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How To Crush Your Money Goals By Negotiating Your Salary

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Domonique from LetsGetFiiiscal.com successfully negotiated her salary four times.

In this podcast episode, you’ll learn how she negotiated and how the salary increases helped her reach her money goals.

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Domonique 0:00

Once they've got an offer to you, they are entirely invested in you at that point and sure, other people applied but they've gone through a whole process and selected you. So at that point, that's the most that's a ball will be in your field.

Michael Lacy 0:19

You're listening to the winning to wealth Podcast, where you'll hear real stories from real people who are on the path to building real wealth. These stories will show you how to earn more money and pay off debt, start investing and make better money choices so you can build wealth for your future. Now, here's your host, Michael Lacy, what's up? What's up? What's up teammates. This is Episode 42 of the winning to a podcast and on this week's episode, we're gonna talk about how putting forth the effort to negotiate your salary can actually help you crush your money goals. And joining me this week is Dominic who was the creator and founder of let's get fiscal

calm. Now, on this show, we talk all the time about how doing your best work at work can lead to career advancement, and thus raises and more money and all those great things. But something we haven't really touched on is the process of negotiating your salary. Negotiating at the offer point. And throughout your tenure with an employer. It's super important and it's why I wanted Dominic to come on and share just how doing both helped her reach some pretty impressive money goals. By the way, if you're looking to get started on your own wealth, building journey and crush your own money goals, or maybe you've started but feel like you just need a little bit of encouragement or maybe a sense of community, I want you to head over to winning to wealth, comm slash teammates and join my private Facebook community. This is just a place where you can come in ask anyone questions you have, share your wins, and really just interact with people who are on the same journey as you which I believe is so

So, so important. So yeah, head over to winning to wealth, comm slash teammates to join us for absolutely free. All right, let's jump right into this interview with Dominic.

So, Dominic, I am so excited to have you on the show with me. I love following you on Instagram. You put out a lot of great content. And so I'm excited to just learn more about your story and share it with the audience.

Domonique 2:26

Thank you. I'm excited to be here. This is a really exciting moment. I'm happy to talk about my background a little bit more hoping to help and inspire some people. Awesome. Well, let's jump right in. I mean, so at one point, you had over $43,000 worth of debt. So how did you accumulate that debt and what type of debt was it? So the bulk of my debt was from student loans, and then I also needed to buy a car. And I also found myself in with some credit card debt, and the credit card debt was

wasn't bad, but it got to a point where I was at least a few months behind on credit cards and it would take some time to sort of get out of that. Gotcha. So okay, so let's talk about just kind of like, what your lifestyle was like as you accumulated that day. And the reason I asked that question is because, like, I had a lot of credit card debt, and it came from me buying TVs, me buying clothes and just trying to look like I had it together when I really didn't have it together. So what was your lifestyle like as you were accumulating this consumer debt? I think a lot of it was the same trying to look like something that wasn't really reality. I had just graduated college and I was making like 62 K, which was a lot for 23. So I thought I could do whatever I wanted. I was living in the Bay Area. I had my own apartment. Got my own car, you know, I wanted to travel with my friends. I wanted to go

out the bars by what I want to go to restaurants and just kind of do anything. And those numbers didn't add up with that pay. So

that being said, my rent at the time was half my pay. So that didn't leave me a lot to really be doing any of that stuff. So, you know, let's talk about that because that's interesting. I remember when I was kind of going through that similar phase. I didn't really feel like I was struggling or anything like this just felt normal to me like when you get a good job, you buy a car, then you get a better place you buy TVs and all this furniture to fill your place you got a dress nice set the new job and and I didn't really feel like I was struggling financially. Like I said it all just felt normal. Was that the case with you? Definitely. And you know, my my peers were doing it wasn't like I was doing something different than the people around me. You get your first

Michael Lacy 5:00

job you You think you can go anywhere do anything go party have a great time. And I definitely didn't think I was being luxurious or out of the norm. I just was going the credit card debt was increasing and increasing. And I was like, well, credit card debts. Normal student loans are normal. Nothing here is out of the usual. Right. So what was that moment for you where you realized, okay, this feels normal, it looks normal, but I'm going in the wrong direction. So it happened about a year into working and I got my lease renewal for my apartment and like I said, I was already paying half of my pay to rent and then when they came to renew, they asked for like, I think it was like $200 a month more. And I was just like, I don't know how

Unknown Speaker 6:00

That's gonna work, right? Like I already am trying to like, keep credit card balance, like reasonable. And I had just sort of like started reading more about personal finance. And I was like, Okay, I need to build a savings I want to save for a house, one now get married. And it was sort of like, if I have these goals, I'm not sure where that's going to come from because the credit cards are increasing.

