Things That Matter

We Earn Less Than Men, We Lose Income As Caregivers And That’s Why This Latina Gives Financial Advice To WOC

Courtesy of Brittney Castro

For a long time, finance was considered a boys’ club that only allowed old, grey-haired men in. But for women who largely head households and outlive men, monetary savvy is a necessity we can no longer afford to pass over. In Los Angeles, financial planner Brittney Castro, CFP®, is ensuring that women of all walks of life have the money wits they need and deserve.

At Financially Wise, Inc., the boutique financial planning firm Castro founded in 2013, the biracial Mexican-American offers holistic and comprehensive financial and investment planning for individuals, couples and businesses, with a special aim for women to get their money right. 

“A big thing for me, in the beginning, was to make [financial advice] more accessible, not just for high-network clients. Everyone needs a financial plan to pay for life and goals,” Castro, who says she speaks with clients as if they were friends, in a “fun, personal, compassionate, relatable and nonjudgmental way,” told FIERCE.

In addition to her fee-only financial planning, the 35-year-old CEO also provides online money courses, financial wellness workshops, speaking engagements and brand partnerships. 

Unlike many others in her field, Castro wasn’t raised by entrepreneurial parents, so she understands firsthand how intimidating finances can be. In fact, she entered the industry because she wanted to help communities like her own, everyday people with finance fears, all while being her own boss and making a lofty income herself.

Starting in the corporate world, she loved the change she was making in people’s lives: educating them, helping build confidence in themselves and their pursuits as well as co-creating futures where clients weren’t just secure but thriving.

Still, the long workdays and benevolent sexism of the industry took its toll on the young career woman.

“I stuck out like a sore thumb, which used to bother me a lot,” she said. “There have been so many times in my career when I was talked down to or judged.”

After five years working for a large company, Castro decided to quit and enter independent financial planning, where she’d have more control over her hours and less interaction with condescending bros. 

At the time, blogs were in bloom and social media was on the come-up, and Castro, knowing the troubles of being a woman in money, saw a niche that wasn’t being targeted: women. She started writing and speaking publicly about gender and capital, quickly seeing the benefits of the identities she was previously made to feel insecure about.

“I now think it’s an advantage that I’m a woman, Latina, young and in finance,” said Castro, whose insight on the topic can be found in outlets like Entrepreneur, CNN, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Glamour, Elle, Marie Claire and more. “People need me. This is America. I’m the new face, the new generation, so now I see it as a strength.”

Her biggest goal is to demystify finance so that it’s approachable for everyday people who fear all things dinero, and that typically comprises women, especially women of color. This demographic, Castro says, often feels unseen and unheard, and she doesn’t want to perpetuate those feelings and experiences in her office. Knowing the fears, insecurities and emotions that come with money talk, she creates a space where women feel safe to open up.

Courtesy of Brittney Castro

“It’s never just money — it’s our lives, our fears, our wants. So it’s important for me to give women another place to come to where they can feel heard and get the help they want and deserve,” she said.

Once she and her client work through the sentimental blockages, she then breaks down why it’s totally essential for women, especially, to be financially literate and in control of their coins: We live longer than men. Nine of 10 women will be in charge of their finances at some point in their lives. We still earn less than men. We lose income when taking care of children and elders. And the list, she says, goes on.

“There are a lot of challenges, which makes learning about money more necessary,” Castro contends. “While current women’s movements are helping, by making it easier for us or creating more awareness around issues we experience, we, as individuals, still need to decide to dive in and make decisions on our finances.”

For those who are interested but don’t know where to begin or feel like they don’t have the time or cash flow to get started, Castro urges to be abandon self-doubt and just embark on the journey.

To start, Castro offers a few beginner steps.

Know your budget.

This includes all the money coming in and going out of your bank accounts.

Consider how your current budget is working. This will help you spot if you are running short and allow you to identify areas where you might be wasting money that you could actually be saving. “Maybe you need to make more or cut back, but you have to find a way to save money. We all do. But you have to start with your budget,” she said.

Set up automatic systems that will save you money.

There are a few ways to do this. Paychecks that are made via direct deposit, for instance, can automatically go into different accounts, including savings, 401(k)s, investments, employee stock purchase plans and health savings. Automating recurring bills as well as putting credit cards on autopay could also help.

“It’s almost impossible to save money if you have no automatic system that is taking money out of your account. It’s torture to do it any other way. If you see it, you will spend it. Just to be safe, set up an automatic savings plan,” she says.

Learn how to invest.

Learn the language, don’t take risks that will lose you money and expect it to be a lifelong, ever-changing journey.

Whether through a class or a book, educate yourself on investment, in the stock market and in real estate.

“I’ve been doing this for 13 years, and I still learn something new all the time,” she said. “Things change. Technology changes. Products change. There are investments that are right for you and then something comes that’s better, so you have to be willing to make a change.”

