Episode Number: 278

Episode 278- How Norly Jean-Charles Found Financial Independence, Saved Half Her Income & Bought Her Mom A Home 

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How Norly Jean- Charles Found Financial Independence, Saved Half Her Income & Bought Her Mom A Home

Norly Jean-Charles 0:02

And I kept my mindset that all I need is one yes, I probably did 20 to 40 interviews. And I noticed some people were just like, leave it alone. But I was like, This is what I thought I was like, I'm not getting a yes, but I'm getting the interview. So that means that there's something about me that they'd like, because I'm getting into this room. So all I need to do, even though I've had 20 knows is have one person say yes, because at least I'm getting into this room because a lot of people don't get into this room. So I just kept going, and going and going, and I got the job in 2018.

Intro 0:36

Welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host jameelah. So frogs as a money expert who rocks her talk, she helps brave juniors like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real Whoa. Join her on the journey to launch to financial freedom three

Jamila Souffrant 1:02

if you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to launch.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 in 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 journey to launch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.

Jamila Souffrant 1:45

Hey, hey, hey, journeyers. I'm really excited to bring you this conversation because I love talking to my personal finance friends and experts and writers. But I really love talking to journeyers people who are on the path to financial independence like you like me. And we have that today we have a journeyer who is going to share with us her current journey, how she's gotten to where she's gotten, where her finances, and her name is norley. Jean Charles, welcome to the podcast.

Norly Jean-Charles 2:13

Thank you. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Jamila Souffrant 2:15

Yes, so normally, the reason why I love talking to journey errs, or just people who actually are just sharing their stories is because I find that those are the most relatable stories for other people listening. And I'm hoping that While not everyone can relate to every single thing that whoever is listening to this will find some inspiration or something they can pull out of your story, to apply it or help them with theirs. First, I want to let people hear a little background of how you first got introduced to journey to launch and how you became a journeyer. And then we'll get into the good stuff.

Norly Jean-Charles 2:47

Of course, well, I got introduced to journey to launch through one of my other Haitian lawyer friends, I do this little post on Instagram called finance Fridays, it's free. It's just for me and my 900 friends, where I share my journey I talk about the personal finance stuff that I do what I'm doing with my emergency fund with my 401k, my HSA and my investments. And then one of my friends was like, Hey, have you heard about during the launch? You guys have similar stories. And I think you're really interested in it. And she's, you know, from Brooklyn. She's married to someone who's Haitian and she has three kids, you probably like have been through the similar neighborhoods and have not known and I was like, Oh, I have not heard of that. And I'm going to listen to it. And as someone who's just always interested in personal finance, as soon as I started, listen to your podcast, like, as I'm working through the day, I turn it on and just listen to it. It just motivates me. I'm probably on episode 234. Because I've been listening to it straight through I listened to every single episode. And I was like, let me see if we know I can you know, get an interview because I really like love this podcast. So that's how I got introduced to it because of my little finance Fridays for my friends, just close friends. And then my friend was like, You need to like listen to Jamila souffrant. I was like, okay, and I did and I was like, Hey, this is awesome. When I'm always talking about you with my friends. I repost your episodes, like if I really liked that episode out like repost it and I got some friends to even start following you because your stuff is just on point. Oh,

Jamila Souffrant 4:23

thank you. And I love that. And that's the power of word of mouth, which is why I always say like, the best thing anyone can do. They're enjoying the show and the podcast is to tell a friend, you know, post it so that your actual friend or someone in your life can also get on board and be inspired. If you're inspired. So love that. Also love that you're Haitian so yes, my husband is also Haitian. There's so many similarities, I think, when I was reading your bio, and I was like, Oh, my mom would is gonna love this episode because I was reading through your background, which we'll get into your family immigrating here, you're going through prepper prep, which I want to talk about a little bit and so Well, let's go back a bit. When did your family immigrate here, and your experience growing up as an immigrant here and with money. So

Norly Jean-Charles 5:11

to head back into like the early days, my grandfather came to East Flatbush, and he worked at Kings County. I'm a Brooklyn Brooklyn, who worked at Kings County as an x ray technician. We lived on Hawthorne between Oceana Rogers. And he came here with his wife, and he had his kids back in Haiti. And so I guess through chain migration and being able to bring your kids through the immigration system, he brought all of his children and grandpa had some kids.

Unknown Speaker 5:43

I can imagine.

Norly Jean-Charles 5:46

Yeah, so he one by one, he brought like the oldest and my mom was probably in the middle somewhere. So she actually came here and around the early 1980s. And then she got married to my father in Quebec in Haiti. And she wanted to make sure that I receive citizenship, because we know that it's harder to make it here if you don't have like legal documentation. So we came, she came back specifically to Brooklyn to have me at Kings County Hospital. So I was born in Brooklyn at Kings County. And then she took me back to Haiti. But when things got a little unrest, there was a coup with Aristide. She had by then she had my sister and I, she also had my sister at Kings County. She was like, I cannot live in this unstable environment with two young women. And I don't feel like I can raise them here. Because one day she was, she told me the story. She was picking me up from school and they were just like, mass protests, because people did not want RST to be in power. And she said, there were tires burning in the street, and she's walking in the school with two little girls and she's like, I can't stay here. I don't feel safe with my children. So she picked my sister and I up and we moved into my grandfather's house, Hawthorne between those Jennifer Rogers. And that started my journey. I went to PSD 97 on Fenimore street right in front of Wingate Park. That was my elementary school journey. And it was, I think, a very great experience. Everyone at PRC 97 was a black woman, the assistant principals, a black woman, the principal was a black woman, all the teachers were black woman. So my first immigrant experience here was just thinking that black women were in power. Even a security guard was this older black woman who could not even run I don't know why she was a security guard. I think her name was Miss Wimbush. She was the one that security so I felt, I grew up seeing black woman in power because I was in Flatbush. So that was like my first sort of beginning experience as an immigrant. So I was born here. But my mom had me purposely to make sure that we didn't have any problems with documentation because she knew it would be hard if that was the case.

Jamila Souffrant 7:59

And how old were you when you came to here to permanently move

Norly Jean-Charles 8:03

when we permanent, okay, I was around five years old. We first moved with my mom's sister. We were in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is another outpost of the Haitian community. A lot of Haitians live around the Boston area. And then I went to school there for about a year. And then my mom moved back in with her father and Brooklyn. And so I started going to school here around six or seven first went to school at East New York, and then ended up at PSC 97, which was in Flatbush. So that was my elementary school experience.

