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In this episode, Chelsea speaks with YouTuber Kimberly Foster from the channel For Harriet, all about how internet feminism falls short, talking about racism on YouTube, and how to build a sustainable online presence and career while staying true to who you are.

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Hey, guys.

This is Chelsea. And before we get into this week's episode of The Financial Confessions with Kimberly Foster, founder of For Harriet, I wanted to give you guys a quick heads up on the audio for this episode.

When we were filming with Kimberly out in LA, we ran into a few hiccups with our mic setup and didn't realize until we got back and started editing. So the audio is going to be a little bit different in this episode. But in our opinion, the content is just as good as always, if not better.

So stay tuned and listen to my episode with Kimberly Foster of For Harriet. Hello, everyone. It is Chelsea Fagan, and I am back with another episode of The Financial Confessions with surprise, surprise, a very exciting guest that you guys have been really excited about.

But before I introduce you guys to her, I'd like to introduce you guys to our beloved sponsor with whom we make every episode of The Financial Confessions. So as you guys know, we make every episode of The Financial Confessions in partnership with Intuit, who are the makers of so many amazing financial tools and apps and programs that help you live a better financial life, things like Turbo Tax, Mint, Turbo, et cetera. Basically, if you have something in your life financially that you are wanting to do, a goal you're trying to reach, something that's a little bit difficult for you, they give you the tools that help you do that in a way that's easy and fun and intuitive.

Every day here TFD, actually I use one of their amazing programs, QuickBooks, to manage all of TFD's finances. And when I tell you that it completely changed my life as a business owner, I am not exaggerating, because I used to do my actual accounting for the company on pieces of paper, which was unhinged, looking back, and also impossible to keep straight. And now with QuickBooks, every morning when I log in, there's just this beautiful little dashboard that gives me all of the information that I need about the general financial health of my company, all of the invoices, the payments, the money we have coming in, our expenses, everything we need to know.

And it syncs up effortlessly with our accountants, who help us with our bookkeeping. But that's just one of the amazing products that Intuit makes. So I highly recommend you check out QuickBooks and all the rest down at the link in our Description and the Show Notes.

So as promised, exciting guest. We have someone that I have been watching on YouTube for a very long time. Actually, as of two days ago, I watched her video on Jordyn Woods and the Kardashians, which I know makes me extremely late on cultural events, but whatever.

I get to it when I get to it. She is an author, a YouTuber, her founder of For Harriet, which is a website and YouTube channel and media company. Her name is Kim Foster.

Hi. Hello. Thank you for having me.

And also, I admire you for just catching up on the Jordyn Woods drama. Oh, my God. Well, it's so funny, because so I really-- like, I watch your videos in some way.

So I'm like very out of touch with a lot of things. And I feel like when you're-- because you cover-- I feel like you're very good at picking the things that you cover. And so I feel like if you've got a video on it, it's worth listening to.

It's worth learning about. Honestly, I just-- there's certain kinds of trash that I like. I'm not into all of the trash, but when something catches my eye, I have to go in on it.

Give us, for those who may not have watched, give us your take on the Jordyn Woods-Kardashian thing. OK. So trashy.

OK. So Jordyn Woods used to be best friends with Kylie Jenner. And they were best friends for years, like from middle school, maybe even late elementary school, all the way through high school.

And they both became big social media presences. And so a couple-- a year ago-- when was that video made? Last year?

A while ago. There was a big friend breakup, because Jordyn Woods was out with Khloe Kardashian's baby daddy one night. And she says that he kissed her.

And he says it was consensual mutual on both sides. But that created a big scandal. Right?

Right. And so then Kylie is in the middle, because Kylie is really, really close with Khloe, and so Jordyn becomes the scapegoat, and all of the Kardashian-Jenners, they descend down on her, like, you're bad. How could you do this?

You betrayed us. And so I was just like-- I mean, it wasn't the coolest thing to do. Right.

But the Kardashian-Jenners, their whole thing is stealing people's men. That's true. You do that.

That is true. You reap what you sow. Yes.

That's what I'm saying. So don't cry girl code now-- Yes --when years and years and years, we've seen you take this girl's man, this girl's-- it's like, that's your thing. OK?

Yeah. Isn't that the whole plot-line of Amber Rose, Kim Kardashian, and Kanye. Amber Rose, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian got with the father of her daughter while he was with somebody else.

It's like, y'all keep doing this. And also, Kylie and Tyga, this is so-- I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

OK, but it's like, OK, so Kylie got with Tyga when Tyga was still in Blac Chyna. And Blac Chyna used to be really good friends with Kim Kardashian. So they were all hanging out in a friend group.

And then Tyga, who's the older one, I'm going to say he was the aggressor, because he was an adult. Yeah. Wasn't she underage?

Yeah. Ooh. Right.

Hmm. And so like, he eyes Kylie. And then they get together, but the other thing about it is, Kim was not a teenager, like Kim could have been like what's going on here?

But she didn't. No. You condoned this.

That's it. Like you said, you reap what you sow. Yeah.

Yeah. I find it so-- it's so fascinating, like their role, the Kardashian's role in our culture, because I feel like I'm constantly hearing hot takes about how the Kardashians are feminist icons. No.

No. And I'm like, ooh, we really got to raise our standards for what we consider a feminist icon. But I do feel like we have a hard time as a culture separating out women who are financially successful and women who are feminist.

Yeah. Like, one does not equate to the other. But that's like the lean in feminism.

Right? Right. Where it's like, for some people, their ultimate feminist goal is to get as much as men have, do exactly what men do.

We want to be operating in the same exact playing field, in the same arenas as men. Right. And if we can do that and still be sexual and be unclothed and be moms, it's like, that is what they are aspired to.

Right. I don't think that that equates for liberation for most women. I don't necessarily think that amassing lots and lots of wealth, hoarding as much wealth as you can, I don't think that that should be what we aspire to.

That shouldn't be what we put on a pedestal. But for some women, that's it. I have lots of critiques of that.

So if that is your realm of what you think feminism is, then like, yeah. Like Kim Kardashian is doing it. But like, does that trickle down?

I would argue it doesn't. And I would also say, and I think this is like maybe a more controversial one. But I feel like their image of what women are, who women are, what a woman is supposed to be, is so heavily crafted in the male gaze.

Yeah. And so heavily crafted in-- I mean, when you look at photo-- I mean, for example, like, you look at Kylie Jenner, you know, that girl had completely remade herself physically before she even finished puberty. Yeah.

You know? And I look at that, and I think I understand where on some really narrow view of feminism that is all about having complete and total control over yourself. That could be seen as a really extreme form of agency.

But who does that very specific look appeal to? I think this stuff is so-- it's so complicated. And it's so tricky, because it's like, if you're a woman, do I want you to be able to choose what you want for yourself?

Right. So if you feel the best being super made up or getting body modifications or changing the shape of your face, if that's what makes you feel the best in the world and powerful and empowered and competent, do I want to strip that away from you? I don't.

I do think that we need to question why. So we know that this ideal is what works best for women in the world. Like, women, if you embody yourself a certain way, that means that you're going to have access to more opportunities, get what you want from men, get what you want in the world.

You can monetize it as profitable. But also, like, attention, right? Like, attention is a new form of currency in our world.

If that's what you want, like, I get why you'd want that. And also, I understand that for some women, that is their only way out. Right.

You know? Like, I'm a privileged-ass woman. OK?

So I don't necessarily have to go that route to be able to live a financially stable life. So I understand that. Like, I get it.

