Financial Advice From Betterment’s LGBTQ+ Community

Members of Betterment’s Betterpride ERSG share their financial goals, long-term money habits, and advice for how they approach money decisions in their everyday lives.

Pride Month Betterpride

While not everybody feels that their identity affects their finances, queer people face disproportionate levels of homelessnness, carry more debt, and have more healthcare hurdles than their straight, cis-gendered peers.

This Pride month, we’re highlighting stories from members of Betterment’s queer community and sharing the creative ways that they approach money in their everyday life.

Get to know our employees with a fun fact.

Troy Healey, 401(k) Client Success Manager (he/him): I lived in South Africa for a year.

Lyndi Johnson, 401(k) Support Associate (she/her): My birthday falls on the cusp of the astrology sign of a Leo and Cancer! Does that make me a Leo or a Cancer?

Sumaya Mulla-Carrillo, Social Media Coordinator (she/her): In addition to my full time job, I'm also a professional dancer.

Olivia Kasten, Software Engineer (she/her): I've written and produced a play called El Queso Psychodelico

Maria Howe, Sales Development Representative (she/they): I almost never wear matching socks—must be my Aries energy.

The path to financial freedom looks different for everybody. Here are some of the goals we’re working towards.

Lyndi Johnson, 401(k) Support Associate (she/her): Currently, my partner and I are working towards purchasing our first home, but we don’t want just any home. We aim to buy land near a major city and build a Barndominium! We are working towards purchasing the land to be able to build this dream home of ours, and up next comes the fun part; the layout planning.

Sumaya Mulla-Carrillo, Social Media Manager (she/her): Saving for a wedding, and more importantly an incredible honeymoon in Italy.

Maria Howe, Account Executive (she/they): Now that I’m on top of my student loans, my partner and I are starting to save for a home.

Olivia Kasten, Software Engineer (she/her): My fiancé and I are getting married in October, looking for a house, and are beginning to start a family, so there's a lot to save for!

Troy Healey, 401(k) Client Success Manager (he/him): Saving for a cruise ship trip for post COVID-19 travel!

Healthy habits make all the difference in doing what’s best for you and your money. Here are some ways our employees are reaching their goals.

Sumaya Mulla-Carrillo, Social Media Manager (she/her): I use auto-deposit for pretty much every account, and I also save any windfalls or extra money from dancing professionally towards my financial goals.

Troy Healey, 401(k) Client Success Manager (he/him): Automation! I deposit $100 every Tuesday into my cruise savings!

Maria Howe, Account Executive (she/they): This may be counterintuitive, but after a lot of time spent in grad school and having a tight budget, little indulgences (like dinner out with my partner) are key to making sure I don’t go wild and break my budget.

Olivia Kasten, Software Engineer (she/her): I only keep the amount of cash I need immediately available in case of emergency in my bank. The rest of it I invest, and I make sure to continue to deposit any extra money into my investing accounts.

Lyndi Johnson, 401(k) Support Associate (she/her): A habit that I have that will help me reach this goal is saving away a set amount weekly in a low risk investment account for any funds I do not plan to use in the next 12 months. For the funds I do plan on using in the next 12 months, I keep them in liquid cash housed in a high yield savings account.

Our approach to money can change drastically over time, and as we age, perspectives on money shift. Members of the BetterPride community shared advice to their younger self.

Lyndi Johnson, 401(k) Support Associate (she/her): Focus on the long term incentives and investments instead of materialistic things that are right in front of you. Yes, that pair of shoes or handbag looks really appealing (I guarantee in a year it will be “out of style!!”), but saving your money to let it grow and build for you in the form of investing is so much more rewarding.

Troy Healey, 401(k) Client Success Manager (he/him): Just make sure if you are going to spend it, you got it in the bank!

Maria Howe, Account Executive (she/they): I’d tell myself to go look up IRAs! I knew so little about tax advantaged accounts until working at Betterment. My money could have worked harder for me if I had known more.

Sumaya Mulla-Carrillo, Social Media Manager (she/her): Take it slow and steady. I always want to achieve my goals as fast as possible, but in reality I have to slow down and stay the course for a while before seeing results.

Olivia Kasten, Software Engineer (she/her): Invest sooner. Holding money in the bank doesn't give it the opportunity to grow.

Has your identity influenced your relationship with money in any way? Why or why not?

Maria Howe, Account Executive (she/they): As a queer person who was socialized as a woman, I subconsciously didn’t think of myself as a future breadwinner during formative years. Now that my partner and I are at the point in our lives where we are saving for goals like a house and family, I’m more aware of living in a society where a gender wage gap exists and I’m working hard to catch up!

Sumaya Mulla-Carrillo, Social Media Manager (she/her): Yes and no—I don't think it influences my spending or saving habits, but I do know that I'll eventually have more expenses around having a child, or any legal fees that come with adoption. I'm always mentally preparing myself for that major life expense.

Troy Healey, 401(k) Client Success Manager (he/him): No! I am a frugal spender... frugality applies to gay or straight!

Olivia Kasten, Software Engineer (she/her): Growing up, I never thought I would be the bread-winner for my family. But being in a same-sex relationship has turned that notion upside-down, and the idea of being financially stable becomes increasingly important to me as I continue to grow my family.

Lyndi Johnson, 401(k) Support Associate (she/her): Being a LGBTQ+ identifying woman, we sometimes get overlooked in our financial abilities. Over the years, I have been doubted due to my identity, and it really helps fuel me to be the best financial role model for my family and friends.

If you’re interested in joining our team, check out the Betterment careers page! We’re always looking for passionate candidates to join our company.