Michael Lacy 6:26

And so after you have that realization, what was next for you? Like, what did you start doing as a result of that, like, Did it take time for you to start taking action? Or once you realize that were you just like, you know what, I've got to do something, let me hit the ground running and make some changes.

Unknown Speaker 6:43

So I had started work on a training program, and the training program was a year. So I was also looking for new positions at the same time that this apartment was saying, you know, to resign, you need to pay $200 more That would be mean not even being able to cover the rent on the one check, right? So I actually moved in with my parents because I was like, Okay, I'm going to be changing roles soon. And it doesn't make sense for me to keep this apartment and pay this when I can't really afford it. I don't even know where I'm gonna be with the new roles. I was trying to stay in the Bay Area, which I did at that time. But I didn't want to commit to that extra expense. So I moved home and that's just kind of like where I got the freedom to look at everything and like really understand what I needed to get into in terms of pay and in terms of what bills I should be paying and all that kind of stuff.

Michael Lacy 7:47

Okay, so Dominic, let me say let me say this because I'm sure a lot of people feel kind of the way I feel. I know when I was racking up my debt and once I woke up, I was like, there is no way Ever going back home, like that just wasn't an option for me. And I know that there's people out here who feel the same way. So what was that like coming to that conclusion of You know what, alright, I've started my career. I've done all these great things. But now I have to humble myself and move home. Talk Talk a little bit about that.

Unknown Speaker 8:20

So when I first made that decision, it was more so I was thinking, Okay, I'll get another job in like three months. So this is just very temporary. It'll be fine. Like, nothing is wrong with this. I'm moving from my apartment. I've established myself I have furniture. I'm going to be moving out in a month or two. You know, it sucks, but it's not that big of a deal. But it wasn't until I was there for a couple months. And then I find like I finally started securing some next positions and just looking at what pay they were offering. following me and I looking at my bills and just being like, you know what, I think I might stay a little while. So I think it was maybe like two months and that I got my next job opportunity. And that I in looking at finances and looking at bills during those couple months, it motivated me to negotiate my pay. So for the first time, and I was only 23 negotiating my pay, but I had a drive behind looking at the numbers, because they had initially offered me maybe like $69,000 from 62, which is still great, but I knew that you know, for what I was trying to do, I wanted to move out, right, I didn't want to stay there. I wanted to keep traveling. I wanted to have visitors over and like have my own space. So I negotiated into the low 70s for the next job and I got that but Even then, I really realized that like, my credit cards were high, the interest rates were high. And it sort of got to that point where I was like, Okay, I think I need to stay here for a year, which then turned into a year and a half.

Michael Lacy 10:14

Gotcha. Okay. Okay. So you've touched on your career a couple of times. So I kind of want to pivot there. You specifically the negotiating your salary. So can you talk a little bit more about just that whole experience, like what gave you the confidence to negotiate for the first time.

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Unknown Speaker 10:33

So it was a mix of having a vision of the lifestyle that I wanted. I had just been in a, quote unquote, good position, right for 22. But it wasn't really working. So I one of my best friends, she worked for my company then at the time, and she told me that one of her co workers associated pay and was 16 festival. And she sort of sent me the articles that she heard her friend had used. And for me, it was just like, I want to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, like I want to be with my family. And I eventually want to be able to save or buy a house. And that's not easy there. So I had the motivator to, you know, like it was not it wasn't optional for me to not negotiate is really what it was. So I did all my research and you know, I looked at you know, I'm going to move out even though I'm not moving out yet. I'm going to what will that rent be? How much do I want to save potentially for a house? How much do I need to continue traveling with my friends, all of my best friends we all live in different places across the country. So for us to literally see each other It required travel. So you know, aside from wanting Go do some amazing trip in Miami, which I did do that. But just the basics of wanting to still maintain those college friendships required travel and money to do that.

