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Episode Number: 176

Episode 176- How to Pay Off Debt & Merge Your Talents with Making Money w/ Yanely Espinal

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Jamila Souffrant 0:00

You're listening to the Journey to Launch Podcast, how to pay off debt, merge your talents with making money and get more engaged with your finances with Yanely, also known as Miss Be helpful.

Recording 0:15

Welcome to the Journey to Launch podcast with your host, Jamila Souffrant. As as a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave juniors like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real wealth. Join her on the Journey to Launch to financial freedom.

Jamila Souffrant 0:42

Hey, hey, hey journeyers Welcome to the Journey to Launch podcast. If you're totally new around here, then you may not know yet but now you're a journeyer. Journeyer means that you're someone on the path on the journey with me and so many other journeyers to financial freedom and independence. With this podcast, my goal is to give you the tools, the resources, the inspiration to help you fuel your journey. So let's launch together. You like that huh?

Before we hop into this week's episode, I want to bring you a word from today's sponsor. Journey to Launch is brought to you by First Republic Bank, the world is changing and your needs are evolving. As your focus turns to what matters most to you and your community, First Republic remains committed to offering personalized financial solutions that fit your needs. From day one, you'll be connected with a dedicated banker who will serve as your primary point of contact throughout your relationship with the bank. They'll be there to listen to you, understand your values, and meet you on your financial journey. Your banker can offer solutions that support your goals at any stage from setting up a personal checking account to refinancing household debt to buying a first home. As your needs evolve, you can call or email your banker at any time for the support you need. Because First Republic believes what matters to you, matters most. Learn more at firstrepublic.com that's firstrepublic.com Member FDIC Equal Housing Lender.

All right, so today in the rocket chair, we have the Yanely, also known as Miss Be Helpful. Yanely was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, what's up Brooklyn, with immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. She received a full scholarship to Brown University and later became a classroom teacher, but found herself buried in $20,000 of credit card debt. And after so much schooling like many of us, right we go like decades of schooling, didn't have any classes to teach her about money. So now she's on a mission to help urban youth and working professionals learn personal finance in a fun and engaging way. Now Yanley's doing amazing things with her company with her own brand called Miss Be Helpful. She has a great YouTube channel. This will all be in the episode show notes links if you want to check it out. And what's really cool is so Yaneli and I met in person and really hit it off because we went to the same Middle School. So we went to a Philip Schuyler. And I just feel like talking to her, I was like, "Oh, we get each other." So it was really cool connecting with her. She has such a great personality, very real, you know, just like down to earth. And you will see from the interview, like why she's able to teach and help the youth right? Like high schoolers and just people who typically probably maybe wouldn't be engaged with money, like she's able to teach it in an engaging way. So I'm really excited for you to not only hear her story, but to hear more about how she paid off her debt, how she merged her talent, with being able to teach with now her job, she has a job that is so aligned with the work that she does with Miss Be Helpful and personal finance literacy. So all that is going to be super exciting for you to hear.

But I also want to give you another like special treat. So I am actually going to be on a panel with Yanely and Cindy. We are going to be teaming up to be a part of the Financial Diet's first digital summit. It's called The Big Reset. It's going to be taking place on October 16. So on October 16, Yanely, and Cindy, and I will be on a panel and we will be talking about things we wish we'd have learned sooner about money. And it's not only us talking about the summit, there's lots of great speakers and panelists, and it's going to be awesome. So if you want to join us for the Big Reset 2020 on October 16 get your ticket, it's super affordable. It's $29. But get this. If you use my code journey, you get $10 off, so it's only $19. So run don't walk your fingers to check out the digital summit. Go to JourneytoLaunch.com/MoneyDiet to get your ticket now once again put in the code journey to receive $10 off. Go to JourneytoLaunch.com/MoneyDiet to join us, myself and Yanely and Cindy on this digital summit.

Ooh and I have one more thing to share with you. I am doing a free class on October 22 at 8:30pm Eastern Time live and I'd love to see you there. It's online you can join from the comfort of your home. And I'm going to be talking about how you can unlock financial freedom right now from where you stand, and help you map out your roadmap to financial independence because I want you to live your best life. So come and join me. Grab your free seat by registering at JourneytoLaunch.com/FreeClass. Once again go to JourneytoLaunch.com/FreeClass to join me live on October 22 to talk about how you can unlock financial freedom today. I'll walk through some steps that you'll need to take to get to your goals and then unlock what's really stopping you from getting to your ultimate dreams. All right, I'll see you there.

If you want the episode Show Notes for this episode, go to JourneytoLaunch.com or you can click the description of wherever you listen to this episode to get the full episode show notes. Now if you are a new listener to the podcast or an OG journeyer I've created a jumpstart guide to help you on your journey to financial freedom. It includes the top episodes to listen to, the stages togo through to reach financial freedom, resources to help you , and so much more. Get it for FREE by texting "launch" to 33777 text"launch" to 33777 or go to JourneytoLaunch.com/Jumpstart to get your guide for free right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.

Okay, Journeyers. I'm super super excited to have this week's guests on the podcast today in the rocket chair. We have Yanely Espinal, did I say that good?

Yanely Espinal 6:37

You did! Hey everybody! What's up?

Jamila Souffrant 6:39

aka Miss Be Helpful. And Yanely and I have a lot of similarities. We met in person, wasn't it? Well, the first time I actually like we have a real real conversation was at Aaron's house when she had like a little party.

Yanely Espinal 6:54

Yes.

Jamila Souffrant 6:55

And then we discovered we went to the same Middle School.

Yanely Espinal 6:58

Mm hmm.

Jamila Souffrant 6:59

But you have such a bubbly like hype. I feel like just I just really New York.

Yanely Espinal 7:05

Yes. Yes,

Jamila Souffrant 7:06

personality and energy about you. And then you bring that to teaching about money. And so I want to basically, you know, introduce my audience to you the journeyers to your work, but then also dive more into your background, because you do have a lot to share. And I know a lot of people can relate to that. So welcome to the podcast.

Yanely Espinal 7:22

All right, let's do it.

Jamila Souffrant 7:23

Alright, so Yanely, tell me where like your deep love for teaching about money came from because what I do love about your story is not only like, did you create a platform to help people with their money, but then I love that you shared this at the event we were at you transitioned and you were able to find like a full time career that, like totally aligns with your love for teaching about money, which I know is like, I just feel like that is like you hit the jackpot with that. So I want to kind of dive into your money story and how you came to teach and talk about money.

