This week, we have another bonus episode for you. In episode 113, Josie, a Money Club Launch member shares her debt free story. She was the first in her family to go to college. But then she found herself in student loan, credit card, and auto loan debt. Listen to how she paid off $50k and now is on her way to financial freedom and independence.
Along her financial journey, Josie discovered her passion for financial freedom and independence. She became a blogger with the mission to inspire the latino community to improve their finances and live a minimalist life. Now that they are debt free, Josie and her husband are focused on financial planning, saving, and securing their family’s future.
The day has finally arrived! The Money Launch Club (the membership community to help you reach Financial Freedom & Independence) doors are now open! Join us here MoneyLaunchClub.com before the doors close again in a few days!
More About Josie Espinoza
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Josie we are excited to share your story with the Journey to Launch community. Before we dive into your journey, can you tell Journeyers more about yourself?
I was born in Mexico, and I am the youngest of 9. I was the first one to get a college degree, but 3 of my older siblings own successful businesses in Mexico. My parents brought me to California when I was 8 years old along with two of my siblings. They have been farm workers ever since, picking different types of fruit depending on the season here in the Central Valley, California.
I never went to a babysitter because my parents would take me to work with them on the weekends, school holidays and summers. My first paycheck was from picking grapes one summer. Even though it wasn't easy working in the fields, I still didn't value money. My mom would always say "Money is made to be spent," and that's the mindset I grew up with. In college I had two jobs, bought a car, got my first credit cards, spent all my money, and didn't save a dime.
In about 2014, I came across the snowball debt payoff method on Pinterest which then led me to find Dave Ramsey. I started tracking my debt and tried to pay it off but wasn't really focused. Fast forward to July 2018, we got home from a summer trip and had no money because our credit cards were maxed out and my next paycheck wasn't coming for another three weeks. Those three weeks without money were my rock bottom.
It was then that I really focused on my finances. We made our finances a priority, we made a budget and stuck with it. Every morning I take a few minutes to check our budget and remind my husband what our goal for the day. For example, sometimes we had a no spend day, no coffee, sell one item, or spend less than $10 goal. I started listening to finance podcasts instead of music and reading every finance book I could get my hands on.
Then, I started following the Debt Free Community on Instagram and joined financial independence (FI) groups on Facebook. I also sold a lot of stuff that I wasn’t using which led me to become an aspiring minimalist. Currently, we are working on saving 3 months of our expenses in our emergency fund. We have paid off the majority of our debt and only have our mortgage left. We know our financial independence (FI) number and have a plan.
We are still spenders but only spend our weekly allowance. I’m fortunate that my husband and I are on the same page when it comes to our finance goals and we hold each other accountable. Thanks to the Journey to Launch Podcast and the Money Launch Club I felt financially stable enough to take a risk and resign from a job that was affecting my mental health. I wish I would have known everything about finance when I started working.
I started a blog and an instagram page “Minimalisa Todo” which means minimize everything. My goal is to share my journey as I minimize my financial stress, my clutter at home and my weight. It is in Spanish because I want to inspire the Spanish speaking community.
Wow what a journey. Josie what advice would you share with other Journeyers still on the journey to reach their goals?
First I would say, write everything down, track your progress, and celebrate the small wins.
I am a very impatient person and seeing a visual of where I started and how far I’ve come gave me motivation to keep going. I also like to celebrate the small wins, things like not buying a coffee in the morning, eating lunch from home three days in a row. My celebrations were always within the budget and sometimes it was silly things like a happy dance or a high five from my husband.
Josie, what else motivates you? What's your "Why," or the reason you are pursuing Financial Freedom & Financial Independence?
The freedom to spend time with my daughter and my husband is my why. My husband is a truck driver and is always on the road. I want us to spend more time together. One of our crazy goals is for my daughter and I to join him on the road and visit every state where he makes deliveries and gets paid.
That’s an awesome goal. Josie, what's something you want to improve or change to help you reach your goals?
As a family we are working on eating at home. I am also transitioning to a new job and I started my masters to be able to increase my income.
What are some things you are doing to help move forward on your journey ?
I am still selling things I don't use. I also do audits and secret shopping gigs to earn extra income. I have several apps on my phone that earn me money with little effort. We are tracking every penny that comes in and out of our accounts.
So, Josie have you had any wins since joining the Money Launch Club?
Since joining the Money Launch Club, I have paid off my debt (minus my mortgage). I also made more informed changes to my retirement account after one of the classes. The FI course opened my eyes to the reality of our situation. I like that I was able to play with the number and see how different habits today could impact my future.
What do you enjoy most about the Money Launch Club?
I really enjoy the speakers in the Money Launch Club, especially when we are able to ask our questions. I like how it is not very formal and is a welcoming environment.
What’s something you were surprised to learn on your journey? Everything I know about finance I have found free on the internet. My hairdresser once told me, "In this technology era, not knowing is no longer an excuse." I feel that there are so many free resources on the internet that anyone can change their finances with a little effort.
Other related blog posts/links mentioned in this episode:
Check out Josie’s Website or follow her on Instagram @minimalisatodo. Both are in Spanish to inspire the Spanish speaking community.
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