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Community Tip #2 - Gucci Dreams On A TJ Maxx Budget

Instagram Name: @bear.andthebull

Age Range: 29+1

Location: USA

Do you consider yourself a saver, a spender, or a little of both ?

I would consider myself a saver.

Care to share a milestone you are proud of? Celebrate your wins!

A recent milestone that I’m proud of is releasing my podcast called “Money Memories.” The goal of the series is to remove the taboo around how we discuss money. I interview a wide variety of guests - from South African startup founders to Berlin-based drag queens - and ask each of them what their earliest or most impactful money memory is. 

I was inspired to start the series because, as someone who has been working in finance for my entire career, people would approach me with advice or questions. I quickly realized that most “money” questions are actually psychology questions, and are deeply rooted in how we grew up. 

My parents are immigrants - they are from Cuba and Russia - so they had to learn about finances in a capitalist system when they moved here. They taught me how to work hard, and be prepared, but there was a lot I had to learn on my own too. Even though I attended an ivy league school for my undergraduate degree and one of the top MBA programs later, I could see that there was still a lot about money that I had to learn.

This series is a way for me to tell people - it’s OK to have questions, you don’t need to know all the answers. By sharing the stories of people from diverse backgrounds, I want to highlight how our anxieties, hopes, and fears around money are actually quite universal!

Each episode is about 20 minutes long, and they’re available wherever you listen to podcasts, so you should check them out!

Share a lesson you've learned and a tip you would give others:

Always live below your means. I learned this from my parents, who immigrated to the US with me when I was 5 and hustled to build a better life.

 I've never lived in the newest apartment, I've always driven used cars that have been paid in cash, and I haven't made a purchase that I couldn't afford in cash (except for my education). Even when I lived in high cost of living areas, I was always the person spending the least on rent. This might not work for everyone, but it's a lifestyle that works for me.

Everything that I need to make me happy is probably at TJ Maxx anyway!

What do you consider to be the worst financial advice you've gotten?

"You should sell your Netflix options." I used to work there, and a wealth advisor told me this.

Needless to say, if you look at the performance from 2015, I think I'm alright!


Special thanks to @bear.andthebull for the tip! Check out her instagram here and make sure to check out her podcast, Money Memories here. Money Memories is a podcast series dedicated to breaking the taboo around finance conversations - one “money memory” at a time. She is also a contributing writer for Forbes.

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