Over the last couple months I have interviewed a growing number of top bloggers and writers to get their input on personal finance (e.g., the founders of Budgets Are Sexy, The Broke And Beautiful Life, Frugal Rules,Debt Roundup, and Modest Money). Today, I’m excited to share with you another terrific interview with one of the top personal finance writers on the Internet.
LaTisha Styles founded a popular website called Young Finances. Since 2010, she has become an Investment Analyst, entrepreneur, and was featured in a variety of publications. Here’s my interview with her. Thanks again, LaTisha!
What inspired you to begin Young Finances?
I started Young Finances because I graduated college in 2010 and I was having a hard time finding a job. I had a degree in Finance and learned a lot about the correct way to manage personal finances after recovering from several bad decisions I made with my money. I decided to start writing about what I learned to help other young adults.
How did people (friends, family, etc.) react when you first started? How long have you been blogging?
Almost all of my friends were supportive. I used to share each post on Facebook and I got a lot of good feedback and encouragement. I started the site in December of 2010, but I have been blogging much longer. I started an e-zine when I was 14 and I just found an old issue! It was such a blast from the past.
What was your experience with design, code, web work prior to starting your site?
What advice would you give to those thinking about starting their own site?
Don’t be afraid to just get started. You don’t have to know everything when you are first starting out and you won’t know everything. If you don’t like the name of your site you can always change it. More than once. I started out as Financial Success for Young Adults then moved to Young Adult Finances and now my happy home is Young Finances. I think this is where we’ll stay.
How do you make money from your site? Where does most of your revenue come from?
My site generates revenue primarily through affiliate marketing. When I first started, I sold text links and sponsored posts but I decided to focus on more stable revenue. If you’re like me and interested to see income reports, I share the income that comes from my web properties each month at TravelTish.com. Mostly I learn about the best financial tools and I test them out for myself before recommending them to my audience.
What do you think you’ve learned from your readers and fans?
I’ve learned not to be so scared. I used to be really scared about putting personal information out there and sharing my money mishaps. But once I starting sharing, more people (and even close friends!) started reaching out to share their stories about money. It makes me sad that personal finance is such a taboo subject because I think that we could all learn a lot from the mistakes and successes of others.
How can somebody in lower incomes best overcome financial hurdles and prosper?
I can only speak from my own experience here. I come from a low-income family and I was determined to set the bar high for myself. I was fortunate that my parents made school a priority and taught me smart study habits. I decided to learn about how money works and how banks and businesses make money. Learning the system is the best way to beat it.
Wherever you are starting, you can do it. I always imagined that someone held me back at the starting line of my financial life, but I just had to exert that much more effort to win and achieve my own financial success. And I’m still gunning for first place.
I had to be willing to be different. Turn off the TV, start reading about successful people, figure out the formula. It will take time but you can do it. And look for role models and mentors. Tell them about your goals.
“When you really want something to happen, the whole world conspires to help you achieve it.”
That’s from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho one of my favorite books.
Who are your financial role models?
I admire the stories of ‘regular people’ as my financial role models. People who started with nothing and worked hard. Author J.K. Rowling who worked day and night on a book that helped pull her out of poverty and rapper B.o.B. who came from humble beginnings in Decatur, GA and played no name venues as he gained his fan base. I really admire that strong work ethic that unites successful people.
What personal finance sites do you read?
As a personal finance blogger, I like to read the sites that are very different. RomeoJeremiah.com has interesting posts about life and personal finance. I really enjoy reading AffordAnything.com. Paula really appeals to the rebel in me. I discover new blogs everyday but these are two that I come back to often.
What else would you care to share with the readers of Frugaling?
I would love to share my dancing skills! (And a bit of business advice). Please head over to this video and watch me do the hustle: youngfinances.com/sidehustle