Tiffany Aliche, The Budgetnista is back! America’s favorite personal finance educator rejoins the Journey to Launch podcast to discuss her new workbook, “Made Whole: The Practical Guide to Reaching Your Financial Goals.”
We also chat about how success can be deceiving, why you need to listen to your body, getting the courage to ask for help, the breaking point of Tiffany pivoting her business to a more sustainable model, and more!
Tiffany is author of New York Times best-selling book, Get Good With Money. Through her Live Richer Movement, she’s helped over 2 million women save, manage and pay off hundreds of millions of dollars of debt. She was featured on Netflix’s Get Smart With Money and was instrumental in passing The Budgetnista Law, which makes financial education a requirement for middle school students in New Jersey.
In this episode you’ll also learn more about:
- What “Lifestyle Design,” is and how daydreaming is an essential part of designing your ideal life
- How to find freedom and happiness in your life NOW
- The law of depreciating returns and knowing your “enough point”
- Seeking peace, remembering what is most important in life, “The Perfect Day List” + more
Check out the video to this episode on YouTube below or by clicking here.
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Tiffany Aliche 0:02
If you're listening to this, the money is not where you want it to be. You don't need it to be in order for you to fashion a perfect day. Because me calling my mom or dad has nothing to do with the money. me hugging my nieces and my nephew has nothing to do with the money. The perfect day is not to set yourself up for sadness is to set yourself up for success to say I did these things. You know what, although things happen that I didn't like today, I had a perfect day. You have enough perfect days, you mess around and have a perfect life.
T-minus 10 seconds. 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 in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
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 an OG journeyer, or 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 to 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 1:43
Hey, hey, hey journeyers Welcome to the journey to launch podcast we have coming back on the show a guest favorite she was on episode 209 of the podcast. Yes, Tiffany the budget Nisa Alicia is back on the show. She is America's favorite personal finance educator other than me, of course, and author of New York Times bestseller get good with money. Through her live richer movement. She's helped over 2 million women save, manage and pay off hundreds of millions of dollars of debt. She's a former teacher, you know, teachers have my heart My husband is a teacher. And it was instrumental in getting the budget nice to law passed in January of 2019. Making financial education mandatory for middle school students in New Jersey, she was featured as a financial advisor in the Netflix documentary, get smart with money, and she has a new workbook coming out made whole the Practical Guide to reaching your financial goals. Welcome back to the podcast. Tiffany,
Tiffany Aliche 2:44
thank you for having me, Jim, honestly, I'm just so proud of you the growth, you are slaying so
Jamila Souffrant 2:49
Oh, well, that means a lot coming from you. And really like, I feel there's so much synergy in terms of how you do things with your business, how I want to do things, I am doing things because you know, you definitely lead with a force and by example. So in terms of not only staying true to yourself, I feel like it's very authentic when it when you you know show up on social media show up for your community. But also like in the way you grown and pivoted your business, right. And it's really inspiring for someone like myself, who is kind of you know, still growing her business having my first book come out, but then realizing and seeing another way for it to be done. Right. Like it doesn't have to be the way that you know, a lot of people get ahead in terms of like the flashy, and everything is done, totally done up and curated and seemingly perfect. And I just feel like you present another way to be really successful by just being yourself. So just want to say thank you for that and give me your flowers for that.
Tiffany Aliche 3:46
Oh, thank you. I appreciate that.
Jamila Souffrant 3:48
And you're on the podcast, a couple of years ago, you talked about your book get good with money, which is over the background. And in that which I recommend everyone to go listen to after you listen to this one, we walk through the steps of becoming financially home. Now you have your workbook come out. But I feel like since our conversation, no, I've seen a pivot just watching you from a distance online with how you run your business or how involved you are. And you seem to be more about lifestyle design and like living a life you love. So I want to kind of lean into that in this interview. And for you to share what you've been up to, since you've been on the show in 2019. And then we could talk a bit about designing the life that's completely yours.
