Hat: Financial Educator, Founder/ CEO, myfabfinance.com
School: City University of New York – Brooklyn College Florida International University;
Major: M.A, Urban Policy and Affairs – B.A, Public Administration
Oprah Winfrey once said, ” Failure is a great teacher. If you are open to it, every mistake has a lesson to offer.” No one perhaps understands this better than Financial Educator Tonya Rapley, who found herself in a sticky financial dilemma when her credit score hit an all time low of 540 points. However, Tonya didn’t let this situation define her, in fact she took it upon herself to learn from her past mistakes and in a short 18 months, had improved her credit score by a whopping 130. With her honesty and bubbly personality, Tonya has garnered a large following by sharing her financial journey on her blog My Fab Finance, a finance and lifestyle blog that provides resources for financial empowerment and professional development. I had the time to chat it up and learn how we can create a healthy relationship with your pockets.
Where were you six months after graduating from college?
Six months after college I was working at a call center; this is not at all where I imagined myself at the time. I graduated in 2007, at the height of the recession, so I made the best out of the situation. However, I knew that it wasn’t the end of it all, so I kept applying and six months later I was hired by Lowes as an Inventory Analyst.
I believe that we excel at our purpose because we’ve had a journey. What are some lessons you’ve learned about yourself while on the journey?
I have a large amount of pride and till this day I still do. When I graduated I had this attitude – “nope I’m not going to work at the mall ”and my mom put me aside and told me “you’re not above doing anything nothing is above you Tonya. You need to do what you need to do.” So it was at that point, that I learned humility. No matter how much you prepare, you will always fall short, which leads me to my next lesson; flexibility. I didn’t have a firm goal after graduating, but I was always open to learning skills from the different industries in which I worked.
Millennials manage a lot of financial priorities, such as student loan debt, car debt, credit card etc. What advice would you give to someone trying to improve their finances fresh out of college?
- Make sure you know how to save, this will help delegate your spending habit.
- Know how to live within your means. Some people don’t know what their means are until they are above them
- Stop comparing yourself to people who live in Virtual Prosperity. You don’t know their lives.