Be gentle, yet assertive with your financial goals.

Castro emphasizes that it takes courage, willpower and commitment to follow through on your strategy, which isn’t always easy to maintain.

To help, Castro recommends finding a trusted partner who can help you stay accountable and on track. “Stay motivated and hang in there,” she says. “You’re never alone. We all have the same money goals and challenges, so it’s nice to find somebody you trust that can go through this financial journey with you.”

Once we start paying closer attention to our money and making healthier financial decisions, Castro affirms that we will begin seeing benefits in other aspects of our lives. Think about it: when we aren’t stressing about money, we can think more clearly and spend more of our time enjoying life and those around us. It’s a win all around, and it’s one that is in our hands.

“People fear finances, but it’s actually so empowering when you have it in order,” she says.

A Group Of White Supremacist Unwittingly Raised More Than $36,000 To Help Undocumented People

Things That Matter

A Group Of White Supremacist Unwittingly Raised More Than $36,000 To Help Undocumented People

White supremacists might be getting louder and mobilizing in larger numbers, but they’re not getting any smarter. On August 17, the alt-right group called the Proud Boys organized another rally, misleadingly called “End Domestic Terrorism” in the streets of downtown Portland, Oregon. Before “End Domestic Terrorism,” the last time the Proud Boys organized a “rally,” it turned into an outright brawl with Antifa (a left-wing Anti-Fascist group). So when the Proud Boys announced their follow-up August 17 rally as an attempt to bait and classify Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization, Portland police prepared by spending $2 million on preventative security measures. 

Meanwhile, Popular Mobilization (PopMob), a Portland-based coalition of anti-fascist groups, decided they would prepare by soliciting donations to help fight deportation based on the number of white supremacists who show up to the rally.

By showing up to their own rally, white supremacists raised $36,017.69 for undocumented immigrants thanks to the quick thinking of Popular Mobilization.

Credit: @letsgomathias / Twitter

PopMob said that donations “flooded in from all over the country, and even as far away as the UK, ranging from two cents to five dollars a fascist.” At 300 fascists, that means people donated between $6 to $1,500 each. PopMob said its fundraiser was “in direct opposition to the anti-immigration rhetoric of the far-right and the current administration that emboldens them, showcasing the resilience and strength of a community coming together against hate.” 

All the donations went to Causa, a Portland-based Latino Rights organization that helps defend undocumented people in deportation proceedings.

Credit: Causa Oregon / Facebook

Causa works to improve the lives of Latino immigrants and their families in Oregon through advocacy, coalition building, leadership development, and civic engagement. They call themselves “Oregon’s Latino immigrant rights organization,” and they’ve earned the name for all the work they do to coordinate legal representation for undocumented people. Their mission is “to create a world where all people have the opportunities and resources needed to thrive.”

That means that every fascist who showed up personally raised $120 to help fight the deportation of the very people they protest.

Credit: @QuotesGavin / Twitter

The founder of Proud Boys, Gavin McInnes, was legally advised to step down from his post after his involvement in the Charlottesville, Virginia “Unite the Right” rally that left one counter-protester dead. McInnes spends his podcast air time dehumanizing immigrants.

“It’s such a rape culture with these immigrants, I don’t even think these women see it as rape. They see it as just like having a teeth [sic] pulled. ‘It’s a Monday. I don’t really enjoy it,’ but that’s what you do,” Gavin McInnes said on Get Off My Lawn. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t have the same trauma as it would for a middle-class white girl in the suburbs because it’s so entrenched into their culture.”

Some Latinos were scared to even go to work on the day of the rally.

Credit; @ThisisHans / Twitter

Thankfully, Portland police tricked the Proud Boys into crossing a bridge and then barricading it to put an entire body of water between the two sides. Officers confiscated several weapons on the day of the event, and wouldn’t allow flag poles in the crowd for fear of it being weaponized.

PopMob’s counter-protest fundraiser was inspired by the residents of Wunsiedel, Germany.

Credit: @ER_Bayern / Twitter

Neo-Nazis had been marching through their town every November for years. Usually, the town ignores the haters. Last November, the town flooded the streets to mockingly cheer the Neo-Nazis on. That’s because the town had pledged to donate ten euros for ever meter the Neo-Nazis marched to EXIT Deutschland, an anti-Nazi organization that helps folks escape white supremacist organizations. By the time the Neo-Nazis crossed the finish line, they were dazed and confused by the cheering, and the cheerful banner that notified them that, by marching, they had donated 10,000 euros to EXIT Deutschland.

You can participate in the cause and make a donation for every white supremacist who attended the alt-right rally.

