Fluz Thought Leader | Ilona Limonta-Volkova: Financial technology.
The following Financial Spotlight Interview was conducted via email correspondence. For additional info about Ilona, please visit her personal website.
😀 Tell us about yourself and Bear and the Bull in a few sentence:
My parents and I immigrated to the US when I was 5 (I was born in Cuba, and lived in Russia before then). They had to adjust to a new economic system, and were able to build a strong financial foundation for me. I decided to start Bear and the Bull as a way to bring financial concepts to live in a way that didn’t feel intimidating to people. At its core, Bear and the Bull is a bilingual financial literacy blog. In addition to that, I host a podcast called “Money Memories,” where I explore how people’s earliest memories of / interactions with money shaped their attitudes towards it.
😁 Who taught you the most about managing money?
My father – some of my earliest memories of money were of him showing me how to balance a checkbook, giving me a small allowance, going to the bank, things like that. Both of my parents are very frugal, and growing up I saw them always negotiating, and comparing prices. I think this influenced a lot of my spending habits, and perception and understanding of value.
🌟 How should social distancing change the way we budget and shop?
I think this probably varies person by person. I’ve found myself in the fortunate position of being able to continue to work remotely, and I’ve been able to cut down on my expenses significantly. I spend far less money on gas now that I’m not commuting to work, for example. In terms of shopping, I personally have never been a big shopper, which has probably been good for my saving! I’m the type of person who would probably wear the same t-shirt in 5 different colors if I liked the style, a few pairs of jeans, and call it a day!
🛡️ Do you have advice for someone who’s temporarily unemployed?
🤔 What’s your best tip for someone looking to stretch their dollar during a downturn?
Don’t be afraid to negotiate. The worst thing that anyone can say is “no.” You’d be surprised at how much you can
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