Yanely Espinal 7:58

Sure. Okay, cool. So yeah, like you said, My background is I'm born and raised in New York City, I had a pretty big family. So eight brothers and sisters plus me and my mom and dad all in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn. And it was actually really hard because we were low income. On top of that my parents are immigrants from Dominican Republic. So when they first got here, they didn't really speak any English, they still don't really speak much English, but they're, you know, they're working on it. And so that was just like our household experience, it was really hard, because we just knew like, there wasn't going to be a lot of money, you couldn't really bother mom and dad for stuff. And if you needed something, you kind of needed to figure it out on your own. And, you know, they could help a little, but just just not a lot. And so that was really my mindset around money came from that experience. And it was definitely a mindset of like scarcity, like there's not enough to go around. There's never enough money, you know, don't bother mom and dad for it, because it's not there. And so that's just pretty much what I brought with me all the way through high school and through college. But luckily, like I was really obsessed with doing well in school, because my parents like that was the one thing that they never had was they never had a chance to go to school. And they used to make us feel guilty about it. Like if my teacher called home and said, "Yanely, she just keeps talking in class. She's talking so much. She's talking so talkative, like, please tell her to stop talking to her friends in class." My mom would be like "You better-you understand that I did not have a chance to go to school back in Dominican, we had to work on the farm, we stopped going to school in like second grade. So for you to have a chance to be in school learning and you're gonna sit here and talk to your little friends?!" You know, like, she made me feel like I had to take school very seriously. And so like at an early age, I really did you know, I was nerd I really wanted to have good grades. And because of that, I kept that up in high school and I ended up getting a full scholarship to go to Brown University. And so that really was kind of like what changed my whole relationship or my mindset around money. Because when I got there, I saw how rich people are like how rich actually people can be you know, just dropping money in their kids bank accounts left and right. You know, a lot of these kids will go you know, abroad every summer just for fun whenever over winter break and just, you know, spring break, they'll be like, "Oh, yeah, I'm going to Italy, I'm going to Greece" and I'm like, "What?! Who'll give you all this money, like I want to go take me to." So that's kind of, I think, where my money relationship changed, but my desperation to keep up with them. And to be cool like to kind of fit in, it led me to open up a lot of credit cards, and to end up spending way too much money on credit cards, trying to buy clothes and shoes and all the things, and especially like name brands and stuff. And so when I graduated college, even though I didn't have a lot of student loan debt, I had $20,000 of credit card debt. And really just kind of figuring out how to fix that, how to learn how to improve my credit, and pay that debt off, that's how I ended up falling in love with personal finance education, because I kind of educated myself through the process of getting out of that, and learning how to save and budget. And I just really felt like I couldn't keep that to myself. Like, I feel like I had to tell everybody, because if I could learn this, then anybody could learn it. And everybody really deserves it. That's really how I felt. So that's why I decided to start my Youtube channel and to start talking about money.

Jamila Souffrant 11:05

Yeah, okay, so so many points here. And the first one was, I feel like, you know, as children of immigrants, it definitely, I feel like there's a running theme, anybody that I've interviewed in my life is that we recognize the hard work of our parents, you know, we're super grateful for their sacrifices. And they instill whether it's explicit or not, so whether it is like your mom telling you, "Hey, you know, like, this is important." But I think education like this, that's the same thing with my mom, she was she always just knew education was the key. So she highly stressed, like, you know, making sure she was reading to me, we're going to the library, focusing on schools, getting me into so in New York, they still have it, but the gifted and talented program. So that's kind of like the track like, and you know, she was one of those parents where she, like, heard something, and then she would research it, and she never had those opportunities. And she was, she was just determined to give me those. And which kind of led us to probably the same path of going to Philippa Schuyler. So at the time, that was our middle school in New York that we went to, you had to take a test to get in, you know, and it was a good Middle High School. And I feel like a lot of the kids in that era that graduated from there really, like really bright. And I just feel like, I feel like that's just like a nice running motivation. Do you feel like your siblings also pick that up or people around you that you also were children of immigrants? Because I know that's a theme I've saw but not everyone also follows the same path. So how did your like siblings and your siblings also, were they also focused with money or not money, but education?

Yanely Espinal 12:37

For me, it's interesting, because in my like, there's nine of us as a brother and sisters aside from me. And so when I look at the way we are, we're so spread out generationally, the oldest sister, she's 40. And the youngest, he just turned like 16-17. So it's kind of like she could be his mother. And she's his older sister. And then there's all the ones in between. So for me, what I noticed is that depending on the generation, you definitely can see the differences. So like the 17 year old or 20 year old, they kind of like by the time my parents got around to them, they were so tired, they were not as strict with them, as they were with us, like the older generation. So everybody who's 30 or above, we got it hard like, we could not go out, we couldn't have boyfriend girlfriend calling house, we couldn't really like you know, go on the internet until homework was done. And like, my parents were really strict at that time. If you came home with anything less than 90, you better be ready to explain yourself. And whereas I feel like with the younger generation, they- my parents were a little bit more laid back, like, they're a little bit more relaxed. And so I didn't see the academic and education drive as much in my younger siblings as much as like the ones that me and older. So um, I don't know, it's kind of a shame. Like, I feel like with the education passion that I think they put into us at a young age that eventually they kind of drifted because, you know, you only have so much energy and by the time you're raising kid number six, number seven, number eight comes around, and you're just like you're a grandparent at that point.

Jamila Souffrant 14:00

Listen, I'm only on three and I'm like ready to tap out like, they're not really easy.I'm just like, I need a break. I don't know how these people with more than one do it. And I have three so crazy. And then the other thing I can relate to is going to college. Especially-so I went to a pretty diverse High School, but I was never really like, like, you know, there were white people, Spanish people, black people, people, like from the Caribbean, like all that in my high school. But it wasn't until I got to college that I felt like I saw a different type of lifestyle because one of my roommates like one of my roommates, I remember her dad had a lot of money. So she had a car and she had a nice car at that, he would send her money. Basically, it was just like, "Whoa, I didn't really know people like had it like that, you know?" So it was very interesting to see. So as you now for back to your story about getting into the credit card debt, so $20,000 worth of credit card debt. When did you realize okay, this is an issue, right? Because some people they have that and they're just like, "oh, that's just life."

Yanely Espinal 14:57

Right. I think I realized it was an issue. When I couldn't keep up with my, like, what normal bills that I had. And that didn't happen until I think it was like a whole year after I graduated college. And the bad thing is I had those debts on those credit cards were all on separate credit cards. So it was kind of easy for me to kind of keep them like out of my mind separately, and I didn't really know the total amount of debt because I was, I was keeping them all separate. And so one one day, I remember, I had a collection agency was calling me because I had a medical bill, I think it was like $250, or something like that for stitches. And I had forgot about it. It was from college, and I just didn't, you know, think of it until they started calling me saying that I needed to pay that. And so then I was like, oh man, alright le me figure this out. And when I started looking at my bank account, like man, if I pay this $250 I don't know if I'm gonna have enough money for my MetroCard, and for my lunch next week, like that's how tight it was. And at that time, I was a full time teacher. So it was no reason why I'm a full time professional, you know, employee working a full time job when some of my friends couldn't even get a job. This was back in 2011, right during the 08- 2012, kind of like great recession. So I feel like that was a struggle. And so I was lucky to have a full time job, but I couldn't even figure out my finances. That's when I said, "Alright, you know what? Let me add up all this credit card, let me figure out where more I'm actually spending money and see what's going on." And that's when I was so shocked that it was over like 20 grand. I didn't, I didn't think it was that high. But what got me was that I probably only spent like maybe $13,000 across four years of college, but the interest was like 26-27% on those credit cards. And so the interest fees over the past four years of not sending more than just a minimum, of course, it was like almost at 20, you know, 20 or 20 grand or more because of those interest accruing, and I'm only sending $25 minimum every month. It's not going to be enough. So that's when I realized I had to just get serious and get more aggressive because it was obviously a problem.