Credit: @exitdeutschland / Twitter

This is the kind of counter-protest that might actually prevent future white supremacist rallies. If the Proud Boys know that, next time they show up in Portland, their presence might help even one undocumented person stay in the US of A, they might reconsider. Might as well put their presence to some good.

In the words of PopMob’s fundraiser itself, “Let’s take their hate and use it to fundraise for Causa so they can protect more immigrant families. Together we can build an Oregon that welcomes ALL Oregonians!”

READ: An Alleged White Supremacist Took The Life Of 6-Year-Old Steven Romero At California’s Garlic Festival And Our Hearts Ache

This Mom Hosted A ‘Job Fair’ For Her Kids When They Asked For More Allowance And All Latinx Kids Can Relate

Fierce

This Mom Hosted A ‘Job Fair’ For Her Kids When They Asked For More Allowance And All Latinx Kids Can Relate

Growing up, I’m sure you all remember going up to your dad, tios, or abuelito asking for your “domingo” (aka your weekly allowance). Or you probably remember doing all these favors and chores for your mom, expecting a little something-something in return. But what might haunt us most of all is when we asked our parents for a raise in our weekly allowance.

 I mean, the older we became, the more money we needed and the older we became, the more we realized that nothing in life is free (dun, dun, dun). 

But times have changed and new generations of parents are getting a little more creative with how they talk to their children about money and how they teach them about financial literacy at a young age.

Our generation might be judged for spending too much money on avocado toast and iced coffee but we still know the value of a dollar and the hard work that goes into it, so we’re here for teaching younger generations those same lessons — in more constructive ways, of course. Because if you remember correctly, our Latinx mom’s would either take out the chancla or give us a whole speech about “you think money grows from tees?” whenever we’d try to ask for a little more money (if any, since a lot of us might not have had that privilege). 

Anyway, back to the point… one mom’s Facebook post went viral after she shared that she hosted a makeshift job fair for her children after they kept asking for a higher allowance.

(Photo by Shaketha Marion McGregor)

“My children continue to ask for a new cell phone, an allowance, and to go places,” the mother, Shaketha Marion McGregor wrote in her Facebook post. “Yesterday I told them that I’ve heard their requests and that I’ll have a surprise for them today when they get home from school. SURPRISE!!! It’s a whole hiring event. If you want it, work for it, earn it!”

And yes, she even had an in-home credit union (wait, what even is that? These kids are about to be ready for when #adulting hits them).

McGregor’s Facebook post has already gotten over 212K likes, 35K comments, and over 130K shared on the social media platform.

 (Photo credit: Facebook/Shaketha Marion McGregor)

People on Facebook were quick to flood her comments with positive messaging applauding the mother for teaching her kids about responsibility and the value of the dollar. Many were even taking notes, tagging other friends, suggesting they do this with their own kids, nieces, or nephews. 

McGregor went all out with the job fair for her kids. She had a listing of all the open jobs available with descriptions of duties and job responsibilities.

(Photo by Shaketha Marion McGregor)

The mother was hiring a Kitchen Manager, Lead Housekeeper, and Laundry Supervisor. To apply, her kids had to fill out an application and turn it into her immediately. Salary, the job posting said, would be discussed during the interview. We hope her kids negotiated salary because kids out here need the latest iPhone, iPad, and AirPods. 

Buzzfeed who first reported this story reached out to McGregor to speak with her about her Facebook post. 

She told the publication that when her kids entered her house and saw the job fair, they  said “this is not what we asked for.”

Still, she told them that if they wanted the things they were asking for then they had to learn to be responsible with money. “To my surprise, they brought me the applications one by one,” McGregor told Buzzfeed. 

Here’s what the applications looked like:

(Photo by Shaketha Marion McGregor)

We wish job applications were this easy in the real world. 

As aforementioned, McGregor even set up an in-home credit union to help her kids build their credit.

(Photo by Shaketha Marion McGregor)

To be honest, we also wish some of our parents would have taught us the importance of building your credit from a young age. We can’t help but wonder if McGregor will open up this job fair to the public? Because we’re interested… 

More people on Facebook shared their thoughts about McGregor’s job fair in the comments sections and some even shared their own version of her job fair.

(Photo credit: Facebook/Shaketha Marion McGregor)

One user shared that their oldest child worked for them “under the table” when he was 12 and then they made him do “taxes.” Woah, this is next level. Again, why didn’t anyone teach us how to do taxes at age 12?

Another woman comment that McGregor was her “hero” and a huge inspiration. (Photo credit: Facebook/Shaketha Marion McGregor)

She said she was even planning a job fair at her house! It’s about to become a movement. 

All in all, according to Buzzfeed, McGregor put it simply that she just wants her kids to be proud of the work they do, “no matter what the position may be.” 

We’re sure they will be, and now they’ll learn the value of a dollar and the hard work that goes into earning your own money.