Jersey Girl, Tiffany Aliche A.K.A the Budgetnista, has built one of the top personal finance brands in the country from the ground up. As a nationally sought after public speaker and author of author of The One Week Budget and The Live Richer Challenge, Aliche has helped more than 12,000 women from around the global take the first steps to financial independence. Through her Live Richer Challenge Movement, she has built a community of thousands of loyal brand advocates that taking her brand to new heights.
I caught up the Bugetnista to learn her top tips for taking any brand from concept to national success. Check out the interview below:
So, I know you are originally from Newark? Have you lived anywhere else?
Yes. I grew up mainly in Westfield, New Jersey, which is like a suburb, Maybe like twenty, thirty minutes from Newark. I was born in Newark, but I was kind of raised all over New Jersey. But particularly in Westfield and then I moved here to Newark about five years ago.
Ok, so you’re like a total Jersey girl. And now you specialize in personal finance, specifically budgeting. What got you into financial education?
Well my father, was a CFO and an accountant. He has a Bachelors in Economics and his Masters in Finance. He taught my sisters and I. We would have these family meetings, and he would talk about the state of our family’s finances. And I felt that was totally normal because when you’re kids, you think everybody is doing the same things. It wasn’t until I went to college – seeing many of my college friends struggling with their finances and having bill collectors call – that I realized what we did at home was totally different. Also, my mom is a master bargainer. So between the two of them, I just learned about finances every day.
And, so you took that information that you learned from your family and you have leveraged it to basically become this influencer in budgeting and financial planning. Tell me a little bit about what drove you to kind of share what you have with others?
After college I decided to become a teacher and each pay period, I would sit down and put a budget to the money that I gotten paid. The older teachers would like watch me and just like I was an odd case week after week and one day somebody asked me to them how I created my budget. So, I started teaching my co-workers, and then the parents started coming and then the maintenance men. Before I knew it, it was like Budget University. I really enjoyed it because ultimately I liked being a teacher, but I never thought of it actually like a job. After a while I started realizing this is more than a hobby, and I’m really good at teaching basic personal finance.
You’re all about setting goals and achieving them. You’ve written two books and been featured on a ton of news shows as an expert on budgeting and personal finance. What’s the long term goal for you instead of as the Budgetnista?
The long terms goal is to build a longstanding brand. When you think of the Budgetnista, I want you to think of a brand you trust to help guide you when you are deciding something’s value. I want you to go into a Target one day deciding between two (items); see my “B” on one of them and know that I have certified this brand. That’s what my “B” stands for – value.
And, I want to be able to continue to shift my peers, especially woman and especially women of color. I just did a Live Richer Challenge and nearly 17,000 women in fifteen southern countries signed up. In ten years, I want to have 100,000 women doing the challenge every single year. Having that many women participating and working together collectively on their financial goals can shift a entire communities forward.
That is so exciting. How are you working on expanding your business and scaling up?
When it comes to the Live Richer Challenge, I encourage women to share (what they learn). My goal is to help the women who work with me know that they are an ambassador. You’re not just learning for yourself; you are learning for your sisters, your nieces, your nephews and your children. That it is your job to teach them what I have taught you.
I also have a number of personal finance products and I speak all over. Right now I’m on a partnership tour with Prudential and speak around the country on how to live a richer life. That allows me to get in touch with other people and grow the message of the Budgetnista and my financial philosophy. I also use social media quite extensively to grow my message.
What has been a challenge that you have experienced in working in your business and expanding your business?
It’s probably been finding balance; figuring out how to balance aggressively growing my business and having time for family and friends. I don’t know honestly any successful women who does not struggle with that.
And then also there is also the challenge of me being a young black woman. When I started out, I asked every financial brand to help me teach women of color how to manage their money, and all I got was no. They had no interest in helping women that looked like me. Now that we have massive movement, with thousands of women who are engaged, they want to jump on board. But it’s just so disheartening that people don’t look to provide serve women and especially women of color when it comes to finances. They don’t think they were interested. Aside from maybe like men and sports and kids and Disney; there is no other group that is more brand loyal than a women of color.
So with that in mind, what advice would you give to other entrepreneurs, especially entrepreneurs of color looking to start their own business?
Do things outside of the status quo. If you want a TV show, get on YouTube. If you want to get on the radio, get a podcast. When I was first trying to do the financial challenge, and everyone said no, but I did it anyway. Seventeen thousand women later and fifty seven countries later; I’m on a national tour.
It’s even better if you do it yourself anyway. There is power to creating your brand yourself from the ground up. I’ve built a name for myself. So, if a partner pulls out last minute, or does something I don’t like, and I have to drop them and say keep your money, I can say that. Although it seems to be so difficult and disheartening to hear everyone tell me no in the beginning; I am grateful for it. Now, I know how to build a community, and how to serve them.