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Daphné Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez



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About This Episode

Alli Williams, founder of FinanciALLIfocused.com, joins the Student Loan Podcast to share her personal experience of paying off over $100k in student loan debt! Alli shares what is was like to decide to go into marriage knowing that she would be helping her husband pay off his student loans. Luckily, Alli and her husband did a tremendous job of paying off over $150k as a team and today’s episode shows you how you can too. 



  • Should you decide to marry someone with student loans;
  • Being open and honest about finances early in the dating process;
  • How Alli was able to get her employer to pay more than they advertised for her graduate degree and how you can too; and
  • How Alli and her husband were able to plan and execute how to pay off their student loan debt.
  • much, much more…


Enjoying the show? Leave us a rating and review. Every comment helps! Drop in your IG handle so we can thank you personally!


ALLI Williams (00:00): Pretty much, of course, like our salaries went to it. Um, one thing we did was wedding money, you know, gifts we got from our wedding. I, we put to debt, which probably a lot of people spend. That's that's a good one. Yeah. Debt to debt. Um, not all of it, but what I do with any extra money is I still do this now. Um, I just allocate percentages before I know the amount, because what I find from myself and with working with a ton of clients is once you know, the amount, what you do with the money changes,

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:31): Welcome to the

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:32): Student loan podcast.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:33): Here, you'll find practical advice on tackling student loan debt, paying down your higher education expenses

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:40): And inspire stories about paying off student loans. Where are your host, Daphne, Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez (00:46): And Shamil Rodriguez,

Daphné Vanessa (00:50): Please rate, review and subscribe to the student loan podcast by visiting the student loan podcast on apple podcast or wherever you find your podcast.

Shamil Rodriguez (01:00): This is not professional advice. And we speak from our own personal views and opinions.

Daphné Vanessa (01:06): The student loan podcast is brought to you by start new, where you can serve your community and get rewarded with tuition and student loan payments to check out if start new is on your campus, visit start new.com. Welcome everyone to another other addition of the student loan podcast. Today, we have miss Allie from financially focused and we are so excited. She has amazing experience expertise, some beautiful stories to share with you to help you on your student loan journey. So with that, Allie, tell us a little bit about yourself.

ALLI Williams (01:44): Well, thanks for inviting me to the show. I'm very excited to be here and talk all about my experience and things I can do to help other people. Um, I, like you said, my company's financially focused. My goal is to really just make money, easy, fun, more conversational, less taboo, and just help people pay off debt safe and do all the things they want. Still get your Starbucks and take trips. Um, I live in South Carolina and I have a 15 month old, which is crazy. He's wild. So fingers cross, no one hears him in any background of this podcast. Um, but yeah, I'm really excited to be here and yeah, let's, let's get started.

Daphné Vanessa (02:23): Yes. So tell us about your school journey. Where did you go to school? Uh, what major did you pick? Did you end up, you know, how did you end up paying for school? Tell us a little bit about that journey to give our audience some context.

ALLI Williams (02:38): Yeah, so I am from the York originally. That's where I was born and raised. I went to the university of south, um, and my undergrad degree, I had two majors and two minors, uh, international business and global supply chain and Chinese and Spanish were my minors. Um, I got a ton of scholarship out of high school to go there, which thankfully covers a lot of my tuition, academic scholarship. So I'm not athletic. So like, we'll just make sure it's clear that I was not playing in any sports,

ALLI Williams (03:10): Not playing any sports, um, academic scholarship. So that, and then I worked in, I in school for our study abroad office plus two, um, while I was in school and then my parents helped as well. So between the combination, I personally didn't have student loans. Um, and then I got my MBA also from the university of South Carolina MBA in finance and that actually my, um, employer paid for. So I got, um, employer re tuition, well I had to pay it and then they reimbursed and I negotiated, um, the amount cuz they ended up paying more than what they claim they pay. So you can also do that for higher education. So that's how I got my MBA paid. And then as you both know, my story continues from there then marrying into debt. So nice.

Daphné Vanessa (04:00): Yeah. Yeah. That's a huge before we get into marrying into that. Cause that's a whole thing. Um, how did you negotiate your employer paying more for your MBA? That's a really neat tip.

Shamil Rodriguez (04:12): That's a great question. Yeah, I'm curious. I I'm sure a lot of people are curious too.

ALLI Williams (04:15): Yeah. So, you know, a lot of employers have, well, not all, but a lot, you know, secondary like education or higher education reimbursement. Um, uh, my boss at the time, you know, I told him I wanted to get my MBA, but I, I didn't really wanna pay for it. It's expensive. And I was, you know, working full time and going and getting, you know, pretty much a full time MBA at night, I work eight to five and then had six to nine. So wow. Um, it was practically another job, you know, getting my MBA. Um, so my boss at the time, you know, I knew what school I went to South Carolina, but, um, I was living in upstate South Carolina, so it was one of their satellite campuses. So I went there, um, for my MBA and negotiate. Like I, I kind of put together different schools that I applied to a few and based on my area, they didn't approve online school, like fully online schools.