Jamila Souffrant 16:50

Yeah. And you know, it's funny, because we talk about, you got a full ride right to school, your major was education?

Yanely Espinal 16:58

I majored in Art and Urban Studies and History of Art. So I was doing everything I want to do every day, I didn't know what I wanted to do exactly. But I ended up joining a program called Teach for America, which is why I started being a teacher.

Jamila Souffrant 17:09

Okay. And so, you know, even with having that full ride, which so many people don't have that, but you work hard with your grades got that. So great, but still you without the knowledge of understanding, like credit card debt, it was an issue. And I just feel like, that's what when you don't have parents or people to guide you, you know, in the right way and talk to you about money, I feel like a lot of that our generation dealt with that. So even if you did have a leg up, because you don't have student loan debt, you got into some sort of other debt, because you thought,"Oh, I'm doing really well, like at least I don't have student loans. And so I'm just going to them, I don't have parents that can put money on my food card, and send me money every week." So I think hopefully, I have hope that this generation coming up, so like our kids, you know, definitely will be more equipped to handle and have better starting points than we did.

Yanely Espinal 17:58

Yeah. And it's funny, because literally those words, you just said that was exactly my mentality. Like I remember thinking to myself,"Oh, but I'm lucky because I don't have some unknowns that like my friends. So I could be a little more lax in my money, because I'm not gonna owe student loans." So then that was my excuse to use credit cards. But I would have been better off with student loans, because the interest rates are much lower compared to credit cards. I had no idea you know how these things work. So it's just funny how in your mind, you might justify certain financial moves, you're making that actually don't really make sense because you're so uninformed. And that was definitely me at that time.

Jamila Souffrant 18:29

Yeah. And hey, I'm sure some journeyers listening are like, I'm still doing that. Like I'm still justifying some of the stuff I do like...

Yanely Espinal 18:36

Oh, true.

Jamila Souffrant 18:37

Now you find out you need to get a debt. So at that time, what was your action plan? Like did you start reading blogs, like what prompted you? What was your first steps to getting out of debt?

Yanely Espinal 18:47

Yeah, so I was kind of stressing about money for a little while. And I knew I had a problem, but I didn't really know how to fix it. And one day, I think I was in Duane Reed one day I was buying random stuff. That was my problem, too. I was a little shopaholic, like I would just go into Duane Reade or CVS, even if I didn't mean nothing just to buy like candles, lotion, maybe some salt baths, like just like random things, like maybe shampoo. And I'm like, I don't know why I was buying all these random things that I didn't need. It was just out of habit that I picked up a few things on the way home. And so I remember one time I was in Duane Reade, I had all these little things I was going to buy. And then I looked over and I saw the rack with all the magazines when you're about to pay at the end of the line. They had a stack of books, and one of them was Women and Money by Suzy Orman. And so then I was like I've been thinking about this money thing it's been stressing me out and then all sudden, here's this book, like maybe I need to read this book. So I picked it up and I just started reading it. And then by the time it was my turn to pay, I had already read like the first four or five pages and I was like, "Alright, I'm buying this book, because obviously everything she's talking about, I've been thinking of it and I need like I need to read it." So I think I paid $9 for that book. And I always tell people that was the best $9 investment I ever made because it was the first door that opened to me to this world of like learning how money works and understanding how to make it work for you. So I read that Suzy Orman book and that's when I started getting out of credit card debt because I followed her plan I got aggressive towards like budgeting. I cut down everything. Like I stopped shopping, I stopped going out to brunch, I stopped going to concerts, no more movie theaters, bowling, any anything somebody invited me to, I was like, "Nope, I'm trying to get out of credit card that I can't go. If you want to visit me, you know where I live, I got some snacks. And you could come in here, but I'm not going out because I'm on a tight budget." And I did that for 18 months, it took me 18 months to pay off $20,000. And it was supposed to take me 24 months, I remembered my initial plan. But I started tutoring on weekends and babysitting on Thursdays and Friday night I was I was doing extra cuz I really wanted to pay it off. And and then I ended up like following that plan. I paid off all the debt. And then I was like, "You know what, if I just keep sticking to this lifestyle, being super frugal, being tight with my budget and generating some extra income on side with some side gigs, I can do another $20,000 in the next 18 months." So in another year and a half instead of paying it to somebody I can keep it in my bank account and have 20 grand sitting in an account. And that like kind of hit me that that was like the opportunity for me to start actually generating wealth. And so that's when I became obsessed with saving. I started posting videos about saving on YouTube and like my budget and how I was saving 50% of every check. And just like really becoming obsessed with that. And then once I hit my savings goal, I was like, "Okay, now I want to learn about investing, because I know this money sitting in this savings account and growing and it's time to make it grow." That was kind of like the next step in the process.

Jamila Souffrant 21:31

I love that. And I love- so in terms of how you navigated your friends and New York Life, right. So you were back in New York teaching?

Yanely Espinal 21:38

Yep. Yep. In Brooklyn.

Jamila Souffrant 21:40

So in Brooklyn, are you on? You're living on your own at that point or still with family?

Yanely Espinal 21:44

Yeah, so the first like year out of college, I stayed in my parents house in the basement, and I gave him like a couple hundred bucks a month. But I did not have like a real rent. And then I was like, I want to move out by myself. I want to live with my friends. And so I got a three bedroom apartment with two other girlfriends that worked with me. And I would think I was paying like 7-800 bucks a month in rent. So it wasn't too much. But I didn't mean to do all that. And so yeah, it was basically paying like less than $1,000 in a three bedroom.

Jamila Souffrant 22:10

Yeah, going back to like home where you know, you have family friends, and New York is very appealing, where you can definitely save money in New York, but is high cost of living. And there's lots of opportunity to spend money too, right? So how did you navigate that? Because where your friends just like why are you not coming out? like did you have to leave the path and say, "Hey, this is what this is what I'm doing. If you want to hear for brunch, or like at my house at brunch, let's do that" Or was it kind of a harder transition with them? How did you balance that?

