Episode Number: 205

Episode 205- Stop Being Aimlessly Broke and Create a Money Management System That Works with Melody Wright

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Jamila Souffrant 0:00

You're listening to the Journey to Launch podcast How to Stop Being Aimlessly Broke and Create a Money Management System That Works with Melody Wright.

Intro 0:12

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

Jamila Souffrant 0:36

Hey, hey, hey journeyers, Welcome to the Journey to Launch podcast if you weren't aware, you're now journeyer my og journeyers, who have been listening know this but a journey or means you are now on the path with me and many others to launch to financial independence and freedom. But get this. We're not waiting until we reach ultimate financial independence, enjoy our lives, and to live it up and to have freedoms and options and opportunities. We're doing that right now. So by you listening by you being a journey or right now you are well on your way. So congrats to you. Alright, so today I'm having a wonderful conversation with Melody Wright. Melody is the voice of the woman behind the brand Live Broke on Purpose. She also wrote a book called "Start Here: Your Guide to Building Your Money Management System" and we are going to dive into Melody's personal money story. So Melody was able to pay off get this $100,000 of debt in less than three years. She also has what I think is an amazing background. She's a trained PhD scientist. So she left the bench behind to become a financial empowerment coach, a certified financial education instructor, speaker, and personal finance author. So we're going to talk about what she did to get out of debt, and then how she uses her skills from being trained as a scientist into money management. So this is going to be a lot of practical practical tools for you to get to your money goals. And then you know, I always when I talk to fellow people in the personal finance space, always just like to pick their brain, I guess is for lack of a better word at the moment in terms of just kind of talking through about how they feel their business is going I mean, I love talking business with people. So you'll get to hear that part of the conversation to.

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If you want the episode Show Notes for this episode, go to journeytolaunch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. in the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are an og journey or are brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journeytolaunch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's happen to the episode.

Hey journeyer so I am excited to have Melody Wright in the rocket chair to help us blast blast I hate it's funny. I start talking and introductions and I didn't add the rocket in I'm like, we're blasting to financial freedom but no, we are like because Melody knows her stuff. And so she is going to help us figure out our financial systems. I know a lot of times we talked about like, you know, reaching these big goals and you know, becoming financially just in tune with everything so we can reach our goals. But how do we do that? Right? There's these things that have to happen in our day to day life or money management systems that have to occur. So Melody is an expert on that. And so I'm really excited to talk to you Melody.

Melody Wright 5:01

Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to be speaking with you today. And I have been wanting to be in the rocket seat for a while. So the rocket chair, I'm glad that I had his rocket chair. So glad I had my chance. Thank you so much.

Jamila Souffrant 5:17

Okay, so what I really love about I love this about anyone's story when like, I look at their background, and it's like, so traditional and like, so you have a PhD, first of all a PhD in science. And I love hearing how you pivoted from like a PhD in science to becoming, you know, a financial educator, like, how did that occur? So what made you switch your career?

Melody Wright 5:40

Yes, I've always had this like, love for finances. It was it's the weight like weird, like, I've always like, wanted to know more about money, how to use money. And so I would constantly be reading books on my own, just to kind of get some general knowledge, but I've never really put that information into practice. So it wasn't until about 2015 when I was actually doing my PhD, where my advisor at the time he came to me and was like, yeah, so you're going to be graduating in December. And I'm like, really, because I've only been here about three years. And it's like a six and a half year program like how, like, how am I going to be graduating in December. So when he told me that I was like, Okay, this is fine. Since I'm a planner, I was like, let me go sit down and look at the finances and figure out like what we need to do what we need to say just in case I do graduate at the end of the year. And I don't have a job yet. And this was back. And this was in March, march 2015. And so when I sat down and actually looked at the numbers, I was in shock, because that's when I realized that we had $212,000 in debt, and it didn't even include our mortgage. So it was like one of those moments where you're like, you keep like recalculating, recalculating, and refreshing because you're just like, is that the correct number? So I was in denial, I was anxious, I was upset. It was like this whole, like seven stages of grief, but like involving your finances. And at that time, I realized, okay, like, if you're going to be graduating at the end of the year, you got to get your stuff together. And so I just tried to figure out what to do. And I just said, Okay, I'm just gonna stop eating out stop spending money, just, you know, the normal thing that somebody would come up with to try to pay off his debt, because at first I would, and I tried to get a loan from the bank, I was like, at the bank could give me a loan, I can consolidate a lot of this debt. And I can make the payments a little bit more manageable so that we can pay off stuff faster. Well, the bank turned me down, they wanted nothing to do with me. And with that much debt I can completely understand. Like, I wouldn't want nothing to do with me either. So they turned me down. And so I was like, Okay, well, I'll just do the easiest thing. And I was just like, not buy go out to eat and just not spend money. And then that first month, we were able to pay off around like 25 to $2300 of our debt. And I was like, oh, wow, this actually works. And so I just kept doing different things that would just help push us along. So I did this snowball, which a lot of people start with. And then I started utilizing different types of repayment systems, like different ways to, like kind of finagle the systems to make them work for me. And so by the end of three years, a little bit before three years, we were able to pay off over $100,000 of our debt. And so that was huge for us. And it really came down to coming up with a system that worked for our family, and then just putting it in place and just being consistent with it.

