Employee Spotlight: Carmen Perez
This month, we sat down with Carmen Perez, Solutions Architect at Alloy, to talk about her personal finance journey and why she joined the Alloy team.
What started your financial education journey? (What was the pivot, the point of realization, your “breakthrough” moment?)
Even though I have a B.S. in finance and worked in the finance industry for quite some time, my personal finance journey didn’t really begin until 2016. I stumbled across a blog called MrMoneyMustache created by a software engineer who retired at the age of 30 and was highly intrigued. MrMoneyMustache and a few other blogs introduced me to the concept of F.I.R.E. (financial independence/retire early), and from that moment on, everything changed.
I looked at the state of my personal finances relative to someone who retired at the age of 30 and asked myself, what am I doing with my life? Up until this point, even though I was making good money, my personal finances were in disarray. Seeing other millennials close to my age achieving financial independence gave me the motivation and examples I needed to say, “if they can do it, so can I,” and I’ve never been the same since. I started documenting my financial transformation to help others, and it’s since taken me to places I could have never imagined, like being on the Rachel Ray Show, featured in Forbes, and being a part of Business Insider’s Money Council.
How did these events lead you to now? Why are you passionate about what you do at Alloy and the other work you do to support financial literacy?
The lack of financial education coupled with the barriers to entry in America for a basic bank account leaves many people feeling disheartened and either unbanked or underbanked. There is a statistic out there somewhere that says 53% of Americans do not understand basic financial concepts, and only 39% of Americans can afford an unexpected expense of $1,000, and I was one of them for a long time. Alloy is helping to make banking more accessible and equitable, and those are precisely the reasons why I started documenting my financial journey.
I aim to democratize the finance industry by providing financial education to the masses by leading by example, being empathic towards people’s plights, and providing value. I believe Alloy is doing the same thing, which is why I feel like Alloy is such a fantastic company to work for. While I am improving financial literacy at a micro level, Alloy is paving the way for other fintech firms and banks to do the same but in a much more scalable way.
What do you want to see in this space? What’s next? What projects are you working on?
I’m excited to see more niche banks and fintech firms entering the traditional finance space and challenging old industry norms through the use of technology while keeping a focus on whatever community they are trying to serve. I hope that these banks continue to make strides towards making banking accessible to everyone, and I hope that Alloy assists each and every one of these banks along the way.