Yanely Espinal 22:37

Yeah, it was definitely harder. And what I found, like, kind of what works for me was, I had to get serious about who are the friends that actually add value to my life, like the friends that are real friends. Because you know, at that time, I had a whole bunch of friends because I graduated college with all these friends. Plus I came back home. So some of my high school friends and my middle school friends was still around, and I was like, Okay, I got all these friends. But you know, it's kind of like, when Christmas time comes around, you're not buying everybody presents, you've got your list of like, 10-12 people, right? So how to get serious and say, okay, who are the 10, or, you know, the six people that these are going to be like my real, real, real friends. And if they have something for their birthday, or the you know, there's an important celebration for them, then I want to make sure I budget for that. But beyond this group, like, they're gonna have to understand that you didn't make the cut. You an acquaintance, boo. You're not like you're not on the list, because I have to, you know, make some sort of rules to follow. Otherwise, it's gonna just be out of control again. So that's how it started with just like, you know, being real with anybody that was not on that list. And I mean, I didn't tell everybody you're not on my list. But I was just like, if I knew they weren't, I just kind of gave them the straight up reason like, "Hey, I'm, you know, really trying to pay off my this or I'm busy doing this." And I would just kind of be honest, why I couldn't go. But what I love about the fact that I was from New York, and I was still in New York is that family's here, so there's always a cookout, barbecue up, some baptism, sweet sixteen, quinceanera, there's always something that you feel like you could still be a little social, you can still kind of go out and you're not spending all this crazy money. So I just kind of shifted the way I was spending my time and I started focusing a little more on my family and my really close friends. And I kept myself busy. So I started YouTubing, which is like a whole separate skill. Like you have to learn how to edit videos, how to design your thumbnail images, you got to know about SEO, like, how are you going to title your videos and tag them. And I kind of became obsessed with learning those new skills that I just was like, busy. You know, I just kept busy with that.

Jamila Souffrant 24:28

Yeah. And so now, how did you navigate this with family? Because you have these eight siblings, you said? And not everyone is probably on the same page. You know? Was there any guilt about you starting to get out of debt? And maybe not everyone is like as financially savvy. What about your parents? Did you feel responsibility to help people like how did you navigate that situation?

Yanely Espinal 24:47

That was definitely a hard part because the thing is, at first, you don't see results immediately. When you start putting money plan in place and your financial planning is actually starting off, it doesn't really show immediately. So you got to be patient, you got to wait. And so at first people were like,"Oh, come on live a little." You know, like my sister would be like, "let's go get Mani pedis like, come on, we work hard. Like, I'm not gonna deprive myself." And I would be like, "Well, I'm not depriving myself but I'm like just, you know, limiting myself and kind of having a little portion control with what I'm doing. Because otherwise, I'm just going to waste all my money." But after like a year, when I was so close to being completely done, and I started posting on YouTube, and they started seeing, like, my youtube channel was growing, and it started getting a lot of views. And they were like, "oh, maybe she's onto something like maybe she knows what she's talking about." And so then it kind of turned into like them asking me for help and advice and like, "Oh, hey, I'm trying to learn about this, what should I read? or help me find something? I'm looking for like a low interest rate personal loan, where should I look?" And then I started realizing they were asking me more questions, you know, and I'm like, "Okay, so now they realize, like, I do know what I'm talking about. And they kind of do see me as somebody that can ask for help." Which is interesting, because I'm the youngest girl. So like, all my sisters are older than me. And one of my brothers is older than me. And all of them would kind of come ask me like tips and advice and stuff, which I don't care. Like, I'm like, I know, I'm a little younger, but like, Hey, this is the stuff that I nerd out about, like, this is what I'm obsessed with. So if you need help, like, just ask me, and I will tell you, you know, these are the best books, these are the blogs that I like, these are some podcasts to check out. And so yeah, I think that that's kind of how the dynamics shifted to help me. But with my parents, specifically, a few years ago, we kind of knew they were getting to know they're starting to get a little older, my mom, I forget where she put things my dad, you know, he's like getting a little older and it's time to kind of wind down from working so much. So I said to them, "Listen, we need to, we need to come together and come up with a plan for them. Because it's going to be two, three years I'm going to go by, and we're going to be in a place where we don't have no plan for them." And so when my Dad turned 70, we had two years before he turned 70, we had started a bank account. And three of my sisters, two of my sisters and me are account holders on the account. So every month we just go in, everybody will Zelle each other like Zelle the account holders, so the money goes into the account. And so all of us are just pooling money together every month, every month for years. So when my dad turned 70, we went to him for his birthday and told him like you can retire even if you don't feel comfortable, because we have enough money that we've been saving, so that if you can't make groceries or rent for any reason, we'll make up the money from the account. And he was like literally in tears, because he didn't think he was going to actually be able to stop working. He was 70 and he was still driving a taxicab in New York. And that was kind of what we how we decided to approach it was like we have to come together, everybody put as much as you can. And you know, that's how we handled it. Because me by myself, I can't retire my dad, but like, but all of us together, there's more power in numbers. So that was kind of like my brilliant plan. And then my family was like "Oh respect respect that was so smart." Because now we have money if you don't have a medical emergency, or if they need to take a trip, like got it. And so that was you know, kind of me thinking ahead and thinking how can we approach it early on.

Jamila Souffrant 27:51

I love that. And I hope maybe if your people are listening in or have situations with their older parents, where any of you do have the capacity, you know, you have the relationship because not everyone has the relationship with their siblings to do something like that. And then not every sibling can or wants to do something like that, you know, but I think it's well worth, like the conversation, because even if it's a couple hundred dollars, it could be helpful. You know, quite frankly, like in our cultures and our respective cultures, and in other cultures, like it is just part of it. You take care of your family members that can't take care of yourself, especially the older ones, especially your parents, or grandparents. So I just think that is like a great idea. And so hopefully people got some maybe some tips from that.

Yanely Espinal 28:36

Yeah, definitely. And we, I mean, like you said, I'm everybody's not gonna be able to do, you know, like, for some of my sisters and brothers that work jobs that don't pay as much, they would just put what they could, you know, hey, if you only put $25-35, no judgment, whatever, you can't, even if I'm putting $150, don't worry about what I'm doing, just do what you can and just focus on you. And if when you can do more, you do more. And it doesn't really matter how much we're each putting, because what matters is that it all adds up over time. That's what we want to be focusing on. Because I know it could probably feel weird for somebody if they're putting $25 and then the other sisters put in $100 or $200. And you feel like oh, that I want you know, you're not kind of doing enough, but you can only do what you can and so we made sure to set that expectation that we're not looking to see how much you're putting. That's not what this is about.

Jamila Souffrant 29:18

Yeah, I love that. And because, you know, I imagine there's also situations where someone is not doing anything, and there could be some resentment on the other side like why aren't like, you know, in terms of like really, like you're not even doing anything or much, but also realizing like, you can only do what you can do. And the person is doing their own thing and maybe they have their own reasons. But yeah, it's definitely something I think that in the you know, the especially though like the personal finance space and the financial independence community, like really thinking through because so many people have this, like these thoughts. How am I going to take care of my parents who are not equipped right now? Or, you know, I want to help my kids, you know, like in for future purchases, whether that's a wedding, or a house, and so on. It's like, how can I set myself up and save in advance for that? And so it does take a lot of forward thinking. And maybe you can't do it right away. But it's something you can aspire to do in the future.

Unknown Speaker 30:09

That's right. Exactly.

Jamila Souffrant 30:10

So you're teaching. So how to talk about your career, right? Because you also transition and found a way into a career, which I want to talk about a little bit that really aligned with your passion and strengths, which I feel like Hello, everyone's looking for that. So can you talk a little bit of how you went from, you know, your teaching gig, and then all the other things you did after that?

