I’m at a place in my life where I am not interested in making irresponsible monetary decisions. The days of spending half of my bi-weekly earnings at a Super Saturday sale at Macy’s and making payment arrangements on my T-Mobile bill because I spent too much money on happy hour with my girls during the week are a thing of the past. Yes, I believe in treating myself and love an abundance of things like the next girl, but not at the expense of my bank account being on E within a few days of getting paid. As I near my 30’s, it’s just not acceptable anymore. What I am more inclined to do with my money is spend it on things for my home, more vacations throughout the year, and hobbies that help me improve. The most important thing is to actually SAVE, as there’s nothing worse than a financial emergency popping up and you can’t do anything about it - it’s actually embarrassing. No, I’m not at a place where I am eager to jump into buying a home like a lot of my peers, but my goal is just work smarter and not harder to secure the bag...and keep it secured!
It’s hard to break certain financial habits, especially if you haven’t been properly taught. But, it’s not impossible. The internet is good for something other than social media and YouTube, and access to financial literacy is one of them. I’m currently semi-obsessed with ways to become more financially free and build my savings, and am on the road to recovery from living paycheck to paycheck. One of the main ways I find tips is through a few different financial influencers online. Here are a few money gurus who have inspired me to adjust my spending habits.
Tiffany Aliche aka “The Budgetnista”
I stumbled upon Tiffany after coming across a paid video ad on Facebook, where she detailed how she was able to purchase her home in full...in cash. In it, she detailed how she worked hard and smart at rebuilding her finances and credit after being laid off and losing her first home in foreclosure. Although home ownership is not on my current list of short term goals, the advice she gave applied to bettering savings, spending and overall money management habits. Her YouTube and Facebook channels give detailed tutorials on how to travel and shop on a budget, how to improve your credit score without going broke and even how to improve credit without relying on credit cards to do so - the latter of which interested me the most. She’s become a regular guest on FOX’s Daytime Talk Show The Real, has been featured on The TODAY Show, MSNBC, Time, The New York Times, Forbes and Good Morning America. She now has a virtual financial academy titled “Live Richer” where she encourages her followers to participate in money challenges, and is even a best selling author! In an interview with Nerdwallet, her advice to those who want to get serious about money and saving is to simply get started. “Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s buying a house, traveling or investing, what is one simple task you can take today, quickly?” she said. “So many people look at the task as a whole, but goals are merely a collection of small tasks put together. Just do something every day, simple and soon.”
Tonya Rapley of My Fab Finance
Tonya started with a main goal of helping millennials overcome debt and gain control over their finances. As a college graduate who made crazy financial decisions, like signing up for every credit card under the sun just because I was approved, I can appreciate her mission! Like me, Tonya abused and then ignored finances during and after college, leaving her in a cycle of debt and paycheck to paycheck living. She grew tired of it and decided to make a change. “When I realized it was preventing me from living my life in the manner that I wanted to, that I had planned to, I began setting myself up for my financial future,” she explained to Nerdwallet. She’s been seen on Forbes, WSJ, Vogue, WaPo, and Essence. She’s also a best selling author and an in-demand public speaker and panelist. Tonya continues to inspire others to know that they can control their own financial futures, and reminds us all not to spend money just because we have it.
Kristen Sutton aka Debt Free Black Girl
I was introduced to Kristen online (we actually share a mutual friend) and I am thankful I came across her social media pages and story. In her profile on Urban Freedom, she detailed how she was able to pull herself from financial ruin. She accomplished this after years of a combination of poor money choices and being a victim of certain circumstances, such as losing her job and dealing with pesky student loan representatives looking to garnish all of her hard earned wages. She’s spent the past few years giving financial tips, but explains that it first starts with being honest with yourself about where you are financially and why. She insists that once you have clarity, you have no choice but to change. She still provides financial advice, but has also shifted her focus to finances within relationships as well as other relationship topics.
There are dozens of notable gurus out there; signing up for their newsletters is a good place to start as you explore your financial goals. Let us know who you follow for money advice in the comments section!