My experience living roommates and house hacking for 13 months.
Is having roommates all it’s cracked up to be? 

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In today’s mini episode I share why I rented out two bedrooms in my house and some of the challenging situations that I had to deal with while living with roommates. What was living with two roommates like? I would be lying if I said that living with roommates was easy but after 13 months of house hacking, I can look back at my experience, appreciate the lessons and move on with my life. 

Living with two roommates was extremely challenging – there were plenty of stressful moments, lots of annoying moments and quite a few tears. The truth is, after signing the dotted line and buying a house back in May 2017, I quickly realized that I wasn’t financially prepared for the aftermath.

What was living with two roommates like? 

Here I was the owner of a beautiful home but I had no furniture or working appliances. My house was empty and I didn’t have any money saved up for furniture or decorations. 

Slowly buying what I needed, I got roommates to help pay off all the credit card debt that I accumulated and offload some of my monthly expenses.

What’s important here is that I had a goal for the extra income. I used the extra income to pay off debt, pay my monthly bills and I saved the rest. 

Although there are obviously plenty of financial benefits to having roommates, it’s not always about the money. You have to also think about how having roommates may affect your mental and physical health.

Overall, I’m thankful that I’m at a point where I can afford to live on my own now. 

Helpful Tip: When saving for a house also save up for furniture, appliances and repairs. 

Are you enjoying the show? 

Listen to more episodes of The Thought Card like Do You Check Your Paychecks? 5 Things I Learned From Not Checking Mines. In this episode I share my paycheck mistake story and why it motivated me to continue to work towards financial independence.  

Meet the Host – Danielle Desir 

My name is Danielle Desir, and I believe that when we make informed financial decisions, we can go extremely far. As a financially savvy traveler, I also believe that anyone can afford to travel, and this podcast shares the tools and resources, secrets and stories of how travelers from around the world are making smart money decisions to afford to travel more, pay off debt and build wealth.

Read more about me here.

Ogechi the founder of One Savvy Dollar Talks Tuition Reimbursement Programs

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Ogechi Igbokwe understands how student loan debt can wreak havoc on our lives. How it robs us of our peace of mind and the ability to pursue our goals like buy a house, travel, get married or start a family.

Ogechi is a certified financial educator and founder of One Savvy Dollar.

One Savvy Dollar is a personal finance website that helps people find companies that offer tuition reimbursements and empowers them to save more, pay down debt, increase their net worth and build wealth. As a money expert, she helps people make money moves today that their future self will thank them for. She’s been featured on sites like Nerdwallet, Clever Girl Finance and more, and I’m so excited to chat with her about her debt repayment journey!

In this episode, Ogechi shares her debt repayment story and how she’s helping recent grads get a leg up in life by taking advantage of tuition reimbursement programs through their employers.

Tuition reimbursement programs are important because they help you reduce your student loans and you get paid to work and earn your degree at the same time!

“To be savvy is to be knowledgeable and smart about your life.” – Ogechi

In this episode we talk about:

  • What motivated Ogechi to pay off her student loan debt
  • How she paid off $26,000 of student loan debt in 3 years
  • What are employer-sponsored tuition reimbursement programs?
  • How to figure out if your company offers tuition reimbursement
  • Other options to consider if your employer doesn’t offer a tuition reimbursement program
  • Industries offering employees tuition reimbursement benefits 
    • Healthcare
    • Technology
    • Education
    • Financial
    • Oil & Gas
    • Airlines
    • Manufacturing and more

Connect with Ogechi


Facebook Group:

Instagram: @onesavvydollar

Thanks so much for listening, if you enjoyed this show, share it with a friend on Facebook!

To listen to more episodes of The Thought Card don’t forget to find us on your favorite podcast player – Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Google Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher and leave us a thoughtful review or send us a voicemail with suggestions for an upcoming episode.

Also join our community over on Facebook – Financially Savvy Travelers!

The Thought Card - Check your paychecks

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In today’s mini episode, we talk about the important lessons that I learned from not checking my pay stubs. Yet, I bet that I’m not alone in this. Many people don’t check their paychecks often enough. But what happens when something goes wrong and there’s an error that may actually affect your pay? I share my mistake story and why I now take a few minutes to make sure everything is accurate on my paychecks.

