Episode 6: Talking “Sexy” Money Stories with Michelle Jackson

January 8, 2018

Quick Recap:

  • Michelle Jackson is proudly money hungry
  • Most money stories aren't sexy, money is messy
  • Your money story will evolve as you do
  • Evil vs Awesome: Financial Resolutions
  • The benefits of cash only budgets and maintaining quality of life for less
  • How to save on travel and experiences
  • Why everyone needs a money manifesto
  • Evil vs Awesome: Star Wars


The Show:

Today, we’re thrilled to have an unapologetically money hungry personal finance blogger whose most proud of learning to earn money outside of a traditional 9-5 and recently fell in love with the cities of Portland and Seattle. She believes that everyone needs to focus on growing their network because it's not just what you know-but who you know. 

We're glad to have Michelle Jackson from Michelle is Money Hungry on the show!

Liz first met Michelle at FinCon 16 and probably scared her by suddenly shouting at her when she remembered where she knew her name from. Clearly Liz is super smooth. Anyway, she didn't manage to scare Michelle off from being a guest on the show.

Michelle, Why Proudly State You're Money Hungry?

When I started my personal finance journey, my blog was called the Shop My Closet Project. But it turns out a lot of people didn't understand the name. 

Then over time, I changed and realized I needed to rebrand. Last year, I changed the name to Michelle is Money Hungry. 

Because I had learned to save money and economize well, and I wanted to focus on abundance and attracting cash money into my life. 

At the end of the day, without cash money, I'm not going to finish my debt journey.

I'm not greedy but I've been broke, I'm over that, I'm done.

I've been broke, I'm over that, I'm done. - Michelle is Money Hungry via @theacciopodcast

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Women especially, there is a nervousness about being bold in want to earn money. Women will often enter service based jobs that they then feel guilty for wanting to earn more.

For example, teachers are soooo underpaid, and it's audacious to say you're money hungry.

So yes, I'm money hungry. I want to charge money so I can help other people. 

Most Money Stories Aren't Sexy

There are blog posts that you like, blog posts that you love, and then there are blog posts that really speak to you, Michelle wrote one such post that really spoke to Liz, it was about her personal finance story not being sexy enough.

One of Michelle's revenue streams is freelance writing and she pitched a story about how she had cut $13,500 from her annual budget.

That is a huge amount of money!

But as she started getting edits back, she realized that the editor was trying to turn it into a post about "paying off X amount of debt in Y months"

She pushed back, because it wasn't the story she had pitched. It felt ethically wrong and insulting. So she walked away from the story.

The truth is that not all of us have a sexy clean story about how we paid off debt. As Michelle says, "It's not my story. Most debt stories are messy."

She is sick of our stories not being good enough for editors. 

The reality is that if you dig deeper on those "pretty" stories, it actually took them years to get to the point where they paid off that debt in a short amount of time, or it involves something that is unrealistic for most people.

It took Michelle (and Liz and Melissa) years to learn finances. She met a lot of people that it seems to take 7-8 years.

So if you're wondering if you should start working on your finances - yes, you should. 

Michelle estimates she has 1-2 years left, and says that how she's feels now is so different from when she started. 

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Evil vs Awesome: Financial Resolutions


  • If you're not really ready for it


  • If you're ready to commit
  • Must be ready to do the work
  • Needs to be realistic
  • Give yourself grace

Overall: Conditionally Awesome

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How Has Your View of Debt Evolved?

Michelle has become very financially conservative.

She's started focusing on investing and is very weary of credit cards. On her financial journey she has reconfigured how she brought things into her life. 

While paying off debt does involve some sacrifice, life is better when you focus on having the same quality of life but pay less, rather than focusing on the sacrifice. 

Remember, that not every tool is for everyone. 

For Michelle, credit cards are not the financial tool she needs to be using. 

Credit cards are her financial heroin, if she has credit cards, she will spend. Which is why she switched to an all cash budget 3 years ago.

She explains, that we've all just been taught we have to do things one way, when in reality, we really don't. 

Michelle is almost done paying off credit card debt and then she will focus on her student loans. Which for her will be easier, because at that point she will only have one thing to focus on.

When she started, she easily had 30 creditors and the amount of mental energy that goes into having a debt loan that high is insane. With only 4 left, it's incredible the amount of weight that has already been lifted for Michelle.

Michelle's advice? Take your time and do what works best for you. Don't be afraid to change things up or do things differently. 

Find the way that works for you. 

Take a break when you're tired and then keep on keeping on.

While it's been very hard, it's been worth it. 

How to Save on Travel & Experiences

First, Michelle looks for opportunities to buy low cost tickets.

She lives in Denver, the hub of Frontier, which she travels with frequently.

There are a lot of good deals to be had.

Michelle also takes advantage of flight credits from various things happening, like delays, or being stuck on the tarmac.

She tries to make sure that she is always in a position to take advantage of those things happening, like getting a credit for being bumped to another flight. 

Michelle also recommends not getting spoiled with business or first class, and to actually spend some time looking for good deals.

Remember it's all about experiences. 

Michelle also recommends checking out:

  • Meetup.com
  • EventBrite
  • Facebook Events

These are all great places to find fun free things to do, like wine tastings.

All the things without spending the cash.

What is a Money Manifesto?

Michelle says that she needed to own what she wanted, so she created a manifesto about that, "it's ok to own your money identity."

Michelle has ideas about how money should be and how money should be attracted into her life, and she wrote it down and owned it, she printed it out. 

And you know what, everyone needs a money manifesto. And every person's manifesto should be different because it reflects where you are. 

A money manifesto is similar to a vision board, because you are creating a vision for what you want with your money.

Evil vs Awesome: Star Wars

Overall: Michelle is more a Star Trek fan, because figuring out the order of the Star Wars movies is too confusing.

What do you think?

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