Jamila Souffrant 8:21

Okay, so I want to back up because you talked about you were in school you thought you had how many years left?

Melody Wright 8:27

I thought I had so I was I think it was in year three. So I should have had three and a half years left, which I ended up having three and a half years left. I didn't even graduate at the end year.

Jamila Souffrant 8:35

So why don't I just could do realist, but I'm just so curious. Now, how did your professor come to you say you may graduate? I don't understand that. How that.

Melody Wright 8:42

I don't understand that either. Like, that's not what he told me that I was just like, like

Jamila Souffrant 8:47

you on the fast track. Like there's another.

Melody Wright 8:50

I mean, I guess he figured that my project has been going along so well, that he was like, Oh, you're just going to be done like really quickly. And I guess I'm like, I'm the one doing the work. So I'm telling you now that this ain't happening in December.

Jamila Souffrant 9:03

So when you first were and I'm going back to this because I think all this also leads to you know, your entrepreneur, now you're doing this full time. And so I feel like this always leads back to you know, we think we're doing something we're going to school and we're all in you're spending a lot of money to do this thing. And so what were you planning to do with that degree? Once you graduated? What was your thought at that time?

Melody Wright 9:23

So my plans for getting a degree I was going to get the PhD and I was going to go work in industry where the real money was. So I know, the usual line is that you finish a PhD you go do a postdoc, well, I was like, I'm tired of making pennies. I'm not going to make more pennies, you know, for another three or four years. So I was going to go straight into industry because I came into my PhD from working in industry. So I wanted to go back into industry where I knew I could make, you know pretty good salary and then just live my life. I think that was my desired trajectory at that time. And so when I really started to make changes with my finances, and I saw things were Working and I started to talk about it and realize that this was information that people wanted. And not only that this was information that people needed, I knew that this is really where my path lied in educating people on how to make better choices with their finances. And not only that, but doing it in a systemized way.

Jamila Souffrant 10:17

Right, So when did you decide that you wanted to? Because you're a brand is called Broke on Purpose. That's the name of your company and everything you do. So when did you decide that you were going to take that, like, more seriously, because I find too, right. And I know a lot of people who listen to the podcast, um, a lot of them are interested in the personal finance space, like, you know, they're drawn to it, because they're trying to better themselves, like kind of like I was how you were, but then they're like, Wait a second, this, I can do something to help others, right? So at what point did you say, Alright, I'm going to switch and pivot and pursue personal finance. Because, you know, on the face, it doesn't seem like you could earn a lot of money doing that, like you could have just went and use your PhD and you know, got your six figure. So what made you decide that this was going to be more worth your path?

Melody Wright 11:00

That's a really good question. And I'll be honest with you, so I started broke on purpose. And it was kind of like a side thing that I was just doing while I was finishing the PhD. Like I was doing a little coaching here and there, but not as seriously as I do now. And I was talking a lot about it on social media, but it wasn't like a true like, Okay, this is what I'm going to do until about 2018. So in 2018, this is when Michelle Obama's book "Becoming" had come out, and I was in the car, and I was listening to it on Audible. And she said, something that just really blew my mind. And it was she was talking about how she was a lawyer and how she didn't like is how she wanted to do something different. And her mom was like, I understand that, but make the money now and then do something different later. And she was like, No, I'm not going to do that. Like, I want to do something different. And she said, You have the power to change your mind. And literally, I was like, Whoa, I can change my mind. I don't have to do any of this science stuff. And it was at that point that I gave myself permission to say, you know what, I'm just going to step out on faith because I wanted to do it so bad, but I didn't want people to be like, we just wouldn't have a whole PhD for six and a half years. Like what you're wasting your time, you just wasted 6 1/2 years of your life, you got all this student loan debt. Like I was worried about what everybody else was gonna say. And I was listening to everybody else's, like comments or opinions. And I wasn't being true to what was in my heart. And so when I heard her say that, I said, Okay, I'm just going to do it. And so when we moved people from Philadelphia to South Carolina, and I just didn't look for a job, I just said, I'm just going to do this full time, because my dad was like, so how's the job hunting going? about that? So, I mean, it's been a good ride. So far, it's been a hard ride. But it's been a good, right. And that's what really made me change my mind, which is hearing somebody told me that you have permission to do so.

Jamila Souffrant 12:51

Right, And isn't it interesting, because I think so many people are faced with that, like, depending on your personality to like, I'm the kind of person when I say I'm going to do something, I want to do it and like I want to be committed. And a lot of people aren't like that. And especially if you put time and money into something. So to feel like you know, you're turning around and changing and what people's expectations are, what you should be and do. Like, I think so many people are stuck living lives that they don't want to live, but they don't know how to get out of it. So I just think this is an interesting conversation, to hopefully, help people. Not that you need our permission, but give yourself your own permission to do what you want. So you moved. You said to South Carolina?

Melody Wright 13:29

Yes, South Carolina. This is wherever originally, I'm originally from South Carolina. So I just really wanted to be closer to family. So we've been here. Yeah.