Tiffany Aliche 4:30
No, absolutely. So honestly, lifestyle design is something I was introduced to when I was teaching preschool. I read Timothy Ferriss book four hour workweek. And it's all about lifestyle design. It was like the first time I was introduced to it I was in my 20s and I said hmm, what is this thing where you can kind of create the life that you want and then there are things you have to set up to support that life and one of those things obviously use your money, but it was a kind of the first time I was intrigued as to how did I want to live my life and be more intentional about it. I didn't, I don't wanna say accidentally, I just didn't have the word for him. When I graduated college, I had a degree in business and hated on my internships knew I did not want to do that. And I remember distinctly sitting at my internship for a week firm, which is corporate ShopRite. ShopRite is like the, if you live on the east coast, it's like, one of the biggest supermarket chains. And I was sitting in a corporate shop, right thinking, I hate this. It's terrible here, you know, it just was boring. And I just remember thinking, and daydreaming because that's how lifestyle design star today dreaming. If I wasn't here, what would I be doing. And I remember thinking at the time, like, Oh, I'd love to travel. And like, I'd love to have fun. I remember I would, I am someone who when I get bored, I get really sleepy, and I just have to fight to stay awake. I'm like, I don't want to do something boring. So I'm not always feeling like I have to go to sleep. I also remember, like I was in the beginning of my natural hair journey. And I remember distinctly thinking, I also want to have a life where I can be natural. Because back then, I mean, now you know, the girls can do what they want. But back then it was like, they want to do on that creamy crack, aka, a perm in like corporate settings. And so I just remember thinking then, like, what does that kind of look like? And I chose to go into teaching, and it connected with all those parts of me of how I wanted to show up, I did not know that because I was so young. I was like, 21 that I was practicing lifestyle design. But it wasn't until years later, I read four hour workweek that I realized that's what I was doing. And as you start to, it's easier to do lifestyle design, I feel like when you have like nothing to lose, you know, like I was, you know, 20 something years old. And have you know, I wasn't married, I didn't you know, I didn't have kids, I you know, it's just me, myself and I but I didn't have a business. But as my business, the budget needs to start to grow. And at its peak, it was making eight figures a year 10 million $10 million a year. It is hard to step away from the thing that's working, even if the working is actually not working for you, if that makes sense.
And I was my unhealthiest when my business was doing its best. I mean, we make $10 million a year and I'm on the cover of all the things I was the first black woman by herself on the cover of Money Magazine, NAACP Award nominee. I mean, you couldn't watch today's show. Good Morning, America, Kelly Ripa, New York Times, Washington. I was everywhere doing everything, everything money is flowing in my take home pay has multiple, seven figures. So not the business, but take home pay, you know, I went from making $39,000 a year as a preschool teacher to you know, triple that as a take home pay in one month as opposed to Lisa. And so on the surface, it looked like oh my gosh, he's doing that. And I was breaking. And like, I was like, I've since lost that weight, but I was up 40 pounds. And never been I was always like a skinny kid. And I'm pretty lean, like, you know, 2030 year old and but like when I hit my mid 30s When the budget started to really take off. I just was like not taking care of myself. I remember like I always had like nice skin. My skin was so dry. I wasn't sleeping more than three or four hours a night and I like literally couldn't stay asleep. I didn't know there was anxiety. I wasn't sleeping. Well. I had one of those Sleep Number beds, where it tells you like how well you slept. 100 is the best and I was averaging. My number was like 4050 I couldn't get past that like, and it was showing me on my sleep number app that I tossed and turned all night long. I didn't know that. I was always like on edge, crying all the time. Anything difficult that came up. I was like I could not manage it emotionally. It was a really that time. And then my blood pressure, which I always had perfect blood pressure 120 over 80 Boom. I went to the doctor one day just for my normal checkup and she was like your blood pressure is elevated. And I was like, Oh, I ran up the stairs here. She said, Okay, come back in a couple months came back, your blood pressure still elevated. I was like how she said, You come back again, with elevated blood pressure. We're gonna put your medication. I'm like, like, I'm at blood pressure medication, and you're in your 30s. And I was like, Oh my God, what's happening, Tiffany. And this is like, kind of like, one of the beginnings of like, something has to change. He gave me this like, she's had me order a blood pressure machine that you could do at home. And she said every morning and every evening, I want you to take your blood pressure and share it with me in the portal. And it was really high 160 over 90, like the type that you're supposed to go to the hospital for. And I was like it's got to be broken. Because this is no way so my sister at the time was living with me and I'd be like Tracy use it. Hers was 20 over 80 My husband at the time when he was here, like babe use it was 20 over at my stepdaughter at the time. You know, well, she took my stepdaughter, but you know Alyssa use it 120 over at Tiffany 170 over 101 I mean, and I was like what's happening? Like what's really happening? And I just remember thinking even I'm just getting like something in the pit of my chest because it was like such a scary time. Because I knew that if something did not shift that I was gonna break inside. But I didn't know how to make the change. And so I asked for help. And what I did first was I got a business coach, which was really pivotal
Zion, I'll never forget, he was awesome. And so he helped to look at the business and say, Why is it overwhelming you and so so what can we get the team to do to help so he was a great coach, and he had coaches within his program that coach to different parts of my business, he had a marketing coach, a financial coach. So he coached me and my business partner at the time, and then his internal coaches coach, my team, so we got tighter, so that helped some, you know, and then I got a personal coach, who was also a therapist, but at the time, she lived in Atlanta and could not do therapy in New Jersey. So she became like, I found her and she was like, Yeah, but I can coach you. And so that helped a lot like learning how to set boundaries, learning, like what I needed. And that helped bring me down significantly from, like, high anxiety stress up at 100, maybe down to like 50. So it was like manageable. And I still couldn't like break past the hump of like, this is still not enough. Certainly, it's gotten better, but I still don't feel quite happy. I'm just not as unhappy, professionally. So the thing that offset my professional stresses that I had an amazing home life. My husband was like the best husband ever. Just like loving, caring kind, like I have three criteria when it comes to partnership is that one, you have to be intrinsically kind, meaning like, you're kind because you're kind not because it's me? Because I mean, you're married, you know that sometimes, you know, they're gonna get mad at you. So how do you show up, even when you're not happy with me? So I wanted somebody who was intrinsically kind. He was like the black. Mr. Rogers. I also said, I wanted someone who made effort because I had dated before. And it was like, Am I out here by myself, like, make an effort show me that you really care? And he was like the king of like, here's flowers, you know, did you eat? Are you good? You know, what can I do to help and so always made a big effort. I met him when I was a preschool teacher. And he was a maintenance man of this building, when we were really young. And the third thing is, I wanted to be able to show up fully as myself. So I dated men before because I'm pretty ambitious, who were turned off by my ambition. Like, I just want you to cook and clean I'm like, but I don't want to. There's nothing wrong with cooking and cleaning. I just don't want to do it. So I wanted to be able to show up as myself. Sometimes I can be bossy, sometimes I can be sad. Sometimes I can be. And I wanted to be able to the way I am with my sisters, I have four sisters, I wanted to feel like I could be that way with my partner. And I could be that way with him. I could be my full Tiffany self. And so it offset that awesome personal life I had offset the fact that my professional life was overwhelming.
