How to Make Intentional Money Decisions | Culture Meets Money with Tonya Rapley
- Your money journey is personal and should not be compared to others.
- Discipline and financial education are synonymous when it comes to managing your money well.
- Comparing yourself to others can also lead you down a spending rabbit hole.
Culture Meets Money had the pleasure of chatting with Tonya Rapley, founder and CEO of My Fab Finance. Rapley is recognized as a millennial money expert, and she is a true gem in the financial space. She joined Culture Meets Money to share her thoughts on the importance of making intentional money decisions. Below are three key takeaways from her chat.
Financial Education is a Mindset Shift
“I have always approached financial education from the perspective of its an emotional, behavioral, and mental shift that has to occur.”
Financial education is powerful because it can help you to understand how to use your financial resources properly. When you are educated about finances, you can better save your money, invest, and manage your money. However, you can still have the tools and resources to learn about money and take advantage of it. This is why financial education is a mindset shift.
For example, if you are financially educated but lack discipline, managing your money well will be challenging. Tonya also explains in her Culture Meets Money chat about the importance of shifting your mindset to help you have a better relationship with your money. How you think about your finances will ultimately determine how well you manage it. You must be willing to change your mindset both emotionally and behaviorally to positively impact your finances.
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“The biggest challenge for most people is breaking from poverty to the six-figure mark. Then once you break into the six-figure mark, you start to look at money differently. You start to look at your power differently, you start to walk and think differently.”
- Tonya Rapley
Financial Deprivation Isn’t Necessary to Achieve Your Goals
“I don’t believe in financial deprivation as a financial freedom strategy.”
Financial freedom is when you have enough money to pay for your living expenses for the rest of your life without depending on an employer or someone else. Financial freedom, also known as financial independence, looks different for each person. Still, it can come in the forms of being work optional, having the option to travel anywhere, or simply not having to trade your time for money.
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As you work toward financial freedom, you shouldn’t feel as though you have to financially deprive yourself of the things you love. Your financial decisions are personal, so it’s important not to get caught up in what someone else’s financial independence looks like. Ultimately, it’s all about balance.
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Making sure you are well-balanced in your finances can help you to have a healthy financial future. For example, if you are working toward financial independence and like buying luxury bags, you can buy from a consignment store, search online for gently used luxury bags, or cut down the number of bags you get per month or year. This will allow you to still enjoy the fruits of your labor without going overboard and putting yourself in a financial bind.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others (Unless it’s for Motivation)
“It requires a lot of self-awareness to know what your spending triggers are.”
Comparing yourself to others can lead you to believe that you aren’t doing something right or need to do better with your life. Social media often manipulates people to think that they are “living their best life,” which can cause you to feel that you are missing out on the fun. However, comparing yourself to another person can cause you to have a low sense of self-worth, lack self-esteem, and have imposter syndrome.
Comparing yourself to others can also lead you down a spending rabbit hole. If you see someone with a nice car, you might feel compelled to get a car too, maybe even better than theirs. Someone’s life can unintentionally trigger your spending habits which can lead to debt and can cause you to become emotionally unstable when it comes to your financial circumstances.
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No one wants to intentionally feel bad about themselves, so it’s important to run your own race. While you are focusing on another person’s lawn, you may forget to water your own. In other words, pour into yourself daily so that you can get the best out of yourself.
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Another interesting perspective that Tonya explained during her Culture Meets Money chat is to use others as motivation to fuel your dream. As it relates to finances, she said, “It’s important to know what others are making, to know what’s possible and to have those benchmarks.”
Although you can be motivated by others, you have to be self-aware and patient with your financial goals. No one achieves their goals overnight. Hard work and consistency are two critical factors to achieving any goal, especially your financial goals.
Download the CapWay mobile app and subscribe to CapWay’s The Money Room to watch the full Culture Meets Money video with Tonya Rapley.