Runway Interviews: Financial responsibility with Jameel Webb-Davis of Start Money Smart Inc.

The first thing I wanted to do once I was done with grad school (apart from eating tacos and drinking my weight in margaritas) was to get my money in order. In order to go to grad school, I left a well paying job to work 2 jobs and be a full time student. You know how it goes.

A year later and I am ready to make money moves once again, I wanted to do it right and be smarter about my money. See, I am not very good with money. I have a very casual relationship with money. I have this “if they are still printing it, I will get it” mentality about money.  That will obviously not work for me this time. If you ever feel unmotivated, try taking a look at your loan balance. We have to make money moves.

In Junior high, I took a get money smart class courtesy of my mother (because she is always thinking about the future like that) with Jameel Webb-Davis of  Start Money Smart Inc. I was young and I remember being more focused on the snacks that were provided. I kept Jameel’s Smart Money Inc on my timeline and whenever she posted, it was a daily reminder that I know someone who helps people learn financial responsibility.

Jameel teaches people how to manage their money better. You will not get any get rich classes from her. What she does is try to get people to understand what is wrong with the way we teach our children how to manage money.  I reached out to Jameel because I do not want my 20 somethings to leave me broke. This is how our conversation went.


ReginahsRunway: Should you marry someone if either of you has bad credit?

Jameel Webb-Davis:  The first that you know that someone has bad credit is wonderful. You want to know the reason behind it. Married people will do everything together but want to keep the money matters separate. But having bad credit doesn’t mean you are bad with money. If you find out why they have bad credit, find out why. Having bad credit because of student loans is different than having bad credit because they have a shopping problem.  Before I married my husband, we ran credit checks. We were honest about it. Money is a very sensitive topic until you are married and trying to buy a house only to be stopped by someone’s bad credit.

RR: Should 20 somethings be worried about life insurance?
JWD: Before you ask about life insurance, the question should be: does anybody rely on you for income? If the answer is no then you should probably not worry about life insurance. The chances are so low that you should probably just invest it. If someone relies on you for income or a loan and if you die someone has to pay for it, then you should consider life insurance.

RR: What questions should we ask if we are interested in investing in something?
JWD: You should ask yourself why you need the money and when do you need it before investing it.  This way, you will get suggestions on how to save money.

RR: Is it worth to buy property now?
JWD:  Always worth to buy property. But are you willing to put in the work and time in that property. There are pros and cons to buying a property. Can you afford to fix it when a tree falls on it?

RR: How does one pay for grad school without going bankrupt?
JWD: In my very unprofessional opinion, find a college outside the country. Find a more creative way to find an education. I have nothing positive to say about the pricing of our higher education system. Do not fall in the trap of the education system. Education outside of the country is cheaper, you get to see the world and get the same education.


  *If you have studied abroad for even one semester, you know what Jameel is talking about.  This is the kind of honesty I need in a financial advisor because my bank account hates hearing the truth*


RR:  Is being a minimalist parallel to being financially responsible?
JWD:  Depends on how you define “being financial responsible”. It is way more complex than that. I know people who are minimalists but don’t know how to manage their money. You can live in a tent and have no bills but that does not mean that you know how to manage money.


              Tips on how to be financially responsible.

              Be aware of what is going on with your money. 
               Have a system for paying bills.
              Know what you can and cannot afford. 
                Know how to solve a money problem.

This was a very enlightening conversation for my Runway. Thank you Jameel for walking on ReginahsRunway. If you want to learn how to manage your money more, there is more where this came from. Check out Jameel’s Start Money Smart Money Inc on Facebook.

I learned that having money does not mean that you know how to be finically responsible. Which seems like a duh thing but it was made clear through my conversation with Jameel. I feel confident about my money moves. Did you learn anything new from this post?

With love,
Miss Runway.


  1. Wooah that is something gal, we should publish it our next runway magazine it will be great


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