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Time To Drop Kick The Racial Wealth Gap: I'm A Latina, And Here's How I'm Planning To Become A Millionaire

I'm going to put "first gen millionaire" on my business card one day.

Last year, McKinsey published a report called "The economic state of Latinos in America: The American dream deferred."

As a first gen Latina myself, this is beyond infuriating. For the biggest changes to take place, we need systemic change.

Hispanic households are 17% less likely to have a workplace retirement plan than White households, and that's a barrier that companies need to work on eliminating. Financial literacy is something that an individual can work on.

But more and more Latinos are able to change their personal finances as our communities talk more about money and earn more money.

I am on track to becoming the first millionaire in my family. I'm 34 and aim to be a first gen millionaire by 42. Here's my plan for making it happen:

1. I opened a Roth IRA and invest aggressively in the stock market.

person looking at investment app on their phone

2. I keep my major living costs low.

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Since I have been low-income for most of my career, keeping living costs low allowed me more financial flexibility and meant more money to save and invest. I keep costs low by meal prepping, living with a partner and roommate, and focusing on the big areas of money instead of nickel and dime-ing myself. 

Giving up $5 coffee four times a month won't increase my wealth as much as saving $500 in rent a month by living with a roommate.

3. I've worked on diversifying my streams of income.

Jannese of Yo Quiero Dinero has 11 streams of income, which has allowed her to quit her full time job.

4. I'm working to continue to increase my income.

5. I focus on building financial community.

friends celebrating a financial milestone together

Soledad of Wealth Para Todos believes in financial community as well, choosing to live in a high cost of living area to stay closer to family.

6. Finally, I avoid high-interest debt like the plague.

Yanely Espinal, a financial expert from NYC, recommends using the debt avalanche method to pay off high interest debt.

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Yanely shared with me that when she was younger, she struggled with debt. "I was trapped by high interest rate debt for years in and after college. I had $20,000 of credit card debt above 24% across my four cards!

"I recommend the avalanche debt repayment strategy. You set up minimum payments on all debts owed and then put any additional payments toward the highest rate debt only! If all interest rates are high across your debts, then consider loan consolidation through a lower rate personal loan from a local credit union or fintech company!"

This is just one Latina's strategy! How are you building wealth for yourself or your community?