Meet 4 Women Building Financial Inclusion Communities for People of Color

Banks continue to ignore millennial minorities. 

What about the “unbanked” (those who do not have proximal access to banks and other financial services) or those with little financial assets to begin with? What if you face disparity in income, your opportunities for upward mobility are limited, or transfer of wealth like inheritance and 401Ks doesn’t include you? In today’s fickle American economy, making the right financial decisions can be daunting. Even worse, for some Millennial minorities how your family handled money while you were growing up can make or break your chances of financial stability as an adult.

We [minorities] are not used to money and want to splurge when we should save,” she comments. “I used my fluctuating freelance income as an excuse to splurge when a big check came and starve when income was low.
— Nichelle Stephens, KeepingNickels.com

STATS

  • According to a 2010 Yankelovich MONITOR Multicultural Study, the majority of Hispanics — 77% — agree with the statement, “I wish more financial institutions would offer products and services with Hispanics in mind”
  • Hispanics earn $16,353 a year less on average than their colleagues who are not Hispanic, while Blacks make $3,656 less than whites, according to a report from the American Institute for Economic Research
  • If you are a Latina woman it’s even tougher: the national average is 56 cents to every dollar paid to a white man
  • According to an iQuantifi survey this April, only 29 percent of young workers have looked to professionals for advice, suggesting that while Millennials have goals, they lack a comprehensive financial plan
Building wealth is a process – and financial literacy is really about understanding the lingo and then understanding how all the products fit together to get you to financial security,” Ortega says.
— Ramona Ortega, My Money, My Future

Despite all these cultural issues, four female entrepreneurs are taking matters into their own hands.

Change Your Money Habits With These Tools

  • Simple is a digital-only bank with no fees, no minimums and no automated customer service. It's transparent, customizable and human-first in design and function.
  • Level Money is a smartphone app for budgeting and tracking with an estimate of spending money for the day, week and month.
  • Even is a new app designed to help people with irregular income work out an average monthly income, save, and/or cover expenses when there’s a surplus. 
  • Kiddie Coins Kids is a book series and soon-to-be mobile app educating children on the basics of money management skills.
  • PocketSmith is an all-in-one suite that provides vital information (like cash flow) along with long-term savings projections.
  • Digit is a fun and simple way to save automatically based on your existing income.
  • Robinhood helps you learn how to trade in a low-cost, low-risk way.
There is a feeling like you already need to have your finances in order before going to a planner, so the industry fails to meet us where we are,” she claims. “If we have unpredictable income or need to earn more the advice might be, ‘you need to make more money.’ Okay that’s great, but how do I do that?
— Jennifer Velasquez, BrooklynPlans.org

So what can millennial minorities do to improve their financial game plan? All four women agree: ask questions, get educated on digital banking versus traditional banking, and seek support.

Our unique challenge is that we don’t make money management, entrepreneurship and long-term financial planning a priority in our homes,” Dean claims. “This is where the behavior is modeled for our next generation. We need kids to learn from a young age what it means to make, spend and invest money wisely.
— Ginger Dean, Girls Just Wanna Have Funds

Has your family history impacted the way you manage your money?

Join #RadGirlsInTech Meetup in Philadelphia!

Join #RadGirlsInTech Meetup in Philadelphia!

A Latina’s Journey to Learning The Importance of Money