Toni is an introvert embracing vulnerability, working to get out of student-loan debt, navigating her career in public health, advocating for mental health, balance, and grace, all while traveling the world. Her YouTube channel is Love, Daring Greatly so make sure you check out her videos!
Why did you start a vlog?
I recognized my passion for personal finance as I plunged head-first into paying off my 100k+ debt. Talking to friends and colleagues, I realized how many people were struggling with their personal finances, budget, and debt-free journeys. I received questions about setting up a budget and paying off debt. As an avid YouTube consumer, when I watched YouTube videos I didn’t see 1.) myself represented and 2.) practical “how-to” advice. I don’t have a family or a home, I don’t have things to sell off to clear my debt in a year, and I want a balanced approach. I started a YouTube channel because I believed there had to be more single female professionals like myself needing a personal finance “home” that felt welcoming and supportive.
What is the focus of your channel and why did you choose that niche?
I focus on mental health and money. I chose that niche because of my own personal experience. I truly believe our relationship is money is a manifestation of how we see ourselves. Also, it is easy to give advice, to say “do this” or “don’t do that” but I see money as behavior and beliefs. I share strategies I’ve used to overcome the behaviors and beliefs that led to my financial situation or I encounter on the way out of debt.
What are some of your vlog goals for the rest of the year?
I endeavor to continue sharing openly and authentically, stand in the knowledge that my voice matters, and create a space for balance and grace in the debt- free community. One of my biggest goals is to continue to bring value to those who take the time to watch my videos and grow my tribe of people who can support one another along this journey.
What are some of your personal goals for the rest of the year?
Probably the biggest one is paying 21k towards my 100k+ debt this year. Like.. that is massive enough right? Lol. Traveling is something that I prioritize so I also want to take 1 national and international trip paid in cash.
What are some tips for staying motivated while trying to reach goals?
- Believe in and trust yourself
- As with other things in life, break down your goals into smaller, more manageable goals.
- Surround yourself with people who get it
- Acknowledge your destination but don’t obsess about it. Enjoy the process and the things you learn along the journey
What has been the hardest part of your journey?
The hardest part of my debt free journey is believing I can succeed while trying to chart my own path. Taking the best most applicable advise from all the gurus and making my own “way”. I also can be really tough on myself. So finding balance between my goals and giving myself grace.
What is your best advice for new bloggers/vloggers?
Share! Hit “send” and publish (even if you cringe afterwards like me)! More importantly, find your tribe. To find your tribe you have to be yourself. To be yourself you have to share YOUR voice, not be an echo. I saw a quote that said “Success comes from standing out.. not fitting in.”
Do what feels comfortable and let it evolve. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to have the tech side and the branding figured out at the beginning. The more you put your content out there, you will seek out the answers to your questions, develop your style, and brand.
What is one piece of personal finance advice you think everyone should know?
Balance does not equal to complacency. It is true the more you focus on a goal the quicker you may get there but other things will have to fall by the way-side. Clearly define your top one-three priorities, find an intensity that works for you right now that YOU can be pleased with YOUR progress, and readjust as you go. Let go of imposed external measures of success and determine your balance that aligns with your individual goals, desires, and life.
If you had unlimited funds right now, what would you do?
Without a doubt- Travel the world!