ALLI Williams (05:09): Um, they didn't consider like a, not a real MBA. I know they are, but you know, they wanted you to go to like quote unquote yeah. An in person school. Yes. Um, that's what they would approve. So based in person schools in my area, you know, these were the different prices and kind of negotiated as, I guess, part of my compensation to an extent I, you know, you can, it doesn't hurt right. To ask and, you know, put together what options you have, the total cost, um, you know, based on when you wanna get. And of course I got it done in a little less than two years. Um, of course you can extend it and, you know, pay less per year. So you can negotiate timeframes of how long it will take you. Um, it can be part of, you know, your compensation package, but yeah, I just had a lot of discussions how to get it approved by us to, you know, a few different levels. But yeah, it was very helpful.

Daphné Vanessa (06:05): And talk to us about that approval process just because we do like to get into the details so that people can implement like based on listening. Yeah. Were you like getting your manager's approval first and, and then speaking to their manager or did you have to go to HR? Like how did you, how did you navigate?

ALLI Williams (06:21): Yeah. So first I went to HR to just get like the current policy, right. Like what they approve, how much, what qualifies cuz it has to be related for my company, how to be related obviously, or somewhat related to your job. Like I couldn't get like a master's in like fashion, fine arts or something. Yes. Um, so based on my undergrad degree and then, you know, my job finance and stuff made sense and so they were fine, you know, with the degree. So first making sure what you wanna do even potentially qualifies before. You're like, give me more money, you know, to make sure yeah. Something that works. So first I got like, you know, just from HR are what is currently covered the amount per like, is it per year? Is it total like really just figure out the current details. This is what I did first. Then I kind of started researching schools near me based on, you know, their school requirements. Like I said, it had to be an in person program. It couldn't be just like an all aligned thing, how to be related. So I started doing my research and, you know, got a three, I think I did three different school options near me. One was Clemson, which I was never gonna go to. Cause that was our rival. So I mean,

Shamil Rodriguez (07:30): I knew I was like, whoa, oh,

ALLI Williams (07:33): That was never, you know, gonna happen. But um, pretty much put that together and then went to my boss with know a proposal of like, this is what I wanna do. You know, this is what's covered, but I like this much cover, you know, this is why. And of course you have to go with a reason instead of just being like, I want you to pay for school. It's like, based on what I'm doing at work. And like my next steps at the company, this will of course benefit me as a person, but also benefits the company and you can kind of make from there. And once he said he was okay with it, then we took it, you know, to the next level of proposing it to HR. And also his boss had to approve it. Um, you know, they just really, they just need to fit it in their budget. You know, it's, it's a whole budget issue, but I went to my boss next and then we, you know, I knew he was okay with it. I had better chance of, you know, passing it down the line from there. So yeah.

Shamil Rodriguez (08:25): Cool. Like a quick question on that. Um, so when it came to, uh, deciding on the degree that you wanted, do you think that it impacted you at all to say like, well, what if you wanted like an art history degree? And you're like, no, you know, it's just not gonna fit in the box of what we need. Like, did that impact you at a are now

ALLI Williams (08:41): For me? No. I mean, finance is what I wanted to do anyway. Um, like I said, my undergrad was supply chain and international business. So I feel like from a business standpoint, finance made the most sense from like a masters. I, I personally didn't wanna do like art history. I think if I did, I'd have to pay for it. And you kind of just have to accept, like, if it is what you wanna do, like that's great. You can probably find scholarships to other things, but like your employer might not, you know, want to pay for your like art history. You know,

Shamil Rodriguez (09:13): We're not, we're not pooing on all, uh, our history majors out there.

ALLI Williams (09:17): Do it go, you know, go get it, but your employer might not support paying it. You know?

Shamil Rodriguez (09:21): There you go. Thank you. Thank you all

Daphné Vanessa (09:24): So interesting. Um, so yeah, let's pivot into your inheritance. And when I say inheritance, I don't mean more money, but negative.

Shamil Rodriguez (09:36): Yeah.

Daphné Vanessa (09:37): Let's talk about your negative inheritance.

ALLI Williams (09:39): Yes. I wish it was the opposite way. Like that would've been a much, I mean, I don't know if it would've been a good story for this podcast, but it would be a really good story for me.

Shamil Rodriguez (09:49): Yeah, exactly.

ALLI Williams (09:51): Um, yeah, so then we, we fast forward and so I met my now husband in 2015 and got married 2019. So, um, during that time, of course, a lot of money discussions happened and conversations cuz I was involved, you know, I, personal financial was important to me at that point when me started dating, I was trying to pay off my new car. I bought as a recent college. Cause that's what, you know, every new college grad probably, you know, does is like I graduated, I got a paycheck. Let's buy a car anyway. Um, yeah, I ended up marrying into total is $154,000 of debt. Um, but over a hundred of that was student loans. There was a truck getting a credit card involved in that as well. So, um, mostly student loans. So yeah, I, I inherited negative dollars. So total debt was 154,000. Um, student loans was probably like 1 15, 1 20 of that. Um, like I said, the rest I had a truck payment and then a credit card, which the credit card was around 12,000 and then the truck was whatever the, the rest was around like 20 something. Um, so yeah, like those six figures around like 1 15, 1 20, but still not fun to pay.

