I'm a native New Yorker who grew up in the projects. My family was lower income and money was tight. So, as soon as I could–at the tender age of 12–I got my first job in the Summer Youth Employment program.
As I got older, my jobs got better and I progressed from minimum wage hourly jobs to a salary. As I earned more, I always made sure to diligently pay my bills on time. This led to me receiving – and accepting – multiple credit card offers. And since my good credit made me eligible for more credit, I ended up with a bunch of retail store cards eagerly extended to me every time I shopped.
Feeling “rich” with all the credit available on my various cards, I decided to "show” my friends how much I appreciated them one Christmas. I spent thousands on overly generous and expensive gifts one year. All on credit. Ka-ching.
Although I never spent over limit, and was never late paying my cards, it VERY quickly got to the point where I could only afford to pay the minimum each month.
My finances finally got so tight that I took out a “payday” loan (now illegal in NY). It didn’t take long for me to realize how impossible it was going to be to pay it back. The interest rate was out of this world!
I tried paying back everything I originally borrowed with my next paycheck, but couldn’t cover the extra interest too. If not for the goodness of a friend lending me money to pay off the entire loan - while letting me pay them back over time (with no interest) - I would’ve sunken even further into debt.
After paying off the payday fiasco, I still faced my never-ending credit card payments. Which NEVER seemed to go down. I owed over $12,000!
Every month, I felt like I was just scraping by. It felt like someone had thrown a big weighted tarp over me and was holding me down under it. One day I decided, “This is it! I’ve had enough. I’m going to get rid of this debt. I don’t know how. But once I do, I’m never going to let this happen again.”
So I did research and figured out how to patiently pay off my debt. Using a few different strategies, it took time to chisel myself out of debt. But when I finally saw a ZERO balance on every credit card statement, I was ecstatic: “I’m FREE!! All of my money is mine again and I can do whatever I want with it!”
In less than 10 years I got 100% debt free AND saved up over $62,000.
To this day, I have continued practicing the successful habits that helped me get rid of the debt. I’ve learned how to use credit to my advantage, as well as how to effectively manage my money in other important areas.
As I gained new knowledge, I noticed how energized I felt learning about finances. I was genuinely passionate about personal finance.
It was after several years of successfully working in the financial services industry, processing payroll and advising clients at high-level companies, that my true purpose crystallized for me:
I realized that I wanted to work one-on-one helping others master the skills they needed to achieve financial security. I wanted to help my clients take charge of their financial futures.
And I’ve done just that–many times over. I’ve advised thousands in the areas of employment benefits, health insurance, and other financial matters. And I’ve coached over a hundred clients in personal finance helping them get rid of debt, save money, and positively pursue their financial dreams.
Now I’m here, ready to inform, inspire and empower YOU on your financial journey towards maximizing our money and OWNING your financial destiny.
To get started “owning” your finances right away, click the link to grab my FREE tips: “10 Tips to OWN Your Money Right Now."
In addition to my passion for teaching personal finance, I love watching comedies, dramas and action movies and spending time with my husband and family. A music lover since childhood, I spend every other free moment listening to R&B and Hip-Hop music or creating and recording music as a Soul singer. I live in New Jersey with my loving husband.
My Professional Experience
My knowledge of Personal Finance has been acquired through years of professional training, hands-on client experience, and self-learning spurred by my eternal thirst and passion for understanding money and how to make it work for me maximially.
I am certified as a Financial Coach/Counselor per NYC's Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment standards, qualifying me to work with NYC clients at Financial Empowerment (OFE) locations. In 2017 I completed over 100 counseling sessions with clients as a Financial Counselor at Bed Stuy Restoration Corporation’s OFE center. I worked on-site at Bed Stuy Restoration and off-site at the Brooklyn Public Library servicing clients. Below are pics of me ready and eager to assist clients when I worked out of the Brooklyn Central Library.
I have advised clients in the financial services industry for more than 20 years at companies like At Xerox, H&R Block, Chase Mellon Shareholder Services, Talent Partners and similar companies, she advised thousands of clients regarding personal finance, payroll, taxes, budget management, benefits, health insurance and other financial matters.
Since 2018, I has reached and empowered over 1,500 professional women weekly with my live Wealth Building trainings. I served as a panel speaker at the 2018 CUNY IT Conference where I presented on successful strategies for teaching online college students.
I LOVE teaching financial literacy and since 2014, I have conducted, created and/or presented personal finance and leadership workshops for professionals, women’s trade organizations, diverse adult groups at schools, colleges, and non-profit organizations, and high-school and college students.
My blog articles and writing have been featured in media outlets such as MSN Money, the Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation, the Buckeye Review and Black Dollars.Org.
My Education & Training
CUNY Consumer and Personal Finance Counseling Certification (2017) - completed certification required by NYC Department of Consumer Affairs for OFE Financial Counselors
CUNY School of Professional Studies - Bachelor of Arts in Sociology; minor in Developmental Psychology (2016) - Graduated Summa Cum Laude, 4.0 GPA
Fordham Law School - Coalition for Debtor Education Volunteer Financial Educator Training Course (2014)
Borough of Manhattan Community College - Paralegal Studies Certificate (2003)
H&R Block - Tax Preparation Course (2000)
Yolanda Ransom is the Maximize Your Money Maven. A Financial Educator, speaker, writer, and trainer, she teaches diverse professionals and individuals how to confidently maximize their money to achieve all of their financial dreams. Yolanda firmly believes that we ALL should have access to a life of financial freedom - no matter WHERE we come from. She has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the CUNY School of Professional Studies. She is a certified Financial Counselor who has performed over 100 individual financial coaching sessions. In her work, she has taught countless clients how to effectively utilize the financial resources that build long lasting wealth, resulting in raised credit scores, increased savings, and newfound financial stability and growth for themselves and their loved ones. When Yolanda is not passionately teaching others about personal finance, you’ll find her watching comedies and action movies or spending time with her husband and family. A music lover since childhood, she also spends every other free moment listening to R&B and Hip Hop music or creating music as a Soul singer. She lives in New Jersey with her loving husband. Her goal is to empower others to OWN their finances so they can reach their money goals and fulfill all their dreams. Her motto is “If you don’t take control of your own financial future, no one else will do it for you. And you CAN.”
Fun Fact # 1
I am a life-long earner and a couple of years ago as a college student I participated in my college’s program designed to help us better understand policy making at the state level. So after several weeks of preparation, we traveled to the NY State Capitol to "argue" and "vote" on a bill presented on the senate floor. Our roles were to present individual arguments formulated from the point of view of what an actual Senator might deliver. My seat was that of District 6—one held by a Republican senator at the time—so I delivered my argument on public campaign funding as a ‘Republican.’ It was a great (and fun) experience!
See my “argument” below: