Tonya Rapley, founder of My Fab Finance, believes that everyone has a financial story. For some, their story may begin as early as childhood, understanding the value of weekly allowances or saving coins in their piggy banks. For others, post-grad adulthood is the first true awakening, as they come to navigate student loan debt and fluctuating credit scores. No matter the chapter you find yourself in, with the right tools and guidance, there's always an opportunity to turn a page and become the hero of your financial journey.
For Tonya, her story began with parents who provided a solid foundation that cultivated her work ethic and nurtured her drive, "I came from a middle class family, so there was a lot of stability there. But my parents wanted to make sure that my sister and I knew how to get our own." At 15, having her own meant juggling a part-time job, maintaining academic honor roll, while paying for school lunches and even her prom dress. "My parents required a lot out of us when it came to the things we wanted to do, but that also required us to learn how to budget at an early age."
Courtesy of Tonya Rapley
As she grew into financial independence, Tonya always had a leveled relationship with her credit, still, she shares how her spending habits left her in a complicated financial situation, "I was using my credit to bridge the gap between my actual life and my ideal life, instead of understanding how to leverage credit and use it as a tool." After seeing just how much of an inconvenience it was to have a fair credit score, Tonya knew it was time for a change, "Having bad credit was keeping me from living my life as the adult I knew I wanted to be."
"I was using my credit to bridge the gap between my actual life and my ideal life. Instead of understanding how to leverage credit and use it as a tool."
Tonya's journey to correct her credit score led her to discover online message boards filled with people on the journey to reverse their financial missteps, "I started looking at what other people were doing and started to implement it in my own life." Learning from their insight allowed her to take her new found knowledge and impart it to her own community, thus creating, My Fab Finance.
Now, Tonya has reinvented My Fab Finance to be a full-scale, "holistic financial picture," providing millennials with financial education and support they need to become financially free and live an abundant life.
xoNecole: What was the inspiration behind starting My Fab Finance?
Tonya Rapley: When My Fab Finance started, we were focused helping people understand and improve their credit. Since then, it's more of a holistic financial picture, it's about how to put money aside for retirement, it's about understanding small business finances, and budgeting to help you achieve your financial goals. It has advanced to incorporate more priorities in people's financial lives, but I think it also served as accountability and a reminder. I think some people need that encouragement, so we're also "financial encouragers" - just letting people know that other people have done this, and you can do it too.
One thing I see you mention on your page is Scarcity vs. Abundance Mindset. In your own definition, how can we learn how to separate the two?
It goes into being mindful of it and calling it out when you see it. It's not like we deal with it once and we're over it, it's something you have to remind yourself of consistently and different circumstances can influence that. It's really about framing and being honest with yourself, are you adopting a scarcity mindset right now or an abundance mindset? And understand that a scarcity mindset is sometimes inherited, sometimes it's the collective culture you're a part of - the idea that everybody around you is struggling, so you don't see how you won't or when you do have thoughts of abundance, people try to bring you down. It happens. Be aware of it and switch this energy. Focus on all that is well instead of all that isn't. I say, "How am I going to become a catalyst for opportunity instead of just waiting for bad things to happen?
How are you learning to find a balance between motherhood, wife life, and entrepreneurship?
I am learning to ask for help. Prior to becoming a mother, I was like, "I can do it all by myself." I'm learning to ask for help because you need a village, you need rest to create and clarity to make things happen. I was feeling like, "Well, everyone struggled through this [stage of motherhood], so I have to struggle through it too." But no: utilize whatever resources you have available to you that will put you in the best position to do what you need to do. I think too often we pride ourselves on doing it without support instead of realizing that doesn't take away from your success. Lean on your support.
Courtesy of Tonya Rapley
Were there any habits that you picked up along your journey that you feel made the biggest shifts in your financial lifestyle?
Pausing was really helpful in achieving my financial goals. Pausing and asking myself questions like, "Why am I purchasing this? How will this help me accomplish my goals?" Also, being goal-oriented and being specific with my goals helped. Saying, "I want to be a millionaire," isn't not enough. Instead, we had to be specific about how much money we need to make in a day to hit our million-dollar target. Really being specific and gradual with my goals has been helpful in staying on track financially because I know on the micro level when I'm on track and when I'm not.
When it comes to having a positive relationship with money, what is one thing you may not have learned growing up that you look forward to teaching your son?
I look forward to teaching my son that he has options. When I was growing up, there was no other option for me but to go to college, so I look forward to encouraging him to be a creator and a problem-solver instead of a worker. When we look at people who are wealthy, it's because they have created solutions, so I want to teach him how to be solutions-oriented.
The biggest thing I want to give him is examples of what his reality can and should be. He has an education fund and a savings account that we contribute to regularly, so I know that we're doing what we need to do financially, but for me, the mindset piece is so much more powerful. I want to raise him as a proud, young Black man who knows he can do what he wants to do and that he has the resources to do it. And if things don't work out, it's not the end of the world for him. And I think so many people in our community are afraid to try because we don't have that leeway to fail.
What would your advice be to someone who may have shame associated with relationship to money, but wants to become a hero to their financial story?
Realize that shame does not serve you. Sometimes, it's not even ours, we can feel like we're failing at expectations that others have about us. Ask yourself, "Where are these feelings coming from?" I'm often motivated by asking myself, "What can I do to make me proud of myself?" I think pride counteracts shame. Give yourself more things to be proud about than to feel shame about. I think everyone experiences it, and that's OK, but it's about what we do with it that matters.
"Realize that shame does not serve you. Sometimes, it's not even ours, we can feel like we're failing at expectations that others have about us."
