Celebrating Black History Month: Highlighting Tonya Rapley of My Fab Finance

Feb 12, 2021

Twice weekly, NGPF is celebrating Black History Month by highlighting Black financial leaders and educators via dedicated posts and student activities on the NGPF blog. 


With this fourth post, we are highlighting the work of Tonya Rapley, whose website myfabfinance.com describes her as “an entrepreneur, wife, co-founder, domestic violence survivor, and citizen of the world.” You can find her website and learn more about her here, and she’s also got a popular Instagram account @myfabfinance. 

Featured Resource and Activity Idea: Blog Post on Bank Fees

Now, this topic is in no way revolutionary -- 4 Common Bank Fees To Be Aware Of and How To Avoid Them -- but that’s why we liked it so much. With it being February and many of you starting a new semester just last month, you might be teaching checking soon or wrapping up your unit now. And bank fees are essential teaching and learning for your class. Here’s our idea for using this resource: 


My Fab Finance describes each of the four common fee types and then provides two to five “Ways to avoid it,” meaning paying the fee. Have your students read this straightforward, pretty easy to digest article. Then: 


  • Have them choose a bank or credit union to investigate. You can assign them to work independently or in teams -- but we’d recommend teams.
  • Send them on a digital scavenger hunt to their chosen bank/CU’s website to determine how much that institution charges for each of the 4 fees. 


If you’re short on time or your students struggle with accomplishing digital research, you could stop there, pull the class back together, and have them compare findings and discuss which banks or credit unions have the lowest fees. 


If you’ve got more time and your students are up for the challenge: 


  • Have them dig even deeper into their chosen financial institution’s website to determine “Would the recommended Ways to avoid it help at this bank/credit union?” For example, to avoid ATM Fees, My Fab Finance recommends using an ATM locator app to find the nearest ATM that won’t charge a fee. Without actually downloading any apps, see if your students can determine whether the bank/CU has that app available. 
  • Discussions after this deeper scavenger hunt can focus on which institution is best for low fees, but you could also dig in on:
    • Pros and cons of large vs small bank network
    • Whether they notice differences between bank and credit union policies
    • How many of the “Ways to avoid it” tips are bank-dependent versus fully in control of the account holder

If you’re looking for more ways to celebrate Black History Month, check out our collection of blog posts and Questions of the Day here.

About the Authors

Jessica Endlich

When I started working at Next Gen Personal Finance, it's as though my undergraduate degree in finance, followed by ten years as an educator in an NYC public high school, suddenly all made sense.

Sonia Dalal

Sonia has always been passionate about instruction and improving students' learning experiences. She's come a long way since her days as a first grader, when she would "teach" music and read to her very attentive stuffed animals after school. Since then, she has taught students as a K-12 tutor, worked in several EdTech startups in the Bay Area, and completed her Ed.M in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is passionate about bringing the high quality personal finance content and instruction she wished she'd received in school to the next generation of students and educators. When she isn't crafting lesson guides or working with teachers, Sonia loves to spend her time singing, being outdoors, and adventuring with family and friends!