Hey there, I’m CJ! My dog Olive is also around here snoring somewhere…
I launched Olive the Money in 2021 after realizing that many people have not been as lucky as I’ve been in having great mentorship in money management.
After 2 years in the Peace Corps, I made a terrible mistake and went to a bougie private school for grad school. When I got there I learned that they had miscommunicated my scholarship money and I would be receiving half of what I had planned. I crunched the numbers and realized that I would never be able to pay my debt if I pursued my planned degree in international policy.
Dreams of traveling around the world working for NGOs went straight out the window and instead I went for the much more practical MBA. I still graduated with $150k in debt, and I had no f-ing clue what to do about it. It just felt like an anchor around my neck and my future.
At first, I threw money at my debt, but the idea of sending every extra dime I had to Sallie Mae for decades was depressing. I refinanced, set it to auto-pay, and did what I could to forget about it.
At that time, I was out of school and making a 6 figure salary, but outside of minimal contributions to my 401k, I was still pretty much paycheck to paycheck. It’s not like I was struggling to pay bills or anything, I just was blowing cash on dumb stuff. I made $200/month in the Peace Corps, so with this new salary, in my mind, I had made it – I was rich.
Thankfully, my sisters are awesome with money and over the years I started to absorb some of the things they had said about making choices, budgeting and investing.
Through their lessons, some intense research, and the help of some pretty amazing creators, I have been able to go from a negative $150k up to multi-six-figure net worth. I fixed up a fixer-upper and rented it out, maxed out my 401K, and started learning how to put away extra, after-tax income.
The part I couldn’t get past though, is that I was investing in areas that didn’t fit my values. I know my broad market index funds go to some pretty nasty players who I would never buy from – so why was I investing in them?
And that brings me to today. I love that I can do my part to invest in a better tomorrow. That I can express my values via investing and how I choose to spend my dollars.
Sustainable investing is a new area and continues to grow. I plan on growing with it and sharing everything I can forward.
If you’re ready to get your money sh** together – start with money management, head to investing, and then slide on into sustainable investing.
I’m super jazzed you’re here. And if Olive would get her lazy butt out of bed, she would be too 🙂