by Andromeda Raheem
When I met Natasha, I could see the passion she has for money in her eyes. Not for making it, but helping others to manage theirs successfully. I witnessed Natasha sit on a panel and share her knowledge and wisdom based on her own personal experiences with money. After seeing her in action and being inspired by her words, I knew she would be a woman I could connect with. I had the opportunity to speak with Natasha about her life as a wife, mom, and entrepreneur and she candidly shared some great money tips as well as helped me to better understand what motivates her to empower women to win with money.
How would you describe yourself?
If I could sum me up into one word it would be LOVE. As a spirited entrepreneur, my commitment is to love you to life, be transparent with you, and provide value to help you succeed in your finances and personal life. I am passionate about empowering women to be more confident about themselves, money, and to enjoy a lifestyle that’s fosters true abundance. I’m an entrepreneur, wife, mother, personal finance coach, licensed real estate agent, and certified educator. It’s a financial empowerment love affair that I cannot deny!
What are a few things that very few people know about you?
Five fun and interesting facts you may not know about me are:
1. Faith, family, and meaningful relationships are the keys to my heart.
2. I grew up next to two motels in a single-family household.
3. I stopped eating beef and pork while a senior in high school in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
4. I love to knit in my spare time. It helps to relax my soul.
5. I rarely watch TV. I prefer to snuggle up next to a good book.
When you are “guilt-free shopping”, what are you buying?
I’m secretly a nerd! But cool at the same time. I’ve had the opportunity to enter college before high school through a summer enrichment program at the University of Miami which exposed me to a new perspective about life. I love to wander the aisles at the bookstore, it’s like a mini vacation for me. I get lost in the moment and discover new reads that I invite home. Combined with having a transparent space to record my feels and thoughts through journaling, my guilt-free shopping pleasures are both books and journals.
What is a “wealth stylist”?
In the midst of building my creative empire I desired a name that was chic, unique, and one that would resonate with me. The name was born while operating in my purpose. As the Wealth Stylist, I empower women to become the designer of their finances and personal lives, which embraces my passion to be the light for women to live happier, financially healthier, and more fulfilled in life. I believe wealth is a universal experience and not limited to a selected few. You were created with the power to experience wealth, to live a life of financial freedom, abundance, and significance in the world. Once you own that as your truth and begin to walk in alignment with it you can begin to devote your energy to what matters most– spiritual practices, loved ones, life endeavors or whatever brings you joy and happiness.
Have you always been financially savvy?
Yes and no. I learned the importantce of money management when I made the decision to become independent at the age of 17. I planned for an entire year mapping out a financial plan to layaway items, locate the essential fees to rent an apartment (this was all through the local newspaper), and all the other important elements required. When I took the leap of faith to part ways with what was normal for me, it took me down a path of self-discovery. In my financial life, the lines between needs and wants became blurred quickly. I became focused on pretties versus necessities which drained me mentally and financially. I hid behind the facets of looking good to impress people who probably didn’t care five minutes about me while not being able to afford to purchase the basics.
A shift occurred when I became a mother of a pre-mature daughter who was born at just 27 weeks. Now, I don’t know if you’ve had the experience of having a child in NICU for over 8 weeks, but it’s a heart breaking and traumatic moment. I remember seeing my daughter fighting for every breathe to live out her purpose. And unknowingly she reminded me that I have permission to do the same.
See, there was a moment in time when I had no savings. I had multiple credit cards maxed out. I had the people pleasing syndrome, giving when the efforts were not in alignment with my goals. I had no consistent spending plan. Investing into a retirement fund was always an emotional, I’ll do it later attitude. I am sure I had every credit score known to FICO. To add to my financial fiasco, I was unemployed for several months. I did not want my financial mess to be part of her story, not on my watch. So, I knew that that it was time for me to do something different.
I stopped looking for quick fixes and started doing the work. A year after her birth, together with my spouse– $16,000 saved, $18,000 in debt was released, credit scores of over 700 and a homeowner by the age of 25. I believe that you can save your way out of debt and create a livable spending plan that honors your goals. You don’t have to get it perfect, you just have to be committed to start.