Michael Lacy 12:12

Right. So what would you say to somebody that? I mean, again, because we're living in this pandemic, we're talking about millions of Americans right now that just don't have a job. They're looking for a job. So what would you say to someone who once they get that offer, that maybe is a little afraid to negotiate? Like maybe they feel like Oh, if I try to push for more, maybe they'll rescind my offer or whatever other things that we tell ourselves? What advice would you say to that person? So

Unknown Speaker 12:40

I think the most helpful advice is, not only have you put in a lot of time into finding that job, but company has also put in a lot of time into giving you that offer. Whoever is the manager of that position has probably been pushing to have someone hired before Finally have got approval during even during a pandemic, that's even harder to get that approval for some companies, my company is one of them. So they are once they've got an offer to you, they are entirely invested in you at that point and sure, other people applied, but they've gone through a whole process and selected you. So at that point, that's the most that's a ball will be in your field, right? Because they're just waiting for you to say yes. And if that's your time and say, you know, I love the team, and I love the opportunity. But in reality, I think I need it to be at this. And I would say don't be afraid to ask that because the worst that they can do in reality is saying no, they're not gonna pull all of the work that they put in, just because you asked a question.

Michael Lacy 13:52

Love it. That is so true. And sticking with the career thing a little bit, I want to talk about how you were able to land that dream job out of college because that's something that you've touched on a couple times as well. So can you talk about that experience,

Unknown Speaker 14:07

a lot of that was blessing and favor, honestly, um, I had gotten to I did five years of school instead of four in in that fifth year, a lot of friends had graduated. So I had a lot of time on my own to sort of explore what I really wanted from jobs. And then I also had my friends who had jobs so I could kind of use that as a reference of what companies had to offer and things like that. Like I said, my friend who graduated a year before me, she worked for my company already, so I was able to establish more contacts and then also learn more about how the company operated. So when it was time for me to apply to jobs, this company was obviously one of them. And I sort of had an edge on just knowing more about the company culture, knowing more About what was important to them. So it was a little bit easier for me to get this job. And with the knowledge of what this company could offer in the culture, I use that and I got one other offer. But I ultimately chose this company just because I had a relationship through National Society of Black Engineers and such.

Michael Lacy 15:19

Gotcha. Okay. So and I love that. I mean, sometimes it's not what you know, or what you can do. It's who you know. And that's, that's a very, very valuable part in when we're talking about career and growing your income through that way. But I do want to ask, like, is that something that, you know, and specifically, what I'm referring to is landing a great job out of college? Is that something that you feel like others can duplicate? Like, is there some kind of system that maybe you believe in that you can shed some insight on that can help somebody else in that situation?

Unknown Speaker 15:50

Yes, so I would say a lot of it is I went to a lot of career fairs in college and I didn't wait until my senior year to go to career fairs I when I was in school, I would say to freshmen go to career fairs. Because if you can build up your confidence there, and if career fairs aren't a big thing at your school, even company, if a company comes in like sponsors a meeting for a club, go through those because that's where you really build those like one on one connections with people. And just the more company people that you touch and you talk to throughout college, I think the easier it will be to land or career, the easier it'll be to know what to talk about and just to have that comfort level of talking to recruiters.

Michael Lacy 16:40

Let's go back to the the debt situation that you're in, right. So you you find yourself in all this debt, you ultimately move home. You start working on paying off the debt, talk a little bit about the journey, like what strategies were you using, like, you know, who were you learning from those sorts of things as you were addressing the debt,

