Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche is a best-selling author, speaker and passionate teacher of fun, financial empowerment. Her company, The Budgetnista, specializes in the delivery of financial literacy education. In 2008 she started The Budgetnista, a professional and educational services firm that specializes in the delivery of financial literacy education.
The Budgetnista creates and delivers products and services that include but are not limited to seminars, workshops, curricula and trainings. In addition to The Budgetnista, Tiffany also wrote a best-selling book entitled, The One Week Budget, which teaches readers how to manage their money, and how to do more with less.
Tiffany has been a featured speaker at American Express, Princeton University, Wyndham Worldwide, Columbia University, The New York Public Library, The United Way and Dress for Success. She and her financial advice have been featured in ESSENCE Magazine, FORBES, The Star Ledger, Fox Business, MSNBC.com, CBS MoneyWatch.com, Black Enterprise, USA TODAY, the News 12 New Jersey’s, “It’s Your Money Show”, VIBE.com, as well as numerous online publications. She also blogs about personal finance, for The Huffington Post.
You can learn more about Tiffany and The Budgetnista here: thebudgetnista.com
Q&A with Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche:
BS: Where did your passion for financial literacy originate? How do you constantly develop and sharpen your financial knowledge?
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche: My passion for financial literacy began at home. I grew up in a financially literate household. My father, a now retired CFO, taught my 5 sisters and I about money during family meetings, while out shopping and in everyday conversations. Money was always a topic of conversation in our household.
As a kid, I fell in love with reading and still love to read. For me, it’s the single, best way to learn anything. I sharpen my financial knowledge by reading the words of other financial teachers that know more than me.
BS: What inspired you to write your first book?
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche: My book, One Week Budget, was originally just a notebook to help my friends who kept asking me to help them with their finances. I was always good with my money and age 21 I saved $10,800 while making only 12/hr. At 22, I bought my 1st car in cash. At 25 I saved $40k and bought my own home. My friends couldn’t figure out how I did it, since I was only making $35k a year.
So my book was just a set a notes to show them the steps I took to manage my money. It lay dormant for 4 years, then after losing my job, I decided that it was time to turn into something more.
BS: Is there a particular message that you would like readers to grasp in your best-selling book, ‘The One Week Budget’? What are some of the topics discussed?
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche: The biggest lesson that I want readers to take away from reading my book is: There’s no such thing as a small financial choice. Every choice you make about your money matters and will add up to your abundance or your lack.
The book covers:
-tracking your expenses
– creating an automated money management system
– the best way to get out of debt
BS: What was the most difficult part of writing your book? How did you overcome the challenge?
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche: The most difficult part of writing my book was knowing when to stop. After the initial draft, I edited it and re-edited it for two years. It was hard to tell myself that it was done, because I was afraid that I’d forgotten something.
I overcame that hurdle by taking a leap of faith and reminding myself that dreams die waiting rooms, and the longer I waited, the less likely I was to succeed.
BS: What are some of the current or upcoming projects that you are or will be involved in?
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche: Currently, I teach a financial literacy series for a few organizations like, The United Way and City National Bank. I also do a lot of speaking at schools, churches, companies and colleges. Also, I’m a new blogger for The Huffington Post and (have) contributed articles to ESSENCE.com, Munaluchi Bridal, Heart and Soul and few other media outlets.
I have a few new financial literacy contracts pending for 2013 that involve continuing to write and teach my financial literacy series. These new series will be sponsored by large organizations that I’m newly partnered with. I’d also like to explore being a brand ambassador for a large organization that mirrors my values like, Target. Lastly, I’m working on developing a fun, financial app to help people stay on track as conveniently as possible.
BS: Tell me about your proudest achievement. Please elaborate.
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche: My proudest achievement is my book, The One Week Budget. To date, it is single-handedly the hardest thing I’ve ever done: writing, editing, self-publishing, promoting, selling it.
It took all of my knowledge, effort, patience, tears and faith.
It’s #2 on the Amazon Bestsellers list (budgeting), beating out some of my favorite financial literacy authors.
Sometimes I can’t even wrap my mind around how my book transformed me, my life and my business. What started off as a favor written in a notebook for my friends, now helps thousands of people get and stay on financial track. I’m still shocked when someone I’ve never met before tells me how much my book has helped them. I don’t know if I’ll ever get accustom to that.
BS: Was there a person in your career who made a significant difference in your life? Please explain.
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche: My father.
He was my first example of a Dream Catcher. He came from very humble beginnings in Nigeria, Africa and through hard work, purpose and passion, he far exceeded the expectations for a poor boy from a village.
He taught me that the dream and the journey were one and the same’ and that how you get there, is just as important as getting there. He taught me to do what brings me joy for a living. I am because of him.
BS: What is one important lesson that you learned throughout your professional career?
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche: You reap what you sow. You always get back what you put in.
BS: Briefly describe the journey that got you where you are today?
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche: In 2008 I suddenly lost my job of 7 years, as a preschool teacher in Newark, NJ. The nonprofit that ran the organization, ran out of funding and had to close its doors. Because of my strong financially savvy upbringing, I lived off of my savings for 2 years and volunteered in my community trying to decide what to do next.
During that time period, I volunteered for a small nonprofit in Newark NJ, where I wrote and taught a financial literacy program for them that attracted their first funder, so The Budgetnista was born.
It was then that I finished my book, began the self-publishing process, and started using social media to build my brand. For the first year, I gave my services away for free. I wanted to build a reputation for delivering excellence. After that year, armed with satisfied clients, I began charging, and selling my finished book and ramped up my marketing effort on social media. The rest has been an amazing ride that I’m still on.
BS: How would you describe success?
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche: Success to me is described in 2 words, LIVE RICHER: to purposefully and passionately pursue your ideal life.