What motivates you to teach others to take charge of their finances?
My love for personal finance has been rooted in my own personal journey. I am able to connect with women with compassion because I know how it feels to feel depleted, defeated, afraid, and alone. The truth was I was emotional and financial illiterate. I had a degree in finance and real estate yet I was practicing financial dysfunction. One thing I know to be true, knowledge does not create success. Knowledge, commitment and action is where transformation begins.
No one should feel ashamed of their financial mistakes. I want every woman reading this to know, you are incredible, smart, and talented! When I can support a woman to get her financial house in order so that she can make decisions from a position of strength to do more of what she loves, that is an empowering legacy shift.
Money is not always an easy topic for people to openly discuss with friends or strangers. How does one overcome that difficulty?
The first step from financial chaos to financial clarity is identifying where you are. Self-reflecting is all that’s required to get started. Take an inventory through journaling or note taking by answer the following three questions:
1. What are you doing that’s not working or moving you closer to your goals?
2. How do you feel about that experience?
3. What do you want to change?
What is your definition of a “healthy relationship” with money?
We are always relating to money when we buy, sell, invest, and spend. Money will be the longest running relationship you will have in your lifetime. Rebuilding or creating a healthy relationship with money is more than just numbers, its mindset. A healthy relationship will empower you to drop the doubt and shame, honor where you are, and identify a plan that supports your values and vision of how you plan to live your life. It’s a holistic approach of living a meaningful abundant life.
What advice do you have for someone who is overwhelmed with debt or stressed because of lack of money? What steps can they take to change their situation?
Start by examining where you are and honor yourself for owning your truth. It is important to change the way you approach your finances, so much is possible when you have a positive attitude that will support your success. Stop adding to your debt and consider printing the last three months of your bank statements to help you understand where your money is going. If you’re spending more on wants than necessitates, it’s time detox and create a spending plan that will support your financial goals. Get into action with an accountability partner or a coach. If you need additional support, please feel free to visit bit.ly/financialempowerment to schedule a complimentary session to better understand how I can support you to improve your finances.
What is one of the most common mistakes people make with money that could be avoided with proper education?
Not having a written spending plan is the most common mistake. Many people have a mental spending plan, which is not a plan. A spending plan is just a vision for your money that needs to be written to be real. What gets tracked gets improved. Having a spending plan is not about deprivation, it’s smart money management.
Another area I would say is not knowing what’s in their credit report. Annualcreditreport.com allows you to gain access to your credit report from the three major credit bureaus once per year for free. It is reported that 1 in 5 Americans has a mistake in their credit report.
Please connect with me through social media on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter @wealthstylist or subscribe to my newsletter at www.wealthstylist.com to receive information to help makeover your financial and personal life through videos, webinars, and masterclasses. Speaking of masterclasses, I will share an exciting new program focused on creating a plan to prosper soon so stay connected. You don’t want to miss out on this information.
As a mom, what age do you think is a good age to begin teaching children about finances?
As a mother of two, financial literacy started at the time I could communicate with understanding, which was at the age of 5. I don’t believe there’s a specific age to start teaching because it will depend on the maturity level of the child.
Teaching your kids about money is easy. If you don’t teach them about money they will learn about it from someone else. Start slow by simply asking and answering questions. You want to create an environment that fosters healthy communication around money. Schedule family money dates where you can be honest and set family goals to talk about commission based chores, family values, and finances. Just remember to keep it simple, depending on the age of your child.
If you would love more tools, resources and strategies to help teach your child about money, please visit www.gumroad.com/wealthstylist to purchase your copy.
What’s next for The Wealth Stylist?
What I am looking to do next is launch into the real estate arena, collaborate and partner with organizations to increase the impact of serving women through financial empowerment, speaking and media engagements, and supporting women through the release of my new book in March. To connect with me to learn more about me and how I can support or serve your organization, please visit www.wealthstylist.com.
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