TheBlackManCan is back in the Concrete Jungle of New York City to bring you a woman who personifies what it means to be an Exquisite Woman. This woman specializes in the delivery of engaging, financial empowerment. It is our distinct honor and pleasure to present author, speaker and passionate teacher of engaging financial empowerment Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche. Tiffany has had the pleasure of working with Black Enterprise, Princeton University, MSNBC and more. The Budgetnista sits down with TheBlackManCan to discuss her mentors, choosing teaching over corporate America and how to make the idea of frugal be fabulous.
TheBlackManCan: Tiffany, what is a “Budgetnista” and how did you develop the name?
TA: A Budgetnista is a woman who has learned the art of managing her daily finances without the usual hassle, self deprivation and FEAR. A Budgetnista knows that her finances CAN be simple and easy! Most importantly, a Budgetnista is a woman determined to Live Richer (purposely and passionately pursing her ideal life).
Three years ago when I was registering my business, I was looking for a name to call myself. I Googled a number of names: The Budget Queen, The Budget Diva etc… Luckily, all of those names were taken. Desperate, I asked my youngest sister Lisa, who was 19 at the time, for a suggestion. She said, “What about Budgetnista? The ‘Nista’ thing is really popular now.” So I Googled Budgenista and found that it wasn’t taken. Soon after, I bought the domain name and trademarked the word. The rest as they say is history…
TheBlackManCan: When did you develop the idea that one can make frugal, fabulous and do more with less?
TA: Being frugal and fabulous and learning to do more with less began out of necessity. My father (now retired) was an accountant and he taught my sisters and I early on how to properly manage our money. One of the ways he taught us, was by telling us NO, we asked for non-essential items that were out of his budget. He and my mother knew that raising 5 daughters meant that a dollar had to go a looong way. As a result of hearing many no’s, I quickly learned how to make the necessities they consented to buy, both fabulous and functional.
TheBlackManCan: You facilitate Financial Fun Parties!! Tell us more about what goes on at these events?
TA: Financial Fun Parties (usually for women), are for groups that are looking for a fun way to get financially empowered. These parties can be held for as little as 20 people. Financial Fun Parties aim to educate clients about their money, and teach them how they can continue to live fabulously while being frugal via games, open discussion, vision boarding, clothing swaps, food, folks and a WHOLE lot of fun!
TheBlackManCan: You often visit schools and nonprofit organizations and present REAL Life (a game of choices). Why is it important to educate youth on financial literacy?
TA: I believe that successful financial education begins when we’re young. As soon as a child is able to ask you to buy them a particular item, is when they are capable of learning where the money for that items comes from.
I was a school teacher for 10 years and taught children as young as 3yrs old the basics of money. My financial literacy game, REAL LIFE (a game of choices), was born out of my frustration at the lack of fun financial education tools for teachers, schools, parents and organizations.
TheBlackManCan: What ignited you to write “The One Week Budget”? What kind of content can readers expect to find inside?
TA: I wrote The One Week Budget in response to all the phone calls, emails and questions I got about how I was able to afford my lifestyle on my salary. At age 21 I was making $12/hr as a teacher’s assistant and saved $10,800 in one year. When I first started writing my book, I was a preschool teacher making $35,000 a year, I saved $40,000 in two years, bought my first car in cash, and bought a condo on my on. I accomplished all of this between ages 23-25.
I’ve was always good with my money, but the credit of my financial prowess belongs to my parents, especially my dad. He was an accountant with an MBA in finance. He spoke openly and honestly with my sisters and I about money, and while at college I quickly realized how rare that was.
I wrote The One Week Budget to teach readers what my dad taught me; that you can have more with less. I’ve broken down my money management system into 12 steps that can be completed over a 7 day span (hence, The One WEEK Budget). The beauty of my book is, after you complete the necessary work that week, you’ll be home free. The time you spent managing your money should be reduced to less than 30 minutes a MONTH!
TheBlackManCan: You forwent a career in corporate America to teach underserved youth. Why did you make this decision?
TA: Marian Wright Edelman, the founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund, was the first African American woman admitted to the Mississippi state bar said,
“Service is the rent we pay for living”
I truly believe this and decided to live my life by these words after a transformative trip to Africa after graduating college.
Before I left to visit my motherland, Nigeria, I was offered a well paying job in corporate America. I was already an intern for the company that offered me the job and I knew that I’d hate to work for them fulltime. The problem was that the money they offered me was a lot to turn down.
I left for Africa, knowing I had to make a decision when I returned. While in Nigeria, I stayed in my father’s village and got to know the people there, my people. From them I learned the importance of life outside of money. By American standards they were poor, but I’ve never met people more rich in spirit, joy and community. When I returned home to the States, I decided that I would never make a decision about life based solely on money, and I haven’t since. It was then I decided to become a teacher. Although I’m no longer in a traditional classroom, I continue to teach via The Budgetnista.
TheBlackManCan: What is the mission and vision of your financial consulting firm CLD Financial Life LLC?
TA: The Budgetnista brand is more than about money
The mission and vision of my firm CLD/The Budgetnista is to teach all of my clients how to Live Richer (to purposely and passionately pursue your ideal life).
True riches are measured in more than money. They are found in joy, generosity, laughter, freedom, adventure and love. It is my personal goal and the goal of the company to help clients learn how to design every aspect of their lives so that they can experience all of the purpose, passion and abundance that life has to offer. Money and basic finance are just tools that I use to persue that goal.
TheBlackManCan: What can Black people do to make their money turn over seven and even eight times before it leaves the community?
TA: The best thing that the Black Community can do to ensure that money stays in our community longer, is to provide quality goods and services. Unfortunately Black businesses are notoriously known for underwhelming their customers.
People want value for their money and to be treated well as they spend it, no matter the color of the person behind the counter. I know many Black businesses that are thriving because they understand that no one is going to patronize them solely out of loyalty to race. Products, services, value and relationships are really what draw return customers.
TheBlackManCan: Who have been some of your mentors that have helped you reach success in life?
TA: My biggest mentors of success have been my parents, especially my father. My father did not come from financial means, but what he lacked in money he made up for it in courage, enthusiasm, hard work and vision. He made his way from humble beginnings in Africa to an MBA and retired as Executive Director of a non-profit based in New Jersey.
From him I learned that there is no aspiration to big. He also taught me that the journey and the dream are one and the same; one cannot be had without the other. His wisdom as allowed me to welcome challenges and mistakes as tools for improvement, and to see the unknown future as the ultimate adventure.
TheBlackManCan: Where do you see yourself and your firm in the next five years?
TA: I see myself…
- Continuing to facilitate workshops, seminars and financial fun parties, writing curriculum and teaching financial literacy
- With several different versions of The One Week Budget (like a college edition)
- With at least 2 children’s book
- Continuing to write for several magazines and blogs
- I’d love to do regular segments on a television / news show (claiming it)
- I want my book to be picked up by a larger publisher and distributed nationwide (claiming it)
TheBlackManCan: What words of advice would you like to share with readers?
TA: Practice lifestyle design and purposely and passionately pursue your ideal life (Live Richer). You are in control of your fate. Everything that you are and will be is because of you, solely and wholly YOU!
Here my 6 Live Richer steps to help you begin to design that ideal life of yours…
Live Richer Steps
1: Recognize that ALL of your (financial) choices matter.
2: Identify your passion
4: Make a plan
5: Act NOW!
6: Keep Some, Give Some
Visit Tiffany’s website –> http://thebudgetnista.com/
Follow The Budgetnista on Twitter –> http://twitter.com/thebudgetnista
Buy The One Week Budget Now–> https://www.createspace.com/3476115
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