It is a real pleasure to have LaTisha Styles of Young Finances join us today for an interview. LaTisha was the first personal finance blogger who reached out to me and asked if I would like to guest post on her site. My mom and I were blown away. We never expected help, especially from another blogger, of any kind. We were very wrong. The other personal finance bloggers that I have gotten to know have been the most generous and kind people ever! LaTisha has taken the time to answer so many questions and has encouraged me in many ways. We have even got to meet this summer when we were in her area. We met for lunch and it was so cool getting to meet her in person! I hope to have the opportunity someday to help and encourage another blogger as well. LaTisha shares how she got started blogging, why she blogs, and gives her best money advice to young people.
Me: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
LaTisha: I’m a young professional working for an investment consulting firm. I enjoy running my blog, working out and finding ways to generate multiple streams of income. I was in the Spanish Honor Society in high school, on the yearbook staff but I never made the volleyball team. I was known as the silly one in high school who always knew how to make my friends laugh. In spanish class my nickname was “Chiquita”. I also coordinated a silly talent show dance routine with my best friend and our background song was Ricky Martin’s ‘She Bangs’. We wore wigs and police uniforms. Unfortunately, we did not win.
Me: When did you first become interested in finance as a career?
LaTisha: I chose finance after taking Finance 101 as part of an Accounting Masters program that I was doing. I hated the accounting classes and loved the finance class so I changed my course of study to complete a finance undergrad instead. Something about the time value of money really caught my attention. Plus I was fascinated by how the banks always seemed to make money off of me.
Me: What led you to start your own website about personal finance?
LaTisha: After graduating in May of 2010 with a finance degree, I had a really hard time finding a job. At that time there were many layoffs in the industry and recent graduates were plenty. So I decided to start my site to at least use what I learned in school and maybe turn it into a full time gig.
Me: What do you focus on at Young Finances?
LaTisha: Young Finances is geared towards the recent college graduate and young professional that never really learned to manage money. I cover easy investing for beginners, basic budgeting, and teach simple finance for young people. My goal is to help my readers become a financial success and build wealth.
Me: What are your earliest memories and perceptions about money?
LaTisha: I remember my dad teaching me about money and tithing. I learned how to use percentages at an early age so I could tithe 10% of my income at church. I only wish I would have learned to save 10% as well.
Me: Did your parents teach you how to budget? If so, how did they do that with you?
LaTisha: With the exception of teaching me to tithe, my parents did not teach me to budget. I learned most everything I know about money through trial and error. Mostly error. I used to spend my paychecks on designer clothing. I opened credit cards and used them to the limit. I made the typical mistakes with money. That is why I want to write about finance in a way that is easy to understand.
Me: What is the biggest mistake that teens make with money in your opinion?
LaTisha: I would have to say that the biggest mistake would be thinking that they do not have to learn about money until they get older. It seems like it’s something their parents should worry about but that is the wrong way to think about finance. The sooner that you learn to manage money properly, the easier it is to do so. Especially down the road once there are bills and other recurring expenses.
Me: Can you tell us about your biggest success and/or failure with money when you were a teen?
LaTisha: My biggest success with money was making it. I started my first job working at McDonalds. One day, I learned that the new people were being hired and making more money than me. I mentioned a raise but heard that it would not happen. So I looked for a better paying job. Because I was and am a hard worker, I got a much better paying job and I was able to pay for all of my expenses as a high school senior without help from my parents.
Me: What did you do to earn money as a teen?
LaTisha: I started by babysitting my younger brother and then I would babysit the neighborhood kids. That was from about age 13-15. Once I turned 15 I got a job at McDonalds and stayed there for 2 years.
Me: What is the best piece of advice you have for teens today who want to be responsible with their money?
LaTisha: Save half of everything you make while you have few responsibilities. Open a savings account and once your balance reaches 500 dollars, put the money in a CD (certificate of deposit). Continue doing that; buy a CD each time you save 500 dollars. Once you start college you will be able to use that money for school or you can continue saving to get a head start on building wealth!
Me: That is great advice LaTisha. Save half and put it in the bank where it isn’t so easy to get too! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me today! Please visit LaTisha over at Young Finances, especially if you want to learn more about investing your money wisely as a teen or young adult. You can also connect with her on Facebook, YouTube (she has her own channel!), and Pinterest!