Talk Wealth to Me

#048: Racism + Finances

June 19, 2020 Felipe Arevalo, Chase Peckham, Katie Utterback, Michelle Jackson Season 2 Episode 22
Talk Wealth to Me
#048: Racism + Finances
Show Notes Transcript

Following the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department in May 2020, national attention has turned to systemic racism within the United States, specifically for Black people. 

Some may wonder what racism has to do with finances, but the answer is everything. 
Systemic racism is still rooted in all aspects of our society today, and progress is still needed for Black Americans to have true equality.

Take employment for example:

  • Studies show that companies are more likely to call back a candidate who has a name that's more commonly associated with White people.
  • Black Americans are more likely to be unemployed or have low-paying jobs compared to White Americans. That's in part due to education disparities. But studies show Black workers earn less than White workers even when they have the same education.
  • There's also the racial wage gap: the Economic Policy Institute says that in 2017, Black men made about 70 cents for every $1 their White counterpart made. 
  • The gap is especially large when it comes to Black women, who make 62 cents for every $1 a White man makes, according to the National Women's Law Center.

This is just one example. Systemic racism has impacted housing, education, wealth, health care, criminal justice, policing, and voting. There's no simple fix to reversing centuries of discrimination. But understanding how pervasive it is, is step one.

George Floyd's murder may not have ever occurred if systemic racism didn't also affect finances. As Katie mentions during the show, the Minneapolis police were originally called because a counterfeit $20 had been used, and as the owner of Cup Foods has told numerous news outlets, he was not sure George Floyd knew the money was fake and that law enforcement normally would stop by the supermarket and pick up the counterfeit currency.

Regardless of whether George Floyd knew the money was counterfeit, it should have never been a death sentence. As Mark McCoy, a 44-year-old white archaeology professor at Southern Methodist University wrote:

“George Floyd and I were both arrested for allegedly spending a counterfeit $20 bill. For George Floyd, a man my age, with two kids, it was a death sentence. For me, it is a story I sometimes tell at parties. That, my friends, is White privilege.”

Joining us on the show to delve deeper into the very-large topic of Racism + Finances is Michelle Jackson, host of the "Michelle is Money Hungry" podcast and author of a blog and website of the same name.

Income
White: $71,000
Black: $41,000

Median Net Worth
White: $171,000 (10x higher than the average Black person's net worth)
Black: $17,600

Poverty
White: 8.1%
Black: 20.8%

Unemployment
White: 14.2%
Black: 16.7%

No Access to Health Care
White: 5.4%
Black: 9.7%

COVID-19 Deaths
Black people represent 13% population
Black people represent 23% COVID-19 deaths

About Michelle Jackson
Michelle accrued more than $60,000 in unsecured debt and paid off that debt while supporting her mom financially while working as a Starbuck's barista. Michelle shares her struggles and triumphs, as well as those of other personal finance bloggers, on her podcast and blog, Michelle is Money Hungry. She also created a financial retreat for financially single women Money on the Mountain.

Support the show (https://www.sdflc.org/help-sdflc/donate/)
Intro:

Welcome to Talk Wealth To Me, a safe space podcast, where we chat about anything and everything related to personal finance.

Felipe Arevalo:

The information contained in this podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute as accounting, legal tax or other professional advice.

Chase Peckham:

Hello and welcome to another edition of Talk Wealth To me, this week's guest is Michelle Jackson. She is the creator and owner of Michelle is Money Hungry, a blog, a podcast about everything personal finance. She grew up in Colorado and we discussed this week, honestly, some pretty difficult subject matter. She is the perfect guest at the perfect time.

Katie Utterback:

so Michelle, thank you so much for joining us. Um , this is a heavy topic, race and finances, but it's a really important one. And before we kind of just kick off our discussion, I'm originally from Minneapolis. That was my hometown where George Floyd was murdered. And I actually , uh , was a journalist before I started working with Chase and Felipe at the SDFLC and DebtWave. And I actually have interviewed people who have lost their life on that same street at the hands of police. So this was, Oh my God thing to watch. And I there's a lot of emotions flowing, but I think a really important part of George Floyd's murder is to kind of talk about what happened and why the police were called and why the police were called is related to a financial matter, which is a counterfeit $20 bill was used. Now the owner of the store Cup Foods has said numerous times that he does not believe that George Floyd knew that that $20 bill was counterfeit. And the reason I bring this up is because on Twitter, that same day that George Floyd was murdered. There was a white man, I believe in Texas who had the same kind of experience, not the same experience at all because that man is still alive. He had a counterfeit $20 bill in the store took it, and he has a Twitter thread where he's talking about how he thought this was going to be a story that he shared at dinner parties and something. He was going to laugh about that he didn't realize it was a counterfeit $20 bill. And I think this is a really important point, which is there's so many inequalities that are kind of surfacing. Um, and you on your podcast, Michelle, you've talked about some of those inequalities that you personally have experienced, and you've kind of talked about how systemically other people in our country have experienced this. Um, I want to talk to you just, I know this is a huge question, but how are you feeling as more people are talking and listening about something that, as you said on your show has been affecting you personally?