Yanely Espinal 30:29

Yeah, I mean, if I'm being real, I have gotten very lucky. Because when I was in college, I was studying art history, Urban Studies and Visual Art. And I didn't really know what I wanted to do with that. But I went to Skyler, I went to LaGuardia High School for Art. So I was an art major. And I spent half my day doing AP classes and the other half like drawing, painting and, you know, sketching, so I kind of thought I might want to put art and education together, since that's what I was doing. And I might like work at a museum and do like educational programming or something. That was just kind of what I thought, like, would make sense. But I don't really think I had a passion for that. I just thought like, well, that's what makes sense logically, because that's what I know. And so when I graduated college, or when I was about to graduate college, I started thinking to myself, "Do I really want to work in a museum? It's boring in a museum, like, like, if I'm being real with myself, like going on a Saturday, once in a while. I don't want to be in a museum all day, every day as my full time job. Like, it's quiet, I'm loud, that's not gonna match. Like, I was like, This is not gonna work. I got too much energy for this museum type of environment." So then I started thinking, "Okay, how can I use my energy, my passion, my, you know, like, I'm so eccentric where can that fit?" And so there were recruiters on campus talking about Teach for America, which is a program that specifically looks to put recent college grads in full time teaching positions in high need school districts. So looking specifically at Title One school. Title one means that 75% or more of the kids in that school have free or reduced lunch because their parents are considered low income. That's every school that I ever went to, you know, I mean, like, I went to Title One schools, public schools in New York City my whole life. So I was like, alright, that is like a personal and meaningful thing for me if I could go back and teach at a school just like the ones I went to. So I joined Teach for America. They accepted me and they placed me in Canarsie. So I taught in Brooklyn, at on ps114 is the school building, but I was at the charter school that was half of that building. And we-I taught there for two years, my third year, I switched over to another charter school. And then I was like, "Okay, do I really want to retire as a classroom teacher?" You know, like, because then I started getting to the point where like, three years in, you know, like, I love this job, it's fun. But like, I gotta be up at 6am. And I don't get home til 6pm because charter schools have long days, and you're expected to work your butt off, if one kid fails, it's your fault. It was like so much pressure, like I was like, okay, like, as much as I love it, and I love my kids. What am I gonna like, like, Can I imagine myself doing this for the rest of my life and enjoying it and not getting burnt out? So that's kind of when I like realized I need to figure out something else. And during that time, I was in the middle of my debt payoff, like I was in the middle of like, being almost done with my credit card debt being paid off. So that's when I just said, you know, what, what if I just start doing YouTube? So I started posting YouTube videos as just like a way for me, kind of what I was thinking in my head, honestly, I was thinking, like, I'll put out these videos, and people will see that I know what I'm talking about, then maybe they will invite me to their job or to the conferences to like to do to speak. So that's what I was thinking. And it actually ended up working out that way. So I started doing speaking at schools at churches and community centers, like I would just and most the time, I was doing it for free, honestly, because I just wanted to get out there and start practicing. And after a few of those workshops, I got more confiden. I started posting them online and a company called Next Gen Personal Finance, they found my YouTube channel and the videos that I was posting. So they reached out to me and they were like, we have a personal finance company. It's an education company that focuses on high school teachers how to learn personal finance, and then how to teach it in a way that's actually fun for students. So then I was like, "Wait, there's actually a job that could combine the two things that I know, really well, teaching and money?! Like that is that would be perfect for me. Like, I like that job was made for me." So at that time, I had quit the job that I was at before, which was a reading program at an after school program. That was after teaching. And because I was like, I want to kind of travel and do something. And so I had just finished reading Tim Ferriss, Four Hour Workweek. Yeah, so I was obsessed with this idea of mini retirements. So I had saved up enough money and I was investing and I decided, alright, until I know what I really want to do, I'm just going to not work and I'm just gonna like go and travel and like just do my own thing with YouTube. So I was in Barcelona with my boyfriend and literally out there just vacation, chill, relaxing, posting to YouTube, when the company reached out to me. And so they offered me a full time position as a Director for Education Outreach, which is in training teachers, teaching them about money, but also doing student workshops, which was like really like my jam was like, I want to really be with the kids, and especially in urban schools, like, that's where I was sitting, so I want to be there with them, they need this. And they need it from the right person. Because what happens is, you can have somebody from the bank or the credit union, come to the school and talk to the kid, you know, that they're boring. And you know, they're not relatable to the kids. So when I come in, I wear my sneakers and my jeans and a T shirt, and I come in like, "Hey, you guys, like I'm Yanely, I'm Dominican, I sat right in these seats, like, I went to LaGuardia. And I'm from Bushwick." And they like, like, light up. Because they like she's like us, they can ask me anything they want. And I'm gonna keep it real with them. And I'm telling them about things that they want to know the what's the difference between a debit card and a credit card? And how do I, you know, establish credit, what kind of student loans should I look for? And which ones should I watch how not to get and, you know, really understanding a lot of things that they're not talking about in school or at home. So I really quickly fell in love with the job, with the work. And already I've been there two years. So I still continue to do YouTube every week. But I also, you know, obviously just do this full time job with passion every single day as well.

Jamila Souffrant 36:06

I just love that you're so right. Like, it takes like the translators, the people who are able to talk about money in a way that's relatable, you know, which are people like us, which is why I'm so happy that there's accessibility to podcasts, and YouTube, and videos and blogs, because really, like there's someone for everybody, right? So if you don't relate to me, then you'll really see Yanely or someone else. And what also like I'm picking up from your story, too, is just like your strengths, right? Like, I always find that teachers, I feel like I have a lot of teachers that listen. And one of your strengths are patience for the most part, because I don't know how you deal with these kids on a daily basis. But thank God for you guys. And then also just, you know, breaking things down concepts down that, you know, you have to do it in a way that's going to keep kids engaged, right?

Yanely Espinal 36:55

Yeah.

Jamila Souffrant 36:55

And so if you have that skill set, or organizing as a skill, set, whatever skill so even if you're not a teacher, but you have a knack for speaking because I'm thinking you being in front of a classroom, like and talking to people like Hello, like public speaking like that you practice all the time. So starting a podcast, starting a YouTube, going on social and speaking your mind speaking about something you're interested in, it's just like, use that to like, catapult and fuel whatever other things that are possible in your life, because you never know where it can lead like, Look, what Look how you were able to find something? Or rather, they found you. And do you, I mean, I actually like, you know, I know, a lot of things are luck being in the right place at the right time. But I also think you need to be prepared for that, right? So if you would have been like, "oh, like, I'm not gonna really, you know, I'm not gonna do a YouTube channel, or I'm not gonna, like put myself out there," then you would have never had this dream job like right now.

Yanely Espinal 37:51

Exactly. Because they wouldn't have found me, they would never have known that I know so much about money, because there would be no way for them to find that out. You know, I think is exactly what you're saying is take advantage of your skills. But also find a way to put yourself out there for the world to know what your skills are, because you know what your skills are, but you got to show other people so that they know what your skills are, too. And for me, it was like, I have deep knowledge and understanding about how money works, and personal finance, like topics. And I know how to deliver content in an engaging way in a way that's easy to understand because of my teaching background. So I could show both of those two things on video online, and like, you know, kind of use that as like social proof. And I feel like a lot of people are afraid to do that. But I think nowadays, especially with social media, it's so easy to have online presence, that shows off and showcases what you're really good at and what your strengths are. So instead of just posting you in your friends twerking on the gram, like figure out a way to put yourself out there in a professional way on top of that as well. You can have your personal page, do you girl, okay, but at the same time, you know, what are your professional strengths that you can put out there on a platform as well? Because that's going to help you to draw your opportunities your way.

