#001 – Welcome to the first episode of the All Things Money Podcast!  In this episode, you’ll get to know Mayra Alejandra.  She explains how and why her family began their debt-free journey. 


[0:05] Welcome to the very first episode of the All Things Money Podcast. My name is Mayra Alejandra Garcia, and I am a financial coach that just loves to inspire you to live a debt free lifestyle and to be wise with money on this show. We’re gonna be talking about personal finances, business finances, so all things money. If you have a question, please go to my website, mayraalejandragarcia.com/podcast and submit your question. We will try to get them on the show. I’ll also have guests that are specialists in different areas regarding money. I’ll have attorneys on that will teach us why it’s important to have certain things in place. I’ll also be talking to other financial experts in the industry that focus on different portions of financial freedom. 


[0:58] So on this show, I’m going to be talking about a little bit about myself my story and where I’m at in this financial journey. So for to start, I am originally from East Los Angeles, California. My parents are Mexican immigrants. And I married my husband Emanuel. We have two children. Alan and Sarah. They’re both teenagers. And we moved to the Phoenix, Arizona area in 2006 seeking housing opportunities. When we were in Los Angeles, we were struggling to find affordable housing and we knew that owning a home was going to be difficult. So we moved to Arizona, and we followed my sister who had lived here for about a year prior to me moving here and we were able to purchase a home shortly after, maybe a year and a half later, after we moved here. So at the end of 2007, was when we bought here. And we didn’t know much about… We thought if we could afford the payment, then we could, own a home, and so that’s what we did. We didn’t have any structure. Nobody had taught us anything about money. So in 2010, was when things got really tight. We had two car loans, credit cards, and student loans. And our church was hosting a Financial Peace course by Dave Ramsey, during that course was when we learned a lot about money and how to manage it. And we followed exactly what his baby steps were. We saved $1,000. We were able to pay down all of our debt, and we were able to accomplish that in 17 months. During those 17 months, we were working. My husband was working two jobs. So he had his day job and then would deliver pizzas at night. And we were just trying to do as much as we could to save and really pay down the payments and pay down our debt as soon as possible. By February of 2012, was when we were able to accomplish that, and we decided to sell our home because it was 50% of our take home pay. And when we learned, from Financial Peace, that your house payment should only be a fourth of your take home pay. And we were at 50% on a 30 year loan, when Dave Ramsey teaches you should be at a fourth of your take home pay and a 15 year loan. We just knew things had to change. So, we decided to sacrifice a little bit, moved into an apartment. And during that time, we were able to save a significant amount of money in two years. That allowed us to give a 20% down for our current home. So we were able to purchase our current home in 2014, and that put us in a really good situation, because by giving the 20% allowed us to avoid PMI insurance, and it allowed us to be within the ranges of what Dave Ramsey teaches. 


[4:38] And so we have been here in this home since 2014. So 6 years now, and we have been able to pay down a little bit on our home. And we are really trying to pay this off as soon as possible now. So that’s where we are in our journey. It has been really rewarding to see that we’ve been able to cashflow some of the things that, we used to put on our credit card, we use to just, stress out about… we had our AC system in our new house break within, I believe it was 3, 4 years after we bought it. It was unfortunate that our inspector did not catch that in the process of buying this home, that it had a bad AC system. It was not even the size, the appropriate size, for the house that we had. And so these are the things that we’ve been able to cash flow because we’ve had our emergency fund and it did stop us at times to do other things and we had to put a stop on our investments, on our extra payments on the house, because we had to build that back up. And so there are a lot of things that we’ve been able to accomplish without debt. It’s a really nice, peaceful situation to be in. And I cannot stress enough how it’s important that we take steps to teach our children this because I don’t want them to go through what we went through in the beginning of our marriage. And it was very difficult because my, we had a lot of just debt that we didn’t need to acquire. So in order to teach our kids, we need to teach them now that it’s not, there’s no need for a credit card. There’s no need for these things, but also teach them alternatives to: how can you still accomplish a house? How can you still accomplish a car payment… or I’m sorry, not a car payment, a car purchase? How can you still accomplish those things without credit? And so, I know it’s a very counter intuitive, than you know it… There are some exceptions and I want to talk a little bit about those. The exceptions are if your job requires you to have a credit score, then we can, one of the things I teach is, you can improve your credit, you can do some of the things to make sure that you are able to attain those jobs that require certain credit scores. But, they’re very rare. And most people do not need to get into any credit stuff. 


[7:34] Now, if you are in debt, I want to encourage you that there is hope. There is a way out and you don’t have to live in this stressful situation forever. It’s going to take sacrifice, it’s going to take determination and courage. And… but you don’t have to feel guilty anymore. You don’t have to feel like, oh my goodness. One of the things I thought of was if somebody would have just taught me this in high school, I wouldn’t have gotten into so much debt, I wouldn’t have gotten into a house I couldn’t afford, if I would have just learned this earlier. Like I had to move past the guilt and the what ifs, in order to just move forward, because all you can do now is just move on. And so, try to work on that guilt, if you have some. There is no need to feel guilty. Whatever your situation is, whether you owe 5000, 20,000, 100,000 or 200,000, it does not matter. Everybody is able to move forward and improve their situation that they’re in now. So I want to encourage you. If you have any questions, please go to my website mayraalejandragarcia.com. Tell me about yourself. I want to get to know you. Also, if you can just subscribe to this podcast, it would be my pleasure to continue teaching you all the strategies that I have learned these past 10 years. And I just hope that you will stay tuned for the next episode. And thank you so much for listening.