Michelle Jackson:

So what I would say is , um, I can only speak for myself. Uh , I'm not speaking for everyone. I always like to like with these kinds of conversations, because everyone has a different and unique experience. Um, I'm one person out of millions of , uh, African American citizens in the United States. So for me , um , watching what is going on and the conversations that are being had, like I'm exhausted, like there is a reason why I actually recorded a podcast episode. It wasn't just to address what was going on. It was to manage my own self care so that I didn't have to have these conversations over and over again and, and get interrupted. And like, you know, I wanted to say my piece and direct people to, to what my thoughts were and keep, keep things simple for me. So I could manage my energy and, and a lot of people that I know who are of color they're like we were already tired before this happened. Like, like it's really funny because online and funny, in a sad way, like, it feels like people are just now discovering that we're having these , these issues, but I'm like, this is a life lived issue for me , uh , being black in America. Right. So yesterday I was on my Instagram thread as a live stream . And I was like, yeah, I just, I was called the N word today. That was the first time in a while, you know , uh , because it was true. Like I was just mind my own business, this homeless guy called me the N word. So I think that what's interesting is that , um, people are now , uh, catching up to my and many other people's lived experience, right. Because what else are you going to do? There's pandemic, can't focus on anything else. And a lot of people are saying, you know, it's interesting how COVID happened. And this is the only area of focus we have because there's nothing else we can do. We can't do sports. We can't do all these things. Um, we , we now have this weird time where we are now able to focus and address an issue that a lot of times people were just brushing under the table because they could, because they had other distractions. And now weirdly ironically enough, the universe is like, no, we're going to have you focus on us . So , um, yeah, this is my like normal lived experience. And , um, I think what I hope from all of this, and I think a lot of good is going to happen and occur. Um, I need people to understand that I don't want you to be excited about helping, you know, race relations for the next two months until Godzilla arrives, because it's been that kind of year. This is for forever. If we want our country to be better, a lot of these issues like sexism, systemic racism, all these things. This is like, once you say you care about this, you can't turn the switch on and off because then you're a part of the problem. So yeah.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. Well, it , like you said, you do not speak for everyone and we're not on the show .

Michelle Jackson:

Yeah. I was just do the asterisk, but , um , I think that a lot of people will, will resonate with what I'm saying, but , um, yeah, like , uh, my hope is that people understand that they , that this is, this is if you're, if you care this isn't some fly by night situation, you know, that you care about.

Katie Utterback:

Definitely not. And, you know, from your show, the two podcasts that you most recently recorded talking about, you know, being an ally and then what a black person in America , um, you mentioned some names, one of which is Colin Kaepernick. And she thought that that was such a genius example of how black people are affected financially and Colin Kaepernick. I don't really watch football, but he's a great athlete. And from where I'm sitting, not really knowing that much about football, it's confusing. Why another team hasn't signed him?

Michelle Jackson:

Well, he was blackballed. I mean, quite frankly, like he was blackballed for making waves and , um, and he, and he was kept from being able to do his job. Now, imagine if you're a secretary and you're noticing that there are problems in your, your work space and no one else is there to advocate on your behalf. He's fine because he had his Nike deal and that kind of thing. He's, he's made a lot of money. Okay. But quite frankly, his love, his passion is football. He's a hundred percent capable of playing the game he's young enough to continue to do so. Um , and he it's likely he will never play again because he took a stand and that affected his livelihood. So, so again, there are a lot of people who had , who have taken a stand and they get fired. A good example is that woman, I think she's maybe in Texas, a black woman who, who someone asked her, what, what, why are people protesting? She explained, and she got fired and there's audio of that conversation. So there you go. She's fine, by the way.

Katie Utterback:

Well, let's talk about that too. Cause you mentioned on your show that, you know, firsthand that you had been passed over for promotions because you are a black woman. Well,

Michelle Jackson:

I wasn't , uh , not for promotion . So what had happened was , uh, I worked in an organization that actively recruited internationally for its clientele cause we worked with international students. Um, and so I wanted to do that, but the thing is that is a very expensive thing to do. It costs a lot of money to send your , your staff abroad and that kind of thing. You want to make sure that they're attracting people to the organization because we got paid by the clientele, right? The number of clients that we had, the number of students and one of the directors for sure. And this was , uh , you know, for sure it was because I was black and she was like, I don't want you to represent the organization abroad. I don't feel as comfortable with you doing that. Ironically, five years later, students still contact me because of the amazing experience that I helped them have at the organization a second time, it happened with another director, but she's just, that person is very , um, she's very professionally motivated. So it was more, I don't think in her case, it was because I was black. It's just because I was in the way of her own professional rise . Uh , sh no, cause she was the director threatened by you. Well, she , she road blocked me. We'll put it that way.

Chase Peckham:

That happens in business all the time.

Michelle Jackson:

Yeah. Yeah. So , um, I worked for myself for a reason. I'm the only roadblock to my, you know , uh , success. So I, I like a lot of women of color have opted to work for myself because I did not want to be limited by someone else's vision of what I could do.

