Growing up I was the “goodie two shoes student” at school. I kept my grades up, made sure I didn’t misbehave. School was my place of refuge as opposed to my home life, which was quite the opposite. We lived below the poverty line, so my only understanding of money was that we didn’t have much of it. We never discussed our living situation, so I learned to tolerate life and relished the times we had more than a can of beans to eat. As I got older, I took advantage of resources available to me in order to escape, honestly. I managed to accumulate enough scholarship money to pay for state school without any student loans. However, by the time I graduated from college, I had 4k in student loans and a car loan worth 15k.
After graduating, I had no idea where my career would lead. Like many college graduates of 2011, finding a job was an uphill battle at the time. Ironically, my first full-time role was an Administrative Assistant at a non-profit whose mission was to help low-income families become “self-sufficient.” As problematic as I now know that statement is, at the time, I was honored to simply be a part of an organization that was making an impact on the most vulnerable people in our community.
That role at the non-profit led me on a path to explore personal finance, both personally and professionally. Growing up, I had no idea of how to manage money and I certainly didn’t develop a habit of saving. My family's focus was on surviving. I never questioned the system, I merely survived it. And now, knowing what I know about history, policy, and witnessing the sham of democracy in this country, I want to be a part of the movement to change it.
Making the career change wasn’t easy for me as I’d accumulated quite a bit of debt during and after college. So I spent years reading finance blogs, listening to financial “gurus,” and exploring my options to improve my financial situation. In 2018, I made the decision to finally dedicate my career to personal finance, not only to improve my own situation, but also those that grew up like me. I obtained a certification as an Accredited Financial Counselor® in August of 2020 and I’m currently pursuing the CFP® (Certified Financial Planner®) certification.
It is my hope that I can offer access to quality financial planning to those forgotten people whose focus is only on trying to survive. I want access to financial planning to be seen as a right, not just a privilege. Working for Brunch and Budget as an Associate Financial Planner empowers me to do just that.