About the Episode
Student debt, financial literacy, and mental health are all intertwined. However, striking the correct balance between these three components is not as simple as it sounds. In today’s episode of the Pursuit of Learning, we are having a mind-blowing conversation with someone who has mastered the art of balancing above three elements mentioned above through the complex and long journey she had. Melanie Lockert, a freelance personal finance writer, podcaster, event organizer at Lola Retreat, and a mental health advocate, joins us today to talk about how she reached her debt-free life after years of hard work.
We started the conversation with her story behind her first blog post to her first book, Dear Debt: A Story About Breaking Up with Debt. Interestingly her first blog happened to be a result of her depression about debts, and she documented her path out of $81,000 in student loan debt on her blog. Since then, she has been aspiring to write relatable, sympathetic, and helpful material, hoping to make a difference with her words. As of now, she has her work featured on Allure, Vice, Credit Karma, and Business Insider.
Aside from that, she is the host of the podcast The Mental Health and Wealth Show and the organizer of the Lola Retreat, a women’s money-focused gathering. We talk about her experience in arts education and nonprofits, where she worked before entering the finance industry. On the other hand, five years ago, by the age of 31 years, she could pay off all her debt. However, until that, she had not invested at all. She broadly explains the sacrifice she had to become a debt-free person today. Wrapping up the discussion, she emphasizes the necessity of changing our minds to become the person we want to be.