Chase Peckham:

My wife and I were having this discussion just the other day, just in , in , in professional life, just tired of other people, making decisions for you. And some point you, every professional has to make a decision. Do I want to work for somebody? Yeah. Cause there's that, do I, do I take the chance and go, or do I take the , the constant paycheck, which you know, that it's , it's a tough , it's a difficult decision. And, and I, I'm very , uh, I'm impressed by the people that will take that opportunity, that they haven't trusted themselves and go for it. And a lot of times there's failure, failure, failure, and then somehow you figure it out and all of a sudden you're on the rise. So I commend you very much.

Michelle Jackson:

It's never an overnight success. So yeah, that's totally a movie. So it's , it's definitely not an overnight success. It's been a very challenging experience to work for myself. And I specifically am focused on online entrepreneurship. So I am not interested in selling actual physical products. Um, but that has its own pitfalls when you're trying to make money online. Um, but I am so thankful that I did that because now, you know, I'm actually making more money , uh, during the pandemic than I was before. Like, because I've learned all these skills for years prior to this and I , and I'm able to leverage them really well now, because again, it's never overnight success. Um , but the timing has been great because of all the stuff that's going on now. So

Chase Peckham:

yeah, there's so many things that go into success and what you consider success, but timing is a huge part of it. But the , your foresight in, in learning the skills that you could see coming in the future, you didn't see a pandemic coming. I mean, I don't think any of us saw that , but you mean, I mean, bottom line here, right? Timing it , it worked out ,

Michelle Jackson:

uh , yeah. Pandemic was not on my 2020 vision board

Chase Peckham:

I don't think it was on anybody's, we're all gonna look back at this at some point. And , and just, we're either, we're going to have just giant smiles with like, can you believe how we lived for a period of time, but again, like anything else, we said this at the beginning, and I believe this whole-heartedly with dark times you the light comes. I, and I truly believe that. And I think that a lot has to do with the current situations that, that we're in right now, that there's a reason that we're all at home and that this, this , um , subject matter is coming to light even more on the surface, even though we're all tired and we're all beat up and it's so emotionally taxing , um, and, and Felipe and I in our organization, we , we work with low to moderate income personnel or people , um, families quite a bit. And we do see that a large part of that are people of color , um, of all different races , um, you know, black , uh , we have a large Hispanic population here in San Diego. Um, and let me ask you, why do you think that predominantly people of color seem to be, and not always, but seem to be in cities, a larger percentage of lower income individuals?

Michelle Jackson:

Well, I mean,

Chase Peckham:

and that's a loaded question, a tough question, right? And it could be a very long answer.

Michelle Jackson:

It's not, it's not a tough question. So here, here's the thing I just recorded an episode about financial allyship. And so , um, we could start with just , uh, number one , uh, what are the jobs that we're going into, right. Um, so if, if I am going into jobs of service , uh, that could affect my income. So if I'm going into a social work job versus becoming a tech, bro, that's two totally different, like just starting points are two totally different things. Um, access to education. The American system makes no sense. I should not have to spend 40 grand to get a university education. And actually there's a reckoning that's going to happen because there are a lot of students who've been paying all this tuition and they cannot physically be on campus because of the coronavirus. And so I think there's going to be a lot of lawsuits, a lot of conversation about what , what am I paying for? Why am I, why am I paying all this money? And I can't be on campus. Um , I've lived abroad. I lived in France. They pay like a thousand. I don't know . At the time that I lived there, it was like a thousand dollars a semester. It was some crazy amount of money. Um, that was nothing right, so that they could be educated so they could better their lives. So when you're a young person or even, you know , uh , older and you decided to go and get a better education, but you you've finished getting that education deeply in debt, you're already in the hole. Right. Um, so that's problematic. Um, not everyone should be going to college by the way. So this also includes , uh, getting vocational skills. It should not cost tons of money to get vocational skills so that you can better your life. So here in Denver, I'm from Denver, Colorado , uh, here in Colorado, we actually have a school that, from what I understand teaches , uh, construction skills for free, that's a big deal because construction makes good money. Right. And right now there were booming here. They couldn't get enough people to do the work. So they were like, how can we get people to do the work and train them? So that they're great on the job. So just those things there's , um, just knowing the gatekeepers to the organizations that you're in. So maybe you've been working in an organization for a long time and you're like, why do I, like what is going on with my, my salary? Why is it that I've heard through the grapevine so-and-so is making this and I'm making this. So just even negotiating your salary and knowing the starting point from where you should begin. Um , so that's why wage transparency is so important. So like, there's so many things like I can't even, you know, like the list is long , um, redlining , uh, I live in a part of Denver that was red lined. I would have never been sold a house in this neighborhood as a black person. Are you kidding me? So , um, so, and , and that happened for a long time access to just regular free public school education and, and having education tied to our , uh , taxes , uh, depending on where you live. I live in a filthy rich neighborhood. I am not filthy rich. I'm just saying I live in a rich neighborhood. So if I were to take my kids to the school that I live a couple blocks from , um, if I had kids, I know that the education that they're getting is suburb is superior to other places. I already know this because of the amount of money they have for the resources and tools the kids need. So , um, there , there's so many things that could start with, and it's just endless. Um, and, and a lot of times you may not even know the deficiencies that you're having to deal with to , to even be able to address them. So , um, that is, that is why I love the internet. I love how it, it, it can be an equalizer for a lot of things where if you're like, you know what, I want to start a business online and sell a product. And I set the prices and I can be in front of a lot of other people. And I can do that in Spanish. I can do that in English. I can do that with whomever. That's , there's a reason why I love doing things online, because a lot of the, the , um, landmines that you have to kind of manage person, a person , uh , gets filtered out online. Because if you don't want to deal with me because I'm black, you would just ignore my platform to begin with, right. Like I would never know about you and I wouldn't care. Um, if you don't want to deal with me because you don't understand Spanish, I wouldn't care about it because I wouldn't care. And I would be able to attract people who would want what I was selling, regardless of , uh , who I was, because they would know right away.

