Ja’Net’s Story: Helping People Achieve Financial Prosperity
Meet Ja’Net, a full-time entrepreneur and mother of two who lives in Kernersville, North Carolina.
What does school look like for your kids right now?
My 13-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter are both in virtual school and will be until at least January 11 of next year. They’re ready to go back to school, but COVID-19 cases are surging again in our area.
Tell me about your job.
I’ve been an entrepreneur for nine years now. Normally, I spend my time traveling and doing speaking engagements all across the country. The travel restrictions have been a blessing in disguise for my business because I’ve been able to reach more people on my digital platform. I’ve been able to grow my online presence and webinar attendance because it’s all online now and more accessible. My main audience is college students, who can now attend my webinars on their phone since everything is digital. And now I can spend more quality time with my kids because I’m not traveling as much. I’ve been able to do things like host a webinar and then take my daughter to tennis—that’s been phenomenal.
I enjoy what I do so much that it doesn’t feel like a job to be. Even yesterday, I was trying to figure out Facebook ads and that alone gave me so much joy! When I’m really in the mood to relax, I’ll watch a Marvel movie.
“My business is Debt Sucks University and my main goal is to help others financially live their dreams.”
How did you start your own business?
I was in corporate America prior to starting Debt Sucks University. I got laid off from my job and took two years to pay off $50,000 of debt. This all started because I did one presentation and got paid for speaking. After that interaction, I thought, “Maybe I could turn this into something.” Nine years later and I’m still going strong.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
I love seeing the “lightbulb” turn on for people when they realize that they can manage their debt and pay it off. I feel like I’m really making a difference when someone reaches out to me with their testimonial of how they were able to pay off their debt.
What does a day in your life currently look like?
I wake up at 6am, journal, pray, respond to and send out emails, then wake up my kids at 7am. My son practices basketball for an hour and my daughter practices tennis, too. We eat breakfast as a family before I adopt the role of tech support specialist for their virtual school. While they’re on their laptops, I set up calls with clients, write proposals for my business, and act as a teacher assistance when they need help. Once they’re done with school, we have about 30 minutes before they have to go to their respective sports practices in person.
Do you teach your kids about money?
Yes, we definitely talk about money when the subject comes up. For example, we listen to NPR in the car and I answer any questions they may have about finances. Earlier this year, my daughter asked what going bankrupt meant. I explained that it was when a company owed people more money than it had coming in. Another example was when they saw our local IHOP close. We had that same conversation about bankruptcy. And when we go to the grocery store, they see what I’ve budgeted for and it’s nice to see them learn that those savings add up over time. Even if it’s something like $0.40 savings on one item, you’re saving money.
Can you tell me more about your financial situation?
I have a spending plan each and every month. I have part of the sports package on Sling and I turn it off for the month before the NBA season comes on again so I can save a little money. Whenever I look at what I’m bringing in, I think, “How can I save for myself and my kids?” I want to make sure their college accounts, regular savings accounts, and Roth IRAs are well-funded.
Do you have any milestones for your business that you’d like to achieve?
I’m looking to expand internationally to London, Ghana, and Canada. There are a lot of expatriates there and I feel like what I teach is still relevant to a lot of them. For example, they could be living abroad but still be weighed down by student debt.
Are you shopping for the holidays this year?
I’m definitely getting my children something. Their grandparents also like to go overboard with the presents. Luckily, my children are pretty reserved when it comes to gifts. My daughter said she wants an Easy Bake oven and a Baby Alive, and those are pretty reasonably priced. And my son would never ask me for a PS5. They’re very into traveling. I like to teach my children the value of experiences compared to material things.
Tell me about your proudest financial accomplishment.
I’ve always wanted to give back to those who gave so much to me. For example, I gave my 70-year-old mother a year’s worth of trips. Of course, this was before the pandemic so we had to move a few trips to 2021, but we still plan on taking them when we get the chance. Before COVID-19 hit, we were in Paris and London for a week. My kids came along, too. You know, those locations in Europe are such landmarks. Places like the Eiffel Tower and London Eye are so iconic, and they’re in all the cartoons they watch. So now when they watch their shows, they realize, “Oh, I’ve been there! I’ve seen that!”
My mother really taught me everything. She was a Human Resources Director and she taught me how to dress professionally. Before my father passed away, both my parents taught me about money.
How do you feel about SaverLife?
I discovered you all at FinCon last year! I thought it was cool that SaverLife rewards people cash for saving money.
The time between recessions is getting shorter and shorter, and I like that you all are helping people prepare for the future. I also like that SaverLife encourages its members to find the money they can to save and build a sense of financial security. Having a good mindset when you’re working toward financial wellness really makes a difference.