Jamila Souffrant 13:36

Okay. And you say we so I know you don't really talk much about like your spouse within your life stuff. But we'll keep that private. But I also feel like having a partner and making a decision like that. Was he on board with this pivot? like changing?

Melody Wright 13:49

You know, it's crazy. He's always been on board with it. Like when I would talk about, he's always been on board with it. But I think I was the resistance. I was going like, yeah, maybe but no, we got like, let me just go make some money. Let me just go try to do this. Let me see how I do. And that's because once I graduated from my PhD, I actually landed a really great position that like nobody who just gets out of a PhD lands like I landed in an amazing position. And so that was why I was like, I just need to like, see how this works. Unfortunately, that roll was not a good fit for me and my personality. And so I ended up working in another position, that was still pretty good position. But I was still like, I want to make this work. I want to see if I can do both. When really my heart was just in I really want to help people manage their money. Like that's where I got my joy from seeing people say, look what I was able to do, because you helped me do this. I was able to achieve all of this. Like Okay, great. I discovered a new protein that might trigger malaria, but like I just helped so much bigger for me, so so he's all he's he's always been super supportive. He shows up a little bit here and there are Broke on Purpose. I think now more so um, because kind of like he's in the background, but it's The past he shows up a lot, but he's always just like, just do it see what happens? Like, that's no way.

Jamila Souffrant 15:05

Okay. It's amazing to have a supportive partner in that way. So I'm assuming that helped with that. So you just talked about paying off over $100,000 of debt in three years. Yeah. And with that, you talked about just being more just aware, right? So So can you talk through some of the things you actually did, because I know part of your brain like Broke on Purpose. You're not like promoting, like really being broke? You're just saying like, and I want you to, like, get into that. And like, what it really means and how you use that in terms of paying off debt.

Melody Wright 15:31

Yeah, so first, let me start off with what broke on purpose means Yeah, some people read that they're like, what she call herself, broke. Like, she did, like I noticed, like the first thing that pops in people's head. But some people were like, Oh, that's so clever. I like I automatically get it. And so here's the thing, when we say we're broke, it's usually because of a situation that we put ourselves in with, with our finances is usually because we haven't just handled our money. Well, we never give ourselves permission to be broke, we never say go out there be broke. But it always happens to us, we always find ourselves in a scenario where our money just does not look the way we want it to look. And so we call ourselves broke. So if I was going to be broke, I want it to be on my terms, instead of like, like life dictating that for me. So for me being broke, and not having extra money means that my money has now been invested in Roth IRA, or it's in my 401k. My money is in stocks. I'm have, you know, a fully funded emergency fund, I have fully funded sinking funds that I'm saving for that I have a budget that's aligned with my values and my beliefs in my goals. So if I didn't have any extra money left, like, that's why it's because I have doing stuff on purpose with my money instead of just being like, Where did all my money go? Because if you don't know where your money goes, you're aimlessly broke, you're not broke on purpose, you're just aimlessly broke, you're broke for no reason. And I did not want to be broke for no reason. And so that's why I call the brand Broke on Purpose.

Jamila Souffrant 16:52

I love that like, let's not just I mean, if we're gonna be broke, let's do it with intention. So you also talk about your money management system, like that's kind of what you use to get out of debt that what you teach people. Now, can you explain what that is and what it encompasses that.

Melody Wright 17:09

The money management system is basically a, a framework, or it's a tool that I use with my clients that allows them to look at their finances as one whole, instead of several different moving pieces. And so they know how their money is coming into their system, they know how the money is being assigned different purposes, roles or jobs within the system. And they know as that money flows through the system, how is defining out or filling out their living, how it's defining or filling out their savings, as well as their debt. So the money management system does all that for them, it lets them see how the money is coming in, how it's being assigned, and how it's filling the roles in their living station, their saving station or their debt station. And that's typically what the money management system does, it really just gives them an easy way to look at how their money is coming in, how it's being used, and what it's doing for them. And so they remove that level of overwhelm, or that feeling of anxiousness that somebody would have, if they had to go over here and look at savings. Now I gotta go over here, look at debt. Now I gotta go over here, look at my budget, and they're trying to put all these different moving pieces together that just aren't fitting.

Jamila Souffrant 18:11

You have an example of like an action of financial action and how that would be like put through the lens of this money management system. Like how it all fits together.

Melody Wright 18:19

Yeah, so. So let's think about it as a like, so you know how, like in the factories with the car factories, where they're building the car, and the car comes down the conveyor belt, and at one station, this happens, and then it goes to the next station, and this happens. And so it's kind of like that. So let's say that you get paid and your money comes into your system. So now the money flows into the system, and it goes into your budget or your spending plan. When it's in the budget or the spending plan, it's going to get assigned it's role, it's job or it's purpose, you're telling your money where it needs to go. So let's say that we're filling out our safety our living station, so the money will get assigned a role in your budget or your spending plan, it'll flow down into your living station. And here the living station is broken up into two places, it's broken up into your essentials or your non essentials. So the money is either going to flow to the essentials, or it's going to flow to the non essentials. And that's basically how it's going to work with each of the stations. So with savings is going to go to retirement savings or non retirement savings as the flow to the debt, it's going to go to how you set up your debt repayment strategy for paying off your debt. So you know how your money is coming in, and where it's going. And so if there was a hiccup somewhere, you can easily say, okay, where was the error? Did I pay too much on a bill over here? Did I spend too much on my hair and nails and that's why this system or this side over here is messed up. So it allows you to be able to find the problem and be able to fix it easily instead of worrying about where do I need to go What do I need to do?

