Alanna was in the middle of paying off debt when she had a few huge emergencies, a wedding to pay for, and an expensive move.
In this episode, we talk about how she navigated those major life changes and continues to make good financial decisions today.
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Michael Lacy 0:00
Welcome to the winning to wealth podcast. On this week's episode, we're gonna be talking about navigating life changes while building wealth.
Unknown Speaker 0:10
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, 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,
Michael Lacy 0:32
what's up? What's up? What's up teammates. This is Episode 49 of the winning to a podcast. And this week is all about navigating change. Now, let me take a second and just explain.
So I absolutely love music.
And not just in the makeup playlist full of my favorites and share it with my friends kind of way. But I really enjoy the I guess you can call it the technical stuff. Like I love finding these random harmonies when I listen to groups, or even making up my own harmonies when I'm listening to solo acts. I listen to an album for days, just because I love certain aspects of the background vocals. One of my favorite things about music is trying to figure out like which old school song was sampled in a new hit. Just I mean, overall nerdy technical stuff like that, like I just love everything about that side of music. And I think that really goes back to my younger days. So growing up, I was actually in a church choir. And early on, I didn't have much of a choice, my parents kind of forced me to do it. But I grew to really enjoy it. And we had a lot of fun. And because I grew to love it so much. That experience led me when I was in sixth grade to make the choice to sign up for choir over band. And I actually stuck with choir until my freshman year of high school, which was when I moved to private school, and I didn't have access to choir. But by the time I was back at a public school with the choir in my junior year of high school, my voice had changed so much. And I just didn't have an interest in singing anymore. Even though I still loved music, I still loved learning music and all the stuff that you learn in choir. This is very natural body change helped me develop the deep love and passion that I have for music as a consumer today. And I'll be honest, I find more joy in music today than I ever did while I was singing it.
The point of all that is to say that change is inevitable, and change affects us. But how we choose to deal with that change says a lot about us. Today's guest knows a lot about change. Alanna Anthony is the founder of financial dynamics, which is a personal finance brand for professional women who are looking to make and save money, manage their cash flow and pay off debt. Alanna is actually still in the process of eliminating her debt. But I still wanted to have her on the podcast because as you're about to see, she does a fantastic job of adapting to change, which is a skill that can serve you well on your wealth building journey. So Alanna, welcome to the winning to wealth podcast. I'm so glad to have you here today. Thanks for having me. So in talking to you earlier, you mentioned that you've paid off $68,000 worth of debt so far. So talk a little bit about how you accumulated that day and what type of debt it was that you had. So now it's 70,000. But it was mostly a car that I didn't need. I had a GMC Yukon, that was my dream car so I could afford to get it so I pay for it. But then I also had credit cards, I had a personal loan, I had student loans, which was a very high amount. And I had purchased the house. So that was all of my debt. And that totaled around $120,000 when I was starting to pay it off. Okay, so you at the peak of that you had about $120,000 worth of debt. So what happened that made you decide to start addressing that debt.
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 4:37
So I had this opportunity to get my PhD for free. So the dean in my department, which I was already teaching adjunct. So to be clear, I worked in corporate America but then I also taught part time at a college. She had reached out to me and a couple other girls and basically told us there was an opportunity for us to get our PhDs for free.