Jamila Souffrant 8:33

Wow. And so growing up and you know, I understand this experience, as you know, I know you listened to a bunch of the episodes before, and I've shared coming here at two years old, and also living with family until we can get on our feet. And from your memories growing up when it came to like money. And what your mom did like when she came here, like what were your memories around that and how did it shape you and how at play a role into how you have evolved today with money yet?

Norly Jean-Charles 9:04

I would say that one of the things I saw my mom do with money is she made the most out of the least. So when she first came here, she started as a CNA, and then we my grandfather lived on the sixth floor of the building. My mom saw an apartment that she could afford as a CNA, CNA nurse, the certified nursing assistant. And so we moved to the second floor. And I guess what I saw her experience with money is she put her children first. So my experience with her was she my mom worked like two or three jobs most of the time to make sure she could provide for my sister and I and she partook in socials, which is like informal loan communities. So I saw my mom was a planner. So every summer before we went to school, so he got all of our school supplies My mom would make sure she wasn't a pseudo so me and my sister could get the clothes and get everything that we needed. And what I did see about her is she didn't have a lot of money, but we didn't feel it. She cooked all the time, she was an amazing cook. So there was never the eating out or anything of that nature. And I never felt like I was missing out because her food was amazing. She made all of our dresses. When we were growing up, I wear red, my sister were paying, she made all my birthday cakes, and she cooked all our food, we'd be on our lunch boxes going with food. She knew how to stretch $1. So I grew up with them mentality that you need to plan, especially if you have kids, and she was of a mentality against back in the Caribbean that you put your kids first. So as long as we were good, she said that she was okay. So I grew up, the mentality I had was planning was saving, was preparing. And it wasn't about a life of luxury, it was living a very simple life where your needs were met. And even if you didn't have a lot of money, you didn't feel it because she was sufficient in herself. She knew how to cook. She knew how to make dresses, and anything that she could do to save money. She did it. And I appreciate her teaching me that because it really she had to have management finances being a single mother in New York City because my father died when I was eight.

Jamila Souffrant 11:26

So while she was really resourceful, I want to go back and talk about just a susu for a minute, just in case someone doesn't know what that is. Can you explain how that works.

Norly Jean-Charles 11:35

So basically, my building was a bunch of Haitian people. Sometimes there were new immigrants, they didn't have access to credit, they didn't have access to money, maybe they didn't have you know, documentation. So they would pull their money together. So say, they said they decided the amount of money would be $1,000.05. Woman, for five weeks, everyone would get ahead, everyone will put $200 in and until all the five people got the $1,000. That's how they'd make the run. So you just pull your money together, you get the hand, then the second person get the hand and the second person, it gets a hand and everyone and it ends when everyone gets their $1,000, those five people that put the $200 in. So that was what she did to sometimes get us school uniforms, clothes and things that we needed for school because she couldn't necessarily go to the maker like, Hey, let me take out a loan to buy my kids, some school supplies,

Jamila Souffrant 12:27

right? No, I'd be and talk about the resourcefulness of not only your mom, but just the community to figure out their own solutions. And I know people still do this. So this day, and it's necessary and needed in communities where there is a lack of access banking deserts, or the lack of access to credit and capital. So with your mom, you know, I find it interesting that some of the things that we tout as like what we need to do to become financially independent, as almost like the an option is wasn't an option for like our parents growing up like they had to be resourceful and stretch $1 and cook at home and maybe buy secondhand clothes and all this because that was the only thing to do like that was what was going to help them survive financially. And I think it's really nice to see that why you don't say It's luxurious, like how you grew up maybe materialistic wise, like, I feel like you lived a life of love in you know, luxuriousness because a lot of kids, you know, are not receiving that, like some parents are so busy. Like I feel like sometimes the switch like they're so busy working, it's you know, really all they can focus on is the money and making sure their kids look good. But that like love and attention and special care where you feel like secure like emotionally and mentally secure in your household like that actually, to me provides a solid foundation for what we see, I think the product of you, me, which is what I felt like I got from my mom, is what helped me become who I am today. It's like that internal luxury that we've received growing up. So I just want to like stress that because as a parent myself, I have to remember that is what I want to pour mostly into my kids. So yeah, the material things are cool, but not really. It's more important that I show them love and care and kindness and all these things. It seems like you were able to grow up in.

Norly Jean-Charles 14:14

Yeah, I think it's important. It's what made my mom stand out. After my father died. She brought my grandmother to the home and my grandmother really helped with child care. There was someone there when I went when I had to come back from school, there was someone that made me do the homework, couldn't watch TV Monday to Friday homework had to be done TV on the weekends, and if I got home five minutes late, grandma would call my mother and let her know so even though she grew up in a single home, I had a feeling of a two parent home because the two women in my life provided me with such security and love and I felt valued and I felt that someone who was looking after me that I really didn't necessarily feel insecure even if we were struggling because they poured their love into me and I really always appreciate that about them.

Jamila Souffrant 15:02

Yes. And I can tell already like that the education, the importance of education was stressed to you growing up as it is to most immigrants and people coming to this country because it is the pathway out like to find a better career to make more money. So can you talk about what that looked like for you because all of this, I'm setting the background because we're leading up to like what you do in terms of your career, your how your income has fueled your financial independence goal, but I want to like show people like the work it took for you to establish your education and your career before you started making the money.

Norly Jean-Charles 15:35

Well, one of the first things my mom used to do or among the first things my mom did was, you know, Haitians, they know French and Creole, so she had to learn English and she took English school, English classes at Columbia University. And she told me that she'd walked me on campus and she'd be like, you know, one day you're gonna go here, but I didn't know anything else. It's like, okay, yes, cool. But that was always stressed to me. My mom came here. She was a CNA. She became a licensed practitioners, an LPN. And then she became an RN, just about five years ago in her 50s. She kept pushing and pushing and pushing herself until she got what she wanted. She always told me, she wanted to be a doctor in Haiti, she was incredibly smart. She was third in her class, she did very well on her national exams. But the political situation was so unstable, so untenable that she had to move herself and her children to America because she didn't feel safe there, especially as a woman. So when I came to this country, she's not even actually stressed it to me, my mom, she didn't spend money on food, or she didn't spend money on our clothes. But she got me what ever book I wanted. So one of the first things that stressed by education was remember book fairs? Yes. The scholastic book fairs. Yeah, my mother would go to the Scholastic Book Fair at PSC. 97, Mr. librarian, and she dropped 100 200 $200 at the book fair, and buy me whatever book I want. Add all the baby sitters club books, at all the Goosebumps books, the box, the box, Car Club, books, add all those books like my my friends, were buying, like pencils, remember the pencils? And erasers and I was there buying stickers, yes. And I was just buying a lot of books. So she really nourished. My reading, like I had a huge library, and she'd buy me the memorization cards. And she'd buy me trivia games, I can memorize things. She checked my homework, after school, and she'd sign it to let the teacher know that she's checked it. And she didn't allow me to watch television from Monday to Friday, because you really wanted me to focus on school. So I think because she didn't get the chance to become the doctor. She became the nurse. I think having kids really, she had to put that on the backburner. But she still achieved the dream in her 50s After we had grown up, but she pushed me to do the best I can in school, because I feel like she knew that it was my opportunity. And I could go further than she had because she had come to this country. So I always felt that I came here with a purpose. It was to push myself to get to the furthest education because of the sacrifice that I knew my mother made for me. And even my grandmother, she didn't finish. well in school, she she finished like the sixth grade. And then she had to go support her family, she became a babysitter and started looking after kids. So the two most poignant women in my life that I grew up with, I knew that they make sacrifices for their families and not get the full education they needed. So even as a young kid, I always just loved school, and I knew that they were making a sacrifice so I could get a good education. So that was really incredibly important to me.