Jamila Souffrant 19:40

I can tell like your scientist brain came up with that like that so on was such an organized way to think about like, you know, inflow and outflow of money. So, um, and, you know, that also leads me to, you know, we talked a little bit about you pivoting and you spent a lot of money and time like on that education and it's not like it But you're able to like, it's not all it's not, this is the reason you did that. So you now have a, like a basis of how you now teach about money, which is different, you know, from other people because you have that experience. Right

Melody Wright 20:11

Yeah. And so I call those silent assets, when you have pivoted from something that you went to school to do. And you're just like, Okay, I'm not actively using my skills to be at the bench to do these experiments. But I still learn how to critically think I still learn how to plan an experiment. I know how to problem solve, like, so I can use all that in my financial coaching. And so you're exactly right. The money management system came from a need of there being a protocol for how you were going to use your money. And if you have a protocol, when you're in science, if you're doing an experiment, you can easily say, Where did I mess up and look at the different steps to figure out where that mistake came from. If you're just handling your finances, by just doing a little bit here, a little bit of savings here, you're not going to know where that mistake came into play. But if you're using a money management system, or even a systemized tool for your finances, you can easily look back at the different steps because you know, it first starts with your income coming in, It then goes into your budget, our spending plan, and then you next know based on the goals or your values that you set, how your living station needs to be set up or your savings station needs to be set up. So if there's a mistake that has been introduced, you can easily figure out where it came from. So it is very systemized, very organized, because with a lot of people there, the main reason why they have trouble with their finances is just because they're disorganized. They just don't have things together. And so it just really helps him with that, to relieve them of that overwhelm and just create more organization in their financial life.

Jamila Souffrant 21:38

Yeah, and I love that you brought that up the organization part because you know, so many who want to jump into the work, which is, you know, in terms of they want to make more, they want to spend less like they want the outcome of that. But there's a lot of that goes on behind the scenes to be able to do that, especially if you haven't tackled this, you're not comfortable with this at all, yet, it's new for you, because the systems will really help.

Melody Wright 22:01

Yeah, you're exactly right. And I think for a lot of my coaching clients, I let them know, we're not going to just jump right in and look at the numbers, like there's a lot of work that we need to do on the back end, before we even start to build out the system so that we can make sure this system is giving you the output that you want. So the input is important for the outputs, if you're just putting anything in, you're not going to get your desired output. So you have to ask yourself, what do I want my car to look like once it comes off this assembly line. So you're just throwing random pieces here and there, and you really don't have an idea, that car is going to look like a hot mess, when it comes off the assembly line. The same thing is gonna happen with your finances, if you don't know what you want. If you haven't set smart financial goals, if you don't know what your values are, in terms of what you how you want to live your life, then the output of your financial of the money management system is going to look like a hot mess because you haven't defined what it really needs to look like.

Jamila Souffrant 22:52

Right now in terms of like actual maybe apps or tools that people should have in their toolbox. Um, you know, I have some I use I'm sure that you have some use, but like, what are the types of things or components that they're needing to start, like, what are the actual, what's the apparatus, that's what you scientists will call apparatus that you would need to start with your money management system.

Melody Wright 23:15

So I think what the money management system, it's really going to first come out to just figuring out again, what it is that you want, you can do this all on paper, like you don't have to, like get any fancy apps or anything out anything like that. But figuring out what you want your your output to be in terms of like what you want your life to be like once you get your finances together, and then creating that budget. So we you know, we financial people, we talk about budgets all the time, because it's really that number one financial tool that everybody needs. And so really getting that budget together, and here's where you can start using the different budgeting apps that you want. But for me personally, I tell people, I like to tell people, let's start on paper. Because on paper is when we really can see everything laid out, we can see how we have things categorized, and different things like that instead of having to rely on the app to do it for us. So I think the first thing that you want to do is really come up with again, your values. What do you want your life to be able to give you? Do you want freedom? Do you want security? Do you want to be able to reach back out and help others? What are your goals? Are you trying to pay off something by a certain time or date save money by a certain time or date by a certain number of houses and then make sure that your budget is aligned with your goals and your values so that the output is going to give you what that looks like because your budget is telling the money where it needs to go. So if you're saying I want to buy a house at the end of the year, but you're not saving any money because it's in your non essential savings department then you know there's a disconnect there. So I think those are the three top things your values, your goals, and then having that budget together. Those are the three top things that are really going to help you get started.

Jamila Souffrant 24:50

And what about you know I hear people you know right now saying but Melody I want to do all the things you just said I want to give back, I want to buy the house, the car and I want to retire so organization And prioritizing your goals are important too, right?