And then tragically, in 2021. She just he was only 41 years old. He had an aneurysm. And he passed away like within days. He was it was a Monday and then by Thursday, he was gone. And he was young, my husband was six, six fit this beautiful black man high cheekbones, he like a model. He was just in any other every other way. He was just really healthy. So no one expected it. But what it did was that transition, I could no longer bear the business being the way it was because I didn't have the soft landing at home. So it was like, at least I could bear but focus was like, well, the business is only half my life. My other half is great at home. But without him home. It was like Tiffany, I cannot go back. I cannot. You have to seek peace, security and happiness in business as well. Because there is not that. Like Terrell is not here to provide that the counterbalance, you have to do that for yourself. And so I took two months off low, I took almost a year off. But I took two months after I I laid him to rest. I went to Bali for two months to get myself together just to kind of like, reset and my business was basically falling apart because they were all like, I don't know what to do, you know? And I didn't care. I was like, whatever. I don't care at this point, like what do I care?
Like, my person is gone. And so I took two months just to go to Bali by myself. And then I came back and still was like, I'm not here. Don't call me for nothing. Don't ask me for nothing, figure it out. Okay. And then slowly, I started to like, come back to the business and try to like make sense of like how I wanted it to go. And there's been almost two years since Joe passed away. And I'm just kind of not coming back to myself, I think. But I've gotten very clear about what I'm not going to do and how I'm not going to navigate. And so I refuse to overwork overwhelmed, not just myself but the team. I did not realize that when I was peak anxious, overworked, overwhelmed tivity. So as a team, so I refuse to do that. And this year, I have to say we probably made the least amount of money this year that we've made in years and 15 years in business because we're in transition away from the overwork and overwhelm, and also what I call dancing for dollar, which means I have to show up in order for the business to make money now that we have been transitioning to different ways to show up in business that does not require me to dance for dollar. And so the team has been amazing. I had to unfortunately, because I just so much of the money came from me, I had to reduce my team by more than half, because I, I can't do a speaking engagement three months after my husband passed away, I can't. And so as a result, money wasn't coming in as much. And so I had to let go of a lot of people, which was the least, you know, my least favorite part of the journey. And we did so as gently as possible with as much severance as possible, with you know, like, whatever you need, recommendation, whatever as possible. I mean, literally, like everyone knew, like, you can hit me up. And I will tell people what a good job you did here, which helps significantly. And I have to say, Now, like, I have something that I call my perfect day list, and we can share that later. But about like how I want my life to go, I take a daily walk, I just took an hour and a half walk this morning, I'll probably take another one. Later on today, I take a nap almost every day, I spent a lot of time with family and friends a lot of time. And I have my book made homeless coming out. You know, like you're in the throes of a book marketing and push. But I'm not doing her like I did get good money. My publicist, she's awesome. So she gave me a list of this is all the places that you did interviewed before, it's like over 100 I say girl now, I said pick the top 20. So that's why I'm here. Because you pack 20 I said pick top 20 says she's going to ask to pick the top 20 I'm not doing I'm not doing 100 And something interviews so I can break my mind and break my spirit now. And so that's the space that I'm in. Now I'm in a space where, you know, I seek peace. I see connectedness I seek love. Because when someone passes away in the hospital, you know, there's a moment when you kind of know that for many people that they're not going to make it and they're like maybe being like kept alive with like, ventilators and things like that. And that's what happened because he was an organ donor. And so they're basically keeping him alive. So because you have to, you have to donate organs with the body that's still alive. And so as I was like sitting with him, I remember in this moment, this kind of like sense came over me that you get supreme clarity about what's important in this moment. When everything else falls away, and the love of your life is passing away what is important and remembered only two things came up. It was love and connection. That's it. That's it.
Everything else fell away. I don't care how many awards I went as budget Nisa, and in Cuba new time, but I didn't care about none of that. It was just, I wish I had more time to love on him. And wish I had more time to stay connected in this way. And that's it. And so that is the guiding posts that I navigate from, if it means less money, okay, I'm already rich, quite honestly. So, yeah, so that's the space that I'm in now I'm left, I'm designing my life, from a place of love and connectedness.
Jamila Souffrant 18:07
Well, thank you for sharing the background, the story and all the touching moments that led you here, what you know, now, and what you've experienced has allowed you to view things differently. It's allowing you to navigate differently, knowing what you know, now going back to starting the budget Easter or when you are ramping up and really ambitious and working hard. What were some of the things that you would have done differently? And then when you think about that, you know, I know sometimes we look back and we say, well, everything's for a reason. Like I don't like this, I think you know, if it wasn't for that, then I wouldn't be here. And that's sometimes hard for people to reconcile, because, you know, the hard work got you to where you were, but then it was like so stressful that you pivoted and now you're somewhere else. But do you think you could have been as successful as you were the timeframe that you were? If not for the hard work and stress? Do you think you could have reached there if you started with this mindset from the jump? Because I feel so many people might be listening to this at the beginning of their entrepreneurial or financial journey? And they're like, Yeah, well, if I had enough money, if I was already rich, then I can like, relax and chill. But I'm not there yet. So I feel like I have the grind. So what do you think of that? And do you really think you would have been able to make it this far without that grind?
Tiffany Aliche 19:20
So honestly, I have a ton of like, mentees, I was just talking to like Birna you know, you know, Birna, Dooley, the investor, Latino, all the girls, because that's my job. So I feel like the OG in the game, you know? And so this question comes up every single time when I talk to one of my mentees, and the answer is that no and yes, meaning. The thing is, could I get here without the hard work? Absolutely not. There is a period of work that's required of you, like above the ordinary because in order to be extraordinary, you have to put in an extraordinary amount of work. But the problem is, is that when I hit what was what was necessary for that, I went beyond that. It was the beyond that I want you to pull back from, because it was like Tiffany, at this point. Because in actually I remember when the work I was working out, I enjoyed it. I was like, well, now I'm doing it. I'm, I'm mixing, you know. And then it was like, Well, if I can get this at 100%, what can I do if I put 200%. And I actually was less productive? Because I wasn't as creative. I was anxious all the time. And so I say that, yes, it is going to require a level of work that is beyond the ordinary, in order for you to reach the level of success that you might want to reach. But what I caution against is to racing past that goal, because I'd already hit the goal. And then I was like, Well, what if I double what am I triple and that's actually not how it works. There's something called the law of depreciating returns. So you tell yourself, if I drink water, it's going to make me healthier skin glowing, bless my system, one cup, good. Two cups, good. 10 cups, okay, 20 cups, wait a minute. Now 100 cups, you can literally drown yourself from the inside, with overconsumption of water. So water that was once good can actually become toxic for you, if overdone, and that's what I'm saying is drink the maximum amount of water necessary in order to get the maximum benefit. But you have to know yourself to say I have reached the capacity of what this level of work will provide for me. Anything above this actually reduces the thing that I'm working toward. And so that's what I say, hard work. Yes. overwork, no.
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Jamila Souffrant 23:01
I feel like there's such a blind spot because we often see people who have more than us. Sometimes I'll watch the celebrities, people with a lot of money who say Oh my gosh, like, I can't stop working. I have so many bills. And you know, everyone says including myself, well, if I were like at your level, like I would I wouldn't do that like because I would know, you know, like, I would know what to do with that. And so we often assume that we know our enough point. So that can happen to us. When we see other people mismanaging maybe their money or energy, not realizing that we are actually probably doing that to ourselves currently in some capacity already. And so I think it's important like so how do you know, your enough points? You know, I have some ideas, but I'd love to hear from you. What does that look like? Does that look like having the goals already written out? So that way you can check in with them? This is I like having honest people around you to check in like for you. Like how does someone understand what that point is? And then how did how do you change your mind? Because what if you get to that point and you do really realize that's not enough. I do want more? How do you work with that?
Tiffany Aliche 24:01
So how say one thing that I learned from Jerome is that he was the king of enough nice meal. Are you sure because I'm like Oh babe, we don't get this big house when we he's like but our like our house. I'm like, it can be better. And we're gonna get this nicer car but I like our cars. We could do better. His thing was always you good baby girl is good. That's my stepdaughter. Alyssa, she's gonna be turning 17 in a couple days. By the time this goes comes out, she's already be 17 You good LIS good. I'm good. That was his thing. You good? elicits good. I'm good. And so what I didn't realize that is what he had set the parameters of what enough was. That was his if I make a million dollars a year. So some people were like, Oh, my benchmark is a million dollars a year. Journals benchmark was Is Tiffany good. Is my daughter good than I am good. And so that it triggered for me. Oh, I actually get to decide what the milestone is for me.