Jamila Souffrant 39:00

Right. And even just like I'm thinking about just expressing yourself, I think how many people are afraid to just like, go on camera and speak and put themselves out there? You know, it's funny, I still almost struggle with that myself, like, you know, and it's part of that it's just like me being more reserved, and sometimes it's like, "Oh, well, will they care about this, if I put this on my Instagram stories? I no one's gonna really care about that kind of thing." And it's like you'd be surprised how many people are just like waiting like they're just like cuz everyone's thinking the same thing really? Like I don't they're over critical, thinking too much about things. And is this like way they're waiting? Someone's waiting, like to be like, "Oh, I can relate to that. Like, I want to see more. Let's go."

Yanely Espinal 39:36

Yes. And they when they love to see how normal you are, because they like that's the thing like, they might find your pockets be like,"Wow, my God Jamila, has like a million over a million downloads on her podcast like her-she has so many episodes and she's so cool that she has so much success." And then they see your story and they're like, "but she's just like me!" Like that relatability is how you can use social media to show people the power of not just like your success and your achievements, but like how you are just as human as them. And that's at the end of the day, people just want connection. They just want to be able to connect with you and your story and relate to it. So use that to your advantage to showcase those parts of your life because people do like it.

Jamila Souffrant 40:12

Yes, yes. And I want to talk a little bit because I feel like we I do have some creatives that are like listening. So whether it's, you know, maybe they want to start a blog, podcast or YouTube channel, like, you know, tips for growing that base for creating engaging content and getting it to a position like, basically, okay, for example, how long did it take for you to grow a following, right? Like before? It was like just five people watching your videos to like, 1000? Yeah. What were the some of the strategies?

Yanely Espinal 40:39

Yeah, I definitely remember when it was five people, it was literally my brothers and sisters watching. But what I would say is, that's okay, that's the first step, right? And for probably like, the first year, the most number of people that I got viewing was probably a couple hundred. And I thought that was to me, that was a lot. But what I did was, as soon as I decided to launch it with my first video out, I immediately took every single email address that I could find in my inbox. And I made one spreadsheet with all the emails, and I sent an email saying, "Hey, everybody, I did a thing. I started a channel, please check out my first video and send me the feedback. Any feedback that you have, I would love to know what you think, what you might want me to pour- post about or share about, and what your thoughts are, what I could do better." And honestly, people that even think we're going to respond. So my old coworkers, like one of the girls that live next to me in my dorm in college, like people, random people reached out and we're like, "Wow, this is amazing, like you're on a journey to pay off your credit card debt, that's awesome. Like I didn't, you know, I didn't get into that until recently to like, my credit score is a hot mess, I'm working on it as well." And, again, just that relatability. So don't be afraid to start with the people that you know, your family, your friends, literally your your network, and share it every opportunity you can like, you have to remember that at first, you're going to be promoting yourself. And that is scary. That sounds weird to be like telling everybody what you're doing. But as as weird as it might feel it is completely normal. And you should get comfortable doing that. Because who else is going to promote you if you're not promoting yourself, like, unless you hire some hype man and walk around and tell everybody what you're doing. No one's gonna do that for you. And at first, I don't think I was even doing it enough. But I do think the early thing I did, right was that one email, I sent it out to everybody. And all those people subscribed, they commented, they emailed me back. And then they shared it, you know, with their friends with their people on their Facebook page. And that was kind of like the initial wave that got me to like 50 subscribers. And then I was like, Okay, now like, I wanted to grow it more, and I put it on my LinkedIn, and then you know, just kind of thinking of other ways. And then obviously, once you're talking about like getting to like 1000, you got to start thinking about the SEO side, right, the search engine optimization side. So for me, I kind of went on, on YouTube, and I typed in what topics I was talking about, for me at first, all of a sudden, I was credit because that was the world, I was just trying to get out of that credit card debt. So I typed in, like how to improve your credit score, how to get out of credit card debt, and I'm looking at the other videos that there were like, what were their titles? What were the tags on those videos, the description box? What did it say? How long were they? And I kind of had to like, look and see. Because those are your competition, like those videos are the ones that your video is going to be competing with. And I kinda have to see like, what are they doing, that I can do better or where is something missing in these videos that I can include? And so I noticed that a lot of people were saying how to improve your credit score, how to improve your your credit, but not talking about how to do it quickly. So for me, that was my first video that hit big it was how to improve your credit score quickly, and I focused on the one thing you can do that will change your credit score within a matter of two weeks- a week. And that was focusing on paying down your credit card, which sounds so obvious now to me, but like at that time, it was like, "Woah, Mind blown, like if you pay off your credit card damage, your credit score will go up because you'll be utilizing less of the credit limit on your card." Who would have thought you know?" And, but so just talking about how that's one of the second that's the second biggest category in your credit of your five factors. That's the second biggest one. So if you focus on that one, you'll see results quickly and forget about it as soon as people start to seeing that video, you know, and again, I copied the title and I just added the word quickly to the title of another popular video. So it started to be recommended to people in the search results on YouTube like because there's already a video about it. So when you watch that video, they'll be like you should watch this one next time, Miss Be Helpful and it will come up like on the side on the suggested list. So that video did really well. I think it has almost half a million views. And that was you know, that was just me you know really kind of trying to figure out early signs of how to know what to title my video so that the people who search stuff can find it.

Jamila Souffrant 44:40

Right. I love those tips and yes yes to sharing it with your existing network even- it's funny because when I first started Journey to Launch I actually kept it so separate from my personal life and people. It's funny when people like that really know me like now I'm kind of over it cuz I know people who know me that listen and old coworkers, yeah. Old coworkers, right. But when I first started just being Cuz I felt like it was I didn't want it to be something that was out there, especially with like my job situation, I did not share it. I didn't share it on my personal Facebook, I didn't really share it with friends. They just only, like really close people really knew what I was doing. But I do recommend though, so if you're not worried about privacy, and like, you know, your job finding out about what you're doing, definitely, like, just get over yourself and share it. I remember I did an episode a few months back about like, putting yourself out there like, and even with the LinkedIn and your personal network, because you don't know who they know. And if, as long as you're presenting it in a way that you know, you know, with tact, and as you know, it has like a like a direct, like, here's what I'm doing. I'm hearing how it can help you. If you know someone that can benefit from this.

Yanely Espinal 45:46

Yeah, please share it exactly.

Share, please, you know, whatever, right? You find the words that work. But I'm telling you like, I remember putting something on my LinkedIn on page of speech I did. Because I was like, "You know what, because I'm doing more speaking, I want to do more public speaking." So I put it on my LinkedIn so people could know that I do this because it's funny, you know, you're doing it, but no one else knows that you need to help or want to do it, right? And I remember even just doing that, like I got some inbound like opportunities about "Hey, would you like to do this? Or I didn't know that you did this, like, let's talk." So I'm telling you right now, if there's an interest that you have, you really don't have a clue of where to take it, it could be like, I'm interested in doing this. I have no clue. No connections. Like you can literally just act out on your feet. Like, "Hey, does anyone know about this thing?"

