In 2021, I published a book called Get Good with Money
, aka GGWM
. I wrote it to help people pursue and achieve financial wholeness, which is the state a person has achieved when the ten fundamental areas of their financial life are in working order and they have a realistic picture of the path they need to be on to reach their dreams.The response to the book was beyond what I could have ever imagined. Hundreds of thousands of people (and counting!) latched on to the GGWM
blueprint, using it to build a solid foundation for their financial future.
Since that time, I’ve seen and heard so many inspirational stories and marveled at the work people are willing to put in to lift themselves up. And I know there are many more people who are ready to level up; all they need is access to the right tools and a teacher to guide them.
As a former preschool teacher and current financial educator, I have found it incredibly rewarding to step in and share the kind of guidance that can make a difference in people’s lives. And it’s the teacher in me that brought me back to offer you Made Whole.
I know that sometimes to get real
work done, you need a place to do it.
And that’s what you’re going to find in the pages ahead: a space to document your dreams about your financial future, maybe a few screams about your financial past (I get it—I’ve got plenty of those too), and the details you’ll use to complete one fundamental component of financial wholeness at a time.Meeting You Where You Are
Now let’s talk about you for a minute. You may have picked up this workbook as a reader of GGWM
, and if that’s the case, I am thrilled to have you back. Or you could be here as a new reader, and to you I say, “Welcome!” In either case, Made Whole
has so much to offer. To help you get the most out of it, I want to provide some guidance before you dive in.For readers of GGWM
: I hope that Get Good with Money
was good to you, and that the key lesson you took away was that financial wholeness isn’t one big untamable beast but instead a collection of ten key components that can be achieved when they’re taken on individually. I hope that you established a budget, worked through your debt, boosted your credit score, got strategic about earning, and more. But it’s possible you didn’t get as far as you would have liked. Maybe life interrupted; maybe you wished that the investing chapter was just a tad bit shorter so you could have made your way all the way through it. I get it.
Here’s the truth: Even with a compartmentalized approach, managing and maintaining the pursuit of 100% wholeness while also doing the heavy lifting of living your life can be tough. That’s why I’m happy you’re here with your hands on Made Whole
. I like to think of this workbook as the perfect companion to Get Good with Money
; it’s a little bit like the Cliffs Notes version of it, with the bonus of allowing you to write and do your work directly in the book. Or put it this way: It’s a little bit like the concentrated juice version of it, but instead of water, you just add work to get the full goodness.For new readers
: I am so excited that you are here and about to start a journey that could have a profound impact on your life. When you focus on the components of financial wholeness, you set yourself (and even your descendants) up to achieve theultimate goal of peace of mind around money.
Since you’re new, you might be wondering why it is exactly that you should takemy advice. And I appreciate that curiosity because I would be wondering the samething. Trust is something that has to be earned, and I’m basically asking you to trustwhat I tell you to do in one of the most important areas of your life. So, let me give youa little background.
My name is Tiffany Aliche. I was born on October 16 . . . OK, just kidding. I’m notgoing to go that far back. But I will tell you that I’m a first-generation Nigerian American. My parents were both born and raised in small, rural villages in Nigeria and came to the United States for education and opportunity. They earned two degrees each and had successful careers as a chief financial officer (my dad) and a registered nurse (my mom). They did all this while raising me and my four amazing sisters. We’ve always been a super-close family, and family is my priority in life. (Although travel is a close second!)
My parents, and especially my dad, raised us to be very financially aware; there were always financial lessons being taught in our home. It’s not like he had us tapping away at a calculator each day or staring at a chalkboard full of numbers; he just had away of teaching financial awareness through real-life experiences. I didn’t realize it atthe time, but this definitely informed my later interest in becoming an educator and my own style of teaching.
These lessons helped set me up to be smart with my money from a young age. By the time I was twenty-six, I owned a condo and had $40,000 saved. All on a $39,000-a-year teacher’s salary, plus a few side hustles like tutoring. Yet I was almost too smart for my own good, and my overconfidence led me to make some big mistakes. The kind of mistakes that would take everything I had made away from me and leave me, at age thirty, unemployed (my job was eliminated during the 2008 recession), living with my parents (my condo was foreclosed on), and with no savings to speak of (due to some poor investment choices and a scammer). I was at a lifetime low.
It was my good friend Linda who would pick me up out of the ashes. She provided a kind and nonjudgmental ear. She helped me forgive myself for my mistakes and letgo of the shame I felt so I could start to rebuild my life. I had all the skills; I just had to remember them. I’d been taught how to budget, how to save, how to get out of debt, how to manage my credit. It was time to revisit all those invaluable lessons I’d been taught growing up. As I returned to them, I began to write them down.
I became really focused on fixing my financial situation and lifting myself backup— and my friends noticed. They too had experienced financial distress as a result ofthe recession. “Can you help me too?” many of them started to ask. And so I began giving lessons every weekend and helping friends create plans to improve their financial health. My little sister, Lisa, started calling me The Budgetnista.
Before I knew it, this humble side hustle started to grow into something bigger. I spent an increasing amount of time helping people with different financial challengesand creating solutions for and with them. After a couple of years of volunteering my financial coaching services, I was invited by my local United Way to teach a series of financial classes to the community. And in that moment, my business identity was born. I became The Budgetnista, financial educator. My mission: to help empower people to better their lives by focusing on financial health.
I couldn’t believe how popular the classes were. There was interest only locally at first, but then I started to get requests from people out of state, and then from out of the country. They wanted to know where they could access the classes. So I got to work on converting all the lessons into an online curriculum that I would call the Live Richer Challenge, or LRC (livericherchallenge.com).
Once I had the LRC curriculum established, I created a goal for myself to get ten thousand women to sign up for the challenge. I began promoting it online, and through word of mouth and social media, I hit my goal!
After the first year of the LRC, I had an incredible twenty thousand additional women sign on to let me help them. I was so inspired and excited! And the results and response were so amazing that I began hosting Live Richer Challenges every year. Since the original ten thousand women were a foundational part of helping me help others pursue their dreams, I dubbed them my Dream Catchers. This name would go on to describe an entire community that is now more than two million strong!
This community has continually helped me elevate my aspirations, just as it has for so many other people. Together we’ve dreamed big, and I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I got Get Good with Money
out into the world with their support, and now I’m here sharing Made Whole
with you (and them, too, of course!).
Copyright © 2023 by Tiffany the Budgetnista Aliche. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.