Katie Utterback:

I was reading a study and I was talking about even at law firms. So even the legal industry, when they're looking at resumes that are identical, the only thing that's different is the name on the resume. So when there's a black sounding name compared to a white sounding name on the resume, people are more willing to find errors of spelling, grammatical errors. They're less likely to call that person back for an interview, education, the experience it's all identical. Um, and you mentioned being in an online world, how often do you think your name gives you maybe an advantage or disadvantage? Like , do people think that you're black based on the name, Michelle?

Michelle Jackson:

Well, I have pictures on everything, so yes, but I mean, Michelle, like how , how generic is, Michelle's the most generic name ever? So , um , the , there is no issue with my name, but I will say I have three names. So my first name I do not use, and I stopped using it, nothing to do with this, but it was just like one of those things. When I was a little kid, I got sick of people mispronouncing my name. And I lived in Boulder, Colorado with kids with names like Apple and Leaf. So it was really annoying. And so finally I was just like, mom, I don't want to use this name anymore. I want to use my middle name, which is Michelle. So Michelle is actually, my name is just my middle name. And my mom's like, like super chill hippie kind of , you know, so she's like, whatever you want to do. And so I use my middle name. Right. But it is not lost on me that if I were to use my first name, which is definitely black sounding that there would be issues quite honestly. Um, well, if someone were looking at a resume , um, but even so my resume has, I use the initial, not the full name. Um, so it would, it would be very difficult, I think on paper, but I'm not, I'm not being, I'm not looking for work in that way. I'm an entrepreneur. So it's a very different thing because I'm, I purposely put my image on everything. So sometimes there's this conversation in business that it's not good to have your face on your brand because white people won't buy from you. I don't care about that. If you're , if you're that racist that you're not going to buy from me because I'm black, I please don't give me your money. I don't want your money. So we're good. Yeah .

Katie Utterback:

To me, like, I wouldn't even want that. I don't want you, I don't want that energy.

Felipe Arevalo:

Like you mentioned education. And it's very interesting that , uh, the education system is so different from one community to the other. And my wife and I, people have told us, you know, you can get that same apartment for cheaper, in other parts of town. And like some of the parts of town maybe where I even where I grew up. But if you look at the school rankings and you look at the school districts, the only reason we're here paying more is so that the public education that my, I guess now second grader is getting is better.

Chase Peckham:

That's exactly what we moved here for.

Felipe Arevalo:

You pay for it . We could be cheaper elsewhere, but it's very unfortunate that know where you can afford to live, dictates the kind of education that you can afford to get.

Michelle Jackson:

Um, it , it's ridiculous. And actually in my case, when I finally have kids and I'm the oldest mom in the world , um, my, I I'm totally serious. I've decided to home-school my kids. I will have tutors come in. Um, I will not actively be doing it cause I'm not crazy. Uh , but I will host , I will host

Felipe Arevalo:

that word , this pandemic and teaching is

Michelle Jackson:

no, I , I, it's not my, no, no. So I I've always known that I would home-school. And initially I was nervous about it because the home-school kids that I grew up with in Boulder, Colorado are weird. Um, but nowadays I think that they're , they really were weird. Yes . But , but nowadays I feel like , um, we understand what makes home-school kids weird, which is they don't get enough time with other kids. So my thought is that I'll have them homeschooled, but then have them socialized like with sports or whatever. Um, and the reason why is , um, just the statistics on how black kids are treated in school. Um, I find it incredibly, incredibly proud of problematic and I just, I'm not, I don't have time for it. So , um, I will not be putting my kids in public school and I have lot of friends who've done the same thing. Um, and their kids have thrived. We ha they haven't had to deal with, you know, unfair punishments for things that, that like kids normally do and weird conversations that distract from, from their child's learning. And, and so , um, for me, I've decided that I'm just going to circumvent that and , um, and just , uh, spend my money the way that I want to, to educate my kids without limits. Um, and, and that's also an issue, which is maybe someone will see my black child. Like I could , even if I had a half black child, they would be a black child, right. So they would look at my child and see a person of color. They may think that that, that they aren't able to, to achieve the things that another child could achieve. I don't want that, that implicit or, or that subconscious bias affecting how you educate my child now, by the way, there are amazing, amazing educators out there. I've had some amazing educators who are not black because I live in Denver, who I learned from, and I got so much value from, and I still love to this day, but I know moving forward that when I have kids, they're going to be homeschooled because of what we're talking about.