And I see successful people do that. And I kind of stole that from them. You know, who does that a lot? Arlen Hamilton, she will do that all the time on Twitter. The other day, my boyfriend and I were in the apartment talking about like, we're watching YouTube videos about van by it's like these young couples entrepreneur, they just live in their van, they drive around the country. And I was like, "Wow, babe we should do this, we could go see all we can see all 50 states and we can just like, you know, I mean, we've always lived in tiny apartments, so wouldn't be that much of a sacrifice, like we, you know, we could cram all of our stuff in a van." And so then literally two days later, he goes to me and says, "You know what I saw on Twitter today?" I was like, "What?" He was like, "Look at Arlen Hamilton's Twitter feed." She was posting about looking for companies to invest in that focus on vanlife that are, you know, created by people of color. And I was just like, "This is nuts like, you see, she doesn't know much about it, but she's interested in it. And she just put it out there. Hey, does anybody know about them, like people of color that are in this community that are doing this, please connect me." Like you don't, if you don't know, you're not gonna know unless you ask or do some research. And so the easier thing to do is to ask because research takes time and you ask, immediately, you're gonna see a couple comments, and you get connected, and bam, you're there you go, the job is done. And so I had to get better at that. And I've learned, like, if I'm looking for something, and I don't know where to start, post it online, just ask people and let the like connections come to you.

Jamila Souffrant 47:50

Yeah and people really do want to help. They want to be the connector, especially like if they like you, and they want to be like, well, I helped you know, Jamila and Yanely, do this, like, you know, it's kind of like that goodwill, like, Oh, you know, you can develop a, you know, better relationship. Okay, so I mean, this was amazing. So 20, you got you paid off $20,000 worth of credit card debt? Where are you now with your financial goals and what you want to do?

Yanely Espinal 48:13

Yeah, so I set a huge goal, which was to reach a quarter of a million dollar net worth at the end of this year, I am super close, but not quite there. So one of the biggest ways that I'm trying to do that is by focusing on more work, obviously, like my full time job, and then I have YouTube income that I get as well. So now this year, I've added like blogging, I've been blogging for different companies. And I've also been doing a lot more virtual workshops- virtual because COVID, obviously, but as much as you know, I can do speaking engagements, if they're virtual, I've been taking tons of those, and doing like partnerships with other financial influencers, offering events workshops, so that I can just bring in extra money, every chance that I have free time. And that's like, hopefully, my goal is to be able to do that this year. Um, I think it was a year and a half ago, I actually hit $100,000. And so I wanted to make sure I could double that, and do a little bit more than double within 18 months. And, you know, for me, that's really just focusing on investing as much as you know, I can like, I max out my Roth IRA every year. And then I also put as the maximum to get my match at my 401k at my job, and really just constantly thinking about, okay, as much as I can, you know, cut down what I my bare minimum of what I need, everything left over, I can then invest. And obviously, I still contribute to like my family to the fund that my parents have and helping out my brothers and sisters when I can. But my big goal, and everybody kind of knows is that every time I got an extra dollar, I'm throwing that into stock market, because that's the number one way to generate wealth from one generation to the next. It's the fastest way to do it. And ideally, eventually, I would love to be able to learn about real estate as well. But in this moment in time in New York City, like it's just not happening for me. So, um, yeah, just kind of really trying to focus on generating enough wealth so that I can do whatever I want and I'm never gonna really hit a point where I'm like, "Alright, I'm done working, I'm just gonna go relax and travel and be like, no Kardashian type life." Like, that's not, that doesn't suit me because I'm a workaholic, like I like to always work. I like to help people. That's why I call my channel Miss Be Helpful. So I just feel like I'm never going to end my relationship with like working and helping people and serving people, especially like my community. But I need to do it in a way that, like, I'm passionate abou. Not in a way where I feel like I need to work this job, or I need to take this gig. I want to do it in a way where I feel like I have control and autonomy to only choose the work that makes me happy, right?

Jamila Souffrant 50:35

Would you consider yourself I mean, because what you're talking about, to me is like on the path to financial independence. So you know, even though the FIRE movement, it has to retire early, that throws a lot of people off, because you're just like, not trying to retire early. But it's really just about like having options like you don't ever have to stop working. You just like building up your portfolio to give you income so that you can have the option of what you want to do without worrying about the money.

Yanely Espinal 51:00

Yeah, I guess I would say FI not already per se, because I don't know that I like I again, I kind of mentioned a little earlier, but I think my desire is to be able to do many retirements throughout my life. So not like the clap traditional type, like retire early or retire period. Like I think I would probably always be working in some capacity. But like when I don't want to, I'll just stop and do like a mini retirement until I want to work again. And that is in my opinion, FI. You can only do that if you reach FI. You can only stop working when you want to stop if you can afford to so for me, I would definitely say I'm trying to become financially independent. I'm not like I wouldn't say I'm quite there yet. Because I right now with the amount of money that I have is my net worth, I could stop working for a while, like a good while, but then I'm not gonna like be able to continue to sustain it with my investments. So I'm not there just yet. But yeah, I definitely do think like the RE kind of makes people a little sketchy, but it doesn't matter if you're not focusing on the retire early part, you can still focus on building financial independence and stability for yourself. So you can be work optional. I like that term work optional.

Jamila Souffrant 51:58

Yeah. And it's funny. So this you know, we're recording this episode in August, this might not come out for a few weeks. So guys probably here all this-here this in the fall, but I just had an episode come out and looking at the number so if someone has not heard it yet, they can go check it out. But I spoke to Jessica of the Fioneers with Episode 170. About coast financial independence, which I don't know if you ever heard of the concept coast FIRE?

Yanely Espinal 52:23

Yeah, I've heard of it on what's his name? Graham Stevens YouTube channel.

Jamila Souffrant 52:27

Okay, cool. So I think that is also another way to look at like your financial independence journey. Because if you have money saved, like, let's just say in your investments in retirement account, it's you know, $200,000. And if you never invested in it again, you put it on autopilot by the standard retirement age of 65, like, how much would you have? And if that is enough not to say that you stop, you never invest to do anything again. But that gives you a good starting point on "Wow. So literally, if I did take time off, all I need to do is cover my living expenses. Like I don't even have to save and invest anymore. Like if I couldn't because I'm you know, traveling the world and I'm working on you know, my business." And these are practical concepts I think our community needs to learn about right? The options that are out there investing because while saving is great, right? Getting out of debt, listen, like there's stages to this.

Yanely Espinal 53:16

Exactly

Jamila Souffrant 53:17

Getting like on a budget and stable, getting out of debt, and saving so you have some backup, but then investing that's where it's at. That's how you grow and really build wealth, which is why I'm like so happy that I was able to have you on the show because I think it will be inspiration for people to see like where you can come from, like, you know, starting out with $20,000 worth of credit card debt, but then being focused to pay that off and and build wealth.

