How Dealing With Loss Inspired One Influencer to Become a Financial Lioness

Today we have the one and only Financial Lioness aka Angie E.

She is a digital Content Creator and author of the E-book “Investing for the Everyday Investor. Her platform focuses on financial literacy and the helping folks build generational wealth in America. She loves talking about finance and the million ways of making money. Check out her website: www.financiallioness.com.

We discuss how losing her father at an early age taught her the importance of financial independence, and how she is taking steps to ensure that her financial legacy is passed down to her son.


Episode Transcript

ILV: [00:00:00] Welcome to Money Memories, Angelica, we’re super excited to have you on the show. Do you want to get started by telling listeners a little bit about how you grew up?

Angelica: [00:00:08] So I am the oldest of three kids, three girls to be exact. I am born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but, I have lineage to Nigeria where my parents are originally from. So they were immigrants and I am first generation Nigerian American, and I pretty much grew up probably in a predominantly black community in Minneapolis. Really I lived my whole life bubble and then I turned 18, drove across the Mississippi, which is like five minutes. I just want to say that’s not really that far, but it’s dramatic to say I crossed the river to St. Paul and that’s where I attended college. And I was met with a culture shock because it was not a lot of people of color.

So, I think that experience really taught me a lot because it taught me how to be around other people who were not necessarily my race, but then it also prepared me for the business world, which is also a predominantly white and not as a colorful. So it was an experience.

ILV: [00:01:12] What is your earliest or most impactful money memory?

Angelica: [00:01:15] I think for me, losing our, our dad at a young age, it really taught me a lot about money at that time. I was in shock probably the first year that my dad had died and  it was something where, you know, I then started to develop this whole, like I have to make sure that I’m okay. I have to make sure that I’m secure. and my mother, who at the time, she was like, kind of in the same boat where she was just like, I need to figure out how to take care of these kids.

Luckily for us, my dad had a life insurance policy, so that was really how we were able to survive. And he also was a teacher, so we got a lot of his teacher pension. We were still under eighteen, all three of us. So we were able to get social security.

So we had all these great things to help us survive. So my mom was actually on her way to medical school when he got sick with cancer. So it was crazy how she basically had to change her whole career and become a teacher so that she could stay at home with us, during the summers and kind of have the same schedule as we did.

So that really impacted us a lot because from that moment on, she made sure that she had 529s set up. She started investing in different businesses. She had a savings account because when my dad was alive, I had no idea, but we were living PTP. We had no savings, not 1 cent put away, no investments, none of that stuff.

It was really after he passed away that my mom started to put things in place and I started to watch her. And after I watched her kind of grow our family and grow our assets. Yeah. I started to do the same thing as well and have continued to do the same thing since I’ve been an adult.

ILV: [00:02:58] Wow. So what was kind of was the beginning of your personal finance journey was, dealing with the death of your father at that moment?

Angelica: [00:03:07] I learned that tomorrow’s not promised. And I’m married with a son. So it’s probably my most irrational fear is that I’m going to be a widow one day, because that has, that has stayed with me since my father died and made my mother a widow.

And so with that, I’ve always been the type that’s like, no matter what, even if Jeremy dies, my husband is Jeremy, even if he dies, just so you know, they might be like, who the hell is Jeremy? laughs If Jeremy, God forbid, something happens. I’m still able to take care of our son and still able to take care of, keep our home, all this stuff.

You know, those are things that I felt like. I needed to always have a sense of security when it came to finances, because it just showed me that anything could happen.

ILV: [00:04:01] What were like the beginning steps that you took  along this path towards greater financial independence?

Angelica: [00:04:06] So one of the things that I forgot to mention was that when I was in college, I won $250,000 to go to school. So with that every single semester I would get, you know, a refund check. And so with this refund check, I would buy mutual funds.  But it was really good because I was able to now build a foundation. So graduated with no debt, graduating with assets, graduating with money and not being really the typical broke college student.

ILV: [00:04:35] So investing your refund back into mutual funds, like where did you learn how to do that?

Angelica: [00:04:39] My mother.  She just said she had, I think it was American funds. So she had an account with them and she’s like, yeah, Angela, I she’s like I have this brokerage account. I think you should try to do this if you can. And I was like, okay. And I was like, well, how do you do it? And she’s like, just go online. I’ll show you how to set it up. And so she’d set it up and we just did it. And then when I got my refund checks, I would just deposit it in there.

