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Mykail James | Founder of Boujie Budgets

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Welcome back to our Blooom Brain Pickers series!  We’re picking the brains of the best in the biz to inform, entertain, and most of all, educate you when it comes to making personal finance decisions. Today we are excited to feature Mykail James of Boujie Budgets. 

Mykail James is “The Boujie Budgeter®” and founder of BoujieBudgets.com, an online platform dedicated to teaching Gen Z professionals how to finance their best lives. Her teachings use pop-culture references and relatable language to help her audience understand confusing money concepts such as budgeting, saving, and investing.


Tell us a bit about your passion for finance and how it began.

In 10th grade, I was placed in the accounting class. I was sure that I would not stay in the class because it just wasn’t for me. After 2 weeks I told my teacher I was going to be a CPA. I have been studying accounting and finance for the past 10 years and still get amazed. My passion for personal finance came in college when I realized the conversations I was having with my parents about money were completely different from my friends. I decided that I wanted to dedicate my life’s work to empower people like me with the financial education and real conversations I was having with my parents. I realized I wanted to create a platform that did not shame people for their financial desires, but instead help them learn how to finance the life they desire.

What are three things you think everyone needs to know about finance, at no matter what age?

1.  Your budget should be just as flexible as you are human.
2.  Stop letting other people tell you what’s important to you.
3.  Maximize financial tools provided by your financial organizations.

What are your thoughts on the future of financial advice and the direction of the industry in the coming decades?

Financial advice is going digital. If you are trying to run from the digitization stop, and take the time to educate yourself and learn the technology. The world is moving to virtual learning and the preference to self teach via video courses is growing larger by the day. This will give the financial industry a way to become more accessible to all people. Financial advice is going to start coming from more diverse voices and these voices are just focused on race, age, gender, background, and education add to the diversity. There is too much research proving the benefits of learning from diverse people.

The financial services industry has an unfortunate history of largely excluding individuals and communities that need access to resources like capital, advisory services, and general financial support the most. What do you feel consumers and local business leaders can do that will help support economic development of underserved communities the most?

Economic development starts with paying people livable wages. Most underserved communities cannot simply be cured with education. Financial literacy is only one part of the problem. To truly develop these communities economically they must be paid livable wages and give access to use technology and financial literacy to increase their wealth. There are clear biases in how people are paid in hourly and salaried jobs. As well as, how different people are treated when buying assets such as real estate.

What personal or professional experiences have helped shape your passion for community development?

Getting my first bonus check in my full-time job! I was so excited about the $5K bonus one month later I had nothing to show for it. I realized that becoming a high earner would require me to reframe my spending habits. Then I thought, I couldn’t be the only first-generation professional dealing with the shock of having more money than ever before. I sought out professionals to help me but I didn’t like their message or teachings, I knew I could create a better financial plan for myself than what they tried to give me.

What is the best and/or worst financial advice you have ever received personally?

I went on a first date and told my date how I was working to pay off my car early. He looked in my eyes and said “Why pay your car off early when you could just keep trading it in for a new one?” Safe to say that was our first and last date.

To learn more about Boujie Budgets, check them out here!

Published on October 21, 2020