Daphné Vanessa (11:15): How did you feel about that?

ALLI Williams (11:17): Oh my gosh. I cried. I mean that was like initial reaction. I think anyone would have, I mean, or most people would probably have, um, you know, I would work, I worked so hard to, I became debt free at 25, like my car, like everything, car, anything. And so I was really focused on saving and for myself and I saved $17,000 before I was engaged for, or my wedding and cuz I knew I had to pay for my wedding and cuz my parents were like, we held with college you're on your own. We can't see that food. So, um, we paid for our wedding and um, you know, I was like so focused on all that and making such progress and then you're like okay or backwards. But um, you know, my whole philosophy in the beginning was with money conversations. Was I, not that I didn't care how much debt cuz obviously you care, but it was more like, can we get on the same page?

ALLI Williams (12:06): Right? Like can we, our habit, like, can we cohesively form some kind of plan together? Cause I can pay off debt. Like I, I knew I could. I knew that there's a way to do that. There's actual steps to pay off debt, but if he was like, I never care about ever paying it off, I never wanna save. I'm just gonna spend what I want pay minimums forever. That to me was a bigger red flag than like six figures of debt for me. I mean everyone's different, but, but the amount it sucks, you know, but I was, I knew we could, like we could work on that together and yeah, as long as we kind of could get on the same page with our finances, that was way more important. So it wasn't ideal. I obviously was very, you know, upset or frustrated. Like I didn't do this and I have to, you know, not fully me, but like I didn't get myself into the situation and I have to pay it. Um, but I knew we could and yeah, that's how we are now.

Daphné Vanessa (13:03): How did you go about that conversation? Um, like just, you said that that was the more challenging part. How do you have that conversation when you're not on the same page? About money?

ALLI Williams (13:13): Yeah. I, I mean, like I told you both earlier, um, I talked about money really early in our relationship, but that's just cuz I'm weird and like to talk about finances, most people don't. So it was probably like, you know, one of our first few days, like four or five that like it

Shamil Rodriguez (13:28): Came. Oh nice. Okay. That I was curious you, you answered a question that I had, which was, you know, when, when did the oh yeah. You know, was it before engagement? You know? Cause some people, yeah, yeah, good.

ALLI Williams (13:38): Very early people are probably listening to us like rolling their eyes. Like she's so weird, but you know, like I told you, it wasn't the amount that I, that I cared about. I was like, Hey, if I'm dating to like pursue potential marriage or see if this is gonna last, then I need to know, is this something that we can eventually get on the same page? Not saying we have to be on the same page today. I mean, that's not realistic, but is this something where we can, like, I see us like being able to kind of come together cause you know, money is tough and you know, everyone has their own money pass and trying to combine finances, you know, which we did is like a whole other conversation. Um, but I wanted to just kind of know what I'm saving. So we talked about, like I said, probably date four or five, not necessarily like how much that do have that, that still came when we were dating. I knew all that. You know, I knew it before. Um, but just like habits, you know, what do you like to spend money on? Or what are you I'm saving for this? What are you just like? I kick it. I, I feel like people make money. So like rigid and like structured and like, it can just be a conversation when you're like out. Like it doesn't

Daphné Vanessa (14:44): Have to totally agree. Yeah.

ALLI Williams (14:46): It doesn't have to be this like, so please tell me three things, you know, like I don't know why people in their head like get that view of finances, but it can just be like, oh, I'm saving for a new car. Like yeah. Is there anything you're saving for? Like what do you like to spend money on? Or like, you know, debt is awkward to talk about, but like it's important to know, you know, if that's the first thing you're gonna spend the rest of your life with like, Hey, you know,

Shamil Rodriguez (15:12): We should talk about this thing that we're gonna carry for a long time. Maybe, maybe

Daphné Vanessa (15:19): I have the same problem. I have to shut up about money pretty frequently because my habit is just cuz I, I, I love personal finance. I just love that space. Um, my habit is just to, I be like, so what are you investing in? Most people think that's weird. So I just, yeah, usually quiet and just thinking about numbers in my head and yeah.

Shamil Rodriguez (15:41): Oh yeah. But you know what, you're not you guys aren't alone on that. Uh, because it is like such a faux paw, like it's poo on the idea of like, you can't talk about it and we've had guests on the podcast before talk about like, that should not be the case. Right. People are willing to talk about their sex lives and other personal matters, like it's nobody's business, but when it comes to money, they'll like clam up and it's like, wait a minute. Like, should we like actually talk about this? Cuz it's gonna impact how you can buy a home. Whether, you know, you can do X, Y, and Z, like it should going to impact your life. It's something that's a part of your every day. So why don't we talk about it? And so, yeah, I'm, I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum where I feel like I'm the guy who's always like trying to like poke at the cultural references. That's like, who taught you that? We're not supposed to talk about it. You know? So I'm that, I'm that, that guy in the

ALLI Williams (16:28): They're taking that yeah. That perspective of it trying to get to like the, you know, the real deep stuff and I'm just like, Hey, talk about it. Yeah. It's you

Daphné Vanessa (16:38): Know, so this is my plan.

