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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GWU chapter.

A personal gap that I decided to conquer this year is the financial literacy gap. At the beginning of the year, I was doing some personal reflection and the one area that kept coming to me and causing me the most internal stress was my knowledge about money. I was thinking the following questions: How will I earn it? How should I invest it? How do I protect it?  Maybe the most important was; how and where do I start? So, I decided to be committed to conquering my financial personal literacy gap. Probably, like many other women, whenever I had a question about money or personal finance, I would go to my parents for advice and then, “bam”, the problem was solved.  Or should I say, problem avoided. But, this should not be the case. Women should be able to feel independent when it comes to financial decisions and advice. 

Because of this, I wanted to get involved and start as soon as I could. Like everything else, timing is everything and MoneyGirls was looking for women in colleges to get involved and help spread the word. I reached out to them and was presented with an opportunity to become a GWU Campus Strategist for MoneyGirls. MoneyGirls is a recent startup that launched in Fall 2019 by CEO, Judy Zhu. Her mission is to “empower every woman to run her own money”. More specifically, Judy aims to begin the conversation about money by adding clarity and taking away the angst we all feel when we tend to discuss money. MoneyGirls wants to rephrase how we view money. A current team member of MoneyGirls, Sophia Griffini, captured this goal completely: “Money does not need to be this big rainy cloud that lasts for 10 years”. This is done by young women submitting questions online and getting a free consultation, or by reading their weekly newsletter that discusses different aspects of money: taxes, savings, or financing rent. Judy wanted to decide to disrupt the gap between men and women by creating MoneyGirls to be a solution to this problem.  

As a female studying business, I resonated with the reason why Sophia joined the team. She is a recent graduate of USC and originally was working in wealth management. Her team at work consisted solely of males. Even though she had a finance degree from an accredited school and ample internship experience, she felt as if she could not ask questions due to her work environment. Yet, her male colleagues would rattle of questions as if it was no issue. Because of this, she wanted to find a community that empowered her to ask questions and feel embraced, and this community was MoneyGirls.  

But, MoneyGirls is not only about financial literacy among women, but it is also about creating a community that embraces female growth and independence. Sophia and Judy both agreed that independence and confidence develop with time. Gaining independence and confidence is an incremental process that differs from woman to woman. The one similarity everyone shares going through the journey to independence is making mistakes. As MoneyGirls CEO emphasizes “The sooner you fail, the sooner you will realize the sky did not fall and that you are okay”. Mistakes are a valuable asset to any learning process. Living in a society where failure is feared and perfection is the expectation, her statement was refreshing in what can sometimes seem like a hostile environment towards failure.

Judy offered three very valuable words of advice: “why not you?”. These three words motivated her to start MoneyGirls in the first place and she lives by them in her daily life as well. She now uses this motto to encourage her team to continue the mission and continue to educate young women in hopes of improved financial literacy in the future. From a global perspective; it is meant to empower women to take the risk, make the first move, and to constantly challenge the status quo. As a college student, I am sometimes intimidated by the number of opportunities I could be taking advantage of. So why not take a risk because the reward could be something great?  College is a great ecosystem to try new experiences because even though they may not feel like it, the stakes are quite low for us, and only will increase with time. 

Interested in hearing more about MoneyGirls? Want to hear more insight about being a female entrepreneur in today’s America? Intrigued to learn more about financial literacy in a non-intimidating way? You should save the date for Tuesday, April 7th to attend a MoneyGirls x HerCampus x GWWIB event! Judy Zhu will be doing a presentation along with a live Q&A session for all of your questions from the range of money to startups to personal advice! Additionally, sign up for the newsletter using this link to learn new financial insights every week!

Brooke grew up in Maryland and is currently a student at The George Washington University. She is currently studying International Business and Data Analytics with a minor in Cross Cultural Communications. Even though she is a business student, her dream is to be on HGTV! But realistically, she will be doing consulting to globalize start up companies. If she is not writing an article, catch her shopping in Georgetown, trying new cafes, or scootering around the suburbs of DC!
Isabella grew up in Boston and is currently a student at The George Washington University studying International Business and Chinese. Her dream job is working as a journalist in New York, and she hopes to travel all over the world and study abroad in Shanghai. You can find her taking walks with her three Labradoodles or doing yoga with friends.