And I realize, oh, that it doesn't have to be financially based. It doesn't have to be when I get $10 million cash, then I'm good when I get 20 million, you know what I mean? That I can actually decide the benchmark looks like something different. And so Dr. Grande, who's my amazing black therapists, she's awesome. She told me, like some years back, I want you to write down your perfect day. And I remember being like, Hmm, I couldn't do the activity, because I couldn't wrap my mind around, like what a perfect day would look like I couldn't wrap my mind around it. I was just too stressed. And then most recently, I revisited that activity. And I said, You know what, I think I want to revisit that activity. Because in my mind, I thought a perfect day had to be like, oh, you know, I'm playing by the beach, and I made a certain amount of money. And now I'm going to share with you some of the things that are my perfect day.
So perfect day, moving outside. So every day I try to go for a walk, no matter the weather, unless it's like really like raining bad or whatever. So love being outside. Hearing, I love you. Someone telling me that mom, dad, sister, whoever, saying I love you, at least one phone call with a loved one. Eating something yummy. That's all that also makes me feel good. walking outside, waking up without an alarm. I'm learning something new via reading, watching hearing something interesting. I love to learn time and space that are not obligated away. So every day, there's a period of time where I don't have to do anything. I don't owe anything to anybody, I could just do nothing if I want to helping slash teaching something because I love to teach a really good belly laugh or spontaneous laughter, a sudden feeling of gratitude, seeing experiencing something beautiful, and feeling loved and looked after and physical affection, like a hug or. And so every night when I'm ready to go to sleep, I look at this and say, Have I have I achieved the majority of these things? I don't have to hit every single one. But more yes than no. And when I tell you Jamila, what I'm finding is almost every day, I've had a perfect day. According to this, not according to did you make a million dollars? Did you sell how many books? Did you buy? Baba, but according to there's so much if you went outside, you know, someone already told me I was talking to my, my nephew. And she already told me I love you auntie, like I spoke to my sister today so that I had my phone call. You know, like, I'm always laughing. And so like that help. You know, I'm teaching now. So this you are participating in me heavily, having a perfect day, a feeling of gratitude. I'm feeling grateful sitting here now. But do you see how all of a sudden aligning your life and designing it based upon the things that actually truly matter to you? It's so critical now, do we need money? Yes, that's why I made made whole. Because me being able to walk for two hours a day is as a result of the way I navigate my money. I live way below my means. Because you know, I don't want well, I don't know if you know, but I don't want to talk about numbers. So even like when I was making seven figures, I sometimes will live off of 10% like my life now because I don't have own two properties. I have my car I I don't have any debt. Like I don't have any mortgages. I don't have any car. No. So I have designed my life, in the financial financial perspective to be able to take my nap, wake up without the alarm. You see, it's intertwined. Like being able to take my two hour walk. So it's not just all this woowoo like, Oh, great for you, Tiffany. It's like no, no, you absolutely need to lean in to your personal finances and other areas of your life in order to achieve what you hope to be like your perfect day. But you can start where you are now maybe you have kids and you're like getting a hug from my Kim affection from my partner, getting some sun on my face, you get to design. And then when it does, it forces me to think to be grateful and to think of what did happen versus what I don't have. And so that has just changed the trajectory of my life. Because as things come in, like I turned down, like a half a million dollar contract in the beginning of the year, my team was laughing because it was going to require me to like be all over the country, multiple stops and I was like old TV were like yes, I'm daft to get down. New TV right now was like I don't want to do that right now. Maybe you know a year from now I'll change my mind. But in this moment, I was like, actually don't want to do that. And so I turned I'm turning down a lot of money that's not aligned with how I want my day, my week, my month my year my life to go. And so but I couldn't do that because it's bringing back to personal finances because I navigate my money in a way that allows me I live sober far below my means it doesn't mean I don't enjoy my money I did I just took a list up for her 16th birthday. I took her to Europe for 10 days in August. I took the full month of August off we went to London went to Paris went to the Amalfi Coast business class all four
five star hotels, we lived it up, you know. So it doesn't mean like, oh, you live in a tighter life. I just bought a condo. Because although I love this house, a drone I bought and built up together. Sometimes it's hard to live in here day to day. And so my sister and her two kids are going to live here. And then I bought a condo like a 10 minute walk from here, this beautiful 28 square foot five bedroom three and a half bath, historic building condo, and it was half a million dollars, I paid for cash, I'm renovating now doing that cash. So do you see it's like me living below my means does it mean I get to live less of a life. But because of the financial choices that I've made, and I continue to make, it allows me the space to have the holistically healthy life that I want for myself.