ALLI Williams (16:39): Yeah. When we were, oh gosh, I can talk about that stuff too. When, when we were, you know, when it came up, when we were debt came up, he thought he had like, he was like, I think I have around a hundred thousand dollars of debt. And so I was like, okay, you know, he was just paying minimum. So he didn't really ever check accounts. He was on, most of his federal student loans were income based. So he was really paying like nothing. Like some of them went up, you know, since yep. He went to school, they didn't go down at all. Cause it was like

Daphné Vanessa (17:06): Compounding interest.

ALLI Williams (17:07): Yeah, exactly. So, um, he was just paying minimums and everything credit card, you know, everything was, I'm just paying the minimum. They make me pay. And so he is like, I think I have under a hundred thousand. So I was like, okay, you know, it sucks but fine. Um, when we had our first money audit date, you know, our only budget meeting we've ever had in our entire relationship, we've had one. Um, and it was that one and we went through all the, and I'm like, you know, taking inventory, right? Like I'm like writing down the accounts, the interest rates.

Shamil Rodriguez (17:39): Oh man. Oh man. Like letting

ALLI Williams (17:41): It all out just to know, like this point we were engaged. So wasn't weird though. Like we were engaged at this point.

Shamil Rodriguez (17:48): I love it. This

ALLI Williams (17:48): Is, um, but you know, going through it all, we totaled it and it was 154 and he was shocked and I was shocked because he didn't know. I mean, it wasn't like he was hiding. He genuinely didn't know cuz he was just autopilot, paying minimums, never actually checking anything. And so I was like, okay, well that's not exactly a hundred, so little, little, little more. Um, but I can work with it. Like, you know, just that first gave myself a day to like be annoyed. And then I was like, okay, well I can sit here and like talk about it, but that's not gonna pay it off. Right. So, um, but you know, there's so many people I think that don't know. And you guys probably see it on podcast, do that. Don't even a total amount cuz it's just like an autopilot. They tell me to pay this amount. So I pay it and I'm not gonna question it. I'm not gonna check, you know, cuz people are scared to like really total, you know, total it up and know like the true amount of what they're paying. And that's kind of like what we experienced cuz it wasn't the amount he thought, but, but it's okay. We dealt with, it

Shamil Rodriguez (18:54): Sounds like you're, you're you're you're still getting over it Allie

ALLI Williams (18:57): A little bit. Right?

Shamil Rodriguez (18:59): Like a little, a little

ALLI Williams (19:01): Y'all see probably all the time is just like the income based is, you know, it is, it's a purpose for it. Right. Like I get it, but it's just crazy. They just don't tell you the fact that like you're making not even enough to cover it, you know, interest. Yeah. That like, it's just so wild. How many people don't know that you're like when I work with people or you guys probably see it too, it's like, wait, my balance went up and, but I've been making payments for five years and you're like, yeah, because of inch, you know, the, this rates and different types of how your interest had applied and all the other stuff, but you know, it's just wild. How yeah. Cause he was paying it for a while. It's not like he just graduated. It was years of paying it and it wasn't going anywhere. Yeah.

Daphné Vanessa (19:46): And I'd love to get into the makeup of, of loans, but wanna just give a quick note about, um, you know, what are your thoughts on the servicers and the lender's responsibility to let borrowers know every payment, you know, you're paying the minimum payment, but you're below your monthly accumulated interest by X dollars. This will compound in to your total principle balance. Yeah. That's a communication. I think that's just missing and sorry to infuse the policy. But I know so many people who have your husband's story. Right. Which is that, but I was paying the minimum payments. How did this go up? Why is this the case? Um, I thought I was doing the right thing and you know, yes, it's in the MPN paperwork somewhere. But is that your bedtime reading at night? Likely not. So

Shamil Rodriguez (20:40): It's not my daytime reading either. So

ALLI Williams (20:44): I mean what like 18, 19, 20, 21 year olds like realistically is or 17 year old when you're signing it or whatever reading any of it. I mean, yeah. I, I mean my, I think of course communication needs to be like, it should be like a thing, but I mean, if you think about how many classes we're required right. In college that like, we're so useless, like no sense to those professors that teach them. But like there were so many, you know, required things that like I don't even use or know or anything like you could take it's even if it's like a seminar, it's not a class. Right. But it's required to graduate or require

Daphné Vanessa (21:23): Freshman class. Like we should

ALLI Williams (21:25): Freshman year. And like, you should take it twice cuz you probably don't remember it. Right. Like you don't know, you know, but like it should be like a, you know, there's orientation for college that you have to attend when you go. And like all the initial stuff. Even if you just start with like it's, if you, if you took out student loans or you plan on taking out student loans, you have to, it's required for you to like take this. I mean, even if you don't, like I said, the only reason I say not to make it a class is cuz most 17, 18 year olds might not show up to every class. If you like, kind of like make it like a, you know, let's be real. They yeah, not everyone does. So if you like make it, you know, like a seminar or something where it's like required, like they make you sign in when you go and make you sign in when you leave or whatever, like yeah. At least to go over like this, have someone walk through with them, like, yes, this is what you took out, you know, for your freshman year. But like cuz some Sy loans start accruing, you know, right away. Some way, depending on, you know, just depends on the type of loan. So showing them like, this is what's happening and then showing them again senior year, like I said, like it should be an another, another requirement to graduate. Yeah. Um, but yeah, I think the school, like it has to be a requirement.

