Episode 258: Jade Warshaw

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Professional vocalist Jade Warshaw has performed in 92 countries alongside her husband, who is also a musician. And over the course of seven and a half years, the two of them have paid off $460,000 in debt using Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.

Jade is now a Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach, Debt Elimination Expert and Debt-Free Entrepreneur. She and her husband started their debt warrior journey by creating a budget and setting it in stone, and then working to increase income while lowering expenses: picking up roommates, downgrading to just one car, and taking on side jobs.

67% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, Jade says, and 50% are feeling stress and anxiety when they think about their financial situation – you don’t have to be half a million dollars in debt to be feeling strapped right now. 

For most people, one of the biggest line items in their budget is the food category, so it’s a great place to start looking for ways to save money that can be used to pay down debt.

“I just got creative. I started doing things that I didn’t do before, because I wanted different results.” Jade Warshaw (8:16-8:21)

The first step for Jade was meal planning: seeing what was on sale and reverse engineering that information to decide what to cook for the week. Because many stores will price match, she was open to shopping at several different locations for additional savings. Often, she will start by shopping for deals at farmers markets, trying the in-season fruits and vegetables that are available at the best prices and then supplementing at the grocery store. 

Both Jade and her husband are plant-based eaters, which also saves money. She pointed out that the price of chicken may be up 17%, but prices in the produce aisle just aren’t seeing that same level of inflation. If you look at the numbers for low, moderate and liberal grocery spending, her budget actually is within the parameters of the low cost plan. Eating out at restaurants falls under entertainment using the Ramsey method, and Jade definitely recommends making that sacrifice when paying down debt. Instead, you can take the opportunity to really celebrate and savor the meals you make at home – sitting down at the table, relaxing and having conversations, and enjoying some peace in your day.

What she does not recommend is sacrificing the quality of the foods that you’re putting into your body. Buying whatever is cheapest without considering nutritional value can lead to concerns like higher blood pressure and higher cholesterol. The whole purpose of a debt-free journey is so that you can live a rich and full life, and you need to be healthy for that.

“I can’t control inflation, I can’t control the avian flu, I can’t control the supply chain. What can I do to control what’s going on in my very own house?” Jade Warshaw 23:49-23:57

Inflation is on everyone’s mind but in a post pandemic world, prices are likely to continue to fluctuate. Jade doesn’t want anyone to live in a constant state of panic. If spending an extra $20 at the grocery store is really going to break you, then it’s time to start asking some deeper questions about whether you’re living within your income and if you’re making smart spending decisions – credit card debt is at an all-time high, Jade reminds us, and the average car note is $717 a month.

For entrepreneurs, Jade advises “moving at the speed of cash.” Many people when starting a business are quick to spend money they don’t yet have in hopes of accelerating success, but when you acquire debt, you take on risk and your motivation changes. Rather than fueling the passion that inspired starting a business in the first place, you’re working to ensure you can pay your debts and not go under; you’re stressed and anxious, rather than fulfilled.

She also recommends “diversifying your demand.” As a vocalist, clients came to her for her singing, but by also offering instrumentals, choreography, and piano and voice lessons, she became more valuable and in demand when it came to clients and jobs.

“The more that you can increase your knowledge, increase what you know, increase what you know how to do, then you have more value in the marketplace.” Jade Warshaw (19:37-19:45)

Getting on a plan with your money by starting to budget, paying down debt using the Debt Snowball Method, and saving three to six months of expenses will help you sleep so much better at night, Jade says. To learn more about these Baby Steps, and the next steps for gaining control of your life through money, you can visit JadeWarshaw.com, RamseySolutions.com, or follow Jade on Instagram @JadeWarshaw.

How to get involved

  • Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! 
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About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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