Because in the field that I taught in, they actually didn't have a lot of professors. And so they need professors to come in. So I was like, Oh, well, I don't really want to get my PhD. But then after a while, I was like, that's stupid, you get a free PhD. So I started looking into it, make contact with a school, and started talking with their gene. And then I started going through the process I knew I had about a year. And so I needed to like save some money up and do certain things. So I decided to like trade in my car first. So that was the first thing I did was trade in my car, which I did get a good deal for, actually, thank goodness, because normally when you're paying payments, sometimes that Oh, payments wrapped up into the new payment, but they actually offered me more than what I actually owed on the car, thank goodness, I was like, panela extra. And so I got rid of the car. And then I started looking into like everything else that I had to pay for. And I was a single mother at the time. And so just looking at what I had to pay for what they were going to pay me as a stipend. So the stipend is 24,000 a year, I don't know if it's gone up. But it's 24,000 a year at the time as a PhD student. And that was just really going to be a hit to my income that was below half my income. And so I started doing the numbers, and I just could not figure out how I was going to, like live with me and my son pay bills there and take care of the bills that I have the debt that I have, especially because at the time this was after the Great Recession. And so my house was not gonna sell that was just not gonna happen. I didn't know for sure, if I was gonna be able to get somebody to rent, there was a lot of houses in my neighborhood that were empty. So it was just a rough timeframe to even say like, Oh, I want to put someone in or get someone to rent it, or Oh, I want to sell it, there was just no way I was completely upside down on my house. And the funny thing is, I bought my house with 20,000 of equity. But I was upside down by time the recession was over. And so I just realized I wasn't going to be able to do it. And so I had to tell the Dean of that school like that I wasn't going to be able to do it. And of course, they're like, Why now? It's so embarrassing, but I had to just be straightforward. Like I couldn't afford to do it. So that was the moment where I was just like, Nah, I've been held back by debt. Like, seriously, like, I can't even say it's my kid is the debt. And so I decided to change it.
Michael Lacy 7:38
So how did you feel in that moment when you had that realization? Because again, this is a great opportunity, a free PhD, you know, and then you come to the realization that like, I can't do it because of the past, the decisions that I've made. So how did it feel in that moment?
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 7:56
It was embarrassing. Like I was highly embarrassed, I was a little sad. Because also like, I didn't tell a lot of people. That's what I was doing. My parents didn't even know what I was doing yet. Because first of all, you can't take away their first grandchild. I don't know if anybody knows about having their first grandchild on them. grandparents, you have to be together when you announce stuff. So everybody's looking at me, like you traded in your truck that you love, like, what do you do with it? And I'm like, Oh, yeah, you know, just, I just want to do some different or whatever. And I was just so embarrassed, like, I didn't do I didn't do stuff for a minute initially, like I didn't really like, do my normal of like going out and stuff like that for a while. Because I was just embarrassed. But it also just kicked me into my ego, I have a little bit of ego when it comes to you telling me I can't do something. So I just was like, You know what, we got to figure this out. I'm gonna figure out how to pay off this debt because this won't ever happen again in life.
Michael Lacy 8:56
So before we get into you addressing the debt, I want to go backwards. Just a quick step into just kind of how you were living before that realization. Like Did you before that? Did you feel like you were struggling at all or kind of what was your life like, or your lifestyle like before you had that realization that you had so much debt, and then it kept you from this opportunity?
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 9:19
No, I wasn't struggling at all. I was living the high life in my head. I had the debt. I was paying a little extra on the debt, but it wasn't like a focus. So I would like to wait to whatever was left over and put that towards the debt each month.
I was living pretty well. I was single, I had a good salary. My kid dressed nice. Like I really thought I was doing well. And then I had this extra add junk income that I really didn't need at the time. It was just an opportunity for me to really reach my dream. I had a dream of like teaching plus doing whatever else I wanted to do and so
Thought I was doing well, like, I really thought I was doing what I was supposed to do in life like, okay, yeah, we're paying off the debt a little bit. We're enjoying life, we're traveling, we're doing this, you couldn't have told me I wasn't in a good position.
Michael Lacy 10:17
So before we move forward, I mean, I do want to ask you like, about the importance of not waiting until you hit that rock bottom moment, like you experienced to really start getting your finances together? Can you talk about just why it's so important to even if you haven't had that moment get to start focusing on getting your stuff together now versus waiting until you do have that moment when you're forced to?