Jamila Souffrant 18:40

And then you went to high school and I know you joined up a program that that's still around today, prep for PrEP, you can explain what that is, but how you then navigated to college and what you're you ended up getting a degree. And

Norly Jean-Charles 18:53

so one of the things that benefited me because my mom really nourished my love of reading, she bought me every book I wanted. At book fairs. That was one thing. She didn't say no to clothes. No, I can make it. Books, okay, I'll buy it. I can't write them. So I had really high citywide test scores, I was scoring in the top percentile. And one of my teachers Miss Alexander. She was like, you know, you've been scoring really high test scores. And I've heard about this program that places students from under resourced communities into private schools, especially if they're doing really well on the citywide test scores. And that was prepped for grabs. She told my mom about it. Of course, you know, my mom was like, yes, she didn't even blink. I was like, hello, I don't want to go. But one of the things about prep for PrEP was you had to prepare to go to these private schools. So I got into prep for PrEP. You had to take an entrance exam, and then I had to stay at prepper prep for one year. I went to school on Wednesdays and Saturdays and I went to school over the summer before I was able to tricky late into private school, I ended up getting into the cow home school, which is on West 81st Street, in upper upper Manhattan. So yeah, that's, that was my experience at preparate. And with my mother,

Jamila Souffrant 20:14

wow, that's amazing. Yeah. And as a as a mom now and looking forward at the trajectory and education of my children, it's so important to know these resources. prepper prepper is a national program.

Norly Jean-Charles 20:26

It's based in New York. But ABC, I think is Nash, maybe national are based outside of New York. A better chance. Yeah,

Jamila Souffrant 20:33

better chance is actually something I'm looking into now, because my kids are, you know, they're not at that the fourth grade level yet, which is where you can apply. But I'm saying all this to say if you are in the New York City, or in any area, and you are a parent, some of these programs or even a college student, like some of these programs, like for me, I did inroads as a college students, which placed minority students into fortune 500 companies as interns. And it changed my career path and how much money I was able to earn. Honestly, by getting into that program as a freshman in college and hearing about your experience with prepper, prep and all these, there's some amazing programs out there that parents need to know about so that you can give your your children if that's something that you're interested in an opportunity to be their best or earn their best or learn their best. I'm bringing this up and specifically talking about it. Because I want more people to understand that there are programs out there that you can look into that can help you so prep for prep the ABC a better chance program,

Norly Jean-Charles 21:29

Oliver. And then there's prep nine that places New York City area kids into boarding schools from the ninth to 12th grade, those are really popular ones that I know about and that a lot of my friends have been in.

Jamila Souffrant 21:42

Right so all these your write it down. I know these are some New York City based ones, but there are some national ones or it may be something in your city, you can be aware of. Alright, so fast forward. Let's fast forward. You do end up at college, you went to Columbia, right?

Norly Jean-Charles 21:54

Yes, I got a full scholarship. I was a Kobe scholar. I opened the letter with my mother. And she saw that she didn't have to pay. And she said that is where you are going.

Jamila Souffrant 22:03

What's the name? What's the name of the scholar?

Norly Jean-Charles 22:05

Clue the scholarship. It was It was basically a scholarship for diverse students that had some roots in like grassroots activism where, because when I was in high school, I had a part I had a part time job at this grassroots organization called the Brotherhood sister soul, and Harlem. And basically, we ran anti gentrification campaigns. And we did some a liberation school where I taught black and brown students about their histories about the histories of activism. And they had development programs that were for men and women to basically talk about growing up developing into manhood or womanhood as they were growing up as people of color within the New York City area, and how that may have impacted them. So I went there, and I got to clear the scholarship. I had a full ride to Columbia University. And I graduated with a degree in anthropology.

Jamila Souffrant 22:55

Wow. And so from there, you went on to degree or further pursuit? So what was that?

Norly Jean-Charles 23:00

After I graduated in 2009. So it was like, you know, kind of during the recession, there weren't a lot of job opportunities available. But I did get into this program called Teach for America, which placed college students nationally into under resourced schools. I got placed into this charter school in North Philadelphia called pupil charter school. It's still there on Brighton Brown Street, and I was an eighth grade English teacher for two years. And then I did one more year of teaching and k plus Philadelphia, and I was a seventh grade English teacher for a year before I attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where I'm not a lawyer.

Jamila Souffrant 23:37

Wow. Okay. So when you got your anthropology degree, what did you think you were going to do with that?

Norly Jean-Charles 23:42

I always knew I wanted to go to law school. And this basically, when you want to be a lawyer, they just want to see that you did very, very well that you took courses that were very reading and writing intensive. Because to get into law school, you need to take the LSAT. So the LSAT is going to determine what law school you're able to go into. So before you want to be a lawyer in college, you should just really focus on getting the best grades possible and trying to get a major this reading and writing intensive, because that's what the law is.

