Meet the Woman On a Mission to Help Others Get Out of Debt and Win with Their Money
October 8, 2019 .3 min read
Iowa native Malia Gudenkauf discovered a passion for finance early in her college career at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) where she pursued degrees in finance, supply chain, and organizational leadership.
Gudenkauf found herself focused on what the corporate world had in store for her. She landed herself an internship that led to a full-time position after graduation where she now works as a financial analyst in a finance rotation program for an aerospace company.
Her interest in learning about money grew during the year between her internship and her first post-graduate position when she caught wind of two free courses that were open to the public and centered around the topic of personal finances. Something inside Gudenkauf told her that she needed to be a part of these classes.
“I don’t know what prompted that in me, but I put all of them on my calendar - every single one. I’m so thankful I did that because it changed my world. It opened my eyes to so many things that I immediately started to realize I had to share with people.”
Those courses and others Gudenkauf completed at UNI inspired her to start Little Miss Finance in May 2019, an online social space to discuss financial subjects with the hope of helping others know more about their own money.
Along with bringing awareness around these topics to others, Gudenkauf is focused on helping people to feel comfortable learning, discussing, and asking her questions around money. She’s sharing her own personal story of paying off debt, paying for a car in cash, and she’s opening her Skype inbox for others to freely reach out and connect with people who are interested in diving into their personal finances.
“The response has been great. Every day I’m working to reach more and more people and broaden my horizons. It’s been so fun and rewarding so far, even in a small magnitude.”
It’s important to note that before experiencing the rewarding feeling of helping others, Gudenkauf had to have the courage to take a chance - to start this blog and put herself out there in a new way. That small bit of fear isn’t completely gone, but it’s also not stopping Gudenkauf from using her skills to help others.
“The thoughts and judgment of others of course are fears, and that fear is still there when I post things, but it’s just something that you have to overcome and realize that there are so many more people that are going to benefit and be appreciative of this than those that are going to look at you with a crooked head.”
Not only is Gudenkauf inspiring others to take action on their own finances, she’s sharing some entrepreneurial inspiration with anyone who is hoping to start something of their own. Gudenkauf’s advice is something for many to walk away with.
“There are so many tools at your fingertips. It doesn’t take a lot of money and definitely doesn’t take all the knowledge. Google is going to be your teacher, but have the confidence in yourself and find the right people to cheer you on in whatever endeavor you take on.”
Gudenkauf aims to continue helping others understand understand their own finances, an area that she feels has a lot of uncharted territory. Giving people tactical advice with tangible action items is on the horizon for Little Miss Finance. Gudenkauf knows that this is just the beginning.
“Just know that it’s never going to be perfect, so don’t wait till it’s perfect to start. Just get the ball rolling in one way or another, whatever it may be. There are so many opportunities in front of everyone, all related to what you’re passionate about. Just go out there and make them your own. Don’t be normal. Go do something crazy.”
So whether it’s making that creative dream a great side gig or maybe sitting down to work through your finances for the first time in a while - go do something crazy! Little Miss Finance will be doing the same.
If you’d like to connect with Little Miss Finance, please visit www.thelittlemissfinance.com or connect with Malia Gudenkauf on Instagram at @littlemissfinance.
Philadelphia native and Penn State alumna, Kate Hynson, always had a flair for marketing. During her college years, Kate took on several brand ambassador roles and even a President role for the Penn State CHAARG chapter, which held over 275 members. Her ability to command a room and deliver a clear message aligned perfectly with the myWorth mission as we aim to provide clear financial guidance to women on a mission. Through myWorth, Kate has been able to help women feel empowered by fearlessly own their finances.