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 10:43
I'ma say it and well, I guess it's three words, options and opportunities. Because what I realized is that when you actually don't have to worry about paying someone else, right, if you think about it, if you ever total up how much you pay out in debt each month, I don't know about you. But like, when I did it, I was like, are you serious, this is a lot of money to somebody else that I'm not benefiting from. So that's the money that I could be putting into other opportunities. At the time, I had wanted to start a shoe store. I love shoes. And I was like, I don't really have the money started a shoe store. But I did. I did have the money I was spending it. And I was paying it towards debt. And so you lose those options when you are waiting until you get to a low point to pay off debt. And you also lose that opportunity. Because there's plenty of people who are working jobs that they don't care for. And maybe their dream job pays less. But because they're already paycheck to paycheck, you can't take that chance, you can't take that chance and do that. Or you can't take that opportunity to like take a quick, short sabbatical and do something different. And even with your kids, you got to think about it like, you never know what's going to happen. And so like, two years after I started my debt payoff journey, I actually my son had open heart surgery. I was out of work for about six weeks, I ran out of PTO in two weeks, I had to go on short term disability. And thank goodness, I had savings but short term disability it paid. I don't even think it might have paid 100% for a couple weeks, but then it went down. Like it wasn't my full check. So you just really have to prepare for those situations. You don't want to be in a situation where like you're not getting your whole paycheck and that rocks your whole household.
Michael Lacy 12:40
Yeah, no, that's, that's super important. So I want to now go into you find you have this rock bottom moment and you realize, okay, something's got to change. How did you go about setting up your budget once you decide once you decided to start on your debt free journey.
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 12:57
So what I realized was, initially, I was doing a spending plan. And there's nothing wrong with a spending plan. It's just that for my personality, I need something more structure. So I decided to first just write down everything that I had to pay for including my debt. So normally, I do it in two columns. So I have a column of just all of my monthly expenses. This is eliminating, like eating out for lunch, going to brunch with my girlfriend shopping for clothes, just all the extras, just what do I have to pay for? And then I had another column, what are my debts? How much is my minimum payment? What's the interest rate? What's the total balance? So that's what I sat down and did and I totaled it up. And so I realized at the time that I actually had an extra $600 a month, and that was before the adjunct job. So I was just spinning through money, and I make good money at the adjunct. So I was like, Where's this money? But after like sitting down looking at my numbers, then I started going back. And so I look back at how we're spending my money in a month before how we're spending the money the month before that, because the month before I was starting to prepare, so I wasn't spending as much so I had to look before that to see like, Where are you spending your money? I spent my money on lunch, shopping, and brunch. I'm a big brunch girl. So like I'm like, okay, sure, let's go to brunch. So, I did that first. And then I realized since I had extra money, I started allocating out to building back up my savings because I had empty my savings before the PhD opportunity came up due to house repairs. And then I allocated money to paying off debt. I allocated money to my son because he always had something going on. And then I said okay, everything that's left over, I'm gonna throw that towards that. And then I also decided to take my whole adjunct Chet and that was going towards the day So I had a whole nother bank account to send that adjunct cheque to, and then the other debt too. So that's just not in the mix with all of the money I need to spend. And that was my debt payoff every month. So that was like the first thing I started to do.
Michael Lacy 15:15
Okay, that sounds like a lot of habit changes kind of happening all at once here, right? Because you know, you were like, at first you realize you have the 600. And you're like, I didn't even know I had this. And now you not only realize that, but then you're also throwing the adjunct money at that as well. So again, that just sounds like a big lifestyle shift. So what were some of those habits that had to go once you started moving towards that freedom?
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 15:41
So I stopped eating out every day for lunch. So I will only do once a week. And once I hit my once a week, that was it. So I stopped doing that I start stopped buying extra stuff. I spend a lot of money on food, like pantry, always full, especially when you have like a kid, it's easy to be like, Oh, let me get all their snacks. I was like, nope, we can't do that anymore. And the funny thing is, I was already buying like some generic stuff, but you know how it goes, you go to a store that's cheaper, and like you just go overboard. So I threw away a lot of food. So that was kind of like, some of the stuff that I did. And then also, I just started deciding like to look at, okay, how, how much is this? And do you really need it? And are you really going to use it? It's like, how challenging is it to make all those changes in such a short amount of time? Oh, it's hard. I think I was just crazy. But I have an ego. And so like when you tell me I can't do something. And especially, I always talk about I'm on my own podcast like so I have a podcast with millionaires, Mama called single moms on the money. I had this ego about being a single mom. Because there's always these assumptions about single moms. And so I wanted to make sure I was not what you thought a stereotypical single mom was. So for me, I was like, Oh, this is a singer. This is a single mom moment. You know what I mean? Like a moment where it's like, Oh, I can't take this opportunity. And so I was just like, Nope,
I'm not doing it. So I would say a lot of it has to do with ego. But you if it was somebody else, they should look at, like, what is their why, for me, I didn't want my son to ever not have to be able to do stuff. Because I didn't have the money. So I started just figuring out what I could do to make it look like everything was good. Even though I was like I'm gonna pay off this debt.
