Magazine and Daily Telegraph. Her online appearances include the Mirror Online, Spectator Money, the New Statesman, the Independent and many others. She is also a regular personal finance writer for the Herald newspaper in her native Scotland. You can find out more about her freelance journalism here.
When she isn’t working, Iona is a musician who writes songs, plays piano and performs regularly in orchestras as a cellist. You can find her songs at soundcloud.com/ionabain. Last but not least, she is a proud (possibly even fanatical) redhead and enjoys being a token ginger in TV and print advertising whenever she gets the chance, thanks to her occasional work with Broadcasting Agency.
“Hello! Thank you for visiting the Young Money Blog! I‘m a (reasonably) normal girl who can be a tad impulsive, hates maths and NEVER dreamed I’d end up writing about money.
So how did it happen? Well, you may have noticed the pink piggybank as my logo – it contains the secret as to why I’m here.
I had a pink piggybank after I left university. I graduated during the financial crisis, when young people were really starting to struggle with their money.
It was during this time that I was working as a musician, stuffing all my gig earnings over many months (totalling hundreds of pounds) into my precious piggymbank.
But my pig was STOLEN – in a break-in at my parents’ house, where I was living at the time.
That was when I realised I needed to become savvier with my moolah. I decided to switch tracks and start a blog all about young people’s finances in 2011.
I have never looked back. Thankfully, the only piggy banks I deal with now are the cute ones that appear on this blog – I’ve realised there are far better ways to manage, save and grow your money. I think all young people, regardless of background or personality, should have the chance to learn how to deal with money. It affects us all very deeply, for better or worse, and it is amazing how many young people can reach adulthood without knowing even the very basics.
I want to try and help in whatever small way I can, not just by providing information but also shining a light on the financial industry, discussing our problems and finding new & accessible ways to tackle important issues. Please look around and tell your friends if you get anything out of it!”