Daphné Vanessa (22:36): Totally agree. Totally agree. Um, so, but let's get into the makeup of your student loan, inheritance

ALLI Williams (22:46): The fun stuff.

Daphné Vanessa (22:48): The way you're phrasing that.

ALLI Williams (22:51): My inheritance, I really just wish it was the other way. Imagine like inheriting 150, $4,000

Daphné Vanessa (22:57): Better

ALLI Williams (22:58): Or

Daphné Vanessa (22:59): Whatever, like yeah. That would be, I

ALLI Williams (23:00): Would,

Daphné Vanessa (23:01): Yeah.

ALLI Williams (23:01): Yeah. That's why conversation for another, but that's like one of my, what we have a 15 month old and like we have three different accounts for him and um, like he'll be back and I'm like, listen, he has more money than we do. I

Daphné Vanessa (23:15): Know.

ALLI Williams (23:17): Like if he just like, lets it go know, cause we have all the different accounts, but anyway. Yeah. Um, yeah, so we had a mix of private. Um, I have it pulled up actually. So we had one to three different private loan companies. Um, and then federal student loans, some subsidized, some non subsidized. So we had all of it. The highest interest rate was 12% and the lowest was 3.4%. Um, obviously the sales percent was a private, you know, loan. Um, he also transferred schools. So you know, between all of that, you take out more loans, you know, to continue the process. So yeah, there's a lot of like moving parts that won't spend too much time on like his part of it. But yeah, I mean we've paid off. Like I said, I told y'all earlier, like I have talked to every single one of these companies I have made, you know, I was the one making the payments.

ALLI Williams (24:15): I was the one managing our finances. So although technically my name wasn't on any of them. I was the one that on a day to day basis was like analyzing the and figuring out how to, which way we're gonna pay them off, moving around like the next, which one are we gonna pay off next based on interest rate and balance and keeping track of it and having all my spreadsheets. That's what I have up right now is one of my old spreadsheets. Um, so I was the one like doing it and learning and you know, figuring out the steps, um, to actually like get them paid since obviously the minimums were, uh, not cutting it, not cutting it.

Daphné Vanessa (24:51): And so you did snowball avalanche a combination.

ALLI Williams (24:55): Yeah, mostly avalanche. So we paid, I mean just cuz some of the interest rates, as I told you were extremely high. Huge. So I mean the amount of interest paid on there was like a 12%, a 11.25, 9.8, eight, 9.75 9.7. Like I, we have a lot of, you know, you have the five companies, but within that it's like Nelnet C D E F G. Yeah,

Shamil Rodriguez (25:17): Yeah, yeah. That's always my favorite. They're like, which are you talking about? And you're like, um, the loan and they're like, no, no there's 17 loans here and

Daphné Vanessa (25:24): You're

ALLI Williams (25:26): Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Like I have, you know, it's five things, but then it's like, you know, all broken out into like each one. So mostly abient there were a few times where like I would just skip, you know, if there was like two interest rates close and one balance I knew we could pay off in like two months or something. I would just skip to that one, pay it off and then go back. So, but I'd say if I had to choose a method, it was definitely more avalanche.

Daphné Vanessa (25:51): So which is paying for the audiences to refresh your memory. Uh, the avalanche method is when you choose to pay by interest rates. So you take the highest interest rate first and you pay it down and over the long run, you save more money, right. Because you're paying less interest. And if you want a deep dive on avalanche, think episode six ch SA Maddox goes into that.

Shamil Rodriguez (26:13): Yeah. A good memory. And you know what quick question on, um, how did you guys break down the responsibility of paying what, you know, because he, you know, obviously brought in the student loan debt and you guys are married as you guys are doing it to together and you, you took the lead and you're like, look, I got this, but, but how did you guys decide? Like, all right, even though I'm gonna take the lead on this, like it's still mine or whatever. Like how did that divvy that I guess the division of the income to go towards the debt how'd you guys work that up?

ALLI Williams (26:44): Hmm. Yeah. So we combined finances. Um, when we were married, we didn't combine, we started budgeting. I moved in a few months after we got engaged. We didn't live together before we both like our own space. And like, it was just worked out for us. We were like, it's a lot time to live alone. We'll come together, you know, when we're engaged. Um, but when we got engaged, we started budgeting together. Cuz you know, now we had shared expenses, but no accounts were combined. Um, and then we got married is when we like put everything together. Um, like we have joint accounts and you know, everything was combined. So I kind, we kind of like, I like, as we all know, personal finance, um, he doesn't really care about it. Like he's like just tell me what to do, whatever. Like doesn't really wanna sit there and look at spreadsheets.