But we should be questioning, why is that the only option? Right. Why for so many people is that the only way to find a certain amount of success or financial stability or access or opportunity?

And if we're not questioning it, then our feminism is shallow, because there are always going to be women who can't get the body modifications, who can't embody themselves in that hyper-feminine way. Right. So if this is a project to liberate all women, no matter where you are on the totem pole, that can't be the only ideal that works.

Because ultimately too, access to that comes down to money, for the most part. I mean, yes, there are certain things that most income levels can access. But if you're talking about the kind of changes that a Kardashian or an Instagram model or even really to this point, like just a famous woman, the kinds of body modifications that they're doing ultimately, that's just tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Right. I mean, it's money, but it's also about race. It's your gender presentation.

Like, if you are a masculine leading woman, you're never going to be able to do that or you're going to have to change certain parts of yourself. It's like, all of this stuff intersects in ways that is just unattainable for the vast majority of women. Right.

And so if we are serious about this, the project of feminism, if we're serious about what I would call social transformation, then we have to be questioning it every step of the way. And I want to question it, and I don't want to be too hard on the women who choose that, because I get it. Like, we're just navigate the systems we didn't create.

Totally. I get it. But let's just be cognizant, right?

Let's not just let that stuff go unchecked. How do you make the feminism that you talk about and that you promote through For Harriet, how do you make it class-inclusive? I think my first thing is recognizing that I come from a very class-privileged background.

And so I make it a point to say that my background should not be the default, because everybody does not have college-educated, graduate-level educated parents. I went to wonderful schools. I knew from a really young age that I had lots and lots of options.

Right. College was inevitable. That's just what you were going to do.

And so I make it a point to, if we are talking about what poor women need, I can't speak for a poor woman. I think that there's this idea of, like, I'm going to give a voice to the voiceless. I want to-- it's, like, no, no, no.

They have their own voices. Yeah. So what we need to do is be listening to women who come from a different kind of-- what I need to do to make sure that my feminism is not bullshit is listen to women who have that background, who have those experiences, that they need to be centered in the conversation about what lower-income women need, what poor women need.

And so I can be supportive. And I can direct people to your books or your channel or your Twitter. I can do that, but I cannot fill that gap.

Right. I think that feminism really has to be as much about learning and listening as it is about getting our hot takes off. I agree.

I think it's also about what do you consider a success? As an example, like, a lot of times a measure of how feminist a company is, is going to be how many women are on their executive board. But to me, if you have a female CEO but no comprehensive maternity leave, or the majority of your lowest-paid workers are women, that's not a feminist company.

Right. Right. I think we've seen this with-- I don't know if I should say things, but there are these feminist companies that have-- Name names. --words like Thinks has come under-- Oh, yeah, yeah.

Yeah. And it's like these companies-- Away. Away.

You know, they-- Girl Boss. Girl Boss. Girl Boss.

Right. So they espouse these ostensibly feminist values, and that's a part of their branding, and we're community sisters, right? Right.

But like, how are you treating your employees? Yeah. What type of culture is there?

Think these things are incompatible. You can't treat people like shit and then say that you're a feminist company. In some ways, I think that that whole phenomenon, I don't think it's intentional, in the sense that I don't think people intentionally set out to create a toxic environment for women or they set out to use, quote, unquote, sort of "corporate feminism" as a shield for that.

But what I think often happens is, like, if you look at companies that have female founders, female leaders, who are working insane hours, who are putting themselves into a really high-stress position, and let's be honest, oftentimes have access to things like a lot of domestic help and an ability to throw themselves into work to an extreme degree, I can see how it would be easy then, even without trying, to be like, well, why can't you other women do it? I can do it. Yeah.

You know? And I feel like that's part of the whole idea of having it all. Yeah.

It's like, ultimately that just comes down to how much money and help you have. Yeah. You know?

I mean, our ideals of success are so masculinized. So it's, like, if the only way to be able to work, like you said, like, 80 hours a week or whatever, you've got to have some help at home. Like, who's cooking your meals?

Who's taking care of your kids? Who's cleaning your home? Right.

And you also have to dig into this idea of, like, it's grind culture, like, hustle till you die. In like, that stuff, those ideals are created by men. This idea of we're hyper-competitive and do whatever it takes and by any means necessary.

And so if you've tapped into that, if you have not done the work necessary to question it and deconstruct it, and like, why is it that way, and you have bought into it wholesale, then that stuff is going to creep into your company. And it doesn't matter how girl-bossy it is, you can't-- the structures of your company have to be fundamentally compatible with collaboration and we help each other and an understanding of nobody does it alone. We are only able to do this, because we have help, and so just rejecting-- and it it's hard to reject that stuff-- especially, you know, one of the reasons why I never wanted to raise money is because, once you take the money, you have decided that you're going to dial into those ideals and those values and those priorities.

And there is no wiggle room to say, oh, but maybe we can slow down a little bit or maybe we can have some allowances or maybe we can spend more money on providing maternity leave for three months and that stuff. When profit is the only thing that matters, then you're going to have to trade some values to make some money. Totally.

I think what you said earlier about the-- going back to the Kardashians, it's like, when people will prop them up as feminist ideals. It's like, the question really is, well, to what extent does their empowerment trickle down? Yeah.

And I feel like that applies just the same, whether you're running a-- no matter what your situation is, it's like, does empowerment for you translate to empowerment for those around you? Yeah. You know?

Or is it just you doing a lot better? Yeah. I think a lot of people-- it's so easy once you're on the path to believe, genuinely believe, that if you rise then you're going to bring everybody else with you.

And we see this in all sorts of marginalized communities. Like, you know, there's the idea of the model minority and whatever. It's like, you really believe, once you're really in it, like, I'm doing great, and I'm uplifting the race, and losing that larger structural analysis.

And I think that if we make it all individualist, like capitalist America tells us that it should be, then we lose sight of the fact that we are a small part of these gigantic structures. Right. And if we want to make things better, like, if you really care about your community, which I think a lot of people really do feel like they care, then you really need to be tuned into how did this happen?

How is it that only so few people can be successful and then everybody else on the bottom has to scrimp and save and worry about how they're going to pay for their health insurance and worrying about how they're going to pay for childcare? How did that happen? It didn't just happen.

And then you have to-- and this is the hard part-- is thinking about and how am I contributing to that inequality? And how am I benefiting from it? I think it's really difficult and scary, and it makes you feel uneasy to be like, oh, I'm here because somebody else is getting screwed.

And so instead of having to do that self-reflection, we dial into this idea of, like, it's me and I'm the savior. And it's like, no, that's not how it works. I think it's also that people-- like, we talk a lot on the channel about all kinds of privileges.

And I feel like people are very, very reluctant to acknowledge any kind of privilege, I think particularly financial privilege, people are often very good about hiding. I think partially because they have a strong feeling that it will make their accomplishments less impressive and the truth is, it does. Yeah.

But that's not a bad thing. Yeah. You know?

And you have to kind of lean into that feeling of, like, you know, there are certain privileges that I didn't have growing up and certain ones that I did. And you can't only pick the ones you didn't have. Yeah.

You also have to acknowledge ones you did and say to yourself, like, OK, it probably was marginally easier for me to do X or Y. You still got to do it. You're still reaping the benefits of having accomplished that thing.

You know? But people want their cake and to be able to eat it too. But there are these cultural myths that we all are fed, you know, like the Horatio Alger story of I came from nothing, and then I became that hero.

