Welcome to our Personal Finance Bloggers of Color interview series!
Our goal with this series is to highlight the experiences and perspectives of people of color in terms of money and personal finance topics, as these voices are often underrepresented.
This interview features Joy from Dollar Financials.
1. Please introduce yourself by telling us about your background.
My name is Joy. When I’m not working at my day job in agricultural commodities marketing, I occasionally blog over at DollarFinancials.com, a site dedicated to personal finances – saving money, paying off debt and making money.
I’m married with two kids who decide when I can (or cannot) jump on the internet to blog. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics.
2. When and from whom did you acquire knowledge about personal finance?
Good question! I’d say from many sources.
First, I learned from life experiences after making poor financial decisions and suffering the bitter consequences. An example would be getting hit with the realization that credit card interest fees do not just go away, but keep compounding and have to be paid off one way or another.
Second, from chatting with a few friends who were better with their finances and humbling myself to learn about how they managed their money.
Third, from my parents who were super frugal people.
Lastly, from my husband who is absolutely a personal finance junkie!
3. Do you feel that your race/cultural background has impacted your life in terms of personal finance? How so?
Absolutely. I am originally from Africa and was brought up in a family with modest means. While growing up, our resources were limited and after my mum died in my early teens, my dad was saddled with providing for our family of four alone.
What this meant was that I grew up with somewhat of a “scarcity” mentality and did not view hardship with that much alarm.
That being said, after immigrating abroad and becoming exposed to easy credit, I quickly fell into that trap and started racking up debt. Thankfully, this phase of my life did not last long and I have been able to put back my finances into order and pay off all my consumer debts.
4. How did you become interested in personal finance? What made you want to start a blog?
A few years back, I started reading personal finance blogs in order to better understand how best to invest and save money. I quickly realized that other people also had many of the questions I wanted answers to.
As I learned about frugality and money management, I saw the need to write about these topics and help others along the way. This led me to start my blog.
5. What advice would you give to others with a similar background?
Work hard and don’t settle for less than you are worth. Opportunities abound everywhere and they will find you if you are prepared. Take charge of your finances as a woman and don’t let anyone shortchange you.
Don’t get sucked into believing the lie that is ‘easy’ credit. Live within your means and don’t rack up unnecessary debt.
Find ways to give back to your community and help other people take root and flourish.
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