Jamila Souffrant 24:08

Right. So you knew that you were preparing for that? Exactly. I mean, you graduated undergrad with no loans, I'm assuming Yeah, I didn't have any debt coming out of Columbia. Right. It's interesting, because I've spoken to some guests, and they got like the free ride, but then they still ended up not understanding how student loans work and that they'd won, they have to pay it back. They still ended up on top of like the free ride, maybe taking out some loans. But it seems like you didn't go that route initially for your undergrad. But now as you are in law school, I know you had to pick out loans for that. So what was that process like in terms of graduating from like law school and now dealing with student loans, which I'm sure are six figures, Nurse lawyers, student loans are and finding a job

Norly Jean-Charles 24:52

after that? Well, I would say that I knew the luxury of coming out of a great school without debt. So So when I came out with that, I was like, What is this? This needs to go. So basically, the one thing I will say, and I, as I'm talking to you, I just realized having a lot of like, amazing black women around me has really helped me is when I went to Penn Law, I went in knowing I'm going to have six figured that there was no way I could afford this school, I did not have savings, I didn't have a trust. And I did not have a mother that could support me going to Penn Law. But I also went specifically to Penn Law, because I it was known as a school that had real good ties to their business school were in school. And it placed a lot of their graduates into big law, which are high earning law firms, we have high salaries. So I didn't go into it blind, I went into it saying, I'm going to take out a lot of debt. But I'm going to get a salary that's going to make me pay this debt off. I didn't go into it saying I'm going to take out a lot of debt. And then I'm going to become a public interest attorney and make $50,000 a year. There's nothing wrong with that. But I'm just saying that is why I went to that school specifically because I wanted to be able to pay that debt off. When I came out. I didn't want to struggle, because I I don't want to struggle. So yeah, that's what I did. I talk to some female attorneys at Penn Law. And I was like, What are you going to do like this is a lot of debt. And they were like most of them just said, they refinanced. They, I guess took it out of the government loans, they refinance to get a lower interest rate, lower payments, and then a lot of them use the refinancing with the lower interest rates, and then they use their bonuses to pay it off within five to seven years. So even then, I knew that there was a pathway to become debt free. And I've had women before me that did it. A lot of my female friends that went to law school, were very financially savvy, and they paid off their loans in five to seven years by refinancing. And by using their bonuses to pay it off. And that's what I plan to do.

Jamila Souffrant 26:51

Well, I mean, you said your mom, what you saw from her was that she planned and you obviously are a planner, and had a lot of strategy behind the decisions you made. I think that's amazing and wonderful. And I know like Hindsight is 2020 for so many people, because, you know, knowing what a lot of people know now, especially listeners, they'd be like, Yep, I would have thought about things differently to normally when, when I was going to college, but it's really good to see like, I'm just, it's just inspiring to see like that this these were thoughtful decisions that you made, and follow through on to put you in a place to be where you are. So you graduate from law school. So the plan is working. So far, it seems like everything that you're setting up for yourself is happening. You you are assuming get a really like a good job with a good salary. And I'd like to talk a bit about like now your journey with money and financial independence. So when did you first I guess discover financial independence. I know we talked about what you discovered journey to life. But when did you become awakened to the idea of Wait, I don't have to like work forever. Or I can retire early. What was that point? Because then we could talk about what the strategies you're using now to get you to ultimate financial independence.

Norly Jean-Charles 27:58

I will say that for all my life. Even while I was a teacher, I was always a saver, because I saw my mom saving and participating in Suzu. So when I was a teacher at Teach For America working in one Philadelphia, I made $40,000 a year. And within two years, I save $20,000 I was a saver because I knew that I had, it was mostly fear based. I was in a new city, I knew I didn't have anyone to help me. Like I knew my mom, I could always move back in with her. And that is a blessing, of course. But I knew if I couldn't make my rent, or if something bad were to happen that I would have to pay for anything. So I would always like to stress that even at my lowest salaries, I was saving 50%. But I didn't know about 401, K's or anything of that nature. But I was always a saver because I was always like this is you know, like strong black woman mentality. Like you only have yourself, you don't have anyone else to help you. Your family cannot help you. So you can't blow this money. And I also graduated during the time of the recession. Everyone was scary. People weren't getting jobs. So we weren't out. Like we weren't out here traveling and doing all this stuff. People were graduating without jobs in college. So I was fortunate to get a job. So when I got one, I saved a lot of my money because I was like, I don't know what's gonna happen with this recession. And I don't know where the economy is going. That was always in the back of my mindset. But yes, I discovered the fire movement. And actually right before the pandemic in 2020, I was just on IG, and I was scrolling through and then personal finance club popped up with Jeremy.

Jamila Souffrant 29:23

I always miss Schneider. And I hope I don't butcher it. Yeah, he's on Instagram. He's he has a very big account. Yeah.

Norly Jean-Charles 29:29

Yeah. And then I saw this investment lists where he basically had a list about, you know, the best way to invest. He was like, you know, tax deferred accounts first. And then I saw HSA, that's RAs and I saw index funds. I was like, What is this? Because I'm just saying, I'm just a saver. I was just like, even before that I was saving half of my salary just into my savings account, because I always save I've always saved but I wasn't investing. I was like, What is this? And then I started and I started he'd retired at 36. Even though I saw that he retired at 36 because he sold it business, you know, but still, he was still showing people that these are some ways to use, you know, your tax deferred accounts. And these are some ways to use investment vehicles that people have been using to be able to grow your money. And that's when I got into the movement. I saw financial independence retire early. And then that led me to zero based budget led me to you led me to not I know clever girl finance is not really fire movement, but still talking about personal finance for women and for women of color.

Jamila Souffrant 30:24

Well, that's the beauty of this. It's just like, once you get into it, it's like, it's a rabbit hole like that you love falling in. Because then you start finding people, then you find someone who's you have a lot of things in common with and you find something you've never heard about that you'd never do. But let me see what they're doing over there. It's the beauty of the internet, and the community. So you said something really interesting. So you didn't find out about financial independence or even investing until about 2020. So up until it seems like Right,

Norly Jean-Charles 30:51

yeah, basically, in 2018. I knew what a 401k one, because one of the things you said were like, Did you graduate with like a high salary job, actually, I did not. One of my first steps I graduated, I was making under six figures. And so I had to live with my mom, because my loans were so much that I could only afford my loans and not be able to afford an apartment. And then I had to network. And then I had to network. And then I found a job where I was making significant money. And with that I was like I'm making because as a saver. Because I've always saved 50% I was like, I have a lot of money in the bank now. Like there's something else I can do with it. Because I've never been one to spend all my money. And then I was like, then I started reading about 401k Isn't of that nature. And then I fell into Jeremy because I was already like, I'm saving, but I know there's something like I think inflation is killing my money, like what am I doing, I can't just save to wealth. Everyone's like you can't save too often can't save to have you have to invest. And that's when I fell into the fire movement. Because I had now had the money. It wasn't just caught up in the loans, where I could make some moves and try to figure out what I wanted to do.