Felipe Arevalo:

So it's interesting to mention , I live in a part of San Diego that is known to be not as diverse , um, where as a first generation Latino, I'm one of the few in this area and I am a father of a half black boy who is in second grade. So I maybe a little more hyper aware to what you're saying then than most. And I can say that I've always made it a point to be very involved in his schooling because I want to make sure that him being, I see his friends and I don't think he's experienced it yet, but I'm aware that there's a possibility that he may growing up experienced school differently than I did when I was in school in a part where in a part of town where maybe I was just part of the crowd and kind of sticks out, he's, he's lighter than I am.

Michelle Jackson:

That happens .

Felipe Arevalo:

But you know, any , I don't think that he's aware yet of, of his , uh, he will become aware or hopefully he's not made aware by others, but it's something where I've always made myself. Like, I know the teachers, I email the teachers. I'm always

Michele Jackson:

you're on it

Felipe Arevalo:

stuff because I am aware that at some point it may come into play and it's very unfortunate that , but, but you're, you're absolutely right. He's not like his classmates, to me, they're all the same. They're just first graders ,

Michelle Jackson:

they're little kids. Uh , but I will say just as a side note. So I was one of two black, I think in my second grade, I didn't really know that I was one of two black kids in my second grade. Like I was a little kid, so I, you know, kids are kids, but I would say that that was, you know, a billion years ago and how kids are now and how they're socialized and what they're aware of is very different. And so , um, I think having a parent who's able to be present in that way is so important. My parents divorced, my mom was working like two and three jobs and going to college. So it was very difficult for her to be like there, you know, cause she was just like, let's not be homeless. So she just, she just was always working. Um, and I know that I already with my kids, I don't have, I'm already from a place of privilege because I've grown an online product and business. So I did that with the idea that when I have a family in the future, I can just work from wherever. Like I was very intentional about that. That was one of the reasons why I did what I did. Um,

Chase Peckham:

and I think we're going to see more of that in even our younger generations. Oh yeah. A lot of them are , I mean , I'm 48 years old. There was like, you went to college, you got a job, you did what you tried to do, what you wanted to do. You got the home, you know, we just kind of went through that, that we're in a whole completely different world. You mentioned you're right. Kids are , I have a 12 year old and a 10 year old and they're hyper aware of,

Michelle Jackson:

but I think that gen X, cause you're a gen X, by the way, a lot of genexers are doing what I do. Yeah . So , um ,

Chase Peckham:

we're not seeing age as , as a thing.

Michelle Jackson:

No, but we straddle. But the thing is we straddle analog and digital. So we understand both. And I always think that , um , and I'm gen X by that's really funny .

Chase Peckham:

That's really interesting. Cause I was in ed, I was in production my whole early career and it was all taped to tape analog editing was that way, you know, push a lot of buttons. And I had to learn on the fly professionally, how to use all these new technologies. And it was, it was something

Michelle Jackson:

and , and , and who created all these companies. So like Bezos, he's gen X. But I think that a lot of people, especially now with businesses, really looking at the productivity of their, their workers and what's going on and that they're actually still like still getting work done. Um, I think if you're sitting there , uh , really taking , uh , a big view, like worldview of how do I live my life? Where are the opportunities for me? What is it that I want? Do I want flexibility now is the time to start looking for jobs that might allow you to do so because a lot of companies are in my view, this is my own opinion. There are probably going to unload a lot of their commercial real estate and re re re configure how they do business. So maybe they'll have like the giant sphere that Amazon has in Seattle. Like maybe companies would have like one headquarters in each region, like a region. So like a U S headquarters, European Asia, and then they fly people in for training. And that's it. You can work where you want. So right now, I think as a really good time to be like, you know what, maybe I want to try a tech job. Maybe I want to try something that gives me more flexibility and pays more. And I would say, start looking for those jobs. Now there's an initiative by, I want to say, IBM, that's helping train people so that they, they have some of the skills needed to be able to go into these kinds of positions. So even though we're talking about a lot of these issues affecting people and money and race and money, there are still opportunities to be had, whether you create them yourselves or you look for them because they're being created elsewhere. So now is the time to quietly start, you know , uh , making your move. You wouldn't sit there and be like at work going, you know, I'm gonna like kick this to the curb and dah , dah , dah . They're like, you're not going to do that, but you're going to start thinking about how can I give myself a raise in the field that I'm in or how can I change the field that I am I'm in, what, the skills that I have and go into another field. So like, if I weren't, self-employed now I have so many tech skills that I could very easily go into a tech job and that's as a gen exer . Okay. So , um , don't tell yourself what you can't do spend a lot of time thinking about how can I build a raise into my new job. So maybe you're like, I'm really pissed off I'm underpaid. This is, this is ridiculous. Start looking like, write down all your skills, your soft skills, your, your , um, your computer skills, your everything, your, your event planning, everything that you know, how to do. And then start looking for jobs in other industries that pay more and have like purposely look for jobs that pay significantly more so that by the time you get to that negotiation for your salary, you're already getting paid 30% more before you even start the negotiation. So there are some things that are in your control, such as the jobs you apply for the fields that you go into , uh , the risks that you take. And now in particular, I think is a really good time to do that.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah, I totally agree. Let me ask you a question. We work. Um , in fact, we had a podcast with a really incredible woman , uh, from Australia just a couple last week. And she came out of nothing like literally was homeless , uh , was living in a , in a bad neighborhood of, of Australia in Sydney. And, you know, she said that part of the problem that she had coming, trying to lift herself out was her surroundings. And that's that other people were like, why do you want to leave us? You think you're better than us. This is the way we are. Why can't you just be happy with where we're, where you are? You know, just be part of us. And we find that in a lot of the people that we're trying to empower, we work at a lot of different schools and we hear it a lot. Like, look, my family was like this before , um, generations down the road, and this is, this is us, you know, my family, they , why would you want to be better? Do you think you're better than us kind of that mentality? How would you say, how do we work to like lift people up and say, there are opportunities take, you know, instead of, as she mentioned,