ALLI Williams (27:30): Like, like I said, we've had one budget meeting ever and it was December, 2018, our first and last one. Um, I've never had a sit down about it again. Um, we just keep it very conversational. Like I just check I'm the manages, everything. It's kind of like figure out, do you both wanna be involved or just one per like, you know, on a day to day or just one person and it goes back to like what you're good at and what you enjoy. Like, I can't fix anything. Like if something is broken, he like, I'm not handy. Like he can build stuff. He does like electric type stuff too. He can do all this stuff and I don't. So like, you know, you just get over your pride or issues, like figure out what you're just stick to what you're good at or what you like. Like he doesn't like it. I do simple solution. Like just because he isn't in it on a daily basis. It doesn't mean he care doesn't care. It just means that like, it's something I enjoy doing. It's easy for me to do. I, it just kind of flows, but if both of you wanna do it, then you have to figure out, obviously, you know, who's gonna pay bills, but like I pay all our bills. I do our savings transfers and then I'm just like, Hey, we have this in savings. And he is like, cool.

ALLI Williams (28:45): Yeah, that's what works for us at least. But you know, back to the income thing, I mean, I never viewed it and he knew from the beginning it's I never held it over him. Like, I've never once said like you did this or this is yours. It's always been ours. And if you are gonna marry Ann and accept that, like you have to accept it wholeheartedly and just like, let it go. Like, you can't use that over someone. Like, it's not fair. It's not fair. And if you're on other, you know, you can't hold that like grudge forever. Like if you're gonna, if you know what you're getting yourself into and you're going in, you're going in like all in. And I mean, my thoughts are you're in a marriage is a partnership. So like, if you keep bringing up, like you did, you know, you brought in this and you called this and I didn't then like that, you know, that's other issues you need to obviously like talk about, but I never once ever have said, you know, this is, I'm not gonna use quote unquote, my money to pay for it. It was like, one of our finances are combined. Our incomes are combined. We're just gonna allocate, you know, based on our combined income, it's going to bill savings debt. Like it's just a joint thing. It's not, oh, only you, your income pays for student loans. It's like, no, we're in this, we're in this together.

Shamil Rodriguez (29:59): No. And I, and thank you for a collaborating on that. Cuz I feel like, uh, when I hear this topic come up, that's where some people go, right? Like they really go up in that direction and I've heard people and I think it's a good segue to this next question to follow up. Sometimes people will say like, I'm not gonna marry someone who has student loan debt or any debt. Right. Or they have to have a better credit score than I do. Like you just start hearing these like really, really specific metrics for like, you know, everything else may be met, but no, not this area. So like what do you, what do you, uh, I guess say to those people that have that mindset of the mentality, um, to say like, no, I'm not gonna not gonna marry somebody who has to loan debt

ALLI Williams (30:38): And is, and is that what they wanna do like that? But like you have to let that person know from the beginning, like, that's one of your like, like if that was me and I said, I would never marry someone with no doubt. Like I would ask that on date one because like might as well. Just like, if you, if you know, if you know, there's no way you would ever be with someone because of that, then like don't waste their time and don't waste your time. It's like ask it's like saying I don't wanna go into a marriage with someone who already has kids or something. Right. Like I'm not saying that's right or wrong, but if that's genuinely one of your like, no, like I refuse to budge on this then like don't waste that person's time. Or like just literally ask it straight up if that's a, you know, a definite like breaker.

ALLI Williams (31:23): Um, but I think if you, if you do and you're willing to accept it, like, like I said, you have to fully accept it. Like you can't half accept it or use it in an argument or like ever go back and hold that against someone because you knew what you were getting yourself into. Or if, and if you wanna know, just ask us before you're married. Like if you can like have those discussions before and then if you're gonna be married and be a team, like be a team or at least be honest with the person like, Hey, I won't let any of my income go to your debt. Like at least say that before, you know? So that person can then decide, okay, I'm okay with that. Or I'm not okay with that. I wanna be with someone who, you know, we'll come together and we can like do this as a team. But I just think you have to be honest with, you know, what you want and what you're willing to accept. I knew what I was getting myself into. I, like I said, I don't, I've never once said, oh, this is yours. It was ours from the second we got married and now it's now we can save. And that's all. And like every, you know, it just kind of is an us thing. And that's something that I was wanted in my marriage. Was it just to be like completely combined?

Shamil Rodriguez (32:34): Nice. Yeah,

Daphné Vanessa (32:35): No, I was gonna ask about how, um, like this has been some really good content, but I'd love to spend just some time on like how you paid off six. That's a lot of money. Like it's

Shamil Rodriguez (32:46): Not

Daphné Vanessa (32:47): Like you paid off, like the car is a lot, but six figures is true loan it, you know, like that's, that's, that's an ASIN Martin, so

Shamil Rodriguez (32:56): Don't even good way to put it. Good way to put it again,

Daphné Vanessa (32:59): Have inherited an as Martin, but instead

Shamil Rodriguez (33:02): Wow. Definitely they'll make it

ALLI Williams (33:04): Making me feel really great. This

Daphné Vanessa (33:07): Just, you know, from time to time salt lime in the wound.