And I'm the master of my own destiny. And we really want, I think, especially in the social media age, where we're all constantly trying to craft our narrative, you know, it's an old thing. But there's something very particular about how it plays out when we're all trying to be the star of our own reality show and project the images about ourselves and these ideas about who we think we are.

It's like, yeah, it doesn't mean you didn't work hard. I think that I know lots of very privileged people who are hard workers. It just means that the barriers that would have prevented you from even being able to reach that first run, they weren't there.

Right. And let's acknowledge that. And it's not your fault that they weren't there.

But like, you have to, if you want to be a not-shitty person, you have to acknowledge it. Yes. And I feel like when you-- because we've had people on this show who are rich beyond belief.

And we see all kinds, right? Like, we see people who are incredibly reluctant to discuss the kind of money that they have. And we've noticed that kind of without fail, I mean, listen, we have a self-selecting audience who likes when people are transparent.

But I think even still, even when it gets outside of our own little bubble and other people see it, without fail, if you're a rich person, and you come on one of our shows and you don't disclose, and you say, well, we're comfortable or you make euphemisms to kind of explain away the financial access you have, incredibly negative response. Yeah. But the people that we've had on who are very transparent about, like, I have X or I grew up with Y, who share numbers, who get really into it, the response is overwhelmingly positive.

Because the thing is, that people are smart. Yeah. They know whether or not you're telling them.

The question is whether or not you're willing to be honest about it. And I think it takes a lot of emotional maturity to do that because, yeah, you have to be comfortable with on some level, like you said, the idea that you had an easier time getting there because someone else had a harder time. Yeah.

Yeah. I think that we're just in this political moment where people are, like, this is rigged. OK?

The system is rigged, and we want you to be honest about the fact that it's rigged. Yes. And people really resent you if you try to pretend like those barriers of entry are not there.

There is so much-- I think, people have been talking Bernie Sanders a lot recently, right? And so it's like, Bernie Sanders is a millionaire now, because I don't know. Hmm.

He's like 80 or whatever, right? But like, he's a millionaire. But like, this is a man who is-- I mean, this is not a Sanders endorsement.

I'm just saying that one of the reasons why people gravitate to this man, despite the fact that he is now very, very wealthy, is he is so clear about the fact that this is rigged. And it should not be so hard for you to access health care. You should not have to work two jobs to pay rent on a one bedroom apartment, right?

We want people to say this is unfair. Right. And if you as a super-rich, privileged person cannot acknowledge that this is unfair, guillotine.

It's so true. But one thing that I will say that I feel like holds us back so much as a society, just in terms of a small point of comprehension, is people have such a hard time understanding the difference between a million of something and a billion of something. Yeah.

Because a million-- OK, so a million dollars, for context, I think it's 1.4 million-- that's about the amount of money that you need at retirement in order to take out, I think it's like a $65,000 income for the next 20-some years. It's not that much money. Like, it is truly not a lot of money when you're looking at potentially not taking in an income for the next however long your retirement's going to be.

Yes, of course, having a million dollars at the end of your life is-- well, at the end of your life-- later in your life, it's a lot. It's a lot that many people never have. But the difference between $1 million and $1 billion, like, if you were to visualize that, it would be the difference between going down the street and going to the moon.

These are really different numbers. And I feel like if people understood what a billion dollars means-- I think people really don't understand. I don't think they do.

It's a thousand million. Yes. Yeah.

I think it's difficult for us to comprehend. And I do think that we do ourselves a disservice by lumping all wealthy people into the same bucket. No, no, no, no.

Like, Bernie Sanders is not Mike Bloomberg. Like, don't do that. Right.

That's super disingenuous. One thing is like, yeah, you could make some smart decisions and put things away in retirement accounts and at 77, 78 years old have a million dollars in assets. To get multiple billions of dollars-- Totally. --you've exploited countless people.

You have to. Countless people-- By necessity. --are not able to afford food every month because you have multiple billions of dollars. Every billionaire is a policy failure.

Yeah. All right. And now let's sing the Internationale.

Do you ever feel-- we actually-- so I do have some questions for you from our audience soon. But one of the themes that came up in our questions was that you are so candid, obviously, as our audience can see here, about your social and political and activist beliefs. Yeah.

And I've even seen you be controversial, like, when I watched your take on the Michael Jackson documentary, I was, like, oof, setting herself up to get-- Controversy. Yeah. But the thing is that, I mean, I really respect that on a lot of levels, just your transparency with who you are, even in the face of it possibly being controversial.

Yeah. Do you ever-- have there ever been times where you've kind of censored what you think in order to make a move? There are.

Well, in order to make-- what do you mean make a move? Like, for example, to grow your brand. No, no, no, no.

No. I feel like I say all the time, I'm not primarily motivated by money. My ultimate desire is not to hoard millions and millions of dollars.

I care about money. I make a good living now. I care about money.

I don't want to have to go back to the strip club, meaning corporate. Like, I don't want to do that. So in order to be able to sustain myself and to hire people and to build a brand in the business, I have to care about money.

However, I'm never going to be willing to trade my values or my voice in order to get a couple more thousands of subscribers on YouTube. That's not worth it to me. I know exactly who I want to emulate my career after.

And I look at them-- Who? --and see-- I am obsessed bell hooks. I love bell hooks. And I'm obsessed with Cornel West.

Historic. Other historical figures, I love an activist named Fannie Lou Hamer. These are people who were willing to say what they truly believed was right, and they were willing to accept that you might not be popular now, but it is more important to be honest and truthful and right than it is to be popular in the moment.

True. And so I understand the economics of what I do. I get it.

I love to look at numbers. I love to look at analytics. However, I also think it is my responsibility, as somebody who has these deeply held beliefs, to be consistent and to be honest.

And I can't tell other people to go out there and be bold and stand up to injustice and don't sit next to your racist uncle and not say anything. I can't be out there saying that stuff and be on the internet lying. I can't do that.

And I want to feel good about me. I want to look back in 5, 10, 15, 20 years and be like, yeah, like, you didn't sell out. You told the truth.

And maybe in 2019, people weren't into it. But they might be able to it in 2039. We see that happen over and over again, where people just like, the mainstream ideology needed to catch up with them.

Right. And I think it's possible. And look, I'm not-- I don't know, right.

I could be wrong. Sometimes I'm just wrong. Not me.

Don't know that feeling. Can't relate. [LAUGHTER] But like, I know that I will never regret being honest and true to myself and my values in the moment. I might have to come back and say, oh, I was wrong.

I was wrong. But at that point, I thought I was right. I never want to have to look back on something that I've made and be, like, you were lying.

Yeah, like, you knew that was wrong. You knew that was wrong. Yeah.

I think that's so immoral. And people do that all the time. That's true.

And I think, you know, it's funny. Like, you mentioned earlier Cornel West, and I'm a huge, huge-- it seems like petty to call yourself a fan. Yeah.

Because it's like, what is he? a boy band? But I'm someone who has followed him quite a lot, and what I find interesting about people like that, and if you guys aren't familiar with him, definitely look him up. But what I find so interesting about it is that I have seen him be interviewed on so many shows with people who I think don't agree with him a lot.

Yeah. But by the end of the interview, almost without exception, they're very into him. Yeah.

And they find themselves agreeing with him, and I think it's partially because one thing that I definitely get from him and a few other kind of public intellectuals is they always speak from ultimately a place of extreme compassion and extreme humanity. Yeah. And that's one of the things that I feel like on the internet, in particular, you really lose as a form of just engaging with another person, that you have to first and foremost-- you know, I mean, this is obviously something that he does.