ILV: [00:05:05] Wow. Wow. So your mom has some financial savvy. It looks like she had to learn along the way as well.

Angelica: [00:05:11] She did. She really did. I mean, can you imagine she like started her financial journey at 33, technically.

ILV: [00:05:19] I’m just wondering, like, are you all equally savvy in your family or you guys all equally resourceful when it comes to finances or are you like the first one and then you’re teaching them, like, how does that dynamic work?

Angelica: [00:05:31] So I’m definitely teaching them, they’re baby financers, but I definitely think that, they are definitely ripping running right now. So the middle child is my sister who’s 26 and she recently she’s moving to DC in a few weeks and her thing was like, I’m not going to move until I have a huge emergency fund. So she saved upon a ton of money. We’re looking at real estate in Baltimore because it’s being gentrified. Those are the conversations that me and my sister had.

ILV: [00:06:00] When you met your now husband, Jeremy, I’m wondering, how did that conversation around finances evolved? How did you  guys develop your own personal finances identity as a couple?

Angelica: [00:06:16] I love my husband, but, it was a very tough conversation because, so when I, and this is true story, hopefully he won’t kill me, but when I first met my husband, he literally was docking and dodging Sallie Mae. And I remember one time I was like, who is calling you at 9:00 AM? Every like, Friday morning. And he’s like, “Oh, that’s student loans.” And I’m like, dude, you got to answer the phone and deal with it. He’s somebody who came from not so much of a savvy family background knew nothing about finances. I mean, his family really was just the type of family that was trying to survive. He comes from a single parent home as well.

His dad raised him and his brother and sister. And it’s been like just a learning lesson for him. I think that what I really love, I like to call him the CEO and I’m the CFO. So we definitely work together either to do things and to make money decisions and do stuff like that. But I definitely think for him, what I love about him the most is he’s always willing to learn.

And just as excited as I am to pay off his loans. I mean, I was the one who really told him about refinancing his loans, applying to the government loan forgiveness program because he worked for the state of Minnesota at one time. He just didn’t know anything about them.

So once we were able to get on the same page with that and with our findings is, I mean, everything was fine. We were talking about finances when we were dating. So this is, was nothing new to our marriage.

ILV: [00:07:51] So now that you have a child together, what are some of like the, the financial lessons that you have either already started to teach him or that you hope to impart on him while he’s still young?

Angelica: [00:08:00] So I actually got him some fake money last week at target. So, there was this like  little, you know, the dollar spot at target. So I just went there and I was like, Oh, fake money. So, so I got him some fake money where I wanted to start to teach him about like just saving money, putting money away.

So he has an electric coin jar, and all last week we spent the week just going over the different coins and stuff like that. And so he now knows, you know, quarters, pennies, dimes, nickels, kind of that stuff. And then he knows dollars. Cause I have an uncle, so who, every time, cause he goes to our church every time he sees LJ, he gives him like 20 bucks, like in ones.

And like, it was really nice because he started to learn about money that way. And then he learned money, like through the fake money, we have a little cash register where he pretends to ring me up, items in our home. And he’ll say, how much is this? I’m like, Hmm. Where it’s $2 and he’ll like divvy out the $2 or the change and stuff like that.

So it’s definitely something where, it’s a conversation in our household. I just want my son to be very financially savvy as well and have all of the resources he needs. And honestly, I think that it all starts in the home, you know, there’s no way around it. It’s like most things you learn from the home household in the environment that you grow up in.

ILV: [00:09:28] That’s awesome. Like running the financial roost of Casa Angelica. You’re also running the financial roost for women and millennials, people of color who are still learning about personal finance through your platform, Financial Lioness. Can you tell the listeners a little bit more about, you know, what inspired you to start?

Angelica: Yeah, of course. So I am born and raised in the twin Twin Cities, sadly home to where the incident with George Floyd happened. Prior to this, I. I used to have friends who would come to me and ask me money questions.

And I would just, I was just always have an answer for them. And then very soon all my friends, they would be like, you’re really good at this, you know, a lot about this stuff. And it’s funny cause I don’t, I don’t really work in finance. I majored in finance, but I actually work in accounting because I’m an internal auditor.

And so it’s funny because, over the years, I’ve just kind of gravitated to learning more about the world of finance. Like whether it’s through blogs or, you know, newspapers or things like that. I just really, and I’ve always watched the stock market, so I think what it was that when I started this whole Financial Lioness platform, I wasn’t really serious about it.

