Money. Boss. Mama, her own web company, was founded in 2018 to demonstrate to other young Black women and mothers like her that their financial ambitions are attainable.
Dyana King found herself with more than $34,000 of debt six years ago. She looked at her daughter Mikayah and vowed to pay off all her debt. "The main thing was that I was a mother," the 30-year-old told Good Morning America. "I wanted to obviously provide more for my child but also I did not want her to become me. Because in a way, I saw myself becoming my mom ... She became a single mom and I saw how hard it was for her to take care of three kids when she did not really grasp how to properly manage her money."
Not only is King now debt-free, she is also sharing her experience with other single mothers so they can take charge of their finances. "I did not want to keep this pattern in rotation. It was literally up to me to break that," King shared.
Unsure of where to begin, she started with blogs and social media to learn what she had to do to reduce her debt, which included an auto loan, numerous education loans, credit card debt and personal loans totaling about $34,907. In 2016, after King became proactive about working off her debt, she learned about the snowball method which involves laying out all bills and paying off the smallest loan first before moving on to the next smallest debt. She was earning roughly $32,000 annually at the time as a customer service agent.
"I started with my smallest balance and I'm like, if I can get this down, that gives me more money to roll into my budget. And so, I kind of went through this trial-and-error phase that way," King explained. "I had to get creative and kind of leverage what I had," she added. "I was working the day job and then at night, I was freelancing for a few clients and that brought in about an extra $200 to $400 a month for me just depending on the time that I had because I was still a full-time parent."
I started my debt free journey making $32k/yr.— Dyana of Money. Boss. Mama (@MoneyBossMama) May 25, 2022
Went into more debt 4x.
Had to wake up on Christmas Day feeling mom guilt because I made the decision to cancel gifts so I could pay my sons medical bills.
The journey took 4 LONG years (con’t)
King developed a strategy that would work for her along the way, made regular payments and set aside additional cash such as her tax refunds towards repaying her debt. When life intervened and she found herself derailed, she would restart and make a new plan with her long-term objective in mind.
King shared that she particularly found inspiration and encouragement from others on social media. Money. Boss. Mama, her own web company, was founded in 2018, to demonstrate to other young Black women and mothers like her that their financial ambitions are attainable. "I'm a young, Black single mom on a single income, low income. I didn't find anyone that looked like me," King said. "I just wanted to show other women that they could do what I was doing and that they didn't need a super high income and that it was possible, just trying to be the representation that I didn't have."
She found that a lot of the stories online were of couples. "Some of them did not have kids, some of them did, but for a single parent on one income, a lot of those tips aren't really going to apply. You have to make sure that you personalize them to fit your unique situation and that's what created Money. Boss. Mama and the need for it."
The more financially stable I become and the more I heal…the more “out the way” I want to be.— Dyana of Money. Boss. Mama (@MoneyBossMama) August 23, 2022
Using Money. Boss. Mama, King, who is now a corporate curriculum and course developer, provides online classes for single parents to help them understand emotive spending and save money. The first step for anyone who is starting out with debt, according to King, is to recognize that most of the trip will be psychological. "You really have to work on accepting the fact that you are worthy of a better financial situation," King said. "You have to work to believe in yourself and have faith in yourself because that is literally what's going to get you to the finish line. You're running your own race, you're not behind," she added. "You're right on time exactly where you need to be, and realize that the only person in the race is you. So take your time. You're on time and you can do it."