Like, he refers to most people as brother or sister, but like, even people with whom he radically disagrees. But I think that's a very interesting rhetorical thing, in the sense that even in disagreeing with someone, it immediately puts you in the position of relating to them and understanding them on a more human level. And I think when I look around at, like, even on the YouTube community, the ones who get the most views are often the ones who take really harsh positions that I'm not even sure they believe themselves.

Right. But the ones who have sustained presences are the ones who have kind of not always been on the most popular side of an issue, but they've been very true to themselves. Yeah.

I think that something that I absolutely take from both Cornel West, because I don't know him. Cornel, we're fans. My buddy, Cornel.

But things that I take from Cornel West and bell hooks is this idea of, like, you know, Cornel West is very, very religious, right? And so he has this idea of beloved community. And like, there are going to be people in your community that you don't always agree with.

We might not be on the same page about everything, but we are still connected. You know? Like, we are both still humans trying to navigate what's the best for ourselves and our families and our friends?

And so I might think that you took a political position that I think is heinous. I think it's disgusting and despicable. However, and like this is not super popular on the internet.

It's not super popular to say I think that that political position you took is disgusting. But I can still have empathy and compassion for you as a human trying to navigate this human experience. And people come for me all the time.

It's just like, we don't need the offering any sympathy for a racist or a sexist or whatever. Like, I understand. I get it.

You want to protect your energy. However, it's just it is not too much for me to extend that to other people. It might be too much for you, and you can take whatever posture that you want to.

But for me, it is critical. And I think a part of this is because I was raised by a conservative, but like, it is critical for me to be able to see you as a human. And we're never going to agree, and we're going to argue and we're going to go back and forth.

But I still see your humanity, and ultimately, I don't want you to suffer. And that's where that brother and sister stuff comes in. If we understand that we are all linked, like, that our destinies are mutually interconnected, then it becomes much more difficult to lead with nastiness and to lead with malice.

Just from my vantage point. For other people, I don't know. They're not going to get it.

But for me, that makes the most sense. I agree. And I think I-- we'll have people on TFD that I don't agree with, and I have always found, in general, that when you're talking to someone that you don't agree with-- I mean, provided that they're a decent person on just a human level, because there are some people that it's, like, don't even bother.

There's nothing there. But if someone is willing to have a discussion, I think oftentimes, even just in asking a question that they probably haven't considered, there's usually a door somewhere on people. And I always think, especially when it comes to, like, because we talk when-- you know, our audience is all over the financial spectrum, in terms of privilege.

And the frustrating thing about that, obviously the right thing to do, if you are someone who has more financial privilege, is to be the person who is more acquiescent, who is more empathetic, who gives more of yourself, obviously. I think we can know that on an intellectual level. But you put a couple friends in a group at different income levels, it is really, really hard to enact that in real life.

And I feel like one of the biggest things that people fear, whether it's talking about politics or talking about money or any other type of topic, is that fear of vulnerability and feeling like they might be judged or they might be called out or any of that. And so the more you can lead with that love and compassion, the more you will open everyone up to doing the same. And those fears will kind of break down.

And we've seen even-- again, when it comes to talking about money, I don't think for most social groups, there's a more taboo topic and a more taboo, like, difference in being able to relate to each other. And we hear all the time people saying, like, I'm just afraid to even say, like, I can't afford that. Yeah.

You know? So if you start leading with that compassion, people will feel infinitely more able to respond in kind and to say, hey, can I be honest with you about my situation? Yeah.

You know? Yeah. I don't want to-- and I feel-- it's so complicated, right, because I feel like I don't want to put undue burdens on people who are already marginalized-- Totally. --when we're talking about love and compassion and all of that stuff, I think one of the reasons why so many people reject that framework is because they're, like, no.

We're already disadvantaged. We don't want to take over. We're tired.

OK. We don't want to do more work. I understand that.

And I get why people opt out and why they take the positions that they take. However, I also want to think about effectiveness. And I wouldn't be a feminist if I didn't think people could change.

Then there's no reason to even hold these beliefs if I thought that people were stuck in the same place. And also, I think about myself, I think about how I have evolved on so many issues over the years. Oh, my God.

Yeah. The way that I talk about class is so different. I didn't grow up understanding trans identities and trans experiences.

I didn't have access to that. I've had to learn and become less-- frankly, less shitty and less bigoted. But I recognize my personal transformation, and I think I'm not that special.

I'm not that smart. Other people can do this too. Yeah.

And so the reason why I approach my political conversations and these discussions the way that I do is because I think I'm not that exceptional. Everybody can-- everybody can get here if they're open. And everybody is not going to be open.

We have to say sometimes we're just going to have to leave you where you are. But for that sliver of people who are reachable, if we want them to come into the fold, how are we going to get them there? You know?

That's how we change things. So yes, we all need to be super empathetic to others, but we also need to do right by ourselves. And one of the best ways to do that is by taking care of your own personal budget.

Listen. You guys know I love Mint. There's no secret I love Mint.

I think it's great. I've been using it for seven years. But if you do not know what Mint is, it is an extremely cool app, totally free, that syncs up with all of your accounts and your credit cards and your credit score and basically just gives you a nice way of managing your day-to-day personal finances and budget in a way that doesn't feel completely overwhelming, like making Excel spreadsheets, which is extremely not my thing.

They provide you all kinds of tools, like reminders and calculators for helping reach your goals. They give you notifications if you're going over budget in a certain category. They make you nice little beautiful pie charts for all of your various spending habits.

It is just the perfect tool to getting a hold on your budget and making sure that you're working toward the goals that are important to you. I have used it for literally years and years, since before I even started TFD. And it still helps me make the best decisions I can with my own money.

So if you've been thinking about getting a hold on your finances, I highly recommend checking out Mint in the link in our Description or our Show Notes. So Kim, we got quite a lot of questions for you from our audience. And I have to say that you guys really have extremely high ambitions for her ability to answer some of these questions.

Because some of these are big ones. OK. So do your best.

Feel free to pass on them. Sure. All right.

First question. How can Americans fix the pay gap between gender and race? As a black woman myself, a lot of people discredit me because they just don't believe that a discrepancy exists.

How can I advocate for myself to receive higher pay like my white male and female counterparts? I am going to straight up say, I have literally no idea. I wish-- OK.

So these are again, like, those huge structural things that I don't have the expertise to do. And also, I will say that I opted out of corporate America early. I worked in corporate, like, six months and I was like, I've got to get out, because I don't want to have to deal with that.

So any advice that I'd be giving would just be completely made up. And so no, I can't. I'm sorry.

But I know it's real. I believe you. But you should probably talk to somebody who has experience in that, because it's not me.

So I am obviously not equipped to give advice on advocating for yourself. Closing a racial wealth gap, clearly not my wheelhouse. But I will say for advocating for your own compensation at work, we do talk quite a lot about that sort of thing.

And that does exist for women as well on the gender line. So there is some overlap there. One "technique," quote, unquote, that I think is very important that everyone remember is that in the vast majority of cases, in order to get a raise over a certain number, in order to increase your income over a certain number, it is almost inevitable that you will have to go to a different company.

It is very unlikely, given most companies-- most companies, not all, but a lot of companies operate on a pay grade, essentially. Like, you get a certain bump, and they don't go over that certain bump. And a lot of people make the mistake of when they get a job, that they pretty much like and they feel relatively comfortable in, they stay in it too long.

