My name is Melanie Lockert and I'm a self employed finance writer, host of The Mental Health and Wealth show and founder of Lola Retreat. I'm also the author of Deaar Debt and created a blog of the same name. I paid off $81,000 in student loans and work to inspire others to pay off their debt. I am focused on the intersection of money and mental health.
I'm Optimizer. Most of it does feel accurate. I am very on top of my finances and the details but I'm also emotional and anxious about money.
I started a personal finance blog to chronicle my debt payoff and now write on the internet about money. In January 2013, I started DearDebt.com as a way to keep myself accountable in paying off debt. I was so anxious and depressed about my debt. My blog was my attempt to stay positive and build momentum. It worked! I've been writing on the internet about money ever since.
My relationship with personal finance is tricky.
I have overcome money mindset issues like "student loans are good debt" or "rich people are greedy."
I know a great deal more now that I work as a personal finance writer. It gets tricky because I feel like personal finance advice is great, but we can't advice our way out so many of the systemic struggles people are facing that impact money. Health care, child care, etc. all affect your money. Wages haven't kept up with inflation. So while I believe personal finance can be powerful in helping others, I think it can only help so much and for a certain demographic.
Having targeted savings accounts and using one rewards credit card helped me find balance between spending and saving. Each savings account has a purpose, such as Emergency Fund, Travel, Cats, Health. I also check my finances every day so I'm mindful of my spending and can make changes in real-time.
Not so much advice, but when people say "money doesn't matter". Money definitely matters and I think it's important we discuss it with more transparency.
I love spending money on coffee, good food, concerts, and new experiences.
I am not. I am saving what I can, but right now I am trying to survive the pandemic.
Pre-pandemic, I spent a month in Mexico and 2 weeks in Europe. That was my last financial goal and it was so worth it, especially seeing what happened right after I got back.
Most of the time I check every day.
I have a personal checking and savings, business checking and savings and the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card.
I would suggest finding out your take-home pay. Track all of your expenses. Take a debt inventory. Create a budget. Write down your values and financial goals.
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