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February Newsletter

I’m bad with money

I’ve always thought of money as a renewable resource. If I don’t have money, I can always get more. I can get a second job, pick up a side gig (shoutout to our recent episode), use a credit card, or get cash from somewhere (legally, of course). Basically, I’ve just never been “pressed” about money. That is, until December 2018. I was prepping to spend time with my family for the holidays, planning to buy my flight home, and getting excited about the gifts I was going to buy my Secret Santa. (This year, I had drawn my Dad’s name and he always asks for new Nike sweatpants and a college hoodie, so he’s easy. But I digress.) I checked my checking account before booking my flights and realized I was low on cash (Ekk.) “No worries,” I thought, “I’ll just charge it to the game.” That was, until I realized that my credit cards were pushing maxed capacity. That’s when it hit me. I’m bad with money. My “money grows on trees” mentality had gone too far. I was living FAR outside of my means, regularly spending money I didn’t have, digging myself into debt that I was fearful I’d never get out of.

Full of shame and embarrassment about how far I had let my debts get out of control, I called a friend and financial advisor. I told her everything. LIKE EVERYTHING. I told her about the student loans, about the credit cards, about the interest rates, (would y’all believe that one of my credit cards has a 21% interest rate?), and about the auto loan. I told her everything. The first thing she said after I had laid it all out on the table was, “Ashley, what do you value?” I was like, “Girl, huh? Let’s talk budgeting, debt reduction strategies, and couponing. Values don’t cost money. I need to get to the real.” But she pressed me again on the values and she helped me realize that the reason why I’m bad with money is because I don’t really value saving money.

I haven’t really ever seen how saving money benefits me or anyone close to me, and so I used it like a cheap trick. In general, money flowed in and out of my life, and I never saw the value of hanging on to it. I realized that day, that I had to do something to change my relationship with money. Not just “save more, spend less,” but I needed to change how I thought about, talked about, and used money. I had to change my mind about the value of having money, how it should be used, and what it should mean to me. I had to value money. For the entire month of February, I’ll be working on developing this value via Schoolin Life, as all of our February blog and podcast episode content will be focused around finances. We’re calling it Personal Finance February and we’ve invited “substitutes” each week to teach us about how we spend money, how we (should) manage money and relationships, what we need to do to get out of debt, and how to live fabulously while still building big money goals. If you’re bad with money like me, this month’s content is for you. Get excited because, this month, we are getting good (or at least better) at money, together.


Pillow fight

Adobe Stock

While we are getting good (or at least better) at money, make sure you budget to spend some with Schoolin Life. We have new merch including a dope phone case for iPhone (Sorry Android users, as soon as our vendor has expanded options, I’ve got you.) and THE cutest throw pillows to bring a little bit of Schoolin Life into your home! If you’re shopping for Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day, get your girl or girls something from the Schoolin Life shop. Of course, your old favorites are still there. The “None of My Business” mug is really affordable at less than $10 and our branded sweatshirts (which are for men and women and go up to XXXL), are now in NEW colors. (Shoutout to the person who asked for them in pink; we got you.)


In My ears


My musical tastes have been real R&B lately. I’m excited to share both an oldie but goodie and a new R&B sensation with you, while also sharing what mood they put me in when I listen. Read, listen, and then get in the MOOD.



I blame @xavierdleau for turning me against India.Arie. I don’t even remember why he didn’t like her, but it made me not like her too, and apparently, I’ve been missing out on some deep cuts. I recently heard her track “Interested” from the album Voyage to India and it is a bop. The lyrics go, “Because I'm interested, I'd rather be with you instead, Of anyone else,” and it’s the perfect song to get you in the mood for daydreaming about your crush. If there is someone you’ve got your eye on, play this, and then shoot your shot, and let them know you're interested.



So I finally made time to listen to the entire Ella Mai self-titled album after moving past her breakout single “Boo’d Up” and it’s so good. I particularly like “Shot Clock” and “Naked,” for the fast-moving, heavily-sampled tracks that make you long for a lover to hurry up and claim you, seeing you wholly for who you are. The mood here is that delicate balance between holding your partner accountable for being real with you about how the relationship is moving forward, and asking for permission to be vulnerable and to be truly seen. Set a timer, get naked, and get into Ella Mai.


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