So I will say that one thing-- and there are studies that show that men are often much more proactive about looking for other jobs, about soliciting other offers, even possibly leveraging those offers with their current employer, even if they don't take the job. So one thing I always say to the audience is, like, never feel bad about looking at other options and potentially taking other options and using what could potentially be those offers to even potentially leverage yourself something better in your current job. A lot of people feel an outsized degree of loyalty to their employers, especially women.

And I would imagine especially people of color. You don't owe those people shit. Like, you are not-- your employer, if they had to cut costs, they would lay you off in a heartbeat.

So just keep that in mind and remember that your job is not a gift. You are working for them, and that's why they're giving you the money. And if you're not getting the amount of money you believe that you should get, feel empowered and entitled to look elsewhere.

That being said, the structural issues. Go Bernie Sanders. No.

I'm kidding. I have no idea. What are your financial priorities now versus five years ago?

And also, what are some free/inexpensive ways that she treats herself? OK. So my financial priorities now, now I'm 30, and I just realized-- I mean, I didn't just realize, but over the past year, I've really been thinking hard about the fact that I don't want to be broke when I'm 60.

I don't want to be struggling financially. And so my priorities now are saving and investing. And so five years ago, seven, eight years ago, my financial priority was stunting, like buying the cutest stuff.

I have so many pairs of Christian Louboutin shoes. I don't even wear them anymore. What?

They're not cute to me anymore. I have designer bags that I don't even wear anymore. They're not cute.

Now, the thing about designer bags-- sorry. Had to go off on this tangent. But the designer bags do hold their value.

So if you buy the right bag, it can be an investment. So some of those bags are still worth as much or more than what I purchased them for. Not the way I treat purses.

Oh, OK. But I realize that, like, that stuff does not matter. That stuff does not matter.

I think as I see my parents, my mom aging and the older people in my community aging, and it's become more and more clear to me that, oh, like, they have to take care of themselves. You know? Like, this social security Ponzi scheme, like, it's not going to be around for our generation.

So I need to make sure that I have a firm financial foundation. And so I keep a set amount in my checking account. And every month, anything over that at the beginning of the month goes directly into a savings.

Yay. I'm really-- we are saving. And then, keep things that I do for self-care.

I feel like my Netflix account is self-care. My Hulu account is self-care. What is cheap?

I don't know if I do a lot of cheap stuff. I subscribe to The New York Times crossword app. So I do a lot of crosswords.

Luxury. It's like-- I want to say it's like $3 a month. Crossword is, like, such a smart-person thing.

Like, I feel so bad at them. Oh. Oh, no.

I mean, I don't do the-- there's hard ones. There's really hard ones that I'm, like, oh, I don't know. I don't know, like, Wagner's Fifth Symphony.

So I do that. What else do I do for self-care that's cheap? Crosswords and Sudoku is, like, my self-care.

I don't know if I do anything else. I go to Starbucks sometimes. I don't know.

So for those who may not know, we are sitting in the presence of an elite Ivy Leaguer. Harvard, if I'm not mistaken. Yeah.

Woo. Oo-la-la. So we got a lot of questions about that.

OK. Notably, we have a question that says, can she talk about student loans from going to an Ivy League, how being a recovering workaholic affects her finances, and numbers, numbers, numbers. Our audience loves sharing numbers.

Student loans. So most elite schools don't offer merit-based scholarships. Is that true?

Yeah. So it's all need-based. So they look at your finances and the finances of your parents.

And they say you can afford this. So this is how much you need to pay. And I had lots and lots of conversations with my friends about this, particularly my friends of color, my black friends about this, because that puts people who don't have generational wealth at a distinct disadvantage.

Right. It's a whole thing. So I ended up with about, like, $50,000 in loans, maybe 55.

I think I'm down to like 45 now. And that's for a bachelors. Yeah.

For undergrad. And they were just like, this is what you can afford. Like, everybody's parent can afford $15,000.

Like, yeah, everybody's parents can write out $15,000 checks. Oh, my God. So yeah, but when I see people who took out $100,000 for undergrad, I'm like, no.

Oh, my God. Don't do it. It is insane to me.

And so I think I feel particularly bad for people who really didn't like their undergraduate experience. I loved my undergraduate experience. I had the best time.

I would choose it again and again. So yeah, that's a lot of money. But for the experience, it's OK.

It's cool. But I do feel bad for people who are like, I hated it. I didn't learn anything.

This degree is worse than-- more useless than toilet paper. Yeah, and then what's the other? How being a former recovered workaholic affects your finances.

Oh, yeah. Oh, OK. So I have decided that life is short.

And so I am not going to spend all of my waking hours thinking about work and trying to work myself to death. I want to have great experiences. I want to have great relationships with my friends and family.

And I choose to invest myself and my time in that stuff. You know? I want to look back on my 20s and 30s and forward.

On my deathbed, I want to look back and be, like, we had a great time. And-- The royal we. We all.

I mean like, we, like we-- We had a great time, so-- Looking back at, like, oh, I love to do stuff with my nieces, right? So, like, one thing that I even do now is, like, remember two summers ago when we went to the pool, like, you know? Because I am investing myself in relationships, that's why I think of it in the we.

Yeah. How do we relate to each other? Yeah.

So I know that because I am not grinding, grinding, grinding every day, but yeah, I'm leaving some money on the table, you know? Like, instead of making, like, low six figures, I could be making mid six figures or whatever. But I just think that there are things that are more important than how much money is in my bank account.

And yeah, that's a privilege. It is a privilege. You can only think like that once you get to a certain kind of financial stability.

Absolutely. But now that I'm there, I want to make sure that every single day is we made a memory, I didn't choose money over going to a recital. I didn't choose money over going to a birthday party or a retirement party.

And that stuff really, really matters to me. And back in my workaholic days, in the mid-- when I was in my mid 20s, I was, like, no I'm not-- I skipped family reunions before, which is so stupid. I've skipped birthday parties, retirement parties, recitals.

It's like, for what? For what? For money that's gone now anyway.

For that closet full of Louboutins. Yeah, that I don't even wear them. Aren't even cute anymore.

They're tacky. Like, no. It's not worth it.

Man, I have to say, I feel very lucky that of all those stupid purchases I made in my life, I've never been into designer clothes or accessories. Yeah, it's not-- I mean, you know, I still like a designer or something every once in a while. But that is not where I am putting the money, because it's just stupid.

You know, it's just trends. Trends come and go. Yeah.

I like every-- I want to get like a like a zapper for myself, because occasionally I'll see one of those, like, I don't know why I think they're cute, but the Gucci belt that's like the two Gs. I think that's cute. Like, what does that say?

But like, I'm like, get over it, Chelsea. You don't need the Gucci belt. I mean, we can splurge if you have a little bit extra.

I think it's OK to treat yourself. Like, what is that from? What show is that from?

Parks and Rec. Parks and Rec, right? Like, I think it's OK.

And I don't want to have guilt about the ways that I treat myself. I just want to make sure that there is balance in the way that I'm dealing with my financial life and my personal life. Yeah.

No, you're right. But for what it's worth, though, like, I'll invest in things, clothing-wise, but it's always like getting like a nice pair of boots or a winter coat that aren't really, like, designer. It's just like-- but those are expensive.

Yeah. But yeah. No, I never got Louboutins.

They seem uncomfortable. Are they uncomfortable? They are so-- that's the other thing.

They are so uncomfortable. You can't even wear them. I have put them on at 7:00 and then by, like, 8:00 you're like, I've got to sit down.

We've got to do something. Those are shoes that are made for people who have car services. Yeah.

Yeah. They have drivers. They literally, like-- it's literally, you wear them from your car to the front door of the restaurant or the club, and then you sit down, you know.

