What Black History Month Means to Me: SaverLife’s Financial Coaches Reflect on Progress Made and the Work to Be Done

Black History Month is a time to reflect on how far we’ve come, as well as the road ahead to wealth equality. The percentage of black college graduates has doubled since 1990 from 11% to 25%. From 2007-2018, firms owned by black women have gone up a whopping 164%. But, although there’s been progress, there’s a nearly 10x wealth gap between the typical net worth of a white family ($171,000) and the net worth of a black family ($17,150).

SaverLife financial coaches are dedicated to teaching people wealth-building habits to help close the racial wealth gap. Below, our financial coaches write about what Black History Month means to them and their passion for helping to close the gap.

Changing My Family’s Financial Future, by Tania Brown, CFP

I grew up on welfare with a single mother. My family never talked about money, except for the lack of it. As a child, Black History Month was my reminder that your beginning does not define your future. It’s a reminder that I come from people who survived generations of unimaginable horrors yet never let go of the hope of a better future for the next generation.

These lessons never left me. While serving in the Army, I was blessed to have soldiers teach me about money. I learned that money could be a tool rather than a barrier to the future I wanted.

The moment I realized I would be the last generation in my family raised on welfare, I became determined to help as many people as I can change their financial family futures. This passion led me to a two-decade career in personal finance.

The greatest tribute I can give to all those who came before me—my mother who sacrificed everything for me, the soldiers who took me under their wings—is to serve all of you. To do anything I can to help you achieve your financial goals and change your family’s financial future.

Standing on the Shoulders of Those Who Came Before Me, by Carl Windom, AFC, FFC

As a financial coach, it gives me great satisfaction to celebrate Black History Month. I am proud to know that my lifetime effort to grow and evolve as a financial expert is a reality. In my generation, I felt free to be anything I wanted to be without pause or hesitation. As a result, I chose to study finance because I wanted to know on an expert level how money works. It is my delight to provide something of significance that can change lives and inspire people to be financially fit and well. I stand on the shoulders of many that have come before me.

As the need for financial literacy grows in the black community, so does my passion for learning and teaching financial and economic skills. As America celebrates Black History Month, I feel great pride to know that my lifetime of learning finance has empowered me to become a change leader in my community, and for many of my black brothers and sisters plus many other friends and neighbors in America and around the world. That is why Black History Month means so much to me.

Financial Health Means Freedom and Independence, by Elaine Harrison, AFC, FFC

Black History Month, and every other month, means helping others achieve financial health and wellness. As a financial coach, I strive to educate people about finances in the hope that they will achieve financial freedom.

In the Black community, financial health means more financial freedom and independence. Being able to earn, give, save, spend and invest for the future without stress is the goal. Being a part of a community that is undervalued, many may feel that financial health is unattainable. Many in the black community do not even use terms like financial health. Consistent and honest financial education—in a way that will be received—is necessary and essential.

Poor financial health in the Black community is rooted in generations of poor and misleading education and a lack of opportunity. Exploiting the black dollar is easy when you can convince someone that having more stuff like clothes, shoes, and cars makes them important. And unfair systems make it close to impossible to build wealth within the community.

During Black History Month, as well as throughout the year, SaverLife’s financial coaches are committed to your financial wellness. SaverLife offers:

  • Money 101 resources teaching various financial topics
  • A community page to read inspiring stories about people’s journeys to change their family financial future
  • Savings challenges
  • Rewards to keep you motivated on your journey to financial security