Melody Wright 25:02

Yeah, that's very important. And then it would just come down to what's most important for you at this particular time in life, you know, because we change every single day, something might happen in the world. And we're like, oh, that this is important to us now, and we have to do this. But you can do, you can do it all. I'm not saying that, that says, Don't do this, like you need to cold turkey, not do this, while you're funding this, you can do everything. But it just really depends on how quickly you want those things to be able to happen. So if you're really trying to pay off debt that you also want to save and give back, then the priority needs to be where a majority of your excess money needs to go towards paying off the debt, but then you still have certain percentages that she will lock to being to allow you to be able to give back and to be able to save money. So that's kind of how that works. You need to ask yourself, what's important to me right now at this particular time in my life? And how long is this going to be important to me so that you can set that goal of when that needs to be fully funded.

Jamila Souffrant 25:56

Yeah, I'm glad that you're talking about this kind of approach of being able to do multiple things. And yes, there are some people who will say just focus on that one thing you'll get to that faster, which I agree with, but for some people, they want to, you know, even if it's $1, and I like the percentage, because what the percentage, you know, that can grow over time as you get better with your income or get better optimized with expenses, that if you're like, you know, maybe month 12345, it's only the 1% of the pie is small, because it's not a big pie. But as you get more money that 1% if you just keep a constant, so you're not going back and forth. The percentage wise, the pie gets bigger that 1% means more like maybe it means $100 now and another month, because the pie is bigger.

Exactly. And then of course, once you reach that first goal, if you fully funded or you know, do what you need to do, you can decrease the percentage there and increase the percentage and the other ones that you're working on. So that's why I like working with percentages instead of dollar amounts. Because a lot of people get so caught up in like, I need to have this certain amount. No, just just do a percent, you know, and it gives you more freedom to be able to breathe and not feel so confined by a specific dollar. Yeah, yeah. So for you personally now, where are you with your financial freedom journey? So I know you paid off a ton of debt, but like, where are you at right now in terms of becoming debt free. And then the next stage is after that.

Melody Wright 27:13

So one of the things that we did after we paid off that huge amount of debt I was I was thinking about it, I was exhausted, I was worn out mentally, emotionally, like, because it took so much for us to be able to achieve that it wasn't just like, we were like at these high earning jobs. But we were able to pay off all this debt. Like I had just graduated from my Ph. D. program, maybe a couple of months before that happened. So I was still on a student salary while this was happening. And at the same time, I had a side hustle, I was a I was an influencer lifestyle influencer. So I had a blog. And I still still still have, I don't ever write on it once a day. But what was the name of it. So it was called it was called Being Melody. And it was just a lifestyle blog where I talked about like beauty like household like recipes and stuff like that. And so like most influencers, I collaborated with brands and things like that, and I was able to have more income coming in from that I even have a YouTube channel. So I was able to make a lot of my extra money that way. But when that money came in, it went strictly to the debt, like there was really nothing left for my husband and I to be able to enjoy it. We didn't take vacations, like we'd go out to eat, like to point out to eat, like getting a pizza, and being able to enjoy that like on a Friday night. So we deprived ourselves of so much that I was at a point where like, I was like, I'm not, I can't, I cannot do this and be expected to continue to, you know, stay on this track. And so we decided to pivot. And in that pivot, it was just like, okay, we're still going to be responsible about paying off our debt, paying off our student loans, saving, investing and things like that, but we are going to allow ourselves to be able to go on vacation, we are going to allow ourselves to be able to enjoy life, like buy some new clothes, you know, anything like that, like even the whole like mytaughtyou trip that you know, you and I both we both went to like, if I would have been on that same path where I was like gung ho like gotta pay off debt, got to pay off debt, I never would have went there because my whole mindset would have been like, Oh, I have to pay off debt, not go here. Because when I think about how much we paid to go there, I was like, I could have fully funded my Roth IRA.

Jamila Souffrant 29:20

right

Melody Wright 29:22

And so but I didn't feel guilty because I was like, this is something that I gave myself permission to do. I'm still hitting all my financial goals because we changed what our goals were , still hitting all my financial goals. And so you just have to give yourself again, permission to make that pivot. And for us right now, we only have we have maybe around $70,000 in student loan debt leftover. Right now we are working on saving up money so we can pay cash for a new car. We're making sure we fund our Roth IRAs. So our debt payoff has really slowed down because we're making sure that we're taking care of other things that Like we just bought a new home. So we want to make sure that home emergency fund is fully funded. Because you know, when you're a homeowner, when stuff happens is not cheap. So we're just making sure that we're covered in all these different areas. And I still want to be debt free, that doesn't steal as debt free besides the mortgage. That is still definitely one of my goals. And I think it probably will happen within the next two to three years. But I don't, I don't feel like I'm as in a rush as I was before, because my priorities changed, my perspective has changed. And I'm just like, we only get this one life and the pandemic has showed us anything, you got to live it, you have got to live it.