And then maybe you do a lap around wherever you are, because you want people to see them. And then-- One lap. And then you sit down again.

But they're not functional at all. And generally, I just think they're just not the cutest thing in the world to me anymore. Yeah.

I fell like they had their moment. Yeah. OK.

So fun fact. In addition to being an elite Ivy League-- What's going on? --grad-- Where are we going? --you're also a Forbes 30 Under 30. Oh, yeah. yeah wow.

Talk about credentials. OK. So we have a question related to that.

OK. Which is why I bring it up. How does she really feel about 30 Under 30 list?

Oh, gosh. How honest? OK.

So I think that-- Very honest. So I think we have to be real about the fact that any list-- all of these lists, any list that I've been on, is a function of your networks. It's a function of the brands that are attached to your name.

It's who you know. It's also, like, how well you can kind of game the systems, like for visibility. It's not necessarily a reflection of the work that you do, your capabilities, your intelligence.

It's like, it's not that. It's like, all the other intangible stuff that reproduces inequality. And I am very, very honest about that.

So I think that it was one of my goals really early on to get on an Under 30 list. I definitely think that I have gotten second looks from people and gotten opportunities because of that, the same way that I get second looks and opportunities because of the Harvard association. But again, as we were talking about earlier, we have to be very, very honest about the fact that, like, it is unfair.

It is unfair. Those systems are rigged. I think that we put way too much emphasis on achieving a certain thing by a certain age.

Now that I'm 30, I'm like, I'm still young. I'm not washed because I'm 30 now. Why are we trying to convince these kids that, like, if you don't do this thing by the time you get to this age that you're a failure.

It plays into all of these, like, pathologies that are ultimately unhelpful. So I will say rigged, unfair. Individually, it has been beneficial in certain ways.

Yeah. I mean, isn't that the truth about most? Yeah.

Unfair, rigged, beneficial. Yeah. Yeah.

Well, as someone who has never made any list of any kind, I wholeheartedly endorse that take. They're bad. But I will say, that being said, there is in our culture generally, but particularly on the internet, a youth obsession.

Yeah. And I'm like, I don't even want-- like, you know what? The extent of our youth obsession on the internet is we have 25-year-olds working at magazines to give their skin care routine tips.

Yes. I'm like, get out of my face 20-year-old. Like, I don't want to hear what your youthful baby self does to take care of your perfect skin. yeah I mean, it's like, I don't want to be the person who peaked in high school.

I don't want to be the person who peaked in college or peaked when I was 26 when I got on that list. I think that we should internalize this idea that life is not a destination, like, this is a journey. And it's ongoing, and I am excited to do different-- try new things.

I mean, like, doing YouTube the way that I do it now is, like, a new thing that I have put myself into after being on that list, you know? It's like, there's always a new adventure, and I hope that when we are making these Under 30 lists and all of this ridiculous emphasis on youth then, like, get here and be there, we are-- in our imaginations, we are foreclosing our ability to imagine greatness after a certain age or greatness beyond a timeline. And like, I love looking at success stories of people who are 55 or 60 or, like, there's a story of a woman who was a Princeton professor, a tenured English professor at Princeton, and after she retired, she was, like, you know what?

I want to be a visual artist now. Like, that's what I want to do. And so she went to art school after she had this huge career as an English professor at Princeton.

Like, there's so much more to life. And so I feel like I have to counsel younger people, like, it's OK. It's fine.

Like, there's time. Yeah. I only follow influencers on Instagram over the age of 50, as a rule.

Oh. Now, granted, like, if I'm following someone that I follow for other reasons, like, you know, I will follow other people who have some platform under that age, but anyone who's like an influencer, who I'm just following because they post cute outfits, only over 50. It has changed my life, because not only is it so exciting to see women over a certain age just be seen that way and be beautiful and in charge of their appearance and presentation and all that stuff and feeling sexy and great, most of these women started Instagramming at, like, 55, after doing a whole bunch of other stuff.

And so it just has that wonderful energy of, like, never feeling like you've passed a point in your life where something's open to you. And I also feel like it's important to not feel-- to never have any life achievement or goal or anything specifically associated with an age, which is why I hate those articles, it's like, how much you should have saved by X age. Yeah.

Aside from the massive privilege inherent in those articles, it's also like, I always used to think I should own a home by 30. Yeah. And I'm 31, and even before I turned 30, I was like, I don't even want to own a home.

But I never even considered that a choice. It was just what I was supposed to do. And thank God I didn't buy a house because of that.

Yeah. Yeah. I do think that, like, especially now, you know, millennial generations and Gen Z, just the ability to achieve some of those milestones, that's just not there for us.

Right? No. Like, I look at what my mom was doing when she was my age.

And I was like, I'm not-- it's not going to happen. Sorry. It's just not going to happen. right?

And again, not to overemphasize the structural stuff, but like, yeah, like the structure of the economy has changed, though our ability to amass these assets, it's changed. So we have to change our own milestones and have it be individualized to our own, not only like our own age milestones, but also our own desires. I don't want to have two homes and two kids at 30.

I don't want that. No. It doesn't seem fun to me.

So we have to really be open to, like, carving our own paths and doing it at our own pace. When my mom was my age, she had my sister, who was like 7 or something, was married, and she was pregnant with me, like at this exact age. And it's like, can you even imagine?

First of all, you had a house. So you have to make sure-- like, all the pressures that come with having a house. And then you have a husband.

You have to have those pressures. But like, making sure that a child doesn't die every day. Like, that is insane.

And then you have another kid in there. And you have to make sure that you're eating right and you're not stressed. It's just like, it's so much.

I'm like, I think about being married, and I'm like, what? Like, it's insane to me. So it's just like, I value that she had that stuff, and she was fulfilled by it, but I have freedom and I'm fulfilled by that.

It's just different. Yeah. Yeah.

Whatever-- whatever floats-- Yeah. This is an interesting one. If you've seen Parasite.

I have seen Parasite, and I think that that person tweets me about Parasite very regularly. They-- That is strange. They're-- I think that Parasite Hive is upset with me because I have not made a video about Parasite.

Interesting. Yeah. Wow.

That takes, like-- you have to be really into something to be upset with someone for not saying something. Yeah. Yeah.

I will get to it one day. Super-fascinating movie. Bong Joon-ho-- who or ho-- is that what his name is?

Bong Joon-ho? I think it's Bong Joon-ho. Brilliant.

Incredibly well-directed film. Please leave me alone, though. Like, they're just for asking me.

That is so strange. I got multiple people on Instagram asking if you would weigh in on the James Charles/Tati Westbrook thing, which I think is primarily because I talked about it on the channel again. I talked about it like two days ago.

So a year after it happened. James-- I think that I actually agreed with your take. It's like, something that I really believe firmly is that grown people need to stay out of teenager mess.

OK? So how old is James? He's 19, 20?

He's 20 now, 19 at the time. OK. And she was 37.

Yeah. Yeah. Not a good look.

I think that we can have our thoughts and opinions and feelings about things. I get it. It's like the biggest story on the internet for a few days.

But I also think that if you are firmly in your 30s, that you should just charge into the game, OK? 19-year-olds, they're ridiculous. They're going to be 19-year-olds. Yeah.

They're ridiculous. They're stupid. Like, what were you doing when you were 19?

Well, I don't know what you were doing, right? But I know that when I was 19, I was making the worst decisions imaginable. Oh, yeah.

Totally. So there's no-- if a 30-something person was trying to come to my 19-year-old self talking about you did this wrong, I'd be like, girl-- Go die. Right.

