Personal finance doesn’t always get the best rap. To be fair, I can understand why. There was a time when a lot of financial advice took the form of slightly preachy lectures or hard-to-digest jargon-laden investment guides. Small wonder some people would rather go to the dentist than manage their money.
Luckily that time has passed. Now there’s an army of interesting financial voices ready to share a mix of stories, advice, and experiences. Whether it’s through blogs, books, podcasts, TikTok, Instagram, or a mix of all the channels, these women make money more accessible.
1. Tiffany Aliche, the Budgetnista
Aliche has already impacted a whole generation. Not only can she influence how you and I might handle our cash, but she also played a key part in a New Jersey financial literacy law that was passed in 2019. Thanks to her efforts, all sixth to eighth graders in the state will learn about things like debt, saving, budgeting, and credit cards.
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Aliche — aka The Budgetnista — is one of the financial coaches featured in her Netflix documentary, Get Smart With Money. The documentary builds on one of her best-selling books, Get Good with Money, which is packed with practical advice on taking control of your money.
Aliche hit financial rock bottom around 2009 when she lost her job and her home, and found herself in serious debt. That experience, and the lessons she learned as she rebuilt her finances, inspired her to teach others. According to the site, her Live Richer movement has helped over 2 million women collectively save more than $350 million.
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Standout advice: There’s a difference between saving to spend money — such as putting cash aside so you can buy a vacation or a new TV — and saving to make money. Saving to make money involves putting cash into your savings account or brokerage account so that it starts to work for you. This is where the wealth building happens. If you’re working to increase this amount, the tools and resources on thebudgetnista.com will help you on your way.
2. Tori Dunlap, author of Financial Feminist
The self-proclaimed financial feminist is all about empowering women through money. In addition to the Financial Feminist book, she has a weekly podcast and a resource-packed website. Unsure about how to talk about money with your partner? Dunlap has downloadable money conversation cards that’ll get you started.
Dunlap wants to help you get rich — and not be ashamed about it. She had saved $100,000 by the time she was 25. That money gave her the freedom to walk away from what she describes as a toxic job. Dunlap’s company, called Her First $100K aims to give other women that same freedom.
Standout advice: It’s OK to want to be rich. A lot of women feel they should be altruistic and self-sacrificing. They feel guilt or shame around wanting money. But building wealth doesn’t have doesn’t have to damage others. Moreover, wanting to have money in your bank account does not make you a selfish person. That money might, for example, mean you can pay for healthcare when you need it or make other choices around how you live your life.
3. Berna Anat, author of Money Out Loud
A Filipina-American, Berna Anat is passionate about financial literacy and unpicking the taboos that stop us from talking about our finances. This year saw the release of Anat’s book, Money Out Loud, which follows years of success on social media.
The @HeyBerna instagram feed is packed with entertaining takes on money, spending, banking, and all things financial. To use her words, she makes money talk “hella fun.” Join Anat to learn how she paid down $50,000 in debt and figured out money in her own way.
Standout advice: Feelings underpin a lot of our money goals and habits. If you want to pay down debt, it might be because you want to feel free or less anxious. Understanding those underlying feelings can really help you to build change.
4. Erin Lowry, author of the Broke Millennial series
It would be almost impossible to talk about women who redefine personal finance without mentioning Erin Lowry. Ten years ago she realized how many of her friends were terrified of money. Not only that, she could see it was holding them back in their careers and day-to-day lives.
The Broke Millennial blog was born. It was packed with relatable tales and actionable advice. Next came the first Broke Millennial book, which pulled together a lot of the info in the blog into a step-by-step plan. Lowry has since written two more books, and also published a Broke Millennial workbook earlier this year.
Standout advice: Money doesn’t have to be scary or boring. Not only that, but you don’t need to understand complex formulas to deal with your finances. There are budgeting styles (and budgeting apps) to suit every personality, so dig in and experiment with different ones. Try to have fun with it and enjoy the power that comes from actively managing your money.
The so-called experts who tell us we shouldn’t overspend or take on debt rarely make any difference to how we behave. Many of us already know we need to spend less than we earn. We understand that debt can be costly. What we don’t know is how to use that knowledge in real life.
The secret sauce of personal finance is in helping people to act. These women give us emotionally intelligent and relatable ways to improve our relationships with money. They’re redefining personal finance to make it fun, powerful, and inspiring. Most of all, they make it about you, whatever your background.
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