Hello love. I hope you are having a fantastic day.
I am so excited because we have a very notable speaker today, who is going to talk about enhancing your relationship with money while preserving your relationship with the family so you can better control your life, and create a reality in alignment with your professional and personal goals.
I’m thrilled to introduce Tonya Rapley. She is a globally renowned millennial money expert and a self-made mom-preneur who balances running two highly-successful businesses while taking care of her family at the same time.
Her life story is not a bed of roses but rather, an inspiring journey of personal struggles with both family and finances. At one point, Tonya was fighting for her life in a physically, financially, and emotionally abusive relationship with an ex. Throughout the years she has overcome every obstacle, built a thriving six-figure business, and is married to an amazing partner with whom she has a beautiful boy.
Perhaps these trying times have taken a toll on your family life and personal finances, and you are struggling to make ends meet. If that’s you, then I’m sure this episode can help you redefine and recreate your life.
Who Is Tonya Rapley?
Tonya Rapley is an Amazon best-selling author of The Money Manual: A Practical Money Guide to Help You Succeed On Your Financial Journey. She is also a co-host of the Color Full Lives podcast and founder of the award-winning My Fab Finance, a popular lifestyle and finance blog for millennials searching for financial freedom and seeking to do more of what they love. Her blog was featured in the November 2014 edition of the Black Enterprise Magazine.
Tonya is a well-loved and sought-after media personality, appearing as a financial expert in Good Morning America, Strahan & Sara, and CNN. Her works were featured in the Washington Post, Vogue, Glamour, Business Insider, and more, creating a significant impact on the financial lives of her audiences.
In 2016, she created a #BanishtheBalance challenge that helped a community eliminate the debt of more than $250,000 within 60 days. Tonya further launched a structured accountability program called the Blue Ribbon Club in 2019 to help financially-challenged individuals break the cycle of living from paycheck-to-paycheck and achieve financial freedom.
In this episode, Tonya will talk about how she pulled herself out of that abusive relationship and a major debt. Her journey to redefining and recreating her life allowed her to find the love of her life, and create a life she loves.
You can also create the same change in your own life. So, if you are ready for a change, then let’s get loved up with Tonya Rapley.
Navigating Yourself to Safety
Toxic relationships are so common nowadays that many women are silently suffering emotionally, physically, and mentally. Tonya also has her own journey of an abusive relationship with an ex. I asked Tonya to share her experience and how she was able to maneuver out of that vicious relationship.
“The first thing you always want to do is navigate your safety. Understand what’s the safest thing for you to do … understand the safety measures … that are necessary for you to navigate to successfully leave the relationship. … You have to break yourself out of the relationship before you actually leave the relationship. Because other than that, you’ll return to the relationship.” – Tonya Rapley
So, it all begins inside you — safety for your own self. You must not allow anyone to hurt you. If you are physically and emotionally hurt, then it is a sign of an unhealthy relationship getting worse. You can only do something about it by understanding the safety measures. Before you can break out of a relationship, you must first leave the emotional relationship first. The emotions will keep telling you to go back to the relationship, stopping your plans of breaking out.
“The physical scars would heal, but the emotional scars were enduring. And that’s why when you’re thinking about leaving a relationship, … it’s important to start to work on those emotional scars because those are the things that other people can’t see. … Those are things you can control, and you can work on.” – Tonya Rapley
It’s essential to begin with something you have control of, and getting out of the emotional relationship is the best way to start. Once you have tamed your emotions, you can easily navigate your way out of the physical relationship. The emotional scars may hurt, but they will heal in time. Your greatest concern in an abusive relationship is your safety, and you should always keep that in mind.
Not all women have the emotional strength necessary to get out of an abusive situation. If you lack the emotional strength to get out, use the available resources to help you manage your emotions. If there is a lack of resources in your place, get help from non-profit organizations, support groups, or from a relationship counselor. Your safety is your first concern. You must do what measures are necessary to stabilize your emotions so that you can leave the physical relationship.
Once you are out of the relationship, the start of a new era in your life begins, and so do new challenges. So, I asked Tonya what steps she took to emotionally and mentally open herself up to live again after the breakup.
“I went to my safe space. My safe space for me was my parents’ home. … So, I ended up going to my safe space and just using that time to reconnect with who I was before that relationship.” – Tonya Rapley
Reconnecting with oneself in a safe place can help you move on and start rebuilding your life. This will also help you figure out your next move. For Tonya, the next step was to move to New York City and find a job. She got a stable job, which marked the start of her next journey in life.
Fixing a Bad Credit Score
Once Tonya’s life has stabilized, her next move was to fix her credit score, which was damaged by poor financial management before. Her three credit cards were charged off, credit banks blacklisted her, and she had no savings in the bank.
“So, the first thing I did was I pulled my credit report, and I contacted one of the creditors. And, I set up a payment plan to make things right with them.” – Tonya Rapley
Making things right with your creditors is the first step to improving your credit score. Credit card companies usually have good restructuring programs that make it easier for you to pay off your balance and reset your credit standing. That’s what Tonya did. She started paying off her credit card balances until her accounts were clean.
Afterward, a credit card company started restoring her credit limit, starting as low at $300. It was eventually increased to $500 after three months and $1,000 after six months. Today, that credit card already has a credit limit of about $15,000.
