Meet Bola

Meet Bola, a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI), finance expert, author, speaker, and founder of Clever Girl Finance, a financial education platform and community for women empowering them to achieve financial wellness and live life on their own terms.

Clever Girl Finance has been voted as one of the top personal finance websites for women. In addition Bola and Clever Girl Finance have been featured by several media outlets including, Money Magazine, CNBC, Forbes, Fast Company, Essence, Black Enterprise, Cheddar TV, ABC News and The Chicago Tribune as well as on several other finance websites and podcasts.

Bola shared some really insightful information. Be sure to check out our interview below:

Q: What are some ways we can be more resourceful with our money?

A: When it comes to being more resourceful with our money, it ultimately boils down to having a budget. Your budget is basically the instructions you set once a month for what you need your money to do for you.

Having a budget is a key foundational piece to financial success and your goal should be to spend less than you earn and to make sure the way you spend your money is in line with the things you really value in your life.

The difference leftover between your income and your living expenses is money you can put towards your financial goals like saving or paying off debt and your budget can help you expand on that difference.

If you don't like the word budget, call it something you like. There's no rule book that says your have to call your instructions for your money, a budget. A fun name might just be the motivation you need to start working on yours.

Q: What saving tips do you recommend?

A: There are so many great savings tips out there that can help you save more money. Some of them include:

  • Writing a list before going grocery shopping

  • Using coupons

  • Borrowing books from the library instead of buying them outright

  • Carpooling to work

  • Meal planning to avoid eating out every single day

  • Shopping around for the best insurance, cell phone or cable rates

  • Do your own hair and nails to cut back on salon visits

Even if you just pick a couple of the above tips, they're a great start to help you start saving more money asap. Also automating your deposits into your savings account can also ensure you are able to save consistently without having to overthink it.

Think about ways you can cut back on your expenses and also increase your income (a better paying job, a side hustle, a part time job) to generate extra funds that you can put towards your savings goals.

Q: How can we improve our financial aptitude?

A: The first step is to have a committed mindset about becoming better with your finances and also being intentional with the actions you take.

Next and very importantly, start to educate yourself on personal finance. Strategies to pay off debt, different budgeting methods (until you find the best one for you), how investing works and what you need to know to build long term wealth. Books, podcasts, courses, Youtube - there are tons of resources available today to help you get started and stay focused.

Set financial goals around the dreams you have or the things you'd like to attain. What do they cost? How much can you realistically put towards them and how long will it take to achieve? Break your goals into smaller daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly chunks you can track your progress and minimize the overwhelm.

Finally I would add – get an accountability partner. A like-minded friend or colleague working towards similar goals or who has already accomplished what you are trying to achieve. Plan weekly check ins - this person can be invaluable to helping you stay on track.

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