Michael Lacy 17:44
So once you once you get all your debts laid out, they're organized. You got your chart, which method did you use to decide to pay off your debt? I know, there's a big debate which one snowball avalanche. When you were looking at it, what did you decide was the best for you? And why did you make that choice?
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 18:01
So I chose the snowball method. And I do know because I am an accountant in real life. So I do know the avalanche method is a cheaper method. But the real life, the real thing for me is Who am I as a person, if I would have took the time to focus on the debt with the largest interest rate, I probably would have backed out at some point it wouldn't happen. And so I needed quick wins. I know that's what gives me energy and makes me keep going. And so I used the snowball method, which was out I still love the snowball method to this day, I recommend it to people who like to shop. I think it's good because once you see that first debt gone, you're like, Okay, next step. Let's go. So that's the method I use.
Michael Lacy 18:45
Yeah, it feels good. It feels good. When you start knocking out those debts one at a time it does. My wife and I started off with the snowball, we kind of switched in the middle. But by that time we were so committed, like it didn't matter what we did at that point that that was just going to be gone because we had already had the momentum from the snowball. So I always recommend people to at least start with the snowball and get that momentum. And then you want to switch it up after a few go ahead and do your thing. But when you started, did you have a goal in mind of like when when you want it to be debt free?
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 19:16
Yeah, so originally, my I wanted my story to be like everyone else's. You know how you see everybody's story. They're like, Oh, we paid off this much debt in like 18 months or two years. So I was like, Oh, can I pay off this debt? And like two years, like, that's originally what I thought, but when I started really looking at I was like, Hmm, this may not happen. But I still was going for it because I was just hoping you know, something would change. But I would tell you today like i'm not i'm consumer debt, debt free, but I'm not completely debt free like I wanted to, and that's just because life happens. And I had to prioritize what was important to me.
Michael Lacy 19:57
So actually, yeah, let's let's go there. Let's talk about that. I mean,
So you mentioned life happening. So kind of what happened on your journey? What challenges did you start to face as you're going through your debts?
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 20:09
Yeah, so I had a few, I had a few good challenges, a few bad challenges. And so my transmission on that car that I got, when I traded in the Yukon, I went out.
And I was still making payment. So that was a big, big Smith's. And because I had a transmission go out on a car years ago, before that, I decided to just get a new transmission dropped down, because I did a rebuild, and they ended up going out again. So I got a whole new transmission. So that was about a $4,000. it in the midst of me paying off debt, then my furnace went out. And what I didn't know which I'm not talking about, about the warranty companies, but I have one of those warranty companies you pay for every month, and I didn't realize that they do not pay for the labor, the installation. So I had to come out of pocket for installation. And then it was a bad job. And so it was like, about three weeks of like, just going back and forth. Like just, it was terrible. So that happened had to buy heaters in the middle of winter, it was like one of the coldest winters, like seven degrees, I had to buy heaters, because my friend assumed that, oh. So I had that happen. But then also I got engaged. And I refuse to go in debt for the wedding. Like that was just always something I just never wanted to do funny enough. And so we pay cash. And we had a five figure wedding and I could have had a smaller wedding. But I was just like, first I have a big family. So once I realized the money's in feeding people, I just knew it was not gonna happen, unless I went over like did a destination. And I wanted to do that. But my husband was against it. So that didn't happen. So. So we had a five figure wedding that we pay cash for. So we had to do that. And then also I moved, I end up moving to various states of New York City. So I put my son in private school, because it was really important for me not to move a teenager to New York City and put him in public school, like there was just didn't make sense to me. The lifestyle here is different. Like they take public transportation to school. And so I didn't want him also like he came from a magnet school. So I found the magnets, but the magnets were far away. And I didn't want him traveling two hours each way to go to school. So I said, You know what, I guess I'm going to slow it down and pay for private school. And so that's what I did.
