Nov 24, 2018
Let me preface this episode by saying that this interview was recorded in Brooklyn, New York out of the podcast studio at The Wing in Dumbo. I spent a week in NYC during the summer working this podcast as a whole and had the opportunity to interview Ramona Ortega. Ramona Ortega is the Founder & CEO of My Money My Future, a mission-driven financial tech company that combines tailored content and simple to use tools to help Millennials, particularly young women and minorities, manage their money with confidence. She’s a serial entrepreneur with over a decade of leadership in the public and private sectors. Prior to leading My Money My Future, Ortega was a corporate securities attorney in New York. She also founded a boutique research consulting firm and a New York based international non-profit and She’s spent over a decade working on policy initiatives involving economic inequality and human rights. Ortega has a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. And more importantly, she’s my best friend of over 24 years since I met her at UCLA.
I invited her to have some conversations about money and queer Latinas. Money is an issue that impacts latina lesbians in many different ways. I’ve heard many stories about how money impacts Lesbian relationships and it worries me for my amigas and my community. How do we protect our hearts and our bank accounts when we are looking for love? I have a dear friend who is a masculine of center adrogenous butch who isn’t dating right now because she tends to date femmes who expect her to pay for everything when they’re together. She says that she has no idea how she gets involved with women of this mindset but repeatedly finds herself in this dynamic. My other friend gave her exgirlfriend $2000 to pay for the first and last months rent on her new apartment after they broke up. She still loved her ex very much and was worried about her well-being so she took the money from her credit card to give to her. This ex took that money, moved back in with her ex room mates and bought her self a new scooter to ride around Long Beach. My friend was furious because the money was for a new apartment not a new scooter and she is still paying it back 2 years later while her ex enjoys a new scooter. I know another mujer who’s partner convinced her to sell their house in Riverside to move into the partner’s mother’s living room to save money for a bigger home. Four years later, they’re still staying in that living room and spent all their original home saving on various crisis, taking care of the mother in law and paying the rent. They have nothing left from the original home and are starting over. Why do we do this for women that we love or claim to love us? And how do we protect our hard earned money when we fall in love? It tends to happen to the more responsible or educated and professional of the pair because they tend to earn more money than their partners.
In this episode we talk about money in relationships, the importance of having money conversations, money and the gender pay gap for Latinas, some tips for engaging in money dates to protect yourself and some community interventions around supporting latina women owned business and collaborating with each other. I always encourage the women in my meetup to support each other’s lesbian owned business and to hire from among us. This is the first of several conversations about money that we’re going to have so stay with us around this topic.
3 tips: So before we go, lets summarize 3 tips discussed in this episode. 1.) Take a financial inventory of your life so that you know where you stand and what you bring into a relationship 2) have money conversations with your family or money dates with your partner. Ask her about her credit score and what that means to her. 3) Support Latina Lesbian owned business and be open to collaboration. My mom always says, “el sol sale para todos” meaning that there’s enough for everyone and collaboration brings in more business than just working in a silo.