Pamela Capalad, a Certified Financial Planner™ and Accredited Financial Counselor®, is a fee-only financial planner whose business is called Brunch & Budget. Why brunch, you might ask? Pam says that, “brunch gives us the space to have real, open, and vulnerable conversations. It’s about getting to the heart of why we’re sitting across the table in the first place – To help you find the path to live the life you want to live. Let’s get there together.”

She is also the cohost of a weekly podcast and personal finance & racial economic inclusion with Brian ‘Dyalekt’ Kushner.

But her organization, Pockets Change, that she co-founded with Andrea Ferrero, is really what started it all. Pockets Change provides Hip Hop + Finance workshops for youth (from age 5 to college age).

What inspired you to enter this field?

Pam: When I was in college, I took a summer job teaching financial literacy camps for kids and those three summers completely changed my life. Why didn’t I get this information when I was 12? Or now that I’m in college and managing money for the first time ever?? I finished with a literature degree and this overwhelming feeling that I needed to enter the financial field instead. I saw the impact we were able to make with kids in just a week and I knew I had to figure out how to get this information into the hands of more people so along with Andrea, who also taught camps for a summer, we founded Pockets Change.

Tell us about your hip hop and finance program for kids and teens and how you are not only bridging gaps, but really meeting people where they are.

Andrea: A big part of “meeting people where they are” is moving away from the traditional approach of teaching facts, figures and formulas. We’re focused on developing habits, strategies and mindset for navigating financial decision making. That’s where the combination of Hip Hop and Finance comes in. We work together to explore finding your Pocket – your personal rhythm and connection to community. Finding that rhythm isn’t about learning a compound interest rap rather it’s about creating a cypher, a space where learners of all ages can identify, examine and share their personal strengths and relationship with money. By making finance more personal, kids and teens look at budgeting from a place of personal prioritization, earning as an extension of personal interests and goals, and financial systems as relationships where they can advocate for themselves.

We love your creativity and innovation – from your business model to your programming? What’s next up? What’s got you most excited?

Andrea: From here we’re going to keep changing the way finance is taught! We’ve enjoyed traveling to incredible community partners across the country sharing student workshop series, professional development workshops, and our online curriculum. We’re excited to expand that community of partners, working with K-12 schools, colleges, universities, government agencies and nonprofits to talk about money and how we can build financial capability in our communities. As part of that community building we’ve been selected as Mozilla Open Leaders, leading a project on the development of financial self-assessment tools. 

Pamela Answers our Friday 5  

  1. My Why: To do my part to help close the racial wealth divide and educate people not only in personal finance, but on how to see their finances in the context of the bigger picture and system
  2. My Favorite Quote: “Money is always there, just the Pockets Change. It’s not in the same pockets after a change.” – Gertrude Stein 
  1. My Hero (who inspires you): Saundra Davis founder of Sage Financial Solutions, and Lillian Singh director of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at Prosperity Now – I want to be them when I grow up!
  1. My Favorite Personal Finance Resource: Carl Richards is one of my fave NYT columnists
  1. My best advice: 
    1. For someone starting the journey to financial well-ness: Where you spend your money is a representation of what you value – indulge in the things you value, ignore the rest.
    2. For a new professional entering this field: Get certified in something! It’s not about letters after your name, it’s about doing right by the clients who are counting on you to help them with their livelihoods. Take that seriously enough to be held accountable for your advice. If there’s one designation you’re going to start with, start with the AFC®. I’m not just saying that, I got my CFP first and if you want to work with folks who need this information and help the most, the AFC® covers the knowledge base and the behavioral/psychological training you’ll need to help people truly make change.

Follow the work of the Brunch & Budget team at:
Twitter: @brunchandbudget @pocketschange
Instagram: @brunchandbudget @pocketschange
FaceBook: /brunchandbudget /pocketschange 

May 18, 2018

Interview with Pamela Capalad, CFP®, AFC® and her co-founder of Pockets Change, Andrea Ferrero

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