Jamila Souffrant 30:47
And what I love about your list is that a lot of it is you know, you initiate or you are in control of those actions versus creating a list or having checkmarks where you are depending on someone else, to do something or something else to be in the perfect condition, right, you are the person then in control of your day. Because I know a lot of people feel like things are happening to them. And it's easy to feel that way when you don't have as much space and time. Right as you may have right now that you kind of just you have created this for yourself. There are people you know, they gotta go to work, they have a boss, they have kids, you know, that are demanding up things of them. And they just feel like I really don't feel like I have control. But here's also a really good thing I think the picture you just painted of your life is amazing. And to me shows someone who's further along in their financial journey and did the work. But people who are still just starting or getting it together can still experience this freedom, because maybe it won't be two hours that you have to take that walk. But it might be 510 15 minutes, you know, you can do some of these things still today. Now without like you said the million dollars without the paid off house. And I talked about that in my book too is like, you need to find a way to experience freedom right from where you are, and happiness because while I know that the money will help, when you get there, you will still feel that void because you didn't you didn't feel it without the money. And so adding more money actually makes the board bigger, because you've been more frustrated, like alright, now I have the money and I'm still like, upset. So you're more mad at yourself, at least like when you kind of in the journey, you can make that excuse like, see, I'm unhappy because I don't have the money or I'm in debt. When you don't have that anymore. You have not fixed it. You get even more mad because you like what?
Tiffany Aliche 32:27
Yes, I talked to a lot of wealthy friends. One of my friends is very, very, very wealthy. He and I were talking and I won't say what industry, he's just because he'd be listening. But he was like, you know, basically I hate it right now. But one day, I'm, you know, I'm gonna sell all this and I'll have the money to be happy. And I was like, hey, that should work. You should find it now. You know, because it might just be like, like, let's just say I'm talking to preschool teacher Tiffany who was like girl she's listening to rich Tiffany and are like cute for you. You know? So preschool teacher Tiffany, what I would tell her she was making $39,000 a year, which in New Jersey has no money. She's driving like a 1999 Toyota Camry was already eight year old car when she bought it. And you know, she had a roommate, her sister, and she was paying, I think 1200 bucks a month for like this. She was renting like, the small little house with her sister. And so I would tell her, the perfect day for her might be like, because I was teaching preschool to make one of the kids really happy. Because they like I love you miss Tiffany, you know when they're that little. And so that just used to light me up a perfect day might be to get some sun on my face, where I will take the kids to the park every day as long as the weather permitting. So it's like, okay to get some sun on my face. The perfect day might say, to hear the laughter of kids because that was one of my favorite things too. Because no kids are just, like, when you hear them, like laughing, you're just like, I mean, they just find joy. That's really one of the things it's like, if you've ever seen kids navigate and play, they understand the concept of leaning into what they do have versus what they don't have. They get it. They're like, you know, you watch kids play who don't have any toys, all of a sudden the rock becomes a toy, a stick becomes a toy. If you've ever seen you put a kid in timeout, they will play with their fingers and be like this is the mom thinking this isn't that this is like kids are like Girl, I'm gonna make it do what to do regardless of what the external thing is happening. And so we can learn a lot from that like I would fashion if you're listening to this and the money is not where you want it to be. You don't need it to be in order for you to fashion a perfect day. Because me calling my mom or dad has nothing to do with the money. me hugging my nieces and my nephew has nothing to do with the money. And maybe you're a cashier at Walmart and you park the end of the parking lot so you could get a walk in and just enjoy like the breeze you know, the perfect day is not to set yourself up for sadness is to set yourself up for success to say I did these things. You know what, although things happen that I didn't like today, I had a perfect day. You have enough perfect days you mess around have a perfect life.
Jamila Souffrant 35:03
you talk that you share it, like you went on a couple trips, and you live offline a lot, right? You don't necessarily share that often. Or you might share it when you feel like it, which I love. Especially like for a lot of people, you know, so people have no interest in creating a business or personal brand, right. So they're more private and have private pages. And so it's just with their friends and family, which they still probably struggle with posting, right? I always joke with my friend. You know, she's not she's not an entrepreneur or anything, but she'll just like she'll overthink about posting on her story. Like, she just, I'm just like, girl. You know, like, it's so it's just so interesting. And you know, I sometimes struggle with that, too. So, with that external validation, and watching other people, right, like, do things that you know, if you did, you would actually, you know, get more followers or make more money or just be more appealing because, you know, people like to see curated lives or the background. So what's your advice for someone who may be feeling like they have been doing that and they don't want to and or that they can't have success without showing kind of, or presenting a life or lying about it? Because, you know, we know that there are a lot of people running online about their happiness and their money. A lot of scammers running rampant on on the internet and social media today. So talk about that being authentic and like not needing external validation, or like, Have you worked up to kind of rely on yourself and internal world instead of relying on external validation.
