Tina Hay came to a realization while studying for her MBA.
She was struggling to keep up with her Harvard Business School classmates when it came to understanding financial jargon. However, it was much easier if it was in a visual format.
“Numbers and jargon and other financial concepts aren’t as intuitive for me but things like images, sketches [and] graphics are much more easy to digest,” said Hay, founder and CEO of Napkin Finance.
Napkin Finance CEO, Tina Hay
She’s not alone. In fact, about 65% of Americans are visual learners. As the name suggests, people who are visual learners prefer using pictures and other visual media to help them gain knowledge.
It’s those people she is trying to help with her company, Napkin Finance, which she said teaches “everything about money in 30 seconds or less.”
Napkin Finance came into being after Hay graduated with her MBA and entered the world of finance — but soon came to miss the creativity she enjoyed in her prior life in film and technology.
“I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur,” said Hay, who has a book coming out later this year titled, “Napkin Finance: Build Your Wealth in 30 Seconds or Less.
“When I started Napkin Finance, it was an opportunity to bring together the creative but also the financial aspects,” she added.
It began with a single napkin, covered with writing and drawings explaining the meaning of compound interest. It’s since expanded into educating people on things from credit and entrepreneurship to investing and budgeting through visual assets, including napkins, videos and charts, as well as written articles. They are also available in Spanish.
Your money personality
While knowledge is key, your personality is also a factor when it comes to how you handle your finances.
However, Hay said it doesn’t mean that you are stuck in a rut if you have poor habits.
“Everyone has a money personality and that’s determined by factors throughout your lifetime, like your parents, education around money and finance … and that doesn’t change,” she said.
“What does change is empowering yourself with education and knowledge to make better decisions in the moments that matter — when you’re buying a car, investing in your education, making decisions around getting married, having a baby.”