“By making that relationship right with them, it opened up the door for me to continue to build my credit. … It allowed my credit score to improve so that I could … get other credit lending opportunities, … one step at a time. … I was working on establishing a relationship with a creditor that had gone wrong … and taking good faith effort to make it right.” – Tonya Rapley
That is so beautiful. The key message here is building healthy relationships — business relationships, personal relationships, financial relationships, and so on. While Tonya was building financial relationships, she also started building a new relationship with a new partner. But this time, she made sure to do it right by ensuring her safety and welfare.
As Tonya entered another chapter in life with another person, who she married and with whom she had a son, I asked Tonya what advice she can give to married couples on balancing financial goals and personal goals together.
“And so I recommend that couples sit down and create at least one or two financial goals together that they feel comfortable pursuing, … that will help you communicate better about something that you both are passionate about, … or want to work towards.” – Tonya Rapley
For married couples out there, you can take lessons from Tonya Rapley on financial management. The journey to financial freedom should be taken together as a couple, and the best way to start is to sit down and agree to pursue at least one common goal together.
As you go on with the journey, both of you will learn to communicate better about things you are passionate about and empower each other to achieve the common goal. Empowerment in a relationship is critical in the pursuit of happiness, abundance, and financial freedom. It will help strengthen not just the financial relationship but also the personal relationship with your partner.
Knowing Your Worth
As we talked about abundance, relationships, energy, and money, Tonya continuously mentioned the importance of knowing your worth.
“Sometimes we have to be reminded of our worth, and sometimes we have to put ourselves in [the] position to allow other people to remind us of our worth. … I had successfully advocated for raises in my previous jobs — … I was like one of the only staff members who got a raise two times in one year. … I think fortune typically favors the bold.” – Tonya Rapley
Indeed — fortune favors the bold, and you can only become bold if you know your worth. So don’t sell yourself short. Your performance speaks best for your value and worth. If you are doing well at work or in your business, elevate your standard and increase your self-value. Don’t be timid about it. Instead, work on getting to a position that fits your worth — be daring and be bold about it
But there are times you undervalue your potential because you do not see the bigger picture. You have some doubts about yourself, and your perspectives are limited by the things you’ve seen around you. That’s why it’s also important to seek help and guidance from the people around you. You must see yourself from the eyes of other people.
“Sometimes you just need to … see yourself through someone else’s eyes. … If you are having issues advocating for yourself, and if you are having issues … with your self-worth, ask the people around you for support. … Seek support until you get to that place mentally.” – Tonya Rapley
If you want to know your self-worth, you must get a broader perspective and assess yourself from your point of view and from what other people see. The best way to know your worth is to seek guidance.
Securing Your Finances
As we wrapped up this session, I asked Tonya Rapley to give us more tips about the financial things people can do during these times when many have lost their jobs. Others don’t know if they are still going back to their jobs, while some are thinking of shifting to entrepreneurship.
“Look at what options or educational opportunities are out there that could be an asset that you could capitalize on, …or you could turn into … something that could help you replace your income or, … help sustain your level of comfort. But then also looking at what resources are available out there.” – Tonya Rapley
If you lost a job, don’t count yourself out yet. There is an abundance of opportunities out there. You just need to have attentive eyes to see what resources and opportunities are available where you can put your skills to the test. Now could be the best time to acquire new skills. There are a multitude of courses, webinars, and trainings that you can attend to earn certifications and learn the skills you need to improve your chances of succeeding in your next endeavor.
You can also take advantage of the increase in demand caused by the pandemic, such as the rising demand for masks. If you have a clothing business, you can also start offering masks to your customers and benefit from the rising demand.
“My main two tips are to look for all the resources available to you. … Look for things to support, maybe existing resources that you purchased or … existing education that you’ve acquired so that you can effectively maximize it. … The other one is [the] pivot. … We’ve seen people who have clothing companies, and now they’re making masks because a lot of places now have mask mandates here in Los Angeles.” – Tonya Rapley
Taking advantage of resources and pivoting on opportunities should help you become resilient in these times of uncertainties. Know your worth to better position yourself in the right place for your competencies and skills.
Get Loved Up with Tonya Rapley
Redefine, recreate, and reinvent yourself. I just love it. This interview is so powerful and life-changing, and Tonya Rapley still has more to share. So please check out the full episode here. To get more financial wisdom from Tonya, follow her on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to her My Fab Finance YouTube channel for some financial tips.
This interview with Tonya Rapley is such a treasure. I’m sure it will greatly help those who are still struggling with their finances and looking for a break so that they can start their journey to financial freedom.
If you felt the love and inspiration from Tonya, tag Tonya @tonyarapley, and me, @koyawebb, on Instagram with a screenshot of this episode and your greatest takeaways. We would be happy to find out what you learned from this conversation.
To conclude this episode, I asked Tonya Rapley one last question — “What is love?”
“Love has a physical embodiment. … Love is just a reflection of things that I cherish. … Love is powerful. Love is an engine. … Love … can be so pure and so cleansing. …. Love is cleansing.” – Tonya Rapley
Love is truly cleansing because when you are so full of love, you become so pure. So start loving yourself, love other people, and love the planet.
Until next time, love.
- How Tonya’s ex helped equalize her (2:32)
- How to maneuver through a financially codependent relationship that is abusive (5:12)
- How finding your safe space and stabilizing is an important step to building our next steps (10:41)
- How working through her creditor helped her to rebuild her credit (13:41)
- The steps Tonya took to mentally and emotionally open herself to live again (17:41)
- Where Tonya is now and how she transitioned with her family (20:25)
- How to create space around discussions about finances with your partner (29:46)
- How therapy has helped Tonya to open up and look at herself in a different way (35:11)
- The importance of knowing your worth (45:16)
- Advice on how to secure your finances (49:41)