It's like, don't you have a mortgage to pay? Like, leave me alone. I really do think that an unfortunate thing about the internet-- I've gone off on this before-- but like, an unfortunate thing about the internet is, like, we're all together, and we're seeing everybody's stuff all the time.

There's no segmentation in community. So it feels like everyone's part of the same group, and they're not. Yeah.

Yeah. But we're not. No.

We are not. We are different. I'm in a different place.

And so it is distressing to me that grown folks, that grown people feel so emboldened and entitled to comment on people who are just trying to figure it out. These are people at the very beginning of adulthood. You go be grown.

Let them be messy. Yeah. Yeah.

But I do think it's funny, because when I talked about it on the video, like, it was more in the context, like you're saying, about like, the general internet. Yeah. And how it completely flattens the conversation into thinking, like, we're all just hanging out at a party, and it's like we are for sure not.

We're not. But it does, like-- and actually on that note, because the whole thesis of the video-- I'll leave it in the Description and the Show Notes-- it's basically just getting older on the internet, which kind of is scary to me. But I feel like if you are proactive about it, it can be manageable.

So to that end, like, how do you-- what steps are you taking to age gracefully on the internet? Yeah. I think that I definitely am always thinking about what the next thing is.

Do I expect to be making YouTube videos in five years? No, I don't. And so that means that I have to set things up so that I can do other stuff.

And if I want this to be a real business with employees that gives offers like health insurance and a 401(k), then I need to be making smart financial decisions and taking those steps to make sure that this thing is sustainable. And so I am all the time thinking about, OK, like, what's the next video going to be, but also working on the book proposal, also working on we're not just going to do the YouTube, we're going to launch the newsletter, relaunch the website. We are going to potentially pitch other kinds of projects to larger media companies, like how are we going to sustain and expand beyond just Kimberly the individual?

And I think that if you are an influencer, if you have a platform, you always just have to be thinking about the next thing. Because I have certainly-- you know, I ran this really, really successful blog. And as a lot of media companies, like, there is this big-- you know, Facebook changes the algorithms, and then your media business is no longer sustainable.

Because I've been through that before, I understand that as soon as it can come, it can go. So like, you've got to have five different things in place at all times. Very well put.

I agree. So we have come to that most famous of times on The Financial Confessions. So every guest, we ask them a series of rapid-fire questions.

OK. Now, you don't have to-- you know, you can go a little longer if you need to. And you can skip if you need to.

OK. But let's go through these, and I'll give you a little bit of context for some of them. So number one, what is the big financial secret of your industry?

And let's say, because we have had a fair amount of YouTubers on, why don't we say advocacy. The big financial secret. Oh, gosh.

Or, alternatively, of Ivy League colleges. Oh. I don't know it's a secret, but like, Ivy is like, everybody has the same background.

I don't know. That's not a secret. But I'll even say for people of color, right?

This is a big thing of, like, all of my best, best friends that I met in college, we are all the same person but from different parts of the country. How so? It's so interesting, like, we'll talk about-- we'll sit around and talk about our upbringings and, like, what type of school did you go to?

Oh, like, that happened at my school. What did your parents do? Oh, my parents kind of did that too.

Or it's just like-- or the feeling of, we present ourselves a lot in the same kind of way, like we speak kind of the same way. We have a lot of the same cultural references. Our parents do roughly the same thing.

The communities that we come from kind of look the same, different place. Or I do know a lot of people who also went to elite boarding schools, where everybody like, you know, that's like a step above. I went public school.

But it's like, even in the diversity, there is homogeneity. Interesting. Yeah.

Yeah. I read some statistic about how also, like even amongst the diversity stats that Ivy League schools will promote, they don't often specify that most of those children are the children of immigrants. So it's not even mostly students coming from generations of Americans.

Right. It's like, it's that. It's like, there's lots of-- yeah, especially like in the black community, there's a whole back and forth about how most of the people who get accepted into Ivies, like, they are the first generation, second generation.

And then also, it's like, I don't know. Like, if everybody's parent is a lawyer or a doctor or an accountant, an engineer. I come from an engineer and an accountant.

Like, if everybody is that, it's like, well, you're expected to, you know. Yeah. Yeah.

And so the diversity, kind of, it's-- Right. It's fake. Well, that's part of the reason why class has to be so much more a part of the conversation.

Yeah. It is really, really rare that you will see any organization, really of any kind, touting having class diversity as part of their makeup. I feel like-- I mean, maybe that happens.

But I feel like I never see it. Yeah. And that's a really easy way, to your point, to have a group of people who are diverse on one axis but on every other from an extremely similar background.

Yeah. Yeah. And I think, again, it's hard, especially now that we're having these conversations about eliminating legacy admissions.

That's another thing. It's like, a lot of the black people, like, they have a parent who went to Harvard, you know? So I think it's difficult to think about the fact that if I am deeply invested in dismantling these systems of inequality, that means that my niece is not going to get legacy preference.

And like, I have to be OK with that. And am I 100% OK with that? Nope.

God's working on me. But intellectually, I know that that's what needs to happen. But it's hard to relinquish that privilege.

Well, honestly, I feel like the great first step is that you're being super transparent about the fact that you come from a good amount of privilege. And you are similar to a lot of backgrounds at Harvard, because it would be more in your advantage to not acknowledge any of that. Yeah.

Yeah. I mean, you know, we have to do these admissions interviews. And it's like, I am sure that interviewers are looking for certain things, you know?

And so if you're able to embody those things that catches their eye, I mean, you know. Yeah. It's all rigged.

It's all rigged. What do you invest in versus what are you cheap about? What do I invest in?

I invest-- I do invest a lot of money still in aesthetics. So I do get my hair done a lot. How much does that cost?

So hair, I probably spend a month, like, $200. Is that a lot? I feel like that's not-- so I've never dyed my hair in my life.

So I've never had any expensive hair treatment. And I don't know-- I have a lot of friends who spend $300 a month getting, like, all kinds of treatment. Yeah.

No. But now that I do braids, it's only about $200. When I was having, like, straight styles, that could get like $300 a month.

And then I get a lot of facials. Nice. So that's like $120, like, twice a month.

So it's like $250. Maybe more than that if I'm adding in tip and stuff. And then what else do I invest in?

It's really just aesthetics stuff. I'm not super into the designer stuff anymore. So I'm not buying clothes and all of that stuff.

I rent the Runway subscription. Nice. So that has cut down on a lot-- and also just clutter.

Like, I can't have all that stuff that, you know, in your home. What am I cheap about now? I live in a very cheap place.

So my expenses, my cost of living expenses, are very, very low. I'm very comfortable with where I live, but it does matter to me to keep that stuff very, very low so that I can have flexibility. Yeah.

I'm like, very much afraid to get on the hamster wheel of a lot of aesthetic treatments. Like, I used to get my nails done, and I would get, like, gels. Yeah.

That hamster wheel, once you're on it, like-- Yeah. Oh, my God. There was a time in my life that I was spending, like, 80 bucks every two weeks on my nails.

Yeah. Oh, my God. That's a thing.

It's a total thing. Yeah. It is.

And I also think that being on camera so much exacerbates it. That's true. Because you know, people-- you see yourself and then you see the screen shots and the-- and it's like, oh, you can just put a little tweak.

And then you're addicted. That's why I feel-- like, there are so many things I'm like, if I start doing it, like especially skin treatments-- Yeah. --that'll never end for me. Yeah.

Like, I know it will never end. I will just now be a person that does that every month. Yeah.