ALLI Williams (33:12): Yeah. Well, um, so just to like set the set, the back story of it is I always say like, we don't make six figures as individuals, but we hit six figures combined. I don't share like our exact salaries, but just cuz a lot of people are like, oh you must make like 500,000 or 600,000 or a million dollars. And I'm like, no, we like hit six figures as combined, but not separately just so that I, you know, just don't want anyone to be like, oh, well so easy when you make, you know, a ton of money, like yeah, it would be, I would've paid it off a lot faster. Yeah. I made half a million dollars, but I don't or anywhere close to that. So, um, you know, it, it took like a, I mean obviously everyone here were to budget, you know, really figuring out based on our expenses, how much can we throw a debt month, but also still save, cuz I wasn't one of those people who wasn't trying to save and do stuff while paying off debt.

ALLI Williams (34:07): Um, I'm not a deprivation based approach person. We still got, had our date night every Sunday. Um, and still kept the things that were important. Of course, like, you know, we can't go out and just like spend a thousand dollars on ran them stuff when we were, you know, trying to pay it off. But um, we still, you know, we were, like I said, we weren't eat like eating beans and rice for every meal for multiple years. So, um, pretty much of course like our salaries went to it. Um, one thing we did was wedding money, you know, gifts we got from our wedding. I, we put to debt, which probably a, a lot of people spend.

Shamil Rodriguez (34:44): That's a

ALLI Williams (34:45): Good one. Yeah. To debt. Um, not all of it, but what I do with any extra money is I still do this now. Um, I just allocate percentages before I know the amount because what I find from myself and with working with a ton of clients is once you know, the amount, what you do with the money changes. I, um, well

Shamil Rodriguez (35:02): Said, no, I have to like, hold on, hold on, Allie. I have to say that. I agree personally and with others as well. Like the, can you repeat that one more time? Cuz that might be the intro to this podcast episode.

ALLI Williams (35:16): I wish I even remember what I said now. Um, saying if you, you got extra money once you know the, what you do, if it usually changes or what you planned on doing with it usually changes. So if you think, you know, if you're like, oh I'm gonna put all of this today and you're thinking, oh I'll probably get like $500,000. If you get $5,000, you're like, huh, well, I actually needed a new couch and I wanted to go on this trip. So now that I got more than I thought, it's not gonna go to debt anymore. So what I do and what I have all my clients do is like, you have to set the percentages before, you know, the amount. And then once, you know, the amount you just supply the percentages and whatever it is, it is like, you don't get to then go back and you know, respend it all.

ALLI Williams (35:58): So that's what we did with our wedding money. Um, you know, a split between debt savings and spending, which is the categories I always recommend. I think debt was like, I think like 60% of it went to debt, maybe 30% of savings and 10% spending so that we could still get some of our wants, but we had big financial. Um, and that to me at the time was way more important than like the random new stuff that we wanted. So wedding money went to debt, um, tax, you know, tax, um, refunds bonuses, pretty much anything extra. We could get went to this. So of course we had our salaries, but anything extra, I tutored, I tried walking dogs, but that's a conversation for another time then I got bit by a dog. So then, oh wow. Oh no, yeah. I have a blog post, but yeah. So I was like, you cannot walk dogs anymore. And I was like, but we I'm trying to make money. He's like seriously, all enough Anyway, you know, there's, you can sit there and like you have your salary, but for me it was like, I needed to find extra money because our SA like for what we were trying to do, our salaries, weren't gonna, you know, our, just our annual salary. Isn't gonna cut it. So everything else possible I could do, I tried to do to get this gone as quickly as I could.

Daphné Vanessa (37:14): Amazing. And how long did it take for you to get rid of everything?

ALLI Williams (37:19): Gosh, um, what year are we in? We're in 2022, started in 2018, end of 2018. Um, so 20, 21. So it took 3, 8, 19 took a little over three years.

Daphné Vanessa (37:36): That's not bad.

ALLI Williams (37:37): Yeah. Three, a little like, yeah. Um, that's very good. Yeah, actually. Yeah, it, um, like I said, we pretty much anything I could throw. I mean, some months we were able to put like, you know, 6,000 or whatever to do or 5,000, depending on like random things that came in and then some months it was like 2000, you know, just kind of depend like a fluctuated. It wasn't always, but we, we also live, um, in a two bedroom, one but bathroom, very small house. So we save a lot there. So I think a lot of people like assume, assume like, oh, well it's easy. Like I live in South Carolina, which is a low cost state compared to like New York or California. Um, and I also live in a very small, very small house. Like I think it's 700 square feet. Um, not a great, you know, just so there's ways there, right.