Jamila Souffrant 31:56

Yeah, and I think it's really important, like the saving for a lot of immigrants. And there's a lot of people just if you are versed enough to even know to save and have money to save right? Is that, okay? I'm putting into a savings account. But with inflation. And now, today's time where inflation is even, you know, higher, like literally your money is losing value just sitting in a savings account. And investing is the way to wealth. When you graduated, you did not have a six figure job from law school. No, I did not. You did have the resume. Right? You had like on your right, your resume, you probably looked amazing. But I'd love to know, for you. What did that network look like? How did you start to reach out or make the connections to get the higher paying job?

Norly Jean-Charles 32:37

I I reached out to recruiters that I knew would like the name of my law school law recruiters that worked with law firms. And most importantly, the most important thing that I did, I updated my LinkedIn, of course, to make sure that I was appealing there. And I just research firms that I wanted to. And I if I liked the practice group, like I first I wanted to be in investment management. I just directly emailed the associates that worked at that firm my resume and I asked them for an informational interview. I would send maybe 20 emails to one firm, and I just needed one yes, I would get on a call with that, on that with that person. And if they liked me, I'd say hey, and they'd usually tell me, we'll pass your resume on to management. And I got three or four interviews based off of that. But my first job, but that's how I got like my first big firm job, I just did it myself. A lot of people were like, oh, maybe you need to use a recruiter, or maybe you need to go into public interest for a little bit. And then I was like, I do not want to go into public interest. I know I went to law school, I'm just going to network myself. And if you don't believe me, good for you. I know that like, I know that when someone likes you. They'll pull for you. And I always said to myself, all you need is one. Yes. And so I kept going until I got my one. Yes.

Jamila Souffrant 33:50

Yes, yes. And you hear that it's like you know, update the LinkedIn, reach out, you know, an informational interview. So explain how that's different for asking for a formal interview for a job for someone,

Norly Jean-Charles 34:01

basically, I'd go in saying I'd send them my resume, because the resume is of course, showing them that I have some sort of skills or expertise that is tied to their practice area. And then I'd say, Hey, I see your firm is also involved within the practice area that I'm involved in, what I can I talk to you about the opportunities, they're going to talk to you about the work life balance, they're going to talk to you about your assignments there. And basically just asking them about how they were at the firm, and you know, get some information based on their work style, or what the firm was like there. So that's what information you're not necessarily asking to get a job, you're just asking about the job. And if seeing if there's any similarities or if you want to go forward based off talking to that person that's already there.

Jamila Souffrant 34:44

Right. And you'd be surprised like how many people are interested in talking about themselves and being able to like share their expertise, right and so money obviously is important, but for a lot of people starting out like they don't have necessarily the connections and or the money and you have to create that And sometimes it's more important to have that connection because once you have the connection to the person knows your name, it's a different like playing field or being in the right room. So I'd like kind of the programs we talked about before, where it's like, someone has no clue that exists, so they don't apply for it, or they don't apply their kid to go into that. But it puts them in different rooms with different people who can now start advocating for them, or you can start advocating for yourself. So I just love that. And I hope someone does that today, where it's like you're interested in a job, you know, fix that resume, fix the LinkedIn up, reach out to the associates at that company and ask for the informational interview, you could be surprised where you can get with that.

Norly Jean-Charles 35:34

And you know, that's one of the things that I really think it's like an intangible skill or intangible power that I got from going through private school. Because when I was in public school, everyone looked like me. It was 99%, black and everyone came from Flatbush, but my private school, a one around white people around white men, because I had grown up with them. I knew. I know, like they're not homogenous, and that there are different people, but I felt a comfort. So I didn't feel like shy reaching out to people that didn't look like me, because I grew up around them. And I think that's one of the skill sets that prepper prep gave me I was just like, I some people, some were like, Oh, don't you feel uncomfortable, which I was like, No, I've grown up around these people, I don't feel uncomfortable, I need to make this money to pay these loans back. And I'm going to reach out right now. So I think that's one of the powers that gave me growing up within that realm that I haven't really thought about. But I thought about now because I did not feel any shame. I didn't feel any discomfort. I was just like, I need to do this. And I'm gonna do it. And I have to.

Jamila Souffrant 36:33

I love that you just had that epiphany because it is true. That now leads me back to some of the ways I've navigated in my life is that because I've also was exposed to like more diverse people growing up, I went to a diverse high school, college like so I always felt like, okay, maybe and maybe ignorance is bliss, in a way. It's like you, like we know, I think, you know, obviously, you know, when you're the only person of color a black person in the room, you know that there are some differences, you know, that there may be some just inherent, like, people are being outright racist, or just like subtle about it. And I mean, I've experienced it, I've known that, but I've just never felt like it was like, that has nothing to do with me, like, I'm gonna still get what I want from the situation. And that ignorance, I don't think it's ignorance. I think it's the confidence but the boldness of that, whereas some people do feel like, I feel self conscious that I'm here. And it's more of like the, you know, how they operate in a room then impacts how they navigate and how they're not networking and putting themselves out there. And so I just think it's important to note and people have different experiences. And sometimes like it is a different outcome based on what you can the person deal with and navigate. So all right, you went now you're have these informational interviews, you get ended up getting a job that you're earning more money, at what point did this happen?

Norly Jean-Charles 37:52

I graduated in 2015. So in between 2015 and 2018, the job that I had was not six figures, I was still living with my mom. But I kept networking, I kept reaching out to recruiters. And even though I had that job, I use that job to get another job. And I kept my mindset that all I need is one yes, I probably did. 20 To 40 interviews. And I know that some people were just like, leave it alone. But I was like, This is what I thought I was like, I'm not getting a yes. But I'm getting the interview. So that means that there's something about me that they like because I'm getting into this room. So all I need to do, even though I've had 20 knows is have one person say yes, because at least I'm getting into this room because a lot of people don't get into this room. So I just kept going and going and going. And I got the job in 2018.

