Girls Night Out makes finances fun

    Girls may want to have fun, but judging from last night’s Girls Night Out at the Chase Center on the Waterfront, they also want to be wiser about their finances.

    Nationally recognized Money Coach Tonya Rapley of My Fab Finance, a financial website that offers tips, resources and coaching, addressed an auditorium filled with women who wanted to learn more about taking control of their finances.

    It took nearly a year for the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute, home of the Money School, to get the Brooklyn based certified financial education instructor to the First State.

    Rapley’s goal for the night was to first give financial tips and strategies. “I’ll be speaking about what I’ve learned about individuals who are living paycheck to paycheck, and how to get out of it. I think a lot of people they feel overwhelmed when they’re in it and they’re like, ‘what is the first step?’

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    But Rapley wasn’t planning on doing all the talking for the night. She encouraged the audience to speak up and share. “I can speak about what I think is important to the audience, as much as I want, but they know what is really important to them.” It wasn’t long before Rapley was fielding audience questions.

    The discussion got underway with Rapley sharing with the ladies how she became a financial coach.

    She admitted to falling victim of what she dubbed as “buying acceptance.” A shopping habit that caused her to spend on clothing and things she didn’t need. One of her wake up moments occurred when she met a young millionaire couple, who shared with her their money management secret – live off half of what you make. Boom!

    With that tidbit, she went on to share the steps to getting started:1. Get current on your bills2. Build up savings3. Aggressively eliminated debate4. Reduce overheard-unnecessary expenses5. Determine your “whyspiration”– what’s your reason for financial freedom

    Girls Night Out has grown since its inception three-years ago.

    It started in the gym at the Claymont Community Center, but has been held at the Chase Center for the last two-years. Organizer Shaquille Holmes, a program director at the DFLI says she saw a need for an event like this to address serious financial matter in a relaxed atmosphere. “We needed something fun. Something that women could come to after work, let their hair down, give our small businesses an opportunity to vend, as well as get a good message.”

    The free event, which ran from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., gave attendees an opportunity to grab a bite from the buffet stations, sample and shop at some of the vendor booths, and just unwind with girl friends before heading into the auditorium to hear Rapley.

    Finances don’t have to be a taboo subject, said Holmes, and hopefully the ladies were able to relax but walk away better equipped to take control of their money.

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