Sharita Humphrey, Certified Financial Education Instructor
by Team Sammy
INTRODUCING SHARITA HUMPHREY, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR
We are pleased to introduce you to Sharita.
Sharita is an award-winning finance expert, money mentor and Certified Financial Education Instructor.
Once broke and homeless, Sharita completely transformed her life and is now a successful entrepreneur and one of the most in-demand money coaches for individuals and business owners of color.
In 2020, Sharita was named the National Financial Educator of the Year.
A LOVE FOR MONEY MANAGEMENT AS BIG AS THE LONE STAR STATE
Team Sammy: Share with us a little about you, your current family, your non-professional life, a favorite hobby, etc., so readers can get a sense of who you are.
Sharita Humphrey: I’m the most introverted extrovert that you will probably ever meet. I like to call this my superpower because it gives me the balance I need to be me.
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I'm a wife, mother, and sister who was raised by my hero who I call mom.
My two favorite hobbies are reading and traveling. One of my goals is to travel to every state in the United States and vacation there for one month.
I’ve been an avid football fan since the age of four and the Dallas Cowboys are my favorite team.
My love for money management and finance is as big as the Lone Star State. I love to write financial content and curriculum to help others create their path to financial freedom and wealth.
A HUMBLE BEGINNING
Team Sammy: Tell us about what it was like growing up – your family and community?
Sharita Humphrey: I come from very humble beginnings. I grew up in a low-to-moderate wealth community. My sisters and I were raised by our mom and although we didn't have many material things, we had one another. In full transparency, it was hard for me as a child because I was teased a lot about my clothes, shoes, and our family not having a vehicle.
DO DREAMS COME TRUE
Team Sammy: Share with us a little about one of your first money memories or experiences.
Sharita Humphrey: One of my first money memories was sitting in my room and writing about the life I could have if we were not in the situation of financial lack. I was twelve years old writing my dreams and goals. At the time I didn't think any of what I was writing down would come true, but writing just made me feel better. I use to daydream about what it felt like not to have to worry about whether we could afford new clothes, shoes, or if we had food in the fridge each week.
A GOLDEN FEELING
Team Sammy: What was your first saving experience or memory?
Sharita Humphrey: My first saving experience felt like me getting the golden ticket from Willa Wonka. I was able to save my first $20 from my paycheck from AstroWorld. I kept that $20 bill in a book which I placed in a shoebox. Having that $20 bill saved that was just for me was such a sense of accomplishment.
WORKING WITH A HIGHER PURPOSE
Team Sammy: What was your first job (formal or informal)? How much did you earn and what you did with the money?
Sharita Humphrey: My job was working in the gift shop of a theme park called AstroWorld. While working at AstroWorld, I also worked a few days a week at Subway.
I can’t remember how much AstroWorld paid me per hour, but it wasn’t a lot because I wanted a part-time job. I used the money I made from both jobs, to help my mom with groceries and smaller bills. My primary reason for working was to help my mom because she worked so much to try to make ends meet.
Team Sammy: Did your parents talk to you and/or teach you about money / personal finance growing up? What do you remember? What, if anything stuck?
Sharita Humphrey: My mom didn’t talk to me about money or personal finance. The money conversations we had were focused on what we couldn’t afford, the bills that were due, and that we would have to sacrifice something else to keep the lights on and a roof over our heads. Having those negative money conversations so often gave me a scarcity mindset as a teen and young adult.
SOMETHING HAD TO CHANGE, BUT WHAT
Team Sammy: At what age and how did you come to realize money had a value?
Sharita Humphrey: At the age of eight, I realized money had value and without it, we would continue to live like we were living. I remember waking up to yet another December birthday and Christmas with nothing. It was no longer about the gifts for me at that point, even at eight I knew something had to change, but I didn't know how to change our circumstances.
A BAD AND GOOD TEEN MONEY CHOICE
Team Sammy: What was one mistake and one smart money choice you made as a kid or teen?
Sharita Humphrey: One money mistake I made as a teen was feeling obligated to have to give my mother all of the money I was earning from work. It made me a bit resentful because I felt like an adult when I was just a young teen. In the past, I use to put others and their needs before my own.
One smart money choice I made as a teen, was to quit my part-time job and ask for more hours at AstroWorld. Quitting was a smart money choice because I was able to save money on additional bus fares and it made my family not rely on me so much financially.
ATRULY LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE
Team Sammy: What piqued your interest in personal finance?
Sharita Humphrey: What piqued my interest in personal finance is hitting rocking bottom financially in my early twenties with two small children. My children and I became homeless for a while and I knew I had to make some drastic decisions and changes.
While living in a motel and still working, I decided to learn about money management, budgeting, credit, and savings. I read every book I could get my hands on and applied what I learned.
It wasn't easy but it was worth all of the hard work and dedication to change our financial situation. Hitting rock bottom truly changed my life, the lives of my children, and my financial trajectory. I'm now teaching others across the globe about how I became my family's financial trailblazer.
THE ONE MONEY HABIT
Team Sammy: One question I ask everyone is: If you could only teach a child one money habit, what would it be and why?
Sharita Humphrey: If I could teach a child one money habit it would be budgeting because it's truly the financial roadmap to helping a child understand how many works and how they can be in control of their money and their financial future.
Team Sammy: Is it important to teach kids about money? Why? At what age should parents start?
Sharita M. Humphrey: We must teach our children about money because they are the future financial decision-makers. What we teach our kids becomes a part of how they value money, it teaches them money doesn't grow on trees and you have to be disciplined with the money you make and that saving is key.
I highly recommend that we parents start to teach children about money as early as two years old because their minds are sponges and they soak in what they're taught.
IT'S ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SUBJECTS
Team Sammy: Should personal finance be taught in schools?
Sharita Humphrey: Personal finance should be taught in schools. We teach our children about many subjects but one of the most important subjects that will impact their futures is personal finance.
Teaching personal finance in school can help our children to start personal finance conversations that many families don’t have.
Team Sammy: Any thoughts on credit cards?
Sharita Humphrey: Teaching your children about credit cards is vital. It’s a conversation I wish my mom had with me because I would have avoided credit card debt.
Teaching your children Credit cards are not free money or a part of their emergency fund will help them not take on debt that they can't afford to pay back on time and in full.
WORDS OF THE WISE TO THE WISE
Team Sammy: Do you have a favorite quote on money or personal finance?
Sharita Humphrey: Knowledge pays the best interest – Benjamin Franklin
COMPOUND THE MONEY CONVERSATIONS
Team Sammy: Do you have any final thoughts?
Sharita Humphrey: Let’s continue to normalize personal finance conversations with our children at home, in our schools, and especially in our communities.
Discover more about Sharita Humphrey. Visit her website.
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