Student debt, financial literacy, and mental health are all intertwined. However, striking the correct balance between these three components is not as simple as it sounds. In today’s episode of the Pursuit of Learning, we are having a mind-blowing conversation with someone who has mastered the art of balancing above three elements mentioned above through the complex and long journey she had. Melanie Lockert, a freelance personal finance writer, podcaster, event organizer at Lola Retreat, and a mental health advocate, joins us today to talk about how she reached her debt-free life after years of hard work.
We started the conversation with her story behind her first blog post to her first book, Dear Debt: A Story About Breaking Up with Debt. Interestingly her first blog happened to be a result of her depression about debts, and she documented her path out of $81,000 in student loan debt on her blog. Since then, she has been aspiring to write relatable, sympathetic, and helpful material, hoping to make a difference with her words. As of now, she has her work featured on Allure, Vice, Credit Karma, and Business Insider.
Aside from that, she is the host of the podcast The Mental Health and Wealth Show and the organizer of the Lola Retreat, a women’s money-focused gathering. We talk about her experience in arts education and nonprofits, where she worked before entering the finance industry. On the other hand, five years ago, by the age of 31 years, she could pay off all her debt. However, until that, she had not invested at all. She broadly explains the sacrifice she had to become a debt-free person today. Wrapping up the discussion, she emphasizes the necessity of changing our minds to become the person we want to be.
[01:37] Motivation – Melanie talks about a few motivating factors and the importance of enjoying the present moment in this uncertain world.
[04:03] Dear Debt – Upon being asked about the idea behind her book, “dear debt,” Melanie explains to whom she is addressing through the book.
[07:43] Money is Important – We all have a money stray that comes from our upbringing. Melanie points out how this money mindset affects our thinking and, finally, our mental health.
[11:58] Shift to a Better Money Mindset – Melanie dives deep into numerous money mindsets people have.
[18:27] Scarcity Mindset vs. Abundant mindset – The way we think defines our happiness and satisfaction. Melanie broadly talks about the scarcity and abundant mindsets, their features, and how they impact our lives.
[37:55] Everything Does not Go Right Always – Melanie shares her story of overcoming her shame, pain, and heartbreak.
[43:04] Students Loan – If we want to move forward with the debts, we need to shift our money mindset. She shares pretty essential points for everyone who is in debt now.
[48:11] Acceptance Stage – We all come to an acceptancy level where we accept the maximum level of earning we can make. Melony recommends several steps to take once we get to the acceptance stage.
[57:46] Be Fragile – Defining frugality as reducing the expenses to the lowest cost possible, Melanie talks about how to enjoy life while still being fragile.
[01:04:03] It is not Easy – Melanie shares how she hustled and sacrificed a period of her life for a much better future which she is having now.
[01:22:37] No-ask, No-get – Melanie explains why it is essential to feel worthy and talk for yourself.
[01:26:22] Snowball and Avalanche methods – Melanie explains two debt payings methods and critical facts we need to be aware of these methods.
[01: 89:43]Red Flag debts – We should replay several debts as soon as possible. Having analyzed them, we talk about how satisfactory it is to be debt-free.
Contact with Melanie
Dear debt: deardebt.com/
The Mental Health and Wealth Show: mentalhealthandwealth.com/
Lola Retreat: lolaretreat.com/
Mentioned in the episode
Super Coach: goodreads.com/book/show/43849232-super-coach?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=kinvnpk2Ao&rank=1Happy Money: goodreads.com/book/show/40539212-happy-money?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=pK4z3Ih14U&rank=2