Yanely Espinal 53:41

Yeah, and I always tell people that too. Like the easy way to remember why we focus so much on investing so hard, I posted a video about it is the rule of 72. It's just easy math, divide the interest rate that you're getting where you put your money, take 72 and divided by that. So if you have a savings account, on average, you're getting 0.09% interest 72 divided by 0.09 is 800 which means it would take you 800 years to double the amount of money in your bank account. And that is insane. We're not going to be live that long, like it's impossible to do to wait 800 years. So instead if you try to get an investment account, the average is 6 or 7% you can double your net worth in 10 years. You can double your net worth and you know if you have 9% which is a pretty good return but i mean i think it's feasible you can double your net worth in eight years. So I feel like at the end of the day, if you start thinking about the numbers of it that's why you realize like so many people are obsessed with this investing situation because that's the name of the game you can't you can double your money way faster.

Jamila Souffrant 54:41

Yes, yes, I I love it glad you brought up that too. So I'll link some of your videos but let everyone know where they can find more about you YouTube channels, social media all that.

Yanely Espinal 54:51

Cool. So on YouTube, my channel called Miss Be Helpful. And it's the same thing handle on everything. So if you go to Instagram, you can find me at Miss Be Helpful Facebook on Twitter, and you know pretty much the same thing. And then I post my videos as well as how to like book me to speak or, like, connect with me or whatever on my website. And that's just www.MissBeHelpful.com.

Jamila Souffrant 55:15

Awesome, I'll link all that in the show notes and for your actual like nine to five, can you share a little bit more about that? In case because I feel like that would be of interest to maybe some people if they wanted to bring like this kind of service into their schools.

Yanely Espinal 55:26

100%. I love talking about my full time job because the best word ever is free, free, free, free, free free. Everything that we do is free. We have an endowment fund that was created by our co founder. And so there's 10s of millions of dollars in a giant pile just for this work. So teachers will never have to pay. Parents will never have to pay. Students will never have to pay. School districts will never have to pay for this. And essentially what we offer is a full personal finance curriculum for middle school and for high school students, including lesson plans, activities, games, online games, case studies, projects, test quizzes. So I mean, literally use flashcards to study vocabulary, like everything related to money, including checking, saving, investing, budgeting, taxes, insurance, financial pitfalls, like everything. And so definitely check it out is that NGPF.org. And those letters stand for Next Gen Personal Finance, which is personal finance for the next generation.

Jamila Souffrant 56:24

Amazing. I'm going to link all this in the show notes. So if you are interested in learning more about any of what we just talked about, go there. All right. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for coming on the show. It was amazing.

Yanely Espinal 56:36

It's my pleasure. It was fun.

Jamila Souffrant 56:42

Okay, journeyers, I really hope you enjoyed that episode with Yanely. I really loved how she was able to merge like her natural skillset and talent with a side hustle. And how crazy is that, that this side, hustle her Miss Be Helpful, helped her get a job that is fully aligned with what she loves doing like such a win win situation. And I truly believe like, that's what happens when you're in alignment, that all of us can get to that place. All of us probably are going through things right now we don't understand why we're doing it or why we're going through it. But if we can keep our eyes open our hearts open, we will see the connection. And we'll be able to have this alignment in our own life. So I love bringing that story to you.

If you want to join Yanely, myself, Cindy at the 2020 Digital Reset that the Financial Diet is putting on it's their first digital summit. Come and join us! Go to JourneytoLaunch.com/MoneyDiet. And so it's happening on October 16. And you can receive $10 off your ticket price by putting "journey" in before you checkout. So once again, go to JourneytoLaunch.com/MoneyDiet. So you can see myself and a whole bunch of other great panelists and speakers talking about money. Don't forget to sign up for the free class on October 22 8:30pm Eastern time. I'd love to see you guys I'd love for you to see me. I know you're used to hearing just my voice. But this time you get to see me talk and teach about my favorite thing financial independence. So sign up at JourneytoLaunch.com/FreeClass. Once again, that's JourneytoLaunch.com/FreeClass to join me on October 22.

If you want to check out the episode shownotes that's where you can get links to anything that's mentioned, find out more about our guests, and even get a transcribed version of this episode that you can read, go to JourneytoLaunch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. Now you can also still grab your free journeyer jumpstart guide by texting, "launch" to 33777 or go to JourneytoLaunch.com/Jumpstart.

If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show. One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple Podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you're not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this in Apple Podcasts, rate, review, and subscribe there I appreciate and read every single review. Number two, follow me on my social media accounts. I'm @JourneytoLaunch on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And I love love love interacting with journeyers there. Three, support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you, sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So show them some love for supporting your girl. Four, and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co worker so that we can spread the message of Journey to Launch. Alright, that's it until next week, keep on journeying journeyers.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

(This post may include some affiliate links)

Yanely Espinal, also known as Miss Be Helpful, grew up with immigrant parents and eight brothers and sisters in Brooklyn, New York. As a child she didn’t know much about money. When she got a full scholarship to Brown University her mind was blown by the amount of wealth her classmates enjoyed. Her efforts to keep up caused her to rack up $20,000 in credit card debt. 

When Yanely started her career as a teacher and realized she didn’t have enough to cover her debt, bills, and an unexpected medical expense, she knew something had to change. That’s when she got serious about paying off her debt and improving her finances. 

Today, Yanely has a successful YouTube Channel and is a director of a financial education program that teaches students, teachers, and professionals about  financial literacy. In this week’s episode we are talking about Yanely’s financial journey and the obstacles she overcame along the way. 

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Tips to launching a successful YouTube Channel 
  • How to pay off debt and start building wealth 
  • Ways to combine your passion and your profession
  • All about a free financial literacy program, and more

Also, don’t miss my free class October 22 at 8:30 PM EST. I will teach you how to unlock financial freedom right now. Register today

I'm listening to Episode 176 of the #journeytolaunch podcast, How to Pay Off Debt & Merge Your Talents with Making Money w/ Yanely Espinal Click To Tweet

Other related blog posts/links mentioned in this episode:

  • Check out the Mamas Talk Money Summit taking place October 12-16, 2020! I’ll be speaking on October 14th at 10:30 am about Financial Independence! Registration is FREE so don’t miss out.
  • Register for The Big Reset 2020, The Financial Diet’s digital summit! Use my code “Journey” to get $10 off.
  • Yanely recommended Suze Orman’s book Women & Money. It helped her get out of debt in 18 months.
  • Check out the other tools that help me with my finances and business here.
  • Check out the Journey To Launch Podcast index here which categorizes all of the Journey To Launch podcast episodes by subject. Now you can binge on your favorite topics or type of episode.
  • Join The Weekly Newsletter List
  • Leave me a voicemail– Leave me a question on the Journey To Launch voicemail and have it answered on the podcast!
  • Watch me on News12  Watch my latest segments on News12
  • YNAB –  Start managing your money and budgeting so that you can reach your financial dreams. Sign up for a free 34 days trial of YNAB, my go-to budgeting app by using my referral link.

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