I started a blog, but I didn’t know what it looked like. It was kind of ugly. Didn’t really know, I didn’t really know my colors or anything. And then George Floyd happened in May and something in me just kind of snapped. I think what it was the fact that I have really been a strong advocate for financial literacy in the community, but more so it’s to prevent things like that from happening some of the racial injustices that happen across people of color in the community.

And so with that said, thus Financial Lioness was reborn. And I have been going strong on the content. I’m creating digital content right now for classes this fall. I’m trying to create an e-book this fall as well for people from the beginner to intermediate, to advanced level but I really want to make sure that I give something to the people.

It is a very, very strong passion of mine to lead in education. And then also lift as I climb, I’m also very relatable to people because I know what it’s like to not have money.

And then I know what it’s like to have money and grow my money and continue to educate people. So, no, you know, you can follow @financiallioness, and I have my Instagram. And all of that jazz set up, but, I definitely would love to continue to educate people on this and it’s been a pleasure, definitely doing it in the few months that I’ve been very active.

ILV: [00:12:12] Why, in your opinion is financial literacy for communities of color, so critical?

Angelica: [00:12:17] So I think it’s really important because we don’t have the same resources. They said it’s going to take 228 years to close the wealth gap between blacks and whites in America. that is, that is asinine. That is absurd. That is heinous. These are all the words that I love to use to describe negativity.

It’s not fair. I don’t think that it’s right. I mean, I think that, and I could go on a whole different soapbox. The why it’s the way that it is, but that’s okay.

That’s a different story for different time, but I want to help these people. I want us to catch up. I really do. I want us to have a piece of America that was promised. To each and every one of us that’s at one point was for us. And so it’s like, I just feel like that, that we need to continue to uplift each other. And that’s what I’m here to do is continue to uplift everyone.

ILV: [00:13:14] well, I love your mission. I love your platform. Everybody go follow Financial Lioness right now. I promised the lightning rounds and I am nothing if not true to my promise. All right. So the first question is what is your idea of perfect happiness?

Angelica: [00:13:34] Hawaii. It is my absolute favorite place in the entire world. I went there on a baby moon and I have been like, Like hooked ever since.

I think what it is, is just their way of life. I think that, if I could come back, I would like be like a little shark in the ocean off of the Pacific and stuff like that. So Hawaii is definitely represents happiness for me

ILV: [00:14:00] question two. What is your greatest extravagance?

Angelica: [00:14:05] This is a good question. My greatest extravagance would be, do I have to have done it or is it like something that I can aspire?

ILV: [00:14:16] There are no rules or limits in these questions

Angelica: [00:14:18] I’m glad I asked. So I would like a private jet with me and my girlfriends.

And we are going straight to Bali. I just think with champagne, the finest of foods, I mean, we got sushi over here. You know, we got some crab legs, you know, all of these things that and some nice, nice little desserts on the way to Bali. First on our private jet. PJ and it out.

ILV: [00:14:48] Don’t forget about your humble Money Memories host when you take this trip. Kay. Thank you.

Angelica: [00:14:52] I won’t forget you girl. You know, there’s no one, a or one seat. It’s just “get one.”. I just want one crab leg one.

ILV: [00:15:09] Yes. Okay. Which talent would you most like to have?

Angelica: [00:15:12] Oh, my God. I just talked about this with someone. I would love to be a music video producer, like Melina Matsoukas, who does all of Beyonce’s videos. That’s totally me. Like I, if I could do it again, that’s what I would do.

ILV: [00:15:28] And the last question is what is your most treasured possession?

Angelica: [00:15:33] So I have a bracelet that my mother gave me. It’s like this cute, beautiful diamond bracelet that she gave me on my 18th birthday. And I just really treasure it because. It just reminds me of how much she loves me. Yeah. Because when it was what she said behind it, and she said, you know, you are truly my biggest pride and life, cause for awhile, it was just me and her against the world. And you know, my sisters, when my dad died, I was 11 and my sister, my sisters were six and four.

And so I helped her raise them and yeah. Times when she was down, I would always cheer her up. So she’s like, you are truly, truly my gem. So that’s why I have to give you all these gems for your 18th birthday.

ILV: [00:16:25] Oh, that’s a beautiful message. Well thank you for sharing your beautiful memories and these stories as it’s been such a delight. Thank you so much, Angelica.

Angelica: [00:16:33] Yes, of course, any time and you know, like I said, thank you for having me and please check me www.financiallioness.com and on Instagram at Financial Lioness as well.

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