For the Broke but Bougie

Adulting can very be well classified as the twenty-something year old’s kryptonite. Let’s face it, post-grad life can be tough, for some of us more than we anticipated. Many of us are caught living larger than our bank accounts can handle. So how do you live broke yet bougie? We sat down with Noahamin Taye to find out.

Taye, an Ethiopian-Eritrean with roots in Atlanta, founded and curated her lifestyle page ,Broke But Make it Bougie to inspire the young creatives who are “going through it” (financially that is).

Photo: Noahamin Taye

Broke But Make it Bougie serves a niche of young adults who are “figuring out the adult world on a budget” while living their best life. The page features financial tips, Monday Motivations, design inspiration and much more. Broke But Make it Bougie, approaching its one year anniversary this month, was inspired by Taye’s own personal journey. After graduating from Syracuse University, she made the move to Los Angeles out of a desire for more space to grow as a creative and get a head start in advertising. “I came out here with no savings,” Taye said, recalling the time she lived on her aunt’s couch whilst job hunting. “I did a lot of networking events and I would charge it on my credit card. The money will come was the faith that I had.” Sure enough, Taye landed an internship opportunity with advertising agency Omelet which turned into a full time position as a Junior Art Director.

Nevertheless the struggle didn’t necessarily end there. Taye was still navigating how to live on a budget in LA and gave up the luxury of taking Ubers.“I don’t have a car out here in LA. I had to learn, girl you need to take the metro,” said Taye who had to make sacrifices to get to where she wanted to be. She also is an avid traveler, pre-COVID that is, and has travelled to places like France, Italy, and Cuba in the last year. Taye combats the narrative that traveling has to be expensive. “There are loopholes in every city if you do your research,” she advises. While you may spend more on accommodations, you can utilize apps like Yelp to find the best but cheapest meals. “It’s a myth that traveling is so expensive and it’s not,” Taye said.

She remembers her days studying abroad in Italy living on a tight budget. “I had less than 20 Euros a week and I had to make that stretch,” she says as she laughs. Living the broke but making it bougie life was a part of her day to day. “I feel like I’m so accustomed to doing the whole broke but making it bougie and still having the best travel experiences, still making the most of everything and that’s really life, making the most of what you have.”

The lifestyle brand exists to encourage others to truly live life authentically with a vision, despite not having all the resources. It is a space for creatives to find community in all aspects of their journey, connecting them with amazing opportunities. Broke But Make it Bougie provides tips and tools in career and financial advice, and helps its followers land positions they want to be in. “Recently there was an Ebony internship opportunity I posted because I knew someone who worked there,” said Taye, “and the person who scored the internship was one of my followers. It made me so happy because I wanted to do more things like that.”

Broke But Make it Bougie also hosted its first virtual event titled The Real Tea: Financial Literacy For the Broke But Bougie on July 31. Taye teamed up with a financial planner to host the event and raffle off a free financial consultation for a lucky participant. “Hooking up with people that are close to our age who have these types of services is a really big deal, and knowing that can be an option for you,” she said. Events such as this offer tools that Taye herself wished she had known when starting off after college. The entirety of the event can still be found on Broke But Make It Bougie’s Instagram page.

As a community page, Broke But Make it Bougie serves to create a community and hub for creatives. It also highlights other women who are doing big things, showing that they can all exist in the same space. This can be seen in the page’s Monday Motivation series which features a variety of women offering their words of encouragement. Taye hopes viewers and followers feel inspired to be authentically true to themselves and not feel like they have to mold into somebody else to reach their goals. She emphasizes being realistic about goals and what you love. “I want people to find peace with where they are at. Everything comes in time, you don’t have to rush anything, you are still loved in this moment,” Taye said.

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