Jamila Souffrant 38:40

Right. Okay, so you got now you got a better paying job, you're still not necessarily investing. But now let's look fast forward a bit to 2020, where you find out wow, there's something called financial independence, retire early the fire movement. These are where I should be investing or here's some account I need to know about. What do you what are your first steps? So from going from just saving and having this high income? How are you now changing courses so that you are pursuing financial independence? Well,

Norly Jean-Charles 39:05

one of the first things I did when I got my job in 2018 was probably very alternative to what most people do when they get high paying jobs. So I've got a financial advisor. And then the first thing I told him, because I was used to saving is I wanted to move out of my mother's house because I wanted to establish some sort of independence for myself. And I wanted to have an emergency fund. So the first thing that I told him is, I don't want a three to six month emergency fund because with my specific area, it takes big law firm attorneys at least six months to find a job. So I was like I need an emergency fund for six to 12 months. And then I want to try to see what else I can do from there. So during that 2018 to 2020 timeframe, I was building up my army emergency fund because for me specifically three to six months is not enough I need more because it takes me longer to find a job because my salary is so high it's a huge overhead costs. And it's fiercely competitive that if I lose my job, it will take me longer to find another job. So when I was basically coming up to having eight or nine months, I was like, Okay, I'm gonna start, you know, I'm talking to my financial advisor. He's like telling me about 401 K's HSA is. And I was like, and that's why I started. That's why I found Jeremy because I started researching. And I'm like reading about things. And I was like, okay, because I'm trying to learn about these different vehicles. And then that's when I found out about the fire movement and how I could, because of my salary, accelerate my retirement plans. Because of doing that, and so some of the things that I started doing was, I had been saving half of my monthly salary to build up my army emergency fund for six to 12 months. So I started just maxing out my 401 K, I maxed out my HSA. And then I placed the rest of my salary into seven different ETFs. So basically, I went from saving that from my emergency fund, and I mainly took it and I put them into three different investment vehicles, two that were with my job. And then the other one that was with a brokerage account, and ETFs.

Jamila Souffrant 41:03

Right. Okay, so I just want to just recap that you had you started putting money into your pre tax retirement account, so you're saving on taxes, and that your high income is very smart to do then HSA health savings account, which is also a powerful investing vehicle, because it's tax advantage going in and you save on taxes going out, I have a whole episode about that, that I'll link to for anyone interested in learning more about health savings account. And then the third option, or third thing that you did was you started taxable investing, right. So there's no sign of retirement account, it's literally opening up a account with a brokerage firm, and you are just putting money into that every month. So and I'm assuming that the other thing that I want to just make sure it's clear is because you already built up your emergency fund. Now, it seems like you can just all that money you were putting towards that can go towards investing, but I know you also had the loans, and you're not going the way of loan forgiveness through working for the public sector. So how are you navigating like paying off your loans, and then any other debt if you had any other debt?

Norly Jean-Charles 42:04

I didn't have any other debt. I only had loans. I don't have a car, I don't have a mortgage actually negotiated my rent to be 30% less over the pandemic for two years. Thank God because the rent is going crazy. So with my loans, I went with the plan that I heard the black woman at Penn Law did I refinanced? This was before the pandemic, actually right before I was actually kind of angry when I did. But I refinance my loans. And I'm just paying that minimum. And what I'm doing with my loans is I get pretty generous bonus. So I'm just paying the minimum throughout the year. And then when I get my bonus I'm splitting it into and I'm paying half debt with in terms of paying my law school loans down, and then I'm gonna have vesting the rest and to my tax, taxable brokerage account. So I'm just depending on my bonuses to kill the loans and paying the minimum after refinancing. That's what I'm doing.

Jamila Souffrant 43:02

Right. And so it sounds like we're gonna go back to that 30% Rent negotiation, because I know that there's some gems in here for someone to take pouring all your money into investing, paying off your student loan debt. So your cost of living your expenses, I want to get to that side, because technically, probably, with how much you make you, I'm assuming you could be living a more lavish lifestyle. And so what does that look like for you in terms of keeping that cost down? So you mentioned your rent, you were able to negotiate? What were some things that you did to keep your rent down or to negotiate it down in other areas that you're saving in terms of expenses?

Norly Jean-Charles 43:37

Well, one of the things that I saw in around 2021, a lot of people are moving out, they were so scared of the pandemic, they were buying homes because the interest rates were so low, and they're moving to the suburbs. So almost every month, I saw trucks outside of my building with people moving out. And then the apartment next to me was empty. And I saw a lot about like, my building has balconies, I saw that a lot of the furniture was not there. So you know, I smelled blood. Like, all right. I was like, I know you guys aren't know well right now. So because of that, in that market, it's a renters market, because everyone's leaving. So I just knew that when it came time for me to negotiate my lease that that's something that I would be able to use. So I wrote an email and I said, I see a lot of people moving, I want to stay I want to do a two year lease. And I gave them my price point. And I gave them an advantage that they wouldn't have to fill my unit for two years. But I also negotiated a 30 month leave out like I could leave within if I gave them notice within 30 days I could exit out the two year lease because two years is a long time you don't know what's going to happen. Life happens fast. And because I read the market, I was able to do that. So my rental expenses are only 12% of my monthly salary. I don't have my debt is Is my school loan? And that's really just it. I don't have a car. I don't have children yet. So I've really basically what I'm paying for is my rent and my school loans. And that's what's helped me invest so much money because I do not have a lot of responsibilities.

Jamila Souffrant 45:18

Right? And then also, did you pick up any of the homemaking skills from your mom? Like, are you cooking a lot?

Norly Jean-Charles 45:25

Exactly. I every day I'm very into fitness. I exercise Monday to Friday, I do strength training. I know you hate running I hate running to but I do do some sprints. It's all effective. That's the thing. It's so effective. Yeah. And I meal prep, from Monday to Friday. So every Sunday, I have a chicken and fish based diet, I meal prep all my meals. And that means breakfast, lunch, and dinner and I buy my snacks. So every week, like I'm not, I only eat out maybe Saturdays and Sundays, because you know, you have to enjoy life. And the city has so many restaurants. So I do eat out like once or twice a week. But for a majority of the week, I'm not buying food. My rent is low. I only have a cell phone, I don't have a car. So I've kept my expenses extremely low. Even though I do love to travel. I travel a lot. But it's also because I've kept my expenses extremely low.

Jamila Souffrant 46:17

Yeah. So how are you navigating this with like friends, like other maybe if you have other lawyer friends or other high salary earners, who maybe are not on this track of not spending all their money not saving or investing their money like they're spending it? And they're like showing that they're spending it? Like how are you navigating your friendships and hanging out and spending money in that way?