Michelle Jackson:

just take the check. So I've never, I've been very fortunate in that. Um , I've never lived in an area like that. I've never had that experience. So I'm very like, this is not an experience I've had. What I will say though, is you have to be careful about the company that you keep. Okay? Not everyone wants you to have a better life because you living a crappy life reinforces their decision or about theirs, right? So if they've given up and you haven't, and you're trying to be like, you should do this and like, I'm trying to do this. They're not going to hear it. So you have to be very careful about the people that you tell your dreams to. You have to be very careful about the people that you tell your goals to . You have to be very careful about the people that you surround yourself with. You, you have to be discerning about who you share yourself with because not everyone wants you to win. That's just true. Not everyone wants you to win and that's, regardless of your income, you could be middle-class poor, rich, whatever. It doesn't matter. This is across the board. You have to be careful of who you share your dreams and hopes and wishes with. So what I would say is for those people, you find community and you can find it online. Like it's not hard to, like for me, when I started paying off my debt and that kind of thing, I found other people doing the same thing online, and I felt empowered for a couple reasons. They shared what they were doing. They, it showed I wasn't the only person trying. I wasn't the only person having making mistakes and learning from them. Um, and so as a very empowering experience to connect with these people online. So if you say, well, I don't know these, I don't know how to do that. You find these communities online and you can quiet quietly, observe what people are saying until you feel confident enough to say something and especially cause we're talking money. And these, and I'm in a lot of these money groups, especially when I first started paying off debt paid off 60,000 plus dollars is still, I have $5,500 to go and hopefully get that done this month and next month. But , um , I paid off thousands of dollars of debt. Americans in general are very into debt. Like it's a thing, right? And there's a lot of people right now who are freaking out because they have just discovered that their debt load is actually unmanageable because they've lost their jobs. So , um, if you're like, I'm trying to pay off my debt, I'm trying to save for a vacation abroad. I'm trying to save money for emergencies. There is literally a community for all of those things online and you have to be a part of that. So that over and over again, you hear from these people doing the same thing and you can just keep your mouth shut with the other people who do not believe in what you want to do. This goes for rich, poor, whatever. Middle-class anyone. Uh , if you want to become a singer and you want to go on the voice and you have a beautiful voice and everyone's like, why would you want to do that? You're 60 to ignore them and get in a group for voice. One of these, my point is you have to choose the company that you keep carefully.

Chase Peckham:

I love it. In fact, you said it much better than I ever could have . Thank you very much for that.

Michelle Jackson:

Thank you . There you go . I feel, I feel like the coffee kicked in on this show and , uh, but yeah, like I , I am very careful about who I tell what to , um, you can join a mastermind group where all you do and a mastermind is just a group of people. A few like about five to 10 people at the max where you share your goals each week and you guys work towards those goals. I've been a mastermind since I want to say 2015. And um, those people want me to win. And the feedback that they give me , um, is not to upset me or anything. It's because they always want me to win. And so you have to pick the company that you keep carefully

Chase Peckham:

surround yourself with those that have your best interests at heart and are likeminded. So you have the ability to grow because that is so true. It is absolutely 100% true. The company that you keep is so important. And I try to explain that to my son and my daughter constantly, you know, when there's somebody that they constantly are irked by and you know, they, they come home and they're like, Oh, he did it again. I just asked him , why do you want to hang out with that person? Exactly.

Michelle Jackson:

And , uh , by the way, if you're hanging out with shady people, we're starting to see on like, especially in the age of social media, you're judged by the company you keep. So if you're noticing that someone is problematic sooner or later, that could blow back to you. And that could be a really early or unfairly. Yeah. So , um, I am very careful about who I'm around and I try to, I'm not a human being I've made mistakes that could come out into the world and I'll own it. I'll be like, yeah, I did that. I just have to, you have to be able to, that's a one part that is one hard thing when it comes to the internet and it comes to the world we live in, in this day, it's very difficult to make a mistake. We're all human. We all do. Yeah. And if it's public you're , I mean, you could be crushed for it. It could take you, people get crushed, but people get crushed because they try to pretend like they didn't do it instead of , instead of just being like I made the mistake. So Marie Forleo recently in the last week and a half , uh, did a , quite honestly a very piss poor job of responding to the black lives matter , um, situation and how it was being addressed in her closed Facebook group. I don't want to get into more than that, but her apology was the best one I've seen , um, out of any online influencer out there, any business person where she was like, I made a mistake. That was it. She was honest, forthright said she knew what she was going to do. She will be fine. Right. For people who are like, I didn't make a mistake and they doubled down. That's where it goes wrong. That's why I said, I've made mistakes in my life. If they come up, I'm like, yes, I did. What is the point in pretending? Like you didn't make the mistake. If it came up just own it. People don't want to own their decisions and their choices. It never works. When you do that, you have to own who you are and what you've done. And people typically will , will forgive you if you're contrite. And you're like, I've learned, and I'm a different person than when I did that. It's when you pretend like nothing happened or you want to double down on , on, well, I wasn't wrong. That's where all it goes wrong. So, yeah.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. That's a good point. I feel like people are willing to be forgiving sometimes when you have that genuine apology, but like you said, people are now voting with their wallets and if your apology is not sincere or if you don't give one, you may lose business over it .

Michelle Jackson:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And , uh , it's like, I, you know, we're all human and I vote for, I always vote with my wallet and I always have , um, and I think that , um, people forget the power of that. So if, why would I give my money to someone who disrespects me that makes no sense,

Katie Utterback:

right? Is that key? Michelle is voting with your wallet, going to be key in helping undo all of this systemic racism that not that we're just seeing, but more attention's been called to it.

Michelle Jackson:

I think so. Here's what I would say. Racist people are going to be racist. I want people to treat me with dignity and respect consistently. You don't have like me, I just need to be treated with dignity and respect. Um, that said voting with your dollars for Americans always works because Americans are so money focused. Right. And so , um, in my view with like, what's going on with black lives matter and, and a lot of the underlying financial conversations in that , uh, voting with your money, I do not spend with people who like, I will never, ever, ever spend cross pay for CrossFit. Never. I will never do it. Okay. But you know what I will do. I will always buy Ben and Jerry's for the rest of my life, you know, for the rest of my life, I will always, always support them. Why? Because they're consistent. First of all, their product is good. And because I know that they will treat me with dignity and respect. I know that it's part of, it's a core part of their mission. There's no surprise about it. And so , um, I think people need, in fact today I was going to go get some ice cream and then I weighed myself, but you know what ? It's okay . It's okay . Um, but you know, like always vote with your wallets because it makes no sense to spend your hard earned money with people who don't respect you. It's it's it makes no sense. We have hundreds of thousands of businesses that do, like, if you want candles, there's like how many candle makers out there, if you want clothing, there's like how many clothing makers out there? Um, so there's no reason to be stuck with spinning with crappy people, especially when you think about how hard you work to make your money. So yeah. I always vote with your dollars Jerry's example , right ? Yeah. Pecan resist. Yeah . I've got to get some,

Felipe Arevalo:

my wife showed me, she saw the new story on Ben Jerry's and she was like, can we get ice cream now?

Michelle Jackson:

Exactly. So I'm going to get some ice cream. I might be a little lactose intolerant, but that's all right, Michelle, for people who want to connect with you and just kind of follow your story, your journey, your energetic love for life, where can they connect with you? Uh , thank you. Um, they can follow me and check me out at Michelle. Is money hungry.com or on Instagram at Michelle is money hungry. Um , on Twitter at Mitch loves money. Am I C H loves money? Um, or they could listen to my podcast, which is also Michelle is money hungry. Um, and I do want to make a point about the name. Michelle is money hungry. Um, I am not saying that I am like greedy for cash. Um, I have the name. Michelle is money hungry because I want to validate the fact that I'm okay with earning more. I think for women, regardless of race, the idea of feeling comfortable, earning more money can feel really awkward and weird and like you're greedy. But I changed the name of my site to Michelle is money hungry to really validate the fact that it's okay to want more. It's okay to earn more because when I do, I can pay off debt, I can save more. I can invest for my future and for my retirement, I can help my family out. I can help my mom out. I can help other people. I can buy cute shoes. I can get a , you know , Manny petty that I can do at home because they've got kids to do that. So , um, I could be of service. So Michelle is money hungry. Isn't about greed. It's about validating that it's okay to want more for myself so I can help myself and other people. So I want that for other people too. And I wanted people to kind of have a reaction to the name so that , um, they one would remember and maybe laugh or be like, wait a minute. Why are you so greedy? And I'm like, I'm not greedy, but being broke sucks. And I want to like tell myself that, that, that it's okay to want more for myself. And again, I very quickly alluded to the fact that I paid off $60,000 worth of debt. That's a lot of debt and I wouldn't have been able to do that. Uh, if I hadn't made more money. So I ask you how long that took, that really decided to do it. Maybe I don't mean what you holding on to , but when you consciously made the decision to cut it down , um, that is a great question that has taken since about 2012. And I also quit my job during that. Uh , so it's 2020 now. So since 2012, so let's take a years to do slowly but surely, but then I quit my job and started working for myself. So my income decreased, but my lifestyle increased, like my lifestyle is so much better. So , um, I would do that again. Um, I am at the last $5,500 for my unsecured debt and then I just have to pay off , uh , one other bill and student loans, but I started with like 30 plus bills , uh, you know, debt debts that I was , uh, on the hook for and should have been, of course. Um, but I think that the complexity of dealing with 30 plus people , um, and you know, it was just exhausting. And , uh , my mom had lost her job , uh, years before that. And that ha that resonated in my finances, which happens with a lot of people of color, especially women of color, both black and Latina. So , um, I know that like 51% of women of color will be in the IX will have the experience of helping out family financially. That happened with me. My mom lost her job and I supported the two of us for three years on student loans and Starbucks money, you know? Um , and then I finally got a job. Um, it took like months to get a job after I graduated from graduate school. Uh, cause I graduated in a recession. Um, so timing is timing, bad timing. Yeah . And so , um, for those of you who are watching or listening to the show, like, and you're like, she doesn't get it , I get where I'm coming from. I get where you're coming from. And so I have no judgment about the choices that you're making. Um, I support what you're trying to do and how, you know, trying to live your best life and working with debt wave . And I just want you to know that this too shall pass. It might take a long time to get it done. But the difference between where I was at financially in 2012, 2012 versus now, and then , you know, like I had text messages, letters, emails every day from all the people who , who I owed money to daily all day long calls, it was really, really exhausting. And it happened because I had bad financial habits. I didn't have the , the, the, the not financial knowledge to manage some of those financial tools like credit cards and things like that. And it became, and then I had a family member that I was taking care of. And if you've worked at Starbucks, that's $7. At that time, I was making like $7 an hour plus tips. So , um, if you are sitting here and you're like, she doesn't get it, I get it. I get it. And I have , you know ,