Want to listen to more episodes of The Thought Card?

Listen to Teaching English in China and Living Abroad with Richelle Gamlam. In this episode, Richelle shares tips for teaching English in China and lots more about living abroad in Asia.



Meet the Host – Danielle Desir

My name is Danielle Desir, and I believe that when we make informed financial decisions, we can go very far. As a financially savvy traveler, I also believe that anyone can afford to travel, and this podcast shares the tools and resources, secrets and stories of how travelers from around the world are making smart money decisions to afford to travel more, pay off debt and amass wealth.

Read more about me here.

Trading Stocks and Traveling Full-time with Teri Ijeoma

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This episode of The Thought Card was sponsored by Ally at #FinCon18.

After getting denied vacation time for the third time and having a friend pass away abruptly, Teri Ijeoma decided that life was too short to not pursue her dreams. Teri Ijeoma is an entrepreneur, day trader, and real estate broker who encourages people to become knowledgeable in stocks and real estate.

After lots of practice and taking a class learning how to trade in the stock market, Teri quit her job when she made enough money to replace her full-time income. Now Teri trades full-time and travels the world.

In addition to investing, Teri has over 10 years of experience in operations, logistics, staff development, non-profits, and education. Teri graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with her Bachelor of Management Science and got a Master of Media and Communications from Dallas Theology Seminary.

Teri shows us that if we put our fears aside, we can potentially add stock trading to our portfolio as a viable income source.

Sign up for Teri’s Trade and Travel course an investing course for people who are looking to afford to travel, pay down debt, or replace their income using the stock market.

In this episode we cover:

  • What is a stock?
  • What is a brokerage account?
  • How Teri transitioned from working full-time to making over $1,000 a day trading and traveling.
  • Ways to talk to your boss about pursuing professional development opportunities.

How to get started with investing?

  1. Teri recommends opening a stock brokerage account.
  2. Look for brokerages with low fees or no minimums like Robinhood.
  3. Learn how to trade by starting with fake money.

Other brokerages to consider include:

Resources Mentioned

Sign up for Teri’s investment stock market class where you learn how she makes $1,000 a day and the (4) secrets that leads to Teri’s investing success.

Connect with Teri Ijeoma:


Instagram: @imaninvester

Teri Ijeoma Linkedin

If you enjoyed this episode also check out Episode 34 where I chat with Damien Peters, the founder of Wealth Noir about moving abroad to Spain and ways he’s building wealth.

Looking for the best time to book flights? Listen to Episode 5 for the best times to buy flights according to

See you next time for Episode 8 where I chat with Yasmine Bisumber about attending FinCon for the first time.

What’s holding you back from starting to invest in the stock market?

To listen to more episodes of The Thought Card don’t forget to subscribe!

How to subscribe to the show?

  1. Head to your favorite podcast player.
  2. Search for “The Thought Card”.
  3. Find it.
  4. Hit Subscribe – You’re Done!
The Thought Card Podcast Episode 2: Why You Need A Travel Fund

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Travel doesn’t have to be expensive but it does cost money. If you want to start traveling but know that in order to do so you need to make tweaks to your budget then the first thing that I recommend doing is starting a travel fund.

In this episode we cover:

  • What is a travel fund?
  • Why is a travel fund important?
  • How to get started with a travel fund?
  • Where to stash your travel savings?

What is a travel fund?

A travel fund is a powerful tool that you can use to help you save money for travel.

A travel fund is a dedicated bank account (checking, savings or money market) devoted to your travel savings and expenses. With a travel fund you’re intentionally saving money for travel and when it comes time to spend, you have a stash to pull from.

The point of a travel fund is to have money available for travel when you need it.

Why is a travel fund important?

A travel fund is important because it’s so much easier to save money for travel when it has its own home – a dedicated bank account separate from everything else.

#1 It’s a lot easier when you keep things separate

When you commingle funds you are less likely to achieve your goals. Even with the best intentions, it’s easy to overspend when all of your money is jumbled together in one bank account.