Tiffany Aliche 36:34
So it was hard, because I would say, up until just a couple of years ago, I was very well, one I used to really enjoy it. Like, I'm like, Oh, I love social media. It was like, it's fun. It's fun to share. It's fun to go back and forth. You know, like, I mean, I said everything to my dad was like, Don't put me on that space book, my dad's ledger. I'm like, It's Facebook and your going. And so I remember distinctly, I mean, every family event, my sister's, here she go, you know, but I really enjoyed it. And then what because especially in the beginning, when social media first came out, it was very much about like, I go to this college, it wasn't about what it was now. So I enjoyed just sharing because it was like, you literally just followed your friends. So it was like keeping up with who your friends were, you know, and sharing kind of like, what this is what's happening in my life now. And then, when I started the budget, Nisa, I found that it was really helpful to grow the brand and market when, when you didn't have any money. You know, like, there were no ads, and none of that stuff like, you know, like, so it was just like, oh, and then there was no algorithm. It was like, you know, you posted and people saw your post in the moment that you posted it. And so I really use it to grow the brand. But then it took a turn, where we just what you're saying, I felt like I was on all the time, I felt like I didn't get enough likes, I didn't. And it was just it became a space for anxiety. And I just was like, I don't know, one. When after Joe passed away, of course, I took like, almost like a year off social media. So my team posted a little bit, but I told them make it very clear. It's not me posting. They're like, hey, you know, so I called my team, the unicorn squad cuz I tell them they make magic happen every day to like, unicorn squad post. And they would post whatever thing you know. I mean, when I went to Bali, I was like, I don't want to see I don't want to hear. And the first few weeks of taking a social media break, you would treat your phone. Oh, yeah, that's right. They return your phone. So I took all the apps off my phone. So even if I subconsciously reach for it, I'm like, oh, it's like nothing here that you know, there's no app and there's no. And then after two or three weeks of like taking the app. So then you kind of because you're like, Well, what do I do with my hands? What do I do? girl asked because I used to be an avid reader. Also, like high school in college when I was I started reading like a book a week and listen to podcasts and going for walks and listen to nature. And I was like, Is this what the word looks like? When I put my phone down? There was so much amazing world to experience. And even when I came back, it felt awkward on social media. I didn't want to share I used to share everything. I didn't want to share as much like this year alone. I went to Kenya in January, I didn't post anything. I went to Egypt in March, I took the whole month of march off didn't post anything. And I told you I just got back, I took the month of August off and I just got back from Europe and a bunch of other trips in between that I can't even remember I posted none of those. And now here's the thing. There is a thin line with business because I know that not posting as much means them. I didn't get as many contracts if I'm being all the way candid, because brands want to see you out here dancer for $1. And so I had to tell myself and the team that we have to figure out a different dance. Because if it requires me to do that, to continue to do that, it's not the business I want to be in. And so if you enjoy it, you know like I actually like going live because I love to teach I love to talk you know, so that I'm like, ooh, but like sharing every interpersonal part of my life like I used to before. I don't, and so I don't. And so if I'm being candid, I am figuring out the transition, you know, like, what does that look like. And if I could go back to, like earlier, Tiffany, I would tell her, I'm usually pretty good at the pre pivot, meaning like, I will look ahead in the future and say, in five years, I think you're gonna feel like this, let's start to do the work now. But this, I started a little bit later, but I would have had her prepare for this pivot a little sooner, I did some preparation. And so we are transitioning, I just had a team call with my team. And we talked about this exciting new pivot that we're looking into, I'm not gonna say just yet until like, I get like, fully. Because you know, the girls always want to do what you do. I'm like, God, let me walk with it for a minute.
I don't want it when people are like, What are you doing with it? I'm like, Nah, I mean, we could talk offline Jamila, but I'm like, let me let me make a coin here first, before I start giving away all the tea, you know, but it's a pivot that doesn't require me to dance for $1 can still make multi seven figures, not as heavy on the team. I'm excited. It's something that we've been doing. But we were just kind of doing internally, and I didn't realize how much value because brands are like, I want that. And companies are like, I'm like, oh, so that there's a transition, where I'm excited about and it won't require all that stuff. So but it might look like a dip down. Like I said, candidly, we didn't make that much money. I mean, we made a we made, you know, our seven figures, but not like what we used to make, you know, and so that's what I shares that like, yes, if you do not like social media, then you're going to have to make a concerted effort to say, then how will you navigate this is not the only way. There are other ways, but you have to be more creative, work a little differently, work a little smarter in order to figure out something else.
Jamila Souffrant 41:46
That makes sense. So Tiffany, with the new workbook, the success of your book, get good with money. Why the workbook, right? Like what does the workbook help do because I know the book, like people loved it, hence why it did so well. But now with this workbook, how does it supplement or even improve what you did with the original book.
Tiffany Aliche 42:09
So I wasn't considering doing a workbook, but I got a lot of requests, especially from younger people, but certainly like, you know, I'm talking about people in college in their 20s, who were like, the book geiko of money is very much like a textbook, you know, it's a thick book, we've sold almost 300,000 copies, which is crazy in two years. It's like, just for context for those listening. The average book Never sells over sales over 2000 in a lifetime. And so to have sold almost 300,000 in two years is like, you know, I don't even know, I'm like Todd, that book cracking the book was happening.