Jamila Souffrant 30:37

And it's so important that we talk about this because this like living outside of the spreadsheet living outside of just the numbers and experiencing life, and you know, there's a balance to it, because then someone could take this and be like, Oh, they said to live life, like Let's go, you know, but, you know, I truly believe like in a balanced approach, and that's gonna look different for everybody. And it just depending on who you're with, if you're by yourself, your responsibilities, but I think this is actually for people listening who are in debt payoff stage. And I think too, like you got out of probably maybe the worst, quote unquote, of it, right? We're not what's manageable for you. And you're making a personal decision to like, kind of, Okay, I still have this debt I'm gonna live like to, and I feel like I made like, the decision in my life when it was more about Okay, can I stay in this job and keep earning a lot of money? Or can I just chill and while it's not really chilling, you know, running a business. Chilling, but right, have more time, at least, you know, more freedom. And so I think this is really key for a lot of people. Because yes, maybe in the beginning, you're really excited. And you're gonna go gung ho. And if you're following, like, people like Dave Ramsey, you know, he's like, all in or nothing. And I feel like that can work depending on if you need to be all in. And that's your personality. But once you get and that's the thing, once you have the systems in place, like Melody is talking about, and the community, you're just you're in the flow, you can begin to make these kind of decisions, where it's just like, you know, what, I could put an extra 100 or $500, towards this investment, or I could really enjoy time doing this thing I really want to do.

Melody Wright 32:03

Yeah, and I think once you get to that space in for a lot of people who even if you're just starting, like they they feel burnt out in the beginning, because when you go on a goal start on a financial journey. For a lot of people, it's like a huge shift of mindset shift or behavior shift, like it's a huge shift. And for a lot of people, they're like, I don't know, if I can keep this up. I don't know if I can do it. Because they tend to put themselves in these situations where they're creating unrealistic budgets, or they're creating unlivable budgets, where they say, Okay, I'm just, I'm just going to only spend $100 on groceries for a family of four. And okay, you know, that's not realistic, you're not going to do it. Or they say, I'm going to go on and no buy. And we all know when you when you do a no buy what happens when you come off the no buy, like you make up for lost time. And you're buying like everything that you didn't buy when you were on the no buy. So I really tried to tell people like to make sure there is balance when they create their budgets, make sure there are balances when you create your goals. Like I had a client who said, Oh, I like to stop eating breakfast every day on the way to work. But now I'm not going to do that anymore. And I'm like, Well, why you're human, if that brings you joy, if you enjoy stopping to get breakfast, don't cut it out cold turkey, like just say, Okay, I'll do it two times, instead of five times a week, because now you're still allowing yourself to have that one thing that gives you pleasure, while still being able to reach the goals that you set. So for me, in the beginning, when I first started, there wasn'y a balance, it was either pay off debt, or not do anything at all, there was no balance. And like I said, it's not sustainable. It's not realistic, unless you're just like, I have got to get this paid off. And I'm just going to go all in. And that's what my mindset was, that was just like, you know, I was probably one of those people, like, Don't buy coffee, you know, unless you have money set aside for it. But now just like that coffee is not gonna make or break you unless you're buying like a $50 coffee every day, then then we might have a tough conversation, right? But, but that you know, that $3 $5 coffee, you know, if you're buying it and you're still able to meet other financial goals, great like live that lack of balance. Because once you are true to yourself and what you need to be able to stay on track, and that gives you joy, then that's going to keep you on track even, you know even further. So I talk a lot about that in my book, start here, your guide to building your money management system, like how you can create that balance what you need to do to recognize that you you know are on a journey and the different ways you can just stay on the journey.

Jamila Souffrant 34:17

Right now. I'm glad you brought up your book. So start here, where so someone listening to this right now maybe they're just first time listening to the podcast and or really wanting to start what is the first thing you say that they should do?

Melody Wright 34:29

So in the book start here, the first thing that you have to do is really check your mindset. Because a lot of times we'll hear these different podcasts or read these articles, or we'll see a show or be like, man, I want to do that. But we don't really change anything about the way we think about money. We don't change anything about the way we handle money to really do the things that we said we wanted to do. So in the book, I talk a lot. I share a story about how I was sitting there watching you'd have Suzy Orman would come on, they would CNBC like late at night on Saturday, and she would be For those many classes, and I'd be sitting there like, Man, I wish I could I wish we could be debt free. Like, I wish we could do this, I wish we could do that. But then my, I would never follow up with the action that would go with, you know, that desire. And so for a lot of people, it's really about changing your mindset, you have to start with changing your mindset. And then when you change your mindset, that's when you can start to build out your system. But if you aren't going to be about it, then there's no use in talking about it.