Unknown Speaker 16:59

sell them first book I read was The automatic millionaire by David batch. And I loved that book. Because it was literally like, you know, someone talking to you in your kitchen is almost how he writes the book. It's straightforward. It's to the point. It talks a little bit about mindset, but it gave me a lot of tools such as like, open a, an online bank, MMA for your long term savings, and little things like that, that were just like very hands on. I had, I had always saved money per se, but then I would spend it right. So that just moving that savings away so that you can't see that I specifically have my longer term savings in a bank that takes like five days to transfer to my account. And that has actually saved me money because I thought about buying a new car once and I was there at the dealership, and I was Alright, I'll come back next week, I'm just making this transfer so I can put this money down. And then during that five days, I was like, I don't need this right now actually, and it was a great decision. So that was huge David botch and then I also attended fpu me and my mom attended that class together. So the like I did the Dave Ramsey's snowball, and that that fpu is what motivated me kind of to stay up with my parents for an extended time, because I saw that, okay, I could give an apartment building 1700 dollars a month, or I could keep paying, I think I paid my parents like $700 and then that that thousand dollars, I used to travel and pay off debt. So I could have done it faster if I didn't do other things, but that for me, I wanted to still invest and I still wanted to be able to quit. experience life.

Michael Lacy 19:01

How long from the time you realize that something needed to change until you were debt free? How long did that take?

Unknown Speaker 19:07

Four years actually. So I was not gizelle intense. During that time, I looked at what math and hard numbers were right. So my biggest portion of debt was student loans. And I had I knocked out my car payments, and I knocked out my credit card payments pretty quickly, like those were gizelle intense. But what the student loans I focused on the higher interest loans, because my low my student loan was comprised of 10 smaller loans, and I knocked out the bigger loans with bigger interest rates and then the ones that had 3% interest rate I sort of kept because I wanted to start increasing my investing since you know, average for gains for investing is about 7% versus a 3% loan amount. So, being in the 20s, I was just like, I think time in investing is more valuable than getting rid of these loans right away.

Michael Lacy 20:16

Okay. And I love that you said that because a lot of people that I've had on the show that were introduced to personal finance from Dave Ramsey, do kind of get, I guess you could say like indoctrinated and they want to focus on the one thing at a time, but you decided to build wealth while paying off the debt. And so, and that wasn't your strategy in the beginning. That's something that kind of changed on your journey. So why was doing both of those at the same time important for you?

Unknown Speaker 20:45

So for me, this is around the time where my parents first started talking about retirement there. They were in their 50s. And so retirement was seeming closer for them. But as they were starting Look, they were seeing that they were falling short. And everything that I was reading about investing retirement was, you know, the longer that you're in there, the better, right? The biggest gains from investing is time, timing consistency. So for me seeing them and they have pension plans, but just seeing them having to count out how much time until they could get extra money, or you know, not necessarily seeing that their retirement will be where they want it. That's a real experience, right. And I don't even have a pension plan to assist with retirement. So I was like, this is all on me. I need to figure out how to maximize this to the best of my ability so that when I'm that age, I can look and see that okay, retirement is, you know, there's a finish line to that.

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Unknown Speaker 21:58

Okay, so talk a little bit about you're investing strategy as you made that shift to being solely focused on debt to kind of balancing both.

Unknown Speaker 22:07

So my strategy is just invest early and often dollar cost averaging. And just making sure that I'm putting in money in every paycheck. And then I decided that each year I would increase my 401k contributions by at least 1% each year, and then that way, I would start maximizing that 401k money, I use a target fund and on my own now I have index funds outside of my 401k, but I'm not into picking trying to find the Tesla, right. That's really time consuming, and if you're wrong, it's costly and you've wasted time. So I'm very much in To You know, automatic investing, make it easy, make it quick, make it happen off and and move on.

Michael Lacy 23:08

Okay. And something you mentioned there was dollar cost averaging. Can you talk a little bit about that for the listeners out there who may not know what that term is?

Unknown Speaker 23:16

Yeah, so dollar cost averaging is basically you're investing consistently say every two weeks you get paid, you're investing consistently every two weeks. When you get paid. Sometimes the market is up, sometimes the market is down. Either way, you're investing the same. And when the market is down, you are getting more stocks for what you're putting in. When the market is up. It's great because your money you can see your money growing, but you're getting less stocks when you purchase. So the idea is that timing the market isn't necessary, because you're going to benefit from the highs and lows along the way.

Michael Lacy 23:56

Kind of transitioning here because we're kind of going back and forth with the day In the wealth building, so at some point you pay off the last debt. So like, what was that moment like when you paid it off? I know I've heard some people say it's super anti climactic. Other people say it was like the best day ever. Where did you fall on that?

