Interview with #BullCon15 speaker and bad@$$ Tonya Rapley

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Hi Tonya! First, I’d like to say we’re delighted to welcome you as a speaker at #BullCon15. I first discovered you on Twitter (ladybusiness is 100% happening on Twitter!) when you were giving advice in a web chat. I checked you out and saw that you has been on the cover of Black Enterprise magazine, and were helping a lot of people over at MyFabFinance. Can you tell us how you became a personal finance expert? 

I became a certified financial educator after taking control of my own finances and improving my credit score by 130 points in 18 months. I realized that there are a lot of people in my circle that avoided their finances because they felt that it was too difficult and overwhelming. I wanted to be the person to change that. I approach finances in a way that’s enjoyable and not overwhelming but communicated to people in layman’s terms.

You recently put out a free Ultimate Student Loan Guide. The Bullish audience has a lot of Millennials, especially, who are saddled with loans. How did you get into working with this topic? And what is the #1 thing people should know about managing student loans?

I don’t think that you can be a financial educator today and not talk about student loans. During all of my live events someone in the audience would always have a student loan question. Usually more than 1 person had a question about student loans. So I felt like it was necessary.

The number one thing people should know about student loans, is that they don’t go away. And most of the people know that the payment options can be relatively flexible. They think they are locked into that high payment, when in fact student loan companies especially the public ones are usually willing to work with you. They want their money.

A lot of personal finance advice marketed to women is very focused on budgeting and not very focused on increasing your income. Have you noticed this? What aspect of personal finance should ambitious young people dedicate most of their energy to?

I would say that some of them are dedicated in increasing your income, some of them is dedicated to budgeting but what I would say is people need to understand that it doesn’t matter how much money you make if you’re not properly managing the money that you do have. If you don’t properly manage you money, you will never have enough. I think that ambitious young people should dedicate the most energy to making sure that their habits are in check and that they are not frivolously overspending. They should be paying attention and contributing to their retirement accounts. These are the golden years and this is one compound interest is working for you in ways it will never work for you again. So it’s extremely important for them to not put off planning to plan retirement and to begin at this time of their lives.

That is some tough love there, and I like that. I have sooo many more questions for you, but I’m going to save them for the conference! Can’t wait. Thanks, Tonya!

Join us at #BullCon15 for:

Finance 212 for Ambitious Women

Finance 212 is an interactive finance workshop that meets participants where they are with the understanding that it’s the lack of implementation rather than the lack of financial education that gets us in trouble. In this workshop attendees can expect to learn: How NOT to sabotage their budget, salary negotiation tips to earn what they are worth, and various strategies for building a respectable savings account.

Also check out:

MyFabFinance

The Super Fab Financial Planner ($21.99)

The Ultimate Student Loan Guide (free)