Jamila Souffrant 35:24

Yeah, and oftentimes just makes you feel more, you know, worse, because that desire that we all have, if you if you know it, and I think you know, the seed is planted, you know, you're aware of all these, the finances and what it can do for your life, when you have it together. That awareness that creates the desire that you want, right? And that but there needs to be action. I think a lot of people beat themselves up because they want this thing. But they're not taking the action. So that gap, for whatever reason why you're not doing it is important, like you said, the mindset part, like doing the work to figure out like, why is it that I want this thing, I desire it, but what is stopping me from doing it and figuring out the what's stopping that action is important,

Melody Wright 36:00

right, And I think that's where you and I come, we come into play because a lot of people they say, Okay, I want to do this, but I don't know how to make that leap to actually doing it. And so where we come in is when we give them the instructions, we give them the tools, we give them anything that they need to help them make that connection between the desire and actually being able to attain that a goal, we help them implement that intention that they have to be able to be debt free, or achieve financial independence, or just create a system so that they aren't, they don't feel so disorganized with their money so they can achieve their goals. And so if anybody's listening, and they they're saying, you know, I've been saying that I want to get my finances together for I don't know how many years. And listen, Facebook reminds me every single year, of like times where I've said, Oh, this is gonna be the year. And I'm like, you know, five months down the line, I'm just like, Okay, and then there's another post that's just like, Here I am spending all this money and doing all the stuff where I fallen off. So if you feel like you're in that spot, like it's important to seek out help, right? Because we have to recognize that we're not meant to do everything on our own. We're not meant to do everything by ourselves. And that's why there are coaches, that's why there are programs in place that will help you get there because for a lot of times these programs and coaches, what you really need accountability, you might not need anything else, but the accountability and knowing that somebody is there to help you along the way it's going to be what's going to help you be successful.

Jamila Souffrant 37:20

Yeah, well, you just you keep pushing, you keep bringing me to like the next question I want to ask because you're not talking about, you know, like providing people with the coaching or resources. And, you know, we're both in the personal finance space. And you know, we have products or services to help people in this regard. And I want to know from you like in your experience, now you know that you know, you have your book, which is a pretty like, to me reasonable like to buy, you know, a book, right? It's not like that much money comparing to like a program, you get so much information from a book. But how do you feel or how what's been your experience with offering getting people to understand the value of your services, because I think like in the personal finance space, when you talk about money management and like accountability, like that's what people need, but they don't want necessarily pay for that. Because they're just like, why?

Melody Wright 38:05

Girl, Yes. I'm having this conversation with somebody like earlier this week, where I was just like, we know that we're giving so much value and something that it's not going to be like this one time here, use it in a you don't ever need it again, like these are lifetime tools, and instruction that will help you like your family's family. Right. And so and a lot of times people just don't want to pay for it. And I think the only reason why people don't want to pay for it is because or they feel hesitant to pay for let me say that they feel hesitant about paying for it. It's because what we offer isn't immediate gratification. We don't offer immediate gratification. And we live now in this social media world where it's like you want people to like your posts, you want people to buy something immediately, you want people to be able to give you results. But when you're working on your finances, it's a journey. And that's why we call it a journey, it really is a journey from where you are to where you want to be. And you just hate show up at the finish line. And then I'm at the starting line and then blink and to be at the finish line, there is work to do. And with that work, we're investing in you. So you have to invest in yourself. And that's why it's not. This is how much it costs. It's an actual investment. So just like you invest in experiences, just like you invest in vacations, just like you invest in courses that help you make a million dollars. If you invest in a financial literacy course, that financial literacy course can help you make a billion dollars as well. But it's just going to go about it a different way. And for me, when I'm talking to people what I do discovery calls for a lot of times with my coaching, I do discovery calls because I want to make sure that I'm a good fit for you. And you're going to be a good fit for me because you never want to have to fire a client, right? You never want to do that.

So I really try to understand what is really the why behind why somebody wants to work with me why what's the why behind them wanting to do financial coaching and if I feel like it's not They're just like, I just, I just want a quick fix. I just need my money to work now, then I'm just like, Okay, well, you're not going to be a good fit for this because this is an investment of your time and an investment of your money. And I even did a poll, Jamila, let's just to find out why people don't. What what are they? What about buyers?No, but I even

did a poll to find out like, what's the hesitation with working with a financial coach, and a lot of people feel like they can't afford it. A lot of people said that they rather spend their money on things that they can, again experiences, things that they can see immediately. And a lot of people felt like there was just too much free information out there. But even with that being said, when we offer their free information, they still don't really take advantage of it. You know, and we know that this is something that we need, we know that this is something that you can utilize for the rest of your life, we could teach you something and you can go on to teach your family, your kids and they can teach their family and their kids, because it's basic concepts, that's not going to change. what's changing is the way that we are delivering the information, or making it palatable for you to be able to say, Oh, now I get it. Oh, that makes complete sense. Instead of reading a book that says XYZ, XYZ, XYZ and then bam, because then you're like, well, how does that apply to me, we're helping it apply to you, we're coaching you along the way. And I think a lot of people for them, it's gonna take them doing soul searching, you know, and just realizing, you know, what, I need to make an investment in myself, if I want my future to look, the way that I say I wanted to look. I mean, one thing I can say is that, you know, we've put in the work, we've gotten the results. And if you want the same work and the results, then you got to make the investment.