So if you ever have to pay for a flight or want to go on a spontaneous weekend getaway, you can tap into the funds you set aside specifically for travel expenses like flights, lodging, attractions and more.

#2 Avoids overspending

A travel fund can also help you avoid getting into debt and paying high balances on your credit card. At a glance you can check your balance and know exactly how much you have available to spend on travel.

#3 Keeps you grounded

A travel fund can keep your wanderlust in check and brings clarity to your finances.

Treat travel like a recurring bill

How important is travel to you?

If travel is important then consider treating it like a recurring bill. As a recurring bill you’ll set money aside for it every single month. Put travel right up their with your car insurance, rent and gym membership.

Make travel a financial priority in your life by including it as a line item in your monthly budget.

If you treat travel like a recurring bill you can potentially save hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars by the end of the year. It all depends on how aggressively you want to save for it.

How to implement it?

To do this, I recommend setting up a direct deposit with your employer. This way your money will get directly deposited into your travel bank account every time you get paid.

Helpful Tip: Don’t wait for the day after or even the week after to make this transaction, do it when you get paid.

The set up process is easy.

Here’s how to set up your travel fund:

  1. Figure out how much you want to save towards travel every pay period.
  2. Set up direct deposit with your employer.
  3. Go about your life – set it, forget it and watch it grow!

Now if you want to schedule additional automatic transfers after you get paid to accelerate reaching your travel goals, by all means go for it! I believe in you!

See you next time for Episode 3 where we chat with Richelle Gamlam about teaching English in China!

New to the podcast? Learn what The Thought Card is all about by listening to Episode 1.

Do you have a travel fund? Why or why not?

Hey, if you are getting value from The Thought Card, show me some love by subscribing!

Don’t forget new episodes drop every other Thursday.

How to subscribe to the show?

  1. Head to your favorite podcast player.
  2. Search for “The Thought Card”.
  3. Find it.
  4. Hit Subscribe – You’re Done!
Danielle Desir The Thought Card Podcast host
Everything you need to know about The Thought Card Podcast!

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Welcome to The Thought Card!

I’m so glad that you’ve joined me. I’m your host Danielle Desir.

The Thought Card is a travel and money podcast. It’s actually a spin off of my award-winning travel finance blog The Thought Card.

If you don’t already know about the brand, you can learn more about me here.

More about your financially savvy host

In a nutshell, I’m passionate about helping people be intentional with their money and make informed financial decisions. But it doesn’t stop there.

I geek out over saving money and finding creative ways to spend it. Some people call me “frugal” but I prefer “budget conscious”. I believe in saving and splurging on the experiences that matter.

I’m not opposed to spending money. I’m just opposed to wasting it.

I’ve traveled to over 24 countries by scoring cheap flight deals and leveraging credit card rewards to afford more travel.

You’ve come to the right place if you want to:

  • Afford to travel (more)
  • Build wealth
  • Discover destinations around the world
  • Learn how to crush your financial goals
  • Optimize your financial situation
  • Pay off student loans
  • Shift your mind set
  • Stop living paycheck to paycheck and more!

What you can expect from The Thought Card

Join me every other week (on Thursdays) as we tackle travel and personal finance issues head on. Hear from inspiring guests who are traveling the world, crushing their financial goals and living life on their own terms. Other days it’ll just be me diving into topics that are near and dear to my heart.

How can you get involved

There are so many ways to get in touch!

  1. The best conversations happen here so after an episode leave a comment with your thoughts and let’s chat! Every episode will have it’s own show notes page.
  2. You can also leave me a voicemail. See the “Send Voicemail” tab to the right of this page? Hit that and simply record a question or leave a suggestion. I love hearing from you!
  3. Or send me an email at thethoughtcard (at) gmail (dot) com.
  4. Connect with me on social media: I’m active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  5. Lastly, if you prefer to read my content, there are over 180 blog posts that you can check out on The Thought Card (the blog).

If you are finding value from these episodes, be kind and leave me a review. Reviews are