Michael Lacy 22:57
Gotcha. So before we jump into you, your decision to slow down your debt, I want to go back to the first two emergencies that you mentioned with the car and the furnace. I want to go there because I'm a firm believer in really bulking up your emergency fund before you start debt. Can you talk about the importance of having a good strong emergency fund in place before you pay off debt, because as we both as mean, as you just explained the thousand dollars like some people think is good. So talk a little bit about the importance of beefing up that emergency fund. And then if you have a recommendation what you say to people who come to you for help.
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 23:44
Yeah, so I thought $1,000 was gonna cut it. And I had two back to back situations, and my money was wiped out really quick. So I had to cash flow a lot or like, wait, and then cash flow it, pay for riddle a couple times, like things like that. So it is really important to have a really good emergency fund before you start paying off debt. I am really big fan of at least a month of your expenses. And I mean, your real expenses, not your play play expenses. Because you know how we do like we're looking at numbers. I'm like, I don't spend that much. I don't eat out that much. And but the reality is Yes, you do. Like you are really spending this much money every month. So I believe in having at least a month. I mean, I would love if you had more, especially in our current situation like now I just really believe like, you just need more money in the bank. But at least at the very least, if you could get a month and then as you're paying off debt, still throw some money to your savings. Because if not you will find yourself in a situation like I was and that transmission was over a month's worth of salary. easily.
Michael Lacy 24:58
So Wow. Okay, so Now let's talk about your your move, right, your move to New York and you ultimately have to slow down on your debt payoff journey. Talk about the the challenges of coming to that decision, have, I really had this goal, like you said, your ego driven, you're kind of like me in that regard. I'm the same way I lost my I lost my job in the journey. And I was still like, No, we still gonna hit this. So I can't imagine what that must be like for you to make that decision to slow down. But I'm sure there's somebody that may have to face that, right. So can you talk a little bit about actually making that decision to slow down on your debt freedom journey?
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 25:38
I really didn't want to like so. So my husband was pushing the private school aspect of it, because he knew better like he lived in New York. So he knew he was like, you don't want to put him in public school. I don't want to hear your mouth, basically. I was like, more so like, Oh, you know, let me see if I can find something else. I and that's why I started looking to stem schools, I looked into charter schools, because I did not want to pay the amount that they sent me. When I asked for the price. I was like, who is paying for this. So I was looking for other ways, I had even started looking for new jobs. So my job would transfer because they were based in New York. I was like, Okay, my job would transfer but I need to get paid more. Because this is not gonna work. I need to be able to pay off this debt at the same time. And it just wasn't working out. Just was not working out. I couldn't get the numbers to work. And I finally was like, just put him in private school, because what are you comfortable with? And that's what I had to realize. Because when it comes to your kid, like your father, my mom always says, and it's our little running joke. Like she she'll say, I'll give you bail money and fix for him for your son.
Because that's what my kids.
So I just realized, like, I had to go with what I felt comfortable with. And I didn't feel like feel comfortable with putting my kid in a new situation. And he wasn't used to that. For me, it was no big deal, because I was a military brat. So I moved my whole life. So I was like, oh, you'll be alright. But I could start seeing his face. And he was just like, Huh, you know, like he said, he was cool with it. But you could tell you is unsure. And I was like, You know what, let me just put him somewhere where I know he'll be good. It just so happened. Like he had a friend who had a friend who went to that school because I'm where we used to live, everybody from New York moved here. So so he actually knew somebody there at the school. And so I said, You know what, I'll just put them in that school. And I was just like, you know what, I would be more comfortable. So it has to, it really comes down to my emotions, like what would make me comfortable, because I would be completely uncomfortable if like, just because I was so driven to pay off my debt that I put him in a situation where I was uncomfortable with but he was also uncomfortable with. So it was a hard situation like it took me about like three months to really come to terms that I was going to have to put him in private school. But I didn't want like I waited to the last minute to register him and everything.