Chase Peckham:

I did it, I , 26 years old, I had $27,000 in credit card debt. And they were calling you 30. I was 34 years old when I paid it off in about two months before my wife, my wife and I got married and I gave up a lot. Yeah . I mean, it can be done. And I , I was brought up upper middle class and my family said they could have paid off my debt. And they said, no, you got yourself into this mess. Oh yeah. I was pissed for awhile because I was spoiled and didn't want to, I didn't want to quote unquote suffer. Um , but it's the best thing that ever happened to me. It's gonna make me, it's made me a better, this is why I do what I do now. It's why I've done . What 11 years now, it's what I do. Um , it's made me a better husband. It's going to make me a better father, all of it, because I had to go through the pain and suffering, which I caused, by the way I did it, I made the decisions. So I had to make the decisions to get out and not blame anybody else, but myself.

Michelle Jackson:

And it's so funny, chase that you say this because I was speaking to someone else about this. And I said, you know, I feel like I had this experience for a reason. And I am a very different person than if I hadn't gone through this. Like I could have made two dif different decisions. I could have just been like, you know what, I'm just going to let it go. Like, I'm not even gonna deal with this. I could have made that decision. Or I could have made the decision that I did, which is I'm going to deal with this. And then at the same time, I decided to create a blog and a podcast. And , and I feel like , um , through all of this pain that I've had, that I've helped a lot of other people. And I've also helped myself along the way. And you know, if you are listening to this and you're in your forties or fifties, remember that you have a lot of life to live well past that people are living to their eighties, nineties hundred 15. So if you're a debt free at 42, you live to be 115. That's a lot of life without that stress. So if, if you're 32 and you're like, Oh my God, I can't even like, why am I even bothering bother? Like focus on it, take one step at a time and get it done, because it will like your quality of life will improve. So drastically like dramatically, I cannot express the difference in my quality of life, having all that financial stress gone. And , um, I, I just can't even describe the difference.

Chase Peckham:

And, you know, w both of us could have gone the route of just saying, screw it, not paying it and gone bankruptcy. But then what about how, how many other decisions are gonna be predicated on that one decision? And how has your other decisions been so much better because of the fight that you put into doing what your little, your gut, the voice inside, you said, this is the right thing to do. This is what I need to do. And you followed that and look where you've gone. And it was the same thing with the podcast, with that lady that we were with the other day. She was so inspirational that she , what she got herself through. Uh, it just goes to show you that if you listen to yourself, if you listen to that inner voice of knowing what's, what's what you can do. Um, the pain is minimal for a while, right? It's short term, at least for awhile . And in w with what you did to better, your financial situation has led to not only physical health, mental health, and now financial prosperity, they all go together.

Michelle Jackson:

And I just never would have , like , the things that I've learned, all the research, all the people I've connected with, none of that would have happened if I hadn't taken this risk. So , um, I'm really glad that I did. Um, and if you're listening or watching this, you know, take this step, these wonderful people are here to help and support you with that. And , um, it's not going to be easy, but nothing, no , but it's worth it. Nothing worth doing, nothing worth doing is easy. No, no, but it's going to be so worth it and I I'm in your corner, so yeah, that's it.

Chase Peckham:

Can you come talk to my kids now? [inaudible].

Michelle Jackson:

absolutely. I feel like I've talked, your guys heads off.

Chase Peckham:

They'll take it a lot better from you than they do from me, Michelle. Thank you so much for being with us today. I really, really impressed that . And please go check her podcast out. Perfect. Thank you, Michelle. Bye bye. Have a good day. Bye. Bye. [inaudible] .