In today’s episode, we’re talking to Candice Latham, who has built a personal brand that helps people be the hero in their finances, get out of debt, and build wealth. Candice also used her skills from her 9-5 agency job to start her own design business on the side, which allowed her to reach her big money goals—like paying off $47,000 in debt and going from a negative net worth to positive one—much faster.
We discuss how our histories with money impact our money beliefs and behaviors, what moved Candice from just learning about money to actually getting out of debt, and how you can grow your wealth.
Creating a plan for debt freedom is the first step!
As always, we’ve rounded up our top three takeaways to summarize what we believe are the core points to remember from Candice.
When it comes to money, our history matters. And not just who our parents were and how we were raised—though that matters greatly—but the generations that came before us.
We have to acknowledge that our past—slavery, segregation, racism—makes racial injustice a money issue. On Candice’s YouTube video on race and personal finance, a commenter noted, “Racism has always been about finance.” And it’s so true. It’s been about cheap or free labor and reducing competition. Both of which allowed those in power – white families – to build wealth more quickly. Along with current policies and biases that are unjust, the racial wealth gap has been passed down generation to generation.
That’s not to say that you can’t overcome your history. You can. But doing so is much harder for some people. We all need to acknowledge that and do the work to fix it.
And when you compare yourselves to others, or even feel yourself judging others, don’t discount that everyone’s experience with money is far from the same.
I loved Candice’s story about her first debt slaying challenge and how just seeing people making big debt payoffs or side hustling to grow their wealth would kick her into action.
The saying from Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with,” holds truth. The people we surround ourselves with give us a frame of reference. It influences what we believe about ourselves and what we believe is possible. It dictates “normal.”
But we can change those people—not by kicking negative family or friends out of our lives, but by bringing in more people that motivate us and lift us up. It’s why we have the free Mamas Talk Money Community where you can find women that want to talk about money goals, learn, and share wins. If you’re not in the group yet, I encourage you to go join.
If you’re feeling unmotivated or like your goals are impossible, seek out a community where you feel inspired. It can make all the difference.
Candice made the decision to prioritize both investing and paying off debt. She was contributing to her 401K and adding to taxable investments while also focusing on reducing expenses and increasing her income to pay off more debt.
It can be helpful to focus on one main money goal at a time. It can speed up your debt payoff, giving you more money to put towards your debt instead of splitting your focus. But there were two important points Candice made with her method.
First, investing feels more like growing your wealth than paying off debt does. And if contributing a bit more to your 401K or opening an IRA while you work on your debt makes you more committed to your whole money journey, do it! Especially because the sooner you can start investing and compounding growth, the better.
Note that I personally wouldn’t prioritize investing over paying off high-interest debt (any debt with interest rates over 7 or 8%) because long-term stock market gains won’t offset what you’re paying in interest…
But the second point Candice made —whether or not you choose to invest while paying off debt—is that if you really want to build wealth over your lifetime, you have to focus on growing your assets.
Even along your debt payoff journey, take some time to learn about investing. Look for new ways to advance your skills and increase your earnings.
Once you get out of debt, you’re not done with your money journey. That’s when it’s time to really lean into growing your assets and creating financial freedom. And you’ll be able to grow faster if you start building your skills early.
Candice Latham started using her skills from her nine-to-five ad agency job to start her own design business on the side so she could reach her goals faster. She documented her journey of moving her net worth from the negatives into the positives while paying off $47,000 worth of debt. Candice now helps business owners with their marketing, social media, and graphics at The Latham Agency.
Are you subscribed to the Smart Money Mamas podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to head over to Apple Podcasts (or wherever you listen to your podcasts) and subscribe! I release episodes twice and week and as a subscriber, you’ll be notified right away so you can take checking the feed for new content off your mental to-do list.