Unknown Speaker 24:15

I would say it's almost a mix of those things. I actually made the phone call to pay off the last bit of debt at the end of last year. And I called and I said, you know, I'm here to pay off this final balance. Can you please confirm that this is the amount I was at work in a conference room when I did it, so that part was anticlimactic. But so I would say when I first made the payment, it was like exciting, but it didn't really hit me until like the beginning of this year. And some things that I felt was like a huge sense of like obligation being on and I didn't, I didn't foresee that feeling. So much of what I had done was like focused around trying to get rid of debt payments while also investing. So I had negotiated my salary again, by this time, you know, when I'm negotiating my salary, I like have a clear personal reason behind it. I obviously have the facts and data for jobs, you know, jobs in the area with these jobs, pay all those averages and things like that. But I also make a budget off of the future pay that I'm trying to get that way when I'm investing. I know exactly what I'm losing. When or when I'm negotiating. I know exactly what I'm losing if I don't hit certain numbers, right. So me asking for x means I can put $500 extra two loans or if I get why I can only put $200 extra alone. So when I was negotiating a lot of that was driven by paying off debt and being able to say For the future, so when I finally got rid of the debt, I was like, Okay, now I can like, do fire, financial independence, retire early, because I didn't that wasn't my intention to actually go after this. But it was like I've already been living off of reduced pay, so I can make it maximize investing now. So it was just sort of like this extra sense of freedom. It does not feel like your birthday though. It doesn't feel like oh, I paid off my loans. I'm gonna go party and celebrate because most people will say Congrats, but they don't really care. They're just like, Oh, good for you. What do you what do you want for dinner? Right? So it's kind of like one of those weird things where they huge accomplishment, but in terms of celebration, not really. Um, but in terms of mindset, I felt I felt a lot of Freedom a couple months later, when I had those next checks that 500 to whatever amount wasn't going to a student loan anymore, it was just like, oh, like, I finally feel options.

Michael Lacy 27:12

Right, right. And that's like the best feeling ever. It's like it makes everything worth it once you start keeping the money that you used to send out today that that's just an incredible feeling. So another thing you touched on right there was negotiating your salary again, and I have to ask, was that with the same employer? Or was that a different employer?

Unknown Speaker 27:31

same employer. So I've been with my same employer for six years. And I think I have negotiated my salary with them four times and three times successfully.

Michael Lacy 27:44

Okay, and so you said that you gather up a lot of data and facts like what specific things are you bringing to the table as you're making these negotiations?

Unknown Speaker 27:54

So the first negotiation I only had one year of experience, so everything was based off of cost of living pretty much. And that's really all I had at that point was cost of living and I could try to apply for other positions was all I mean, that's not even a lot to have in your court. But I was able to still be successful with just like living facts and numbers. And like you said, Actually, I ended up finding out a year later, I was still at the bottom of the band for where I had negotiated. And so I was in my next negotiation, I was in the same position and negotiating there. We had lost some people at my facility and I had been doing extra work. So I took advantage of that opportunity to ask for more money because they were down people so that's a cost savings for a company so this money is somewhere

Unknown Speaker 28:55

it can be in my bag.

Michael Lacy 28:57

Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 28:58

I'm so With that, it was more of you know, I'm here, were you guys are down budget were up a lot of work. I have experience, right and I was doing well in that position. And the it was at a plant and for the the plant hadn't met metrics and say like five to 10 years. And we were meeting metrics while being down people. So I was like, this is a great opportunity. And I know sometimes it's hard to negotiate within your own position because it's like, why would the company give you money? Right? They already have you there. But from my perspective, it was gonna be the first time in a few years at that facility met metrics, that means that everyone at the facility will get a bonus. And that's a huge morale shift in the culture of the company. And I'm obviously a key part of this happening because I mean, not just Say it was all it obviously I have all I was on a team, right? But our team was obviously effective enough to make that change. So why not ask for more?

