cally ingebritson

Cally Ingebritson on founding her own LGBTQ-focused financial advisory firm

This week, I sat down with Cally Ingebritson, the mastermind behind Chillax Financial, a new financial advisory firm based in San Diego dedicated to serving queer folks. She started the firm after spending nearly 10 years in personal finance.

Tell me a bit about yourself.
My pronouns are she/her. I’m originally from Minneapolis. I studied Spanish in college, and I knew that I wanted to help people in some way. I lived in Spain, Mexico and Columbia before settling back in the Midwest.

Once there, I worked in personal finance in the Midwest for roughly 10 years. I realized that a lot of financial places can be very square and very serious.

I recently founded my own business, which is called Chillax Finance. It started when I saw how much of a need there was in a queer community for people to offer realistic financial advice at a low cost. Additionally, I work at the Women’s Business Center as a business adviser. I’m helping women start businesses in my role there. I also work at a local salon to support myself.

How do you stay on top of things when you have three jobs?
It’s very challenging, but it’s also on purpose. I took all the coursework to become a CFP and I have two financial coach certifications. I don’t want to look for financial advising jobs at traditional firms. I would just die in one of those environments. I want to create a new financial space for young people who are queer, identify as nonbinary or just generally are looking for something new.

What do you focus on at Chillax Financial?
Some of the common issues that the folks I work with want to address include cash flow. A lot of people struggle to understand how to divvy up their paycheck or to know where their money is going. A lot of people are working on creating a rainy day savings buffer. A lot of people want to open a retirement account or purchase a home. In the short term, it’s cash flow and building savings or paying off debt.

I really help them open different accounts. We create multiple checking and savings accounts, which can be really helpful for folks. After working in personal finance for ten years, I have come to realize that for folks with one checking account, their finances can be a hot mess.

When everything is coming in and out of one account, it’s really stressful. At Chillax, we use the rough guidelines of a 50/30/20 budget. We set up direct deposit. We include automation with that. I have found that that is super successful.

What are your plans for the future?
In one year I hope to be serving many more clients than I am now. I hope to be able to connect people to the tools we just talked about. I am hoping to do some national work, I hope to attend some women and queer events here to spread the word so that people know I exist. With the clients I’m already serving, I want them to feel relaxed, not judged about money. In all, I hope to be serving my full threshold.

What resources have helped you in starting your own business?
For me and starting my own business, it has been really helpful to get connected to the Women’s Business Center in San Diego. I found it using www.SBA.gov. There are a lot of different resources for readers who are entrepreneurs. It’s paid for by our federal taxes, so you should take advantage of it.

I really like Jenna Kutcher. She’s super rad. She has a podcast called Goal Digger. She gives lots of awesome advice and resources for people who are running their own businesses. I love listening to the Queerly podcast with Cameron Esposito. I also like the podcast called 2050 Trailblazers. It’s more like an industry podcast that’s specifically for financial advisers that are doing innovative things with people of color.

Any final words?
I would just like to encourage people that improving your personal finance is possible. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the stuff that is out there. You’re not bad with money, you just weren’t given the tools to handle it. You most likely weren’t taught it in school. I just want people to not feel overwhelmed.

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