Michael Lacy 28:16
So let me let me ask this question. You mentioned earlier that when you started the journey, you kind of had this thing of like, I want to be like everybody else, I want one of those cool debt payoff stories where it's like, you know, 16 months or whatever. And you're facing this crossroads. Do you feel like that there was like some of that outside pressure? Because, you know, you you talk about money publicly? So do you feel like there was a little bit of outside pressure to to be like, No, I'm gonna keep addressing the debt? Or was it solely just something else that made that decision tough for you.
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 28:51
So at that time, I wasn't really telling about my journey, but I was known around my friend so my friends didn't know I was paying off debt. And it's coming in. But I was known for to have the money to. I was like, You know what, like, I just, it for me was just completely like, I got to do with best when my kid I really didn't have outside pressure per se. It was just really me like me fighting myself. Gotcha.
Michael Lacy 29:21
Gotcha. Okay, so what adjustments did you have to make to your debt payoff journey to make that to accommodate that?
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 29:29
So when we moved here, initially, I had planned on like, Okay, I'm gonna find me another job like I had even planned to teach online. When I got here at my old school, like I was like, okay, you can teach online and you'll have a little money and then you can quit that turns your debts not as much but it's okay. But that fell through that fell through the class I was going to teach you got cancelled, which happens when you don't have enough enrollment, which was surprising because of the online class. So they normally have Really good enrollment, but that year just it fell through. And then I was like, Okay, well, I'm gonna find a job to teach that. But I was uncomfortable here. Also, because I had just gotten here, I hadn't really learned my way around. And then I was really starting to realize that like, my son was still adjusting. So I ended up deciding, like, No, you really, really slowing this down. And so what I ended up doing was I just ended up trying to save the money in my check and put it towards debt. So I just had basically, even though I had a combined and co with my husband, we were still trying to figure it out. Because, you know, coming from two, one to two or two to one, yeah, two to one, you know, you really haven't figured out how to work it out yet. And so for me, I was trying to figure out how to work it out how to pay this higher rent. Higher rent here is this rent is more than my mortgage. Because I still own that house. So I was renting that house. And I was like, Okay, how much can I afford to put towards debt? And so like, I initially just decided I was going to put like, an extra hundred dollars towards the debt until I figured out like, Okay, how much stuff cause here, I still was paying bills at that house, because there's always an overlap. You know, even though you get a rent, I got a renter immediately, like I had a renter set when I left, but there's still an overlap with bills before they take over. So I was trying to figure that piece out. And then after I figured it out, I was like, Okay, I can pay, like maybe 200. And so that's what I kind of did, I was paying 200. And then I realized that lunch here is more expensive, because I kind of fell off my lunch thing. When I got here. Food is good. And I was exhausted because the truck, I live in Queens. So the travel into the city for work was just, I was just not ready. I wasn't ready for that commute. I used to live 10 minutes from my job, so to have to commute in for an hour was just crazy for me. And so I fell off a little but then when I started looking at my numbers, I was like, Okay, if I eat out once a week, I can do this. And so I finally got to the point where I was doing about 250 to 300. And I felt comfortable with that. But that still was just a major slow down for me, especially when it came to like my student loans because that's really what I was focused on at the time. Plus I was battled, I didn't even tell nobody about this, I was battling with my mortgage company because they sold the loan, and they lost a payment. So I'm trying to cover the payment, fight for the payment to come back and pay extra money. So it was just, it was crazy. But I was paying around 250 to $300 a month, some months less cuz you know, just other things were going on with my son especially. And again, like with the private school, I wasn't thinking about like, you don't get free lunch. So then his expenses. And so I had to really like figure out like, how much does he spend? Or how much am I going to give for that. And then, you know, uniforms, and it just it was just a whole different ballgame up here. So
Michael Lacy 33:27
yeah, that's a lot. That's a dozen. That's a lot of changes in a quick amount of time. So I mean, I want to ask you, like, why did it all of those changes? Everything happened in kind of against you at that point? Why didn't that make you just kind of throw your hands up and say, You know what, I'm just gonna, I'm done with this, we'll be right wing got to pay off our debt like that. What made you decide, you know, what, I'm still gonna find a way to contribute just a little bit, even if it's not what it was. It's not what I want it to be. I'm still going to do just what I can just enough this month, how did you come to that decision?
