We had the good fortune of connecting with Cally Ingebritson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cally, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I don’t really want to throw shade, but let’s get an uncomfortable truth out of the way: The financial services industry is overwhelmingly pale, male, and stale.
And because of that, it can be uncomfortable for many people who don’t fit into those three boring boxes to want to work with a financial planner.
I’m here for the people who get overlooked by most of the financial industry.
I want everyone, no matter where they come from, to feel joyful and confident about money. That’s my passion.
I didn’t get a great financial education from my parents, and I definitely didn’t learn about budgeting in school. Instead, I made it to adulthood before I had my “WTF moment” with money and realized I didn’t know all that much.
I had to teach myself how to positively think about my finances and make the right choices.
From that point, I decided I wanted to give back. My professional journey began in Minnesota, where I grew up and worked in personal finance for 10 years.
I saw that many people in the Twin Cities, including the LGBTQIA+ community, were lacking personable financial information so I decided to step in and launched Chillax Finance.
At first, my business was just me and another person sitting in a coffee shop, chatting about how to fix up their finances.
After that beginning, I found my way to the West Coast and now I’ve set up shop in San Diego, CA. Don’t worry if you’re not in California, though; I serve clients, whenever, wherever. (Get the Shakira reference? I love her so much!)
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
There’s a stereotype that all financial professionals will tell you to save every last penny.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but it’s 100% OK to spend money on things that bring you joy. Managing your money is all about balance!
As a financial coach, it isn’t my job to scold you for spending money…it’s my job to help you meet your financial goals while living the life you want to live, which includes experiences like, travel, concerts, and dinners out.
I launched Chillax Finance to help people have a healthy relationship with their money. Spending, saving and sharing your money are equally important. I’m proud to be a young, bisexual woman in a field dominated by rich old straight white men.
I want everyone, no matter where they come from, to feel joyful and confident about money. That’s my passion. I had countless conversations affirming that traditional financial planners just aren’t the right fit for many of us in the queer community… which is the reason I created Chillax Finance.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Some of my San Diego faves include: – Little Italy Farmer’s Market
– Sunset Cliffs
– Bangkok Spices in North Park (they have the best spicy noodles in town!)
– Rad Habits Juice Co. in South Park (I’m a sucker for fancy smoothies!!)
And… honestly Tijuana! I consider myself an honorary Mexican since I lived in Guadalajara and Mexico City after college.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to Ash Ambirge, founder of The Middle Finger Project. Her business courses and advice have inspired me to give a (metaphorical!) middle finger leading a conventional life. Ash has helped me gain confidence as I founded Chillax Finance and helped me structure my service offerings in a strategic way. I encourage any new entrepreneur to read her book!
https://www.instagram.com/ottokellyphotography/ Susan Otto-Kelly