Norly Jean-Charles 46:35

Well, I will say in terms of me and my, my friends, they're very like minded, like I told you about the finance Fridays where I talk about what I'm doing. So honestly, a lot of my friends do the same things I do. And I think that's one of the things that's been really important to my journey is to surround myself with like minded people. Like if you're one of my lawyer, that's spending obnoxious amount of money, that's fine, it's your money, but I'm not going to surround you, I'm not going to place myself within your vicinity, because I don't want any temptation. So most of my friends actually live like I do. So it's a constant reinforcement. And seeing there's no Keeping Up with the Joneses, we don't want to be the Joneses. We want to have an option of retire early. So we're all on the same path. And I will say that's something that's really good about my friends. And that's something that I think that's really powerful that I did like once I decided to go on this journey, I started talking about it, my friends asked me and a lot of them on that journey, too. So it's been I think that's actually been very rewarding and important for me, I don't have a lot of, I guess, envy or I don't feel like I should be doing other things because my friends are doing what I'm doing,

Jamila Souffrant 47:39

honestly. And the interesting thing about this path is that if everyone is being just really conscious about their money, so like you know, like you're not keeping up with the Joneses. So let's just say someone does have that high salary, and they're able to like go to the the more expensive restaurant, but maybe you have a friend that technically can't really shouldn't be paying the same amount because they don't earn as much and they maybe have just different things going on. Like there's that there's no pressure to feel like you have to put out more money or keep up. And everyone doesn't matter how much you make. I mean, on the income side it does. But when you're with your friends, it's not showing that, oh, I make six figures or more. I just remember Me Myself personally being just graduating from college and earning a decent money. And then as I was in my 20s, not even into financial independence just yet, but because all my friends and I like we lived the same way. And they like a lot of my college friends still were my in my 20s friends. But just because I started earning more money didn't mean like we spent more money like we still acted like we didn't have any money. We still didn't budget travel still, at the time were like six girls in the hotel room like it never felt like, oh, because I'm making more money right now that I have to show that like it just felt really good as a friend group to still be cheap together.

Norly Jean-Charles 48:52

Yeah, and I think it's also just being conscientious. I know that I'm probably top five top 1% earner in the world. So 99% of people or 95% of people aren't going to make as much as me. So I'm not going to sit here and have a lot of hubris and invite you to the most expensive restaurants. No, we can still go to the park, we can get some pizza. I can cook for you. I can come sit at your house. I still go to Flatbush, I still can go to Dallas BBQ or Applebee's. I'm not going to put on high airs like I know where I come from. I know where my family comes from. And this money doesn't define me I can have fun without doing all those things. Yes, I can do them too. But I'm also conscientious like if I want to do those expensive things. I'll invite people that I know that can afford it. And if I don't, I go do free stuff with people that may not be able to afford it. You can do both those things and have an amazing life. And I think it's very nice to be that way you don't have to change because you have a lot of money.

Jamila Souffrant 49:44

What I also like is that you do value traveling and it's something you spend your money on you just said So just because you are frugal or just more conscientious in some areas doesn't mean you can't spend in a way that brings you joy. So can you talk a little bit about you or, like what you like spending money on and I know traveling is one of them.

Norly Jean-Charles 50:05

Yes. Recently you had an episode I forgot his name, but he was like, cut mercilessly, the things that you don't like and spend luxuriously on the things that you love. And that's really resonated with me, for me. Yep. So basically what I've been doing is, in my bonus, I told you with my bonus, I pay off my school loans, and I invest, but I also your mark a portion for my travels, because that's what's important to me. So just over the past year, I've been like, I spent two weeks in Ghana, I was able to spend one month in Miami. In July, I'm gonna go to Zanzibar I want to go to St. Lucia. So even though but I will like I always stress to people that like how do you travel so much, I've decreased my rent, I meal prep for five to six times out of the week. I don't have a lot of debt. And I also I've cut down on shopping like I don't think I've seriously shopped. Unless something is broken within like two years, I'll shop once a year. Like if I need new sandals. Like during the wintertime I'll get them all at Steve Madden when they're on sale. Like stock up, you know, get the offseason deals. But I've I've cut down on eating out, I've cut down my rent, and I've cut down on shopping so that I could pour into my pursuits, which is I love traveling and how I afford it is I'll cut a percentage of my bonus that I get. And I'll just dedicate it to travel that year. And you know, it makes me happy. And that's what I love doing.

Jamila Souffrant 51:30

I love that I love that you're focused on like the end goal of financial independence, which by the way, I'd love to know what that end goal looks like for you. How long do you see it taking you to have enough money to where you don't have to work. I will

Norly Jean-Charles 51:45

say this about anyone that's like in a high salary, you can do it yourself, or you can get a financial advisor. But I do have a financial advisor. And one of the things after I thoroughly examine his credentials, is I told him that I want to invest with fire in mind. And that's a different investment style than investing till traditional retirement or 6567. So every year, we're trying to see if I'm on track. So I told him that I want to be financially independent by 40. And I'm on track to be financially independent by 40. I'm 35. Right now, we had a discussion about a month ago. And he said if you keep investing as you are and nothing changes, this is not taken into place that I get bigger bonuses so that my salary increases, which it does every year. By 40, you will be financially independent. But that's also because I've kept my expenses so low, that it's going to help me achieve it even more greatly, because I'm not living off that much of my money,

Jamila Souffrant 52:40

right? It's different directly your financial independence number is directly correlated to how much you you spend. And so you foresee that you'll keep up the same lifestyle, even after you reach financial independence, like so. So let's say you do to get all the money, you accumulate that money, once you quit your job, you don't see that you're going to be spending more doing something different with your expenses or lifestyle.

Norly Jean-Charles 52:58

Yeah, and I don't necessarily, one of the things I put in the interview is I'm trying to achieve like a fat fire. So I'm just trying to, I want to luxurious fire, like a fire like I guess 10 million something, something absurd, but that's what I'm going for. So even if I reach my fire number where I can keep spending at the rate that I am now I do want to have a more luxurious life. So I'm going to stay in the workforce paths reaching fire because I want to reach a fat fire and I want to have even more than I need to have because I want to live a life that I will remember and I want to live a life on behalf of the women that sacrifice their life in Haiti to come here, sacrifice education, and you know, also help them out to I hope that my mom and my grandma when they need it. So those things are important to me.

