Kara Perez is the founder of Bravely Go, an online community that shares practical, actionable, and intersectional financial advice. We asked her about the best ways to achieve financial wellness.
Founder, Bravely Go
What is your top advice for people attempting to improve their financial well-being?
You can’t change anything about your financial life without knowing what your financial life really entails. Look at your total financial picture. All your debts, all your assets. Without knowing where you’re starting, you can’t know where to make change.
Do you have any best practices for improving one’s financial literacy?
Never think you know everything. Money is always changing, as are best practices. Before COVID, experts recommended a very different amount of money in emergency funds that we do now. And your life changes! Your budget pre-kids will NOT be the same post-kids. Understanding that flexibility is key to long-term success.
What were some of the most important steps you took to become debt free in 2015?
Earning more money. For me, I was very low income. You can only frugal so far. At some point, I needed to earn more than $18,000 a year. Once I did, literally everything got easier.
For women in particular, what advice do you have for them when trying to regain control of their financial future?
Money doesn’t see gender but the world around us does. Real financial change for women is less about “rah rah sisters, let’s negotiate more” and it’s more about institutions recognizing their bias and changing their practices. To that end, a great tool for helping women is creating organizational change through hiring practices, management styles and conducting a supportive workplace.
What tactics have you found most successful when working on improving and sticking to one’s budgeting?
Accountability! We all need it. No one does great things alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to join a program that provides accountability and community for your money journey.