Michael Lacy 30:10

You guys, I'm telling you, if you are not negotiating your salaries, you are leaving money on the table. This is a huge part of why I wanted to do this interview is because I wanted you guys to hear a real life story of the power of just negotiating your salary just asking for the money. So kind of moving forward a little bit. I know that recently you hit a six figure net worth milestone. What was that? Like? Was that any different from when you paid off the debt? You kind of said you had mixed feelings there. Were you more excited about that are gonna kind of what was your what were your emotions, then? The Six

Unknown Speaker 30:48

Figure net worth was definitely more exciting. And I don't know why. I think it was just sometimes when I look at my network Worth or the money that has started to build up. It's unbelievable to me because you don't feel that money, really, you know, in your day to day, it's in a bank somewhere and it's not really a part of your life. I'm not using that to base decisions at the grocery store, like you don't feel that money in your day to day, but just see that. Wow, like, you know, in five years, I've built 100 k worth of money in it's real money. Not that I want to pull it out, but I could pull that out and I could actually buy something right? Like, that would be a huge downpayment on a house or like that feeling felt like I can't believe this is actually happened. That was more shocking to me than paying off the student loans and the student loans. You're like you have a set plan a lot of the time so you know when the payoff date is it's like a game to try to Move up, hey, update up, right? The little thing you can do, I was like making extra $20 payments where I could write, this is shifting my my date debt payment up. But with net worth, it feels a little bit harder. Because it the market dictates things and you're not looking at that as often. So when that happened, I was like, Wow, I've like a mass six figures of wealth. That's insane.

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Michael Lacy 32:29

Kind of when we started the interview, you talked about a lot of the things you wanted to do as a result of becoming ultimately becoming debt free. You mentioned having friends all over and just doing all these great things. And I know for me, since we become debt free, it's been a little over four years now. Like it's been incredible to me, it's mind blowing the things that we've been able to do like we go to sporting events, and I've sat courtside at games that I wanted to sit at. I've taken my niece with me vacations and just all these incredible things, just as a result of the financial changes that we've endured over the years. So I want to ask you, what are some of the cool things that you've been able to accomplish as a result of being debt free and building wealth?

Unknown Speaker 33:17

So because it's 2020 I haven't got to do any of the very cool things. But I would say that even so there's a peace of mind behind when I go out to eat with friends, not worrying to split the dime to the dollar or cent right because I have room and my money I have, I've had obligations more than I have now. So not having to be so nitpicky or even with tipping, like I can tip whatever I want like more and bless people or give to people because was, you know, a few months ago, I was making $500 payment plus at least two loans each month. And now that money I can do whatever I want with it. I've mostly just been able to bless people. My sister's sort of starting a debt free journey. And I was able to give her like a little kickstart like I helped her pay off her first loan. And just like giving her that little piece of encouragement, right, so not only have I been able to get myself out of that position, like just being able to help others. And if someone had helped me pay off my first loan, like, here's some money to help you get closer, so you can have that feeling early are early on, like that's a huge motivator. Because that first result is so so critical, right? It's like working to get to that first result. And then when you finally get it, it gives you that feeling of Oh, I can do this.

Michael Lacy 34:56

Absolutely, yeah. And I'm a firm believer like giving is the most fun you can have with money. I really is. I mean, if you guys aren't giving, if that's not a part of your regular budget, I want to challenge you to add that in because it will truly transform your life. So now that you've become debt free, you hit the six figure net worth, like what are you working towards now? Like what's left?

Unknown Speaker 35:21

So I honestly feel like I've just started which is funny because during while being in debt, I was just like, Okay, once I do this, I'm good, right? I'm debt free. This is great. I'll have space to do other things. But so I started the fire journey and it's now it's a race to how fast can I can I get to this fire number, which is a much longer a much longer race payment, but it's still you know, I still get those feelings of okay. maximize this a little bit and it shaves off whatever time, I can still, you know, if I invest this much more in Australia, I shave off two years on the long run. So now I'm just like, every way that I can cut unnecessary expenses. I try to do that. That's not to say, I'm not one of those people that like will eat noodles to like save for fire. When everything opens up, I will definitely be traveling too. So for me cutting costs, I know a lot of people talk about needs versus wants, right? And I try to not focus as much on need versus want but more so on Am I valuing what I'm paying for? And do I really feel like I want to go to work for that thing. I did this post where I broke down my salary in two hours and just showed like, this many hours pays for taxes as many hours to pay. For expenses, when you look at the hours that you're working and then see how much of it can be saved, versus or go to travel or whatever versus paying for whatever lifestyle choice you've made, made it it makes it a little bit more clear.