Jamila Souffrant 41:40

Yeah, and you know, some people can start and do things on their own. And, and I would say, like, for the people, though, who have tried, and I find that people who eventually do like maybe join money launch Club, which is a membership program, and or like my course, like, it's actually well, especially the course, because it's a higher investment. It's not like a quick decision for them, like they've been on my list like you, like you said, they've already, like, tried it, and it hasn't worked, or they've like, exhausted the options, and they're like, Okay, alright, fine. Like, you know, maybe I do need this. And so I just think it's really interesting, like, where people land with this. And then I think for us, as financial educators, you know, there are so many people what the beauty of this is that there's so many people in our space. Now, I feel like maybe because we're in that bubble, we know everybody that offer different types of things at different price points. for free. I know a lot of people who offer like free programs, some people offer very high like ticket it, but you know, that's their investment, right. And so I think there's a spectrum that you can, like, you know, find someone that fits your needs and or where you are, and you can still get help. But I always love having this conversation with people in the personal finance space, who are also making an income from their services or products, because I think also we have to be congruent with what we're telling our audience, I always talk about this now that I'm telling my audience to earn money, and go out there be fruitful and like, be wealthy, right.

And as a company, like the weight journey to launch makes money now is either through selling directly to my audience, useful products, not crap, like very useful, high quality things. And or partnering with brands or companies is either you guys are gonna pay me so and you don't hear as many ads or I'm gonna, like have to partner with people to help keep this operation going, right? or both, right? I do a combination of both. But I feel like, we also should, then I can't say I want you to like, be wealthy. But then for me, I don't just think I deserve wealth, and then under charge, and or devalue my own services. So I was I've been, you know, toying around with that concept. Because I think in the personal finance space, it's interesting, some of the rhetoric or just thought process, it's with how people sell or what they're selling and some judgment behind it. And so I know we're going like in a different area and like topic, but I just thought it was interesting to bring up let me say

Melody Wright 43:47

this. And so one of the things that I've been thinking about a lot since last year was how do I serve people who honestly can't afford my services, right? Because I know there are people out there who who need the financial coach, and who need the financial help, but they literally honestly can't afford the price point that I have for one on one coaching. And I totally get that. And so that's why I wrote the book, start here, you know, and a lot of times the questions that I'm getting from people is, I don't know where to start. Well, I don't know what to do. Well, how do I do this? And the answer is, we'll start here, if you start here, you'll be able to fix your money mindset, you'll be able to build out your money management system. And then you'll be able to plan out how you're going to live your life after that, you know, and so that book is really for beginners who are looking for even if you're not a beginner, but if you're somebody who, who has been like dribbling a depth, you stick your toe in the water, but then you're like, Oh, it's too cold, like I'm not ready yet. Like even if you're at that point, that book is a great starting point for you to be able to say, Okay, I know that I want to do it. Let me change my mindset. Let me come up with a solution or a system to help me figure out how I want my money to work and let me just try to see how that works for me, you know, and then from there, you can make the decision, okay, I liked it or didn't like it, let me try something else. But at least it's creating that foundation for you. To be able to say, I have this in place in the least this is working for me and that let me move on to the next thing. You know, it's kind of like with anything here, take what you need and leave the rest.

Jamila Souffrant 45:10

Yes, yes, like the entry point. So like, again, this soap like books like yours podcast, and that's how I got started on this journey. All those stuff are low cost or free investments. You don't really it's the time and energy investment and then you know, from there, you decide what else you need to get to the next level if you can't do it on your own. Okay, melody, this was an amazing conversation, please tell everyone where they can find more about you and where they can get the book.

Melody Wright 45:34

So you can find me at www.livebrokeonpurpose.com, which is actually the website on social media, all my handles are at broke on purpose. And if you'd like to purchase the book, you can easily find it on amazon.com if you buy it, make sure you sprinkle some stars and leave nice review. You can also purchase the book on my website as well as a couple of other different types of ebooks and courses that I have available.

Jamila Souffrant 46:00

Amazing. I will link all that in the show notes. So thank you again, Melody.

Melody Wright 46:04

Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed it.

Jamila Souffrant 46:10

All right. I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Melody Wright. Don't forget you can pick up her book start here your guide to building your money management system, follow her screenshot, show us if you enjoyed this episode your biggest takeaways at me I'm at journeytolaunch you can add melody she's brokeonpurpose on Instagram.

Jamila Souffrant 46:33

Don't forget, you can get the episode Show Notes for this episode by going to journeytolaunch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this and you can still grab your jumpstart guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going 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 are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this and 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 at journey to launch 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

(This post may include some affiliate links)

What does it mean to be broke on purpose & not aimlessly broke? For this week’s guest, Melody Wright, it means intentionally not having any extra money left over after you put it through a money management system that allows you to thrive.

Melody is the founder of Broke On Purpose. She is a trained PHd scientist who transitioned into personal finance after paying off $100k in debt in less than 3 years. She is also the author of the book, “Start Here: Your Guide to Building Your Money Management System.” 

Melody’s mission is to help people make better choices with their finances in a systemized way that supports their goals. Tune in to learn the first step you can take to regain control of your finances. 

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • What it means to live broke on purpose 
  • How Melody paid off 100k in less than a year
  • How to create a money management system that allows you to reach your money goals and thrive
  • The first step to gaining control of your finances and much more…

Episode 205- Stop Being Aimlessly Broke and Create a Money Management System That Works with Melody Wright Click To Tweet


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