And so I just thought, okay, don't don't chain we're good. But I got I got all of this feedback, especially from some younger users who are like, the kicker money is this great, almost like Bible for personal finance that you put on, but I want something that I can jump into, and write in and start working on, you know, in a way that like, I don't know, that feels more like, because it can be overwhelming, you know, I think get good money, not gonna be overwhelming. But like I said, it's literally like a textbook. So it's kind of like you sit down, you're like, Okay, let me go to the chapters. And let me let me set aside time. And so the workbook is the same 10 Financial wholeness steps, but I walk you through doing them inside the book alongside so I will give you sometimes examples of someone who's done it, that part is really great. So it's not just enough to say, Oh, sure, the 10 steps to financial wholeness, budgeting, savings, debt credit, learning to earn investing, financial team insurance, net worth and estate planning, those are the 10 steps. I also give you space, like I said, to do the work alongside and then in each of those steps, I show you one or two people that are doing it in a way that let's make it their own. So I kind of put an APB out, when kick of money came out and said, If you've done this step, can you share your story with me. And so we share those stories in the workbook, because it makes it like, oh, that's how someone who has you know, a single mom, or that's how someone's on. For example, in the estate planning chapter, I talk about that, of course, estate planning is like having your beneficiaries a will and a trust. And that's how it's all okay, good. But I share my story in that chapter about how like my husband, candidly, didn't have a will because we were so young, and we were working on it. We were kind of like Oh Allah, and how important that was. So that way you're like, oh, wow, I never thought that that's what it should look like. Okay, got you. So I think that part is like having the space to do the work and then personalizing it with each of the steps for you. And so I'm really proud of made whole it's the perfect companion book to get good with money. And I'm just excited for it to be like shared with the world.
Jamila Souffrant 44:53
Right and come on teach your brain with the way you break out things because that's how you get your you have a enact and skill for teaching that comes out naturally. This is what I said when your first interview on episode 209. And I tried to encourage teachers and educators and people who do what they do well, that outside of, you know, not even being online and being an online personality, but just that they're at work. And they have a knack for something. And maybe they don't even know if they're really good at it. But it's something that people do compliment you on. Or it's something that you think is like, not a big deal that you're able to organize your thoughts or organize something in a way and explain it to people where it's engaging. And it's like that same thing, if you can transfer that into something else. It could be, I don't know, a dog business, a tutoring business, I'm teaching about growing plants, whatever something you're interested in, is that that same skill set that you would maybe be using in a job, you're not completely happy? And who does that? Does it pay you a lot can help you. Either it could be your next career or just something to supplement and make you happy on the side or money. So just want to encourage people to continue to leverage and find out what they're good at what lights them up. Because you know, your gifts are your gifts for a reason. And you can keep them to yourself, you know, not everything needs to be shared and monetized but there is space if you so want it that it can be used for the good of the world and for others.
Tiffany Aliche 46:18
Absolutely. I credit being a school teacher with the number one reason why the budget Nisa has done so well. It permeates every single aspect, from the books that I've written to have this online challenge. I have an online school for financial education, my podcast brand ambition, every aspect of the budget is the blog, social media, everything is infused with with the knowledge that I learned from being a teacher. How do you bring somebody from no knowledge to knowledge? How do you make it engaging and fun? Because you got to be fun with three and four year olds, or it's a it's a ramp for you? How do you know when someone's not getting it? And so like, so you can explain it multiple ways. I mean, teaching has been the best gift ever. So whether you are a teacher and you stay a teacher, and you just continue to hone those skills, because you love the classroom, awesome. But you can take those skills because you're the CEO of the classroom, you're managing sometimes you're managing finances with being a teacher, like, you know, how should we navigate supplies, and you're managing all these different personalities from the parents and caregivers to the kids themselves. I mean, you're the janitor, the nurse, the mama, the daddy, I mean, to me, it is one of the best foundations you can have to do anything else if you don't want to, like traditionally teach anymore?
Jamila Souffrant 47:30
Yes, yes, Tiffany, please tell us where we can find your new workbook follow you find out more about your work and just see what's coming up with that pivot of yours gonna go you watch and take notes.
Tiffany Aliche 47:41
So absolutely, I am on the budget nice and all the things you know, I don't really take time on IG on Facebook, YouTube. And so of course, my site, the budget needs to.com. But if you want to, you'll be able to find the book there too. And any place where books are sold, or you could go directly to made whole workbook.com That's made ma D hold W H O le workbook.com. And, yeah, I just think that uh, one last thing I want to say is that even if you don't have get go with money, which is great I wrote made whole in a way then you can have the original book, and then it's a supplement. But if you don't want to get good with money, that made whole stand alone can also just be this amazing tool that walks you through the 10 steps to financial wholeness, so they work in tandem together, but also separately. So I hope that you enjoy the book. Let me know, tweet me, DM me on IG. I love the feedback.
Jamila Souffrant 48:39
Yes, love it. Love it. Well, thank you again for coming on and sharing your story, your work. And as I said before, I'm really proud of you, and encouraged by your work to also just keep going and running my own race and you know, getting to my enough point and experiencing that. So thank you again.
Tiffany Aliche 48:56
You're welcome. Thank you for always having me. So thank you.
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