Jamila Souffrant 53:43

Yes, I do want to just step back just to define some of these terms, just in case it's like the first time for some people normally this will be the first time they are listening and hearing about financial independence. And this is gonna, this is gonna start their journey which is so exciting. But when you're referring to fat fire, there's a different terms in the fire movement, the financial independence retire early movement, something called Lean fire, like normal fire, and then a quote unquote fat fire, which I'm assuming probably probably change the name of that, but just means based on how you want to live. So someone who's living super like frugal, who doesn't need a lot of money. Like maybe they're aiming for a lean fire meaning there they just need just enough money to take care of like their basic expenses. And then like maybe the normal Fire Fire is just like your number the amount of money you're trying to save and invest in your investment accounts that take care of like your average lifestyle. So nothing you know super super frugal, but nothing too luxurious, like you're not you know, maybe you're not going taking first class trips unless you're travel hacking perhaps right. And then the fat quote unquote fat fire or larger fire is more of you are indulging and you know spending more in areas that you want to so maybe that includes first class flights or living in a nicer house or having higher expenses. And so you want the opportunity for yourself have to have the option of spending more if you want to, which is why you're saying your you'll work past your kind of baseline fire number if you reach it by 40. And it's the way that I think it's interesting to look at it. Because once you do hit like or know what your number is, potentially you can choose to work past that or not. It's a trade off worth it, right? It's working longer past what I need to work. Is it worth it that I want to spend extra money and doing this thing? And sometimes it's yes, like I actually want to live this lifestyle. And it's worth working the extra hours or years to do that. But you mentioned something, I'm helping your mom, and you're able to do something really extraordinary for her and I'd love you to share what you're able to do for her now that you are so like, secure in your financial journey.

Norly Jean-Charles 55:43

Yes, I'm a mama's girl through and through. One of the things I used to say when I was a child like I was a Pisces, I was very emotionally attuned. So I saw the sacrifices that my mother made for me. One of the things that happened when I went to prep for PrEP was I didn't get a full ride, but I had to pay some money. And my mom would work two or three jobs to pay that money. And you talked about students in college that took out loans for their living, my loans were covered my housing, but my mom still helped me by giving me money to buy books. And sometimes she cooked food from Flatbush drive up, give it to me at Columbia. And I also did a work study I worked while I was at Columbia. So even though she's always helped me. And so one of the things that I always said she always dreamed she wanted to become a doctor. She had kids before. And she didn't think she would go to medical school. So she became a nurse. But one of her dreams was she's like, I want my like American dream. I want like my white picket fence. So during the pet, I'm getting emotional. During the pandemic, I saw that, you know, the interest rates were low. And one of the things that my mom said was, you know, Brooklyn is incredibly, incredibly expensive. And my mom is getting older. And I was thinking, you know, maybe we can buy a mother daughter house, and Canarsie and I'll live at the bottom. But I was like, I don't think that's going to make me happy. I like where I'm living. Now. My mom told me that she wouldn't mind owning a home in Florida. There's a Haitian community in Florida. It's nice. It reminds her of Haiti, it's more stable. So I was looking around, and I was like, because I know my mom's rent, my mom tells me about her finances. And I saw that if we came under a certain price point, we could actually find a home there. That would basically be the amount of the rent that she's paying in Brooklyn. So I suggested to her, I said, Would you move? Actually, if let me go back in the story. I switched jobs during the pandemic. I'm a securities attorney. And there was a huge boom in securities during the pandemic and I was able to switch jobs. And I was actually on the phone with one of my girlfriends after I got an offer. And she was like, did you ask for your bonus upfront? And I was like, What are you talking about? If they usually just prorate your bonus? She's like, No, ask for it upfront. Say that, you know, you're leaving your job, and you're not gonna get the bonus that you are that you usually get annually. So ask for your bonus upfront. And I was like, okay, and when I asked for my bonus upfront, I saw that that bonus could be a down payment. So I called my mother. And I was like, listen, you're always talking about your white picket fence. I asked for my bonus upfront. We can't afford something in New York. But we can afford something in the Miami area in the Fort Lauderdale area or in the West Palm Beach area. Would you be willing to buy a house there? And she was like, yes. And so I was able to. And I always thank my girlfriend for telling me that because I was not going to ask I did not know to ask. She told me to do that. And with that downpayment, I was able to help my mom achieve her American dream and buy her first home in Florida.

Jamila Souffrant 58:46

Wow, that is amazing. What an amazing story. And yeah, testament to how she poured into you and how now that allows you to pour into her and give her not even return. Right? The favorite site like is in you know this for that. It's more just like, this is like the cycle of love and finances and like having healthy finances enough to do that and secure enough job to be able to do that. And so So now she has her home in Florida. And she's also I think you said in what you had mentioned before, she's still in New York. So she's able to kind of like live that. I'm going down until you know, Florida for what I want, which is such an amazing thing to be able to do.

Norly Jean-Charles 59:26

Yes, I was very proud when I was able to do that. Because one of the things that growing up because we lost our father so young, and we were young women growing up in the 90s. Like I don't know if people remember, like the 80s or 90s in New York, but it was like the time of rampant teenage pregnancy and stereotypes that you're gonna get pregnant and they were like, Oh, she has two girls. They don't have a father what's gonna happen with them? And so just I remember hearing that back talk. I just never said anything about it. But just being able to show people that know. My mom poured into me. My grandmother poured into me I didn't have a father growing up. But these women gave me what I needed and strengthened me so much that I was able to succeed that and I've got her house and I got her her American dream. And I was really proud to do that for her because I know I know she struggled. I know she struggled because it was hard.

Jamila Souffrant 1:00:17

Oh my gosh, that's so amazing. Okay, normally, I know that you're not you don't have like a public out facing social media, right? No, I don't. Okay, so I think what I would definitely want to do is like follow up with you like, when you do reach your financial independence number, have you back on the show, hopefully journey's launch will still be going by then I'll be I'll be retired and doing it from the beach. Of course. I love to keep in touch and hear how things are going. I know someone you dropped so many like gems in this interview. And I hope anyone listening to this, pick something up that they can practically use and be inspired by. Thank you so much for sharing your story and coming on the show.

Norly Jean-Charles 1:00:55

Thank you. I appreciate it a lot.

Jamila Souffrant 1:01:00

Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to launch.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 journey to launch.com/jumpstart.

Jamila Souffrant 1:01:18

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 to 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 journeys. They're 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 for 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)

Norly Jean-Charles, attorney, financial independence follower, and Journeyer, joins the podcast to discuss her path from  Haitain immigrant in Brooklyn to Penn Law Graduate.

We chat about how her roots shaped her money narrative, why the strong women in her life are cornerstones to her success, and how she has kept her financial goals in the forefront of her life. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • Negotiating rent, being strategic with student loan debt, + living below your means
  • The importance of exploring educational and career-based programs and resources
  • How Haitain culture and her immigration experience shaped her money narrative
  • How she went from a Columbia University Anthropology BA to University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Buying her mother’s first home in Florida during the pandemic 
  • How Norly networked her way to a six-figure career as a lawyer + more
I'm Listening to Episode 278 of the Journey to Launch Podcast, How Norly Jean-Charles Found Financial Independence, Saved Half Her Income & Bought Her Mom A Home Share on X

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