TAKE THE JOURNEY WITH MONEY HONEY, A FINANCIALLY SWEET BLOG FOR THE FIRST GEN SUCCESS STORY
It’s all about the money, honey! Khadija Bingham, creator of Money Honey — a financially sweet blog for young adults, takes you through her money journey. Bingham, who does accounting work for a financial services firm, wants to use her experiences to help younger people of color with similar backgrounds learn about financial literacy and gain an understanding of what that looks like.
Bingham graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 2016 with a bachelor’s in finance and accounting along with a master’s in accounting. She is currently working towards being a certified public accountant (CPA). Because of her experience and knowledge, she was always the friend people came to for money related questions. It wasn’t until her senior year of college that the idea of Money Honey blossomed.
She had such a huge curiosity for finance and financial literacy that she always asked her professors about their personal finances. While some students would go to office hours to get a better understanding of the lesson, Bingham would go to learn beyond what was taught. If they were taught what the stock market was and how it works, she would go and ask how she can actually participate in it. Bingham believed, “Some of these questions, classmates didn’t have to ask because their parents had stocks….. I couldn’t help but wonder how many people had these questions and didn’t have the opportunity or professors to ask”. Bingham shared that she didn’t grow up in a home where her parents paid a lot of attention to their money or discuss it much, which made her very cognitive and careful of her spending habits. Bingham knew that there was no way all of this information she was receiving should be kept exclusive to her. She needed to find a way to share what she was been learning.
Money Honey officially started January 2016. Due to her full time job, moving to a new city and CPA preparation, it was hard for Bingham to find time for it as well as be consistent upon graduation so, unfortunately, the Money Honey blog became inactive in 2017. Making such a huge impact in such little time, though, she was determined to bring it back. It officially relaunched in January 2018.
Money Honey focuses on three different topics: money, professional development and living your best life. It is designed for the first generation success story, and those who are the first in their family/communities to go to college, move to a new city, or do something that hasn’t been done before. Bingham wants Money Honey to be the “big cousin” you ask for advice or guidance... Especially for those who do not have one.
Bingham posts content regarding self-help tips, debt, credit cards, and of course, her personal journey on being financially secure. On Wednesdays, she posts #WorkingWomenWardrobe to help those who have questions or need help with what to wear to work. Every month she has a different #MHChallenge to engage and encourage users with challenges such as, goal setting, meal prepping, supporting black-owned businesses and more. Her fun personality and determination to help others is completely different than your usual financial literacy blog. According to Bingham, most people she has seen thus far with financial literacy blogs are older than her or experts in personal finance. She says, “To be a woman of color that’s okay with saying they aren’t an expert but still putting themselves out there, and someone who wants to talk about financial literacy, is very different.” Bingham loves that Money Honey allows her to creatively present information that people usually don’t care to hear about as well as connecting with others.
In the future, Bingham hopes to release an 8-week boot camp on getting finances together, tracking spending, creating budgets and creating plans to eliminate debt. It would be completely free because she would be doing it for the first time. She also would like to provide different services and products and work with small businesses in the next five years.
"I hope that people will follow my journey and be encouraged to take the journey themselves and not be afraid to ask the questions that may seem simple or may be dumb, because you never know how many other people may have that question, especially when it comes to money. It’s something that we don’t really talk about in our community that often, and I just really want to be a part of that conversation or be a part of that vessel that’s cultivating that convo. Follow Money Honey." — Khadija Bingham
DARLA was able to get financial insight to help creatives achieve their goals. Here's what we learned:
Adrienne: What are some good/creative ways to make investments?
Money Honey: When I think of investing money, I don’t really think of it as fun and I can’t really think of any creative ways... But there are some cool apps out there that help people invest their money. For example, there is an app called Acorns, that will take all of the remaining change from your daily purchases (i.e if you buy something for $1.45, then they will round the purchase up to $2 and will invest the 55 cents into the stock markets). Another thing I think we need to do more of is investing in one another! If you have a friend with a clothing line, and they can use a $1000 to kick start their business, invest in them! If you have a friend who is trying to build an app and they need some start-up money, invest in them! We put our trust in the stock markets, which most people barely understand, and it’s intangible AF, but we won’t put our trust in your friends/families dreams. We need to change that and start investing in our people and ourselves.
A: So, do you have any money management tips for young entrepreneurs and brand owners?
MH: Everyone wants to jump into investing because they hear investing is how you build wealth, how your money grows. Your money makes money while you sleep — which is very, very true. But there is not one rich person who is investing without having a savings account. Your foundation is that emergency fund that you have. It’s you saving. I’ve learned the best way to save is an automatic deposit into your savings account or an automatic withdrawal from checkings to savings. Eventually you’ll forget about it, look at the account and say ‘Oh sh*t, I have $800 in this account! I didn’t realize I was putting it away.’ For me, I have $25 go from one account to another every Thursday, automatically. It’s kind of like a bill that I have. Also, looking at savings — make it a habit. It doesn’t have to be the same amount every time. One week you may be able to put away $100, one week you may only be able to put away $5. Put away something and get yourself in that habit of taking care of you first and paying yourself first.
A: How do you save while taking care of basic living expenses + business expenses?
MH: It starts with having a real understanding of where your money is going and what your money looks like. How much money do you have coming in, how much money is required to go out, and where is there wiggle room. In a perfect world you would wanna save first and pay bills later. But that’s not realistic for everybody. Look at how much money you have coming in, look at what all your expenses are and before you get into how much money you want to have for fun, then you pay yourself. Again, in the very beginning of your savings journey, focus less on the amount and more just on the habit of saving.
A: Do you have any simple tips that everyone should know about financial stability?
MH: Automatic deposit! It’s the one thing that has been a game changer for me personally that a lot of people don’t even consider or think about.
Disclaimer: Khadija Bingham is not an expert and is speaking from personal experiences