ALLI Williams (38:30): That you can like cut costs. It's not ideal. We don't wanna be here forever. We have a toddler and a two bedroom, one bathroom home and a dog. Um, so you know, everything is tight, but it allowed us to do so much. Um, and our, you know, electric bill was lower and all our other bills that came with it were lower because our house is smaller. Um, we as, you know, use of podcasts, but you know, like I don't, I get my hair once a year, literally once a year, I rarely buy new clothes. I don't care about brands or anything. So it's kind of just prioritizing rate, like what are you willing to spend money on? And what are things that you can even just temporarily cut, cut for a year cut for six months. It doesn't have to be permanently. Like we're not gonna live in this house for we're. We saved a down payment. We're actively looking totally. But we've been here. Joe's been in this house for 10 years, 11 years. Um, and I've been in this house since 2018 and most people would not live in this house because it is really tight. But for us, it was like, this allows us to pay off debt. It allows us to save and yeah.

ALLI Williams (39:35): And it worked and it, yeah, it's very old, but it functions like our, our refrigerator doesn't fit in our kitchen. It's in our garage and um, our dishwasher, we didn this house. Didn't have one. So we have a rolling dishwasher. You can plug in. Um, love it. So like I said, it's, there's stuff you just sacrifice or figure out how to make work so that you can, you know, pay off debt and do all the other things.

Daphné Vanessa (40:01): Love it. I'm so, so grateful that you've been able to spend some time with us. Yes. And you do this for a living, right. You help people with their finances. Can you tell our audience some of the different offers that you may have and, and what you have going on to help people get their money, right.

ALLI Williams (40:19): Yeah. So I have a completely free course. I've had, I think 500 people so far go through it. Oh, nice. Wow. Yeah. On my website, like literally costs $0. It takes one hour of your time. It's broken into like two to three minute videos cuz no one, I know no one wants to focus for an hour, so it's short, but that's the best place to start and it's literally free. So you have to spend no money. And I, the feedback's been amazing. So that is in my Instagram and on my website. Um, I also have a course, um, just about like credit, like understanding credit and credit cards cuz that's something I didn't struggle with credit cards, but you know, my husband did. So we, I had a kind of had to com combine that and figure out in credit scores, like we're buying a house right now.

ALLI Williams (41:02): So that was super important to figure out like, is it gonna be just in my name? Is it gonna be in both our names, like based on what we're approved for at interest rates. So have a few, um, self based courses. And then I have my group program where I literally walk you through creating a plan from scratch. Pretty much. We cover everything from starting with your money audit, um, creating budget, that payoff, saving, spending all of the things. So that is currently how I work with people. Um, and then Instagram has a ton of free content. I'm on Instagram every day. You can see that my messy behind the scenes of my hectic life. It's kinda always a disaster over there, but it's a lot of fun.

Daphné Vanessa (41:44): Nice love it. And they can reach you at Instagram, at financially focused with an eye, right? Yeah.

ALLI Williams (41:51): So still financially with an I instead of a Y. So it's like alley at the end. Um, financially focused on Instagram. My website's financially focused, pretty much anything is financially focused. So

Shamil Rodriguez (42:03): Find

ALLI Williams (42:05): On Instagram, I'm on way too often. Let's be real. So that's probably the best way to actually get in touch with me. And then my website has all of everything else you would potentially need.

Daphné Vanessa (42:17): Awesome. Thank you so, so much, Allie, it's been amazing having you on Shamil. Do you have anything else?

Shamil Rodriguez (42:24): No, I really enjoyed this episode. Um, I think it was fun. And thank you for sharing, uh, with, with us and then with the audience. Right? Because, uh, we haven't tackled the marrying and some money aspect. Right. We've had people share their stories of how they work with their spouse to pay off, you know, each of their student loans. But I really, really, uh, hope that folks out there that are either considering getting married, uh, or dating, like you said, communication in the beginning is so important. Right? Get it outta the way. First date. Yep. Credit score. No good, uh, student loans out, you know,

Daphné Vanessa (42:55): Or decide if you're willing to wait for the person to fix it. There you go before get married. Cause dating. You're not married tomorrow guys. So just, yeah, I'm not saying this because we've been married forever, but I'm just being, people need to be a little bit more realistic with their lists about like you meet somebody today. If credit is important for you, let them know that from the beginning and see if there's actually a spark, you know, maybe you give them a year or two or three, however long it takes them to fix it. I mean, realistically, that's my opinion. Sorry,

ALLI Williams (43:23): Everyone, not everyone, but most people you meet have some kind of debt these days. Right. So like right. Or at least like our age, you know, this age group has debt. I mean, like that's just our life. Right? So like, um, I feel like if your requirement is like no debt, like you're really limited to your pickings, you know? And like I said, that's what you wanna do. That's fine. But like I, zero point, like we started dating in 2015 and got married 2019. So like, you know, there was, there was a process and this wasn't like a tomorrow, everything needs to be fixed and it's still a, you know, we're, we're married a few years and have a kid and there's always things changing. So find someone that you can grow with and change with and if they're willing to change fine. But if, if your red flag or your deal breaker is debt, just let 'em know.

Shamil Rodriguez (44:09): Okay. And for more information on today's episode and to figure out how you can connect directly with Allie, if you are driving and unable to write things down, which we don't recommend that you do while you're driving, uh, you can visit the show notes and visit the solo podcast.com episode 62. That's the solo podcast.com.

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