So I'm just sort of delaying it, which honestly makes it worse. But you know. Yeah.

But I have decided as I've never-- I mentioned I never dyed my hair, but I have decided as soon as I go gray, I'm going to start doing all kinds of wild stuff. Yeah. Yeah.

I have a couple of gray hairs now. And I'm like, if it gets more, like, I'm going to dye my hair red or blond or like, yeah. I'm into it.

I really want to do-- my dream is to do, like, once I start going gray and redheads go gray very early apparently, so hopefully this is just around the corner, because I'm looking forward to it. But I love when they do the-- when women have the dark hair with like one big gray streak. Oh, yeah.

Or white streak. Like Stacy from What Not To Wear. Stacy London.

Yeah. I love that look. I'm excited to experiment one day.

But it's so expensive. Anyway. What has been your best investment and why?

My best investment. I mean, my biggest debt is, again, my college education. And that has paid enormous dividends.

Yeah, it's a lot of debt to go into early on. But going to Harvard and majoring in what I majored in, it changed-- Which is what? African-American studies.

It changed the trajectory of my life. There would be no For Harriet if not for that. Originally, I wanted to be a political consultant.

I met my best friends. I've been able to tap into networks and really, really-- I've been in some situations, and it's been amazing to be able to tap into those networks. So it's a lot of money.

I learned so much. And I don't regret it. I don't regret-- well, I maybe regret some of those loans, because you take more loans than you need, because you want to get some money back.

So maybe I wouldn't do that again. That was a wonderful investment. And I also think that what I've spent on the camera stuff.

When I first decided I was going to start making videos, I was like, OK, let's get a good camera. Let's get the good lens and get the lights and stuff. And that has paid off, I don't know.

It's been crazy, like, the growth of the YouTube channel and what just making videos has done. I feel like we're cursed. Yeah.

Like, a literal helicopter. What has been your biggest money mistake and why? When I was younger, I bought a Lexus when I was, like, 25.

Damn. You really were going all out. Wow.

That, and then I totaled it. Oh, my God. That was not the best decision.

Was it leased or owned or what? Owned. I owned it.

It was new or no? No, it wasn't new, but it was still-- it was still too much. Oh, my God.

What? And so, yeah. Just like, too much stunting.

Too much like flashy, just living like there was no tomorrow. I didn't need to do that. I think that, you know, now again, the name of the game is balance.

I'm always going to have a flashy part of me. It's just there. It's in my soul.

But now I recognize that, like, we've got to have balance. I have to think about the next 5 years, 10 years, 20 years. But also having money to be able to reinvest in the business.

So the car, the designer stuff that I don't like anymore, just spending money on just dumb stuff. Upgrades on flights, like first-class flight. You know, it's like, just like stupid stuff.

I've gotten dragged on Twitter before for this, but I'm just going to say it. I have never once in my life regretted an upgrade. I fly so much, and the experience of flying in business versus flying in coach-- I'm not going to pretend like I can afford to upgrade all the time, but on the occasions I have, oh, man.

It's so worth it to me. It depends. So there are some routes where it makes perfect sense to upgrade.

But there are other routes where it's, like, this flight was 50 minutes. Oh, yeah. I'm not doing that.

Yeah. Like upgrading for, you know, like, I've done that. OK?

Don't do that. Well, let me tell you, though, if you're doing a cross-country red-eye, and you have to work the next day, that lay-down situation comes in handy. Yeah.

But the rest of it, no. What is your biggest current money insecurity? I need to have more money in my savings accounts.

I am totally OK reinvesting in myself and making a lot of money and reinvesting it and spending it, and oh, that sounds like a good video or you want to make sure that your assistant is paid well and that they're happy and all of that stuff or bringing more people who help me do research and that sort of stuff. But sometimes I worry that, like-- and in adding all of these expenses, I want to make sure that I am not shortchanging myself on the back end. And so I think about, like, how much money should I have on my savings account?

Like, am I, you know, and then, like you said, we get all of these articles about when you're 30, you should have this much saved. And your IRA should be worth this much. I'm like, I don't have that.

And it's like-- You don't have an IRA? I have an IRA, but it's not at the level that it's supposed to be at. Do you have an emergency fund?

Yeah. In your savings account? Yeah.

Could it cover three months of your living expenses? Yes. That's huge.

But I think that for the amount of money that I am bringing in a month at this point, sometimes I worry about, like, some people go broke. Like, they think you're, like, I'm reinvesting in myself. I'm reinvesting in myself.

Like, this is how people go broke. Or is it how people get rich? I don't know.

I'm not sure. And I feel, I don't know, like, I don't think I have the best money financial instincts. So sometimes I second guess, like, what my desires are.

What has been the financial habit that has helped you the most. OK. So this is-- I feel like this might contradict what I just said.

But I will say it has helped me to not be afraid to spend on things that really are related to the business, that really are related to growing. So when I decided at the end of last year that I needed to get an assistant, I looked it up, and I was like, oh, like, I could just save that money and just try to do it myself and send out my own invoices and schedule my own stuff. But then I was just like, I could technically save that money.

But things will be done sloppily. Things will be done late. I'm trying to set up interviews with people.

They're going to think you're unprofessional, because you're not returning the emails on time or you're getting distracted by this and by that. And so really being willing to say, no, no, no. Just spend the money, bring somebody else on.

And she's better at doing that stuff than I am, OK? So bring people in who can make up for your deficits and who can make up for your weak spots. And so I'm not afraid to say I'm just no good at this.

And so that has really, really helped me in, like, maintaining my sanity. But also, again, my work-life balance. I really do care about-- I'm not working-- I didn't do this to work 12 hours a day.

And as a last question, what does the word "successful," quote, unquote, mean to you, and when did you first feel successful? I think success is when you have enough money to cover all of your living expenses, and you can also do extra stuff, you know? So I don't have to worry about, I don't know, going to Starbucks or buying a dress or whatever or I don't have to worry about doing that stuff.

Like, that makes me feel successful. It's not about living like Kim Kardashian or Kylie Jenner. It's really just about that and also about having the flexibility to make my own schedule, to say, oh, I don't want to work today or to say today, I'm only going to work from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Like, for me, freedom is my most valuable asset. I always said that if I wanted to have deadlines and all that stuff, like I would be working at McKinsey right now or I would work at Goldman. Like, you know, like, I know a lot of people who work at both places.

No shade, I should say. No shade to people who work corporate. Shout out to you.

But it is not for me. And I've always known that working in a corporate environment is not for me. And so my dream has been, since I was a kid, to own your own thing and set your own schedule.

And so now that I have the freedom to not only set my own schedule but also, like, do extra fun stuff, like that feels like success to me. There are so many people who hate their jobs, who don't like what they do, who have to work 12 hours a day. And I feel so incredibly privileged to be able to live this life, to be free, to have mobility, but to also be deeply fulfilled by the work that I do.

So I feel successful. And I feel like I really hit that stride last year. Cheers to that.

Woo. Well, thank you so much for being here, Kim. Thank you for having me.

What a nice time it has been. Where can people go to see more of this wonderful thing you got going on? All right.

So you can head up to the For Harriet YouTube channel. Just search For Harriet on YouTube. And you can find me, @KimberlyNFoster on Instagram and Twitter.

I'm really trying to give up social media, but sometimes I'm over there. You can catch me tweeting and deleting. And for Harriet also has an Instagram account.

It's For. Harriet. Well, thank you so much for being here.

And thank you guys, as always, for watching. Bye. Bye.

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