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Every year we do a Black History initiative here at Her First $100K. A big part of feminism, especially financial feminism, is recognizing intersectionality and supporting BIack creators and other marginalized communities. This year, in an effort to support the Black community, we’re sharing stories from 4 incredible Black creators and their businesses.
Here’s how you can support these creators:
Follow them and their businesses on social media and share them far and wide. This is a completely free way to support Black creators –– and it doesn’t have to stop with the four we highlight.
Spend money with these creators if you can do so. Supporting Black owned businesses is one of the best ways to practice financial intersectionality.
This week, we sat down with Cinneah El-Amin of Flynanced, a debt-free travel and financial freedom creator dedicated to helping women make more and live their best lives without shame through financial education. Check out the interview below, and make sure to support Cinneah and other Black creators year round –– not just during Black History Month.
The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Q: Go ahead and brag about yourself and what you offer over at Flynanced.
Flynanced is an online platform dedicated to helping 9 to 5 hotties (like me!) earn more money so that we can build wealth effortlessly and live our best lives without shame. Aside from being a creator, I work a 9 to 5 as a product manager.
Over the past two years creating content for Flynanced, it has grown into a sought-after personal finance and travel community, touching over 80,000 people across Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and email. My story has been featured in Travel Noir, Black Enterprise, Real Simple, The Points Guy, and other outlets.
Q: You have an incredible debt payoff story –– tell us about your personal finance journey.
In my personal finances, I was really fed up with living paycheck to paycheck and drowning in debt, and made the decision to start to transform my money traumas and work towards a new reality for myself. As a black woman who does not come from a family of money or family where we talked about wealth, I am dedicated to showing other black women what’s possible in terms of financial freedom unapologetically.
In 2020, I paid off $23,000 of debt across student loans, credit cards, and consumer debt. In 2021, I reached my first financial independence milestone of saving my first $100K.
Q: Amazing. Can you tell us a little more about who you serve at Flynanced and any offers you currently have that our audience would love?
I started Flynanced as a passion project. Back in 2018, I was in my early 20s, really struggling with money and started to find creators in the #personalfinance community who educated me on debt freedom, how to live within my means, and how to budget. It was the first time I really heard that information and it really resonated with me. At the same time, I felt like there was this narrative that was almost shaming people like me who were working through our money and trying to pay off debt. That we shouldn’t be traveling, that we shouldn’t be doing things to make ourselves feel joy. That didn’t sit well with me.
As a black woman, my life is too precious and too short to put off what brings me joy. Even if that means that it takes me a little bit longer to get to my financial goals, I think that the journey is worth it.
I started Flynanced in 2020 really as a passion project. I was documenting my debt-free journey, and I was talking mostly to other black women about how we can balance saving for travel, and also working towards our money goals like paying down debt. Flynanced has since evolved into a space where I help young black women (primarily ages 25 to 34), who are struggling with their money, want to make more money, and who really need that creativity, that inspiration, and that push to say that they are worth more –– they deserve more.
Since then, I’ve really streamlined my offerings. Right now, I’m focused on building a community of 9 to 5 hotties who want to learn how to pivot into well-paid jobs. I created a free resource called the Pivot to Well Paid Guide that really just summarizes how other 9 to 5 hotties like me can transfer the skills that they already have into well-paid jobs.
Q: So you’ve got this incredible free resource for women who want to make more money. What else are you excited about in 2022?
I’m really excited to launch a small group mentoring program because I just have so many young women who want to work with me, want to hear my story, and create a private community where we can talk, learn and collaborate together. Down the line, I’m really excited to start bringing clients to in-person events! I feel like I have 9 to 5 hotties all over the country and around the world and I want to meet them all in person.
I’ll give you guys a little insider –– I’m also hosting my first international wealth-building retreat in Q4 of 2022 in my former home of Tulum. I’m really excited to be able to bring a small group of ambitious women there, and really show them the real Tulum, encourage and inspire them to see that it’s possible for us. Even with our 9 to 5’s, even with our past money mistakes –– that we are deserving.
Q: I know that you really want to serve the community of black women around you. To encourage them to build their wealth to go for bigger and better opportunities, and to grow the life that they want to achieve. How do you feel that your identity as a black woman really impacted your personal career?
This is a great question. I was always raised around strong examples of women and raised to see myself as one. I was raised around women who had incredible resilience –– who made everything possible to create a life for their families, but who often didn’t always have the space or the agency to fight for what they wanted, or to make space for the things that made them personally happy.
I think that experience has taught me so much. It taught me that so many of us do not know what it means to prioritize rest. We’re taught to overwork ourselves and to be superwomen. For many of us, myself included, that’s all we’ve ever seen. We’ve seen our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and all the women around us exhaust themselves to the point where they don’t even have time or energy to focus on themselves.
I knew I wanted more for myself. When I first learned about financial freedom, especially FI/RE (financially independent/ retiring early) what really resonated with me was this opportunity to have options to say, I don’t have to give all of my youth companies. I can create the life that I want. I think so much of that is shaped by my experiences as a black woman –– seeing people that look like me struggle to say that there is another way.
I’m making it my duty and my mission to help as many people that look like me, as well as allies, see that just because the histories that we come from and the women before us who may not have had the agency –– it doesn’t mean that we can’t break those generational cycles and rebuild generational wealth.
We can enjoy our lives right now and be able to give that back to the next generation.
Q: You’ve come such a long way in such a short amount of time –– what would you say to 2018 Cinneah if you could?
The thing that comes to my spirit right now is “stop doubting yourself.”
I had the idea for Flynanced in 2018 and it took me two years to gain the confidence and self-esteem to put it out there. I felt like a fraud. I felt like no one was going to listen to me. “I’m making all of these mistakes with my money –– there are so many other people that are talking about this/ the market is so saturated and I’m just a regular girl.”
I wish that I could talk to that girl back then and say, “You have no idea how many people you’re going to touch! How your story is going to inspire not just the people around you who are paying attention right now, but thousands of people who you don’t even know! People who need to hear your story and need to hear your testimony!” I was so overcome and paralyzed by fear.
I had this itch in the back of my mind, I wouldn’t go away. I knew that I had to create something, but I was so afraid of it needing to be perfect. I don’t regret it –– I think that time gave me the space to really be sure and confident about my why.