Michael Lacy 37:17

So can you talk a little bit about why fire became important to you?

Unknown Speaker 37:24

I started reading about fire just because I stumbled upon it while reading about other personal finance things. And whenever I looked at it, I was like, these people are crazy. There's like, no way that I ever knew this. They were doing some of the things that I'm doing now to change living situations. And I was just like, this is insane. Like, they're taking it too far, but more so what motivated me is I've been with my same company for Six years. And up until now, I mean, I've been pushing hard to like for promotions and increase the pay. And it sort of hit me like, how long do I want to be grinding like that, you know. And if I can retire 10 years earlier 15 years earlier and not have to spend my life pushing, constantly pushing a company, why wouldn't I do that? So that's kind of what motivated me. And then also seeing that once the debt was gone, I was able to do a lot more on that app on that front. And when I was paying the debt, I was like, Okay, I'm gonna go on vacation all the time and like, this is what I'm going to be able to do now. But then when I looked at the reality of it, I can go on vacation and still do fire. I don't have to retire Trying to fire at 39. Right? I'm just finding what, what's reasonable and what makes what level makes me happy.

Michael Lacy 39:11

I love it. And you know, one of the things I love about the fire movement is, and you kind of touched on it a little bit. It's like when when people on the outside see it, a lot of times people see it as spending less. But I guess once you're in it, you really realize that it's not necessarily or not always about spending less. Sometimes it's about spending better, and finding better quality things that that actually gets you excited and keep you going. So I love that you touched on that. So, you know, the final thing I have for you is just a hypothetical question that I like to ask. And let's say somebody out there is listening to this and they have a lot more debt than you did. And they're feeling like things are a little hopeless right now. What would you say?

to that person to help them start turning things around for themselves.

Domonique 40:05

I would say the biggest thing is trying to fight that feeling, right? Because obviously having like a six figure debt is more discouraging than someone having, you know, $40,000 debt or $20,000 debt. But in reality if you have the tools to pay off the debt, and if you start establishing those habits, you can get out of debt, no matter where you started, right?

Once you're on once you once you just make that decision to start, you sort of it just opens up your eyes to everything that you can do, right like when I when I was at the end, I was making every debt payment that I possibly could. And once you realize that this is actually possible, and this helps save me money or this uses my money towards things that I care more about.

Michael Lacy 41:00

Use you start to find ways to knock it out. So the last thing that I have is I want to give you the opportunity to share where the best place is for people to connect with you and learn more about you if they've loved this interview, and just want to follow you follow along on your fire journey. Hey, if they want to follow me along on the fire journey, the best place to connect is on Instagram. I'm at let's get physical with three eyes instead of one on Instagram. Let's get physical. And I also have a blog that I started this year WWDC let's get this fold calm with three eyes. Awesome why I won't be sure to link to everything in the show notes which you teammates can find by checking the episode description or just simply by heading to winning to wealth comm slash Episode 32 but definitely definitely, definitely go connect with her. All right, let's jump right into

This week's win of the week. So while it's obvious that negotiating her salary helped her win with money, if you remember, it was the fact that Dominic had very clear financial goals that actually led her to negotiate in the first place. So in terms of salary, when you know what you need, it's really hard for you to settle for less. So if you don't have any currently, I want you to sit down and set some clear money goals. You need goals that are specific for the month for the year, and even some long term goals maybe 510 years away and in retirement as well, because having that type of clarity goes a long way towards helping you make the right decisions every single day, not just in building the frugal habits, but in doing things like negotiating your salary, and things like that as well. But thanks for listening to another episode of the winning to wealth podcast. Until we talk again, keep racking up those wins one at a time. Take care

Unknown Speaker 43:02

You've wrapped up another episode of the winning to wealth podcast. To learn more about how you can start making winning money decisions head over to winning to wealth.com

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Your income is your greatest wealth-building asset. Learn how negotiating your salary can help you reach more money goals in this podcast episode

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