Tell us about your latest business endeavor, Club Loofah.
My current task at hand is to scale the Shopify business that I acquired, Club Loofah, and show people that you can actually buy an existing brand and scale that. You don't necessarily have to come up with the idea, you can buy someone else's idea, figure out where they came up short, grow it, and improve upon what they created. Sometimes we feel like we have to start from scratch, but when we look at the other side, they're not starting from scratch. How do we build on what other people have done and make it better? Black people are some of the most creative beings to walk this earth, so how do we lend that creativity so that we don't have to start from scratch and start over? We can just build on what's already established.
For more information on Tonya, follow her on Instagram and check out her services on, My Fab Finance.
Featured image courtesy of Tonya Rapley
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Aley Arion is a writer and digital storyteller from the South, currently living in sunny Los Angeles. Her site, yagirlaley.com, serves as a digital diary to document personal essays, cultural commentary, and her insights into the Black Millennial experience. Follow her at @yagirlaley on all platforms!
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The Libra woman and Aries man are the divine feminine and divine masculine, coming together as one. The love compatibility between these two is one for the books. These two are opposite signs, however, their differences tend to complement each other well. This is a dynamic relationship where they know how to have a lot of fun together, but also aren’t afraid to deal with the more serious stuff that comes with a relationship.
The Libra woman is looking for her equal in love, someone who is willing to put in the same effort she is, and the Aries man sees Libra as someone he is willing to do that with.
The Love Compatibility Of A Libra Woman And An Aries Man
What attracts a Libra woman and an Aries man to each other?
There is a magnet of attraction pulling these two together, and things tend to move pretty fast in this relationship. The Libra woman is always open to love and her charming nature rarely has any challenges here. The Aries man fights for his independence and doesn’t sacrifice that unless he is completely enamored with someone.
Once the Aries man catches the eye of the Libra woman, he is typically the one to make the first move and this instantly wins the approval of Libra.
These two feel like they have known each other forever when they meet, and this spark between them doesn’t die down easily.
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What is the relationship like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The relationship between the Libra woman and the Aries man is one of balance and excitement. The Aries man tends to take on the more dominant role in this relationship and the Libra woman tends to be the more receptive one. Aries is ruled by masculine Mars, and Libra is ruled by feminine Venus. They understand they are coming from two completely different worlds, yet they also instinctively feel this underlying connection to each other and like they could be something each other needs in their lives.
The Libra woman can rely on the Aries man, and the Aries man never has to ask for the love that Libra already knows he needs.
This is a couple that is often reading each other’s minds and wanting to do a lot of the same things. However, not everything is rainbow in this relationship as well, and there are some major differences they have to overcome to make things work. One argument can lead to an explosion between these two, and addressing things when they come up rather than sweeping them under the rug, will be needed to make this relationship long-term.
What is the sex like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The sex between a Libra woman and an Aries man is adventurous. These are two cardinal signs with plenty of energy and stamina to keep things exciting in the bedroom. There tends to be a good give and take in this relationship, and their yin and yang energy benefits them when it comes to their sex life.
There is electricity felt between the two of them in this area of their life, and their power of attraction to each other is strong. These are two people who will want to do a lot of things together, including exploring sexually together.
The Aries man will have to be careful with being overly aggressive, however, as the soft Libra woman may not like this energy- it will completely depend on the two individuals at hand. The Libra woman wants to ease into things, the Aries man wants to get going right away. Learning about each other's bodies, and energy, and reading each other’s cues will help with this.
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What makes a relationship between a Libra woman and an Aries man work?
These two genuinely like each other, and that basis is a key factor for success in any relationship. The Aries man is straight to the point, direct, and inspired. The Libra woman admires these characteristics in others, as she is often herself finding her balance in this type of energy as well. Neither sign is overly emotional in a way that turns them off, and they both require a lot of the same things in a committed relationship. They want honesty, fun, good communication, passion, and to be moving towards a common goal together.
The Libra woman and Aries man don’t have a problem being real with each other and this is something they really value within the relationship. They are both very charming, and there is plenty of flirtation and attraction to keep this relationship going. Aries being the protector they are, Libra finds a sense of safety and ease in this energy, and like they have found their match. Overall, this is a well-balanced relationship and one where they don’t have a problem when it comes to compatibility or chemistry in the relationship.
What may cause a Libra woman and an Aries man to break up?
Libra is the lover, Aries is the fighter, and this energy may be tiring for the both of them after time. The Libra woman can be passive to a fault, and the Aries man who is not evolved, may take advantage of that. She will need to be careful with putting Aries’ needs above her own, creating resentment later down the road. The Aries man loves a challenge, and the Libra woman would be up for that game for a little bit, but if she is not being met in the middle, she will begin to look for other places. These two can have a difficult time keeping the peace in the relationship, and there could be a lot of arguments and disagreements here if they both aren’t willing to put their egos or self-pleasing attitudes to the side.
The Libra woman and Aries man are both more sensitive than they appear or come off as. They are also not necessarily the type to dive deep into their emotions and express them to others, even in their relationships. However, this energy can keep the relationship to a surface level than what is needed to progress and grow the relationship, and a sense of openness is required for this couple to work. Libra needs romance, she wants to be wowed. Aries needs to remember this and to always consider her love language.
Overall, this is a successful pairing. They will have their fair share of challenges in the relationship, but nothing they can’t overcome if they are willing to. The trouble will come in when it comes to the longevity of the relationship, keeping Aries excited and Libra in love. However, all in all, there is more power, attraction, and love to keep this relationship together rather than apart. No relationship is perfect, but this one is a little more blessed than most.
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