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 34:03
Truthfully, because every time I got paid, I would write down how much I owed on that student loan. What those student loans, and that number was just annoying. And then I would write next to it. Like how, what's the minimum payment. And even at that point, it was automatically coming out, because I wanted that lower interest rate. And I knew how much I need to put extra on it to eliminate the interest. Because you know, if you take if you take if you just pay the minimum right and you take a break, that's how I call it, you take a little break, because I messed up, it took a break one month, right after I got married, I was like, I'm not gonna put in an extra and I saw that interest hit. And I was like, What? How much interest and at the time I didn't have a payment because I was so far ahead, but it was just like, that's a lot of interest. You know, so I just was like that interest alone was annoying to me. And so I think that's what kept me motivated. And then just Also, like, I just really wanted to be in a good position to give my son a legacy. And I can't do that by giving half my money to student loans. So I was just like, yeah, we're still working towards this legacy, we're gonna we're gonna get this money. And that's the way I feel about it. So it was more so like I say, ego, and then partly, he's my wife. So you know, I don't want to ever put him in a position where like, he couldn't do something because I had this debt. And I had to pay this bill. So I was like, okay, we're gonna keep going, we're gonna get to this point, we may be paying off student loans together. Point, oh, cuz that's another thing I didn't mention, I started contributing. Because before I wasn't contributing to his college fun, he started with one, I let it roll. And I just didn't contribute for a long time. And then I was like, I'm trippin, like, I'm paying these student loans. Let me put up to his college funds. So that was another place money was going I started putting money towards college, because it rolled up quicker than I thought on me. So I was like, yeah, let's start putting money to the side for this.
Michael Lacy 36:08
Love that love that. Um, so now I want to just ask you kind of looking forward from this point where you are now, you've paid off a ton of debt. So far, you still have a little bit left to go. But I'm sensing a theme that you're the type of person that really is comfortable balancing multiple financial priorities at the same time. For you, it's not a matter of being what Dave Ramsey what called gizelle intense and locking in on one thing, you have this ability to balance and juggle things and make really good financial decisions across the board. So looking at that, I want to ask you, what are some of your financial priorities now going forward.
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 36:48
So it is to pay off that student loan, like so my son is now in college. So I really want to pay off my student loan, because I know people are like, Oh, you know, focus on your retirement, don't worry about your kids, like I contribute well, to my retirement, and we bout to go on high gear on that. So but I really, that's, it was an honor to me to be able to help him with college. So I want to pay off my student loan, so I could help him a little bit with his college, because he has some scholarships, but he does have some loans. So I just want to be able to give him that gift. Because I wish that gift was given to me. And then also, one of my big big goals is I have like a five year ago to leave corporate America. And so that's what I'm kind of working towards, like really just trying to build that up. And then also my husband, I we actually want to buy a house here, houses here are expensive. So we're trying to find the worst house on the block.
Michael Lacy 37:52
I hear you.
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 37:54
So that's kind of like where I'm focused right now. Like, those are my goals that I'm working towards right now. So we're, we're saving to, you know, put down on a house. I'm also like trying to, I'm really focused on my student loans right now. But not putting as much I've slowed down, since everything happened just to really just make sure that we have like extra money in savings, because I just don't trust anything or anyone. And then hopefully, I could just pull that money later, to throw down on my student loans and just to be able to help myself, but my son has some time to go, he wants to be a doctor, but I just kind of want to help him on the undergrad side, just so I'm not gonna pay at all, but just pay a little bit
Michael Lacy 38:40
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 38:40
help him breathe. I don't want him to be stressed about it. You know, right.
Michael Lacy 38:46
Now, that's a great gift. That's a great gift. So moving towards kind of wrapping up the episode here, I always like to end on a hypothetical question. So let's say that there's somebody listening right now. And maybe they just started addressing their debt for the first time. And now they're coming up on some challenges that are really going to start to kind of slow them down a little bit. What would you say to that person to give them a little hope, a little inspiration at a time like that.
Alanna Anthony of Financialdemics 39:14
So the first thing I always say is, look at your number. Because sometimes our emotions take over. And so we feel like it's going to be worse than we think. But sometimes you might see a little opening, it's not gonna be the same, but there may be a little opening, but then also really just focus on your why, like, why did you originally decide to pay off debt? For me, I felt held back. So for me, I was like, I'm about to be held back by the Yes, you know, but then also I have a son who for me, it was just really important to build that legacy for and so because I don't want him to see me fail. You know, that is the thing that makes keeps me motivated. So find that thing. That keeps you motivated. And then also the one thing that I just completely messed up on I tell everybody do like, tell somebody you paying off debt, like get you a good accountability partner, not not the friend who won't let you spend your money wherever you won't get the friend who's gonna call you out on your nonsense, because that's going to be that person who is going to keep you going when you're like, oh, maybe I should do this. That's the person who's gonna say, Well, did you put your money towards your debt? Do you have that money in your fund money or something to that aspect? So I would just really say focus on your why because that's, that's the thing that keeps me motivated, like put it up somewhere. I actually have my numbers on the wall in my bedroom. I hate the way it looks. You can make it look pretty put it in frame or something, but I have it up. So that reminds me like, Okay, we got to go get it.
Michael Lacy 40:54
Yeah, love that. Love that. And thank you so much for sharing so much of your story so openly and so transparently. I do want to give you the opportunity as we move towards closing to share where the best place to connect with you is if people want to follow along with you as a result of hearing this interview.
Sure. So I'm going to send you to my YouTube channel first. So I'm on YouTube under financial demyx. I'm also on Instagram and Facebook under financial dynamics, and my website is www dot financial dynamics.com. Awesome. Well, hey, thank you, Alanna, so much for coming by and sharing your story on the winning to wealth podcast, I'm gonna be sure to link to everything she just mentioned in the show notes, which you can find the link to in the episode description of whatever podcast player you're using to listen to this. So go check that out by clicking the link in the episode description or heading two went into wealth.com slash Episode 49.
So as I said earlier, change is inevitable. On your wealth building journey, you may find yourself moving along and experienced some major emergencies like Alanna did. Or you may have a spouse who's fully on board and committed to the process one month, and then totally disengaged from that same process and want nothing to do with being financially responsible the next month. Or you could experience a completely different change to your plans, these things happen. But the important thing to remember from this episode is that it's okay to alter the original plan. Change doesn't mean you have to abandon the goal. Sometimes you just need to tweak the method that you're using to get there. So stay firm in your pursuit, but flexible about the methods. And always, always, always prioritize making the decision that's best for you. Not the decision that a guru or some other financial influencer says including me, because at the end of the day, it's you that has to live with whatever choice you decide to make. Now, if you have an idea on a direction you'd like to go, but you just aren't quite sure if it's the right move. Then you can head over to my private Facebook group where you can ask questions and get feedback from some folks who are also on a wealth building journey. You can find the group over at winning to wealth.com slash teammates that is winning to wealth comm slash teammates. Or you can just look in the episode description and click the link that says Facebook group. And while you're in the episode description, you may also notice a link to a YouTube channel. That's right going forward, I am releasing the video recordings of these episodes. So if you prefer video over audio, click that link or head over to winning to wealth.com slash YouTube for the channel and subscribe. Again, the channel is winning to wealth.com slash you tube. But that's all the time I have for this week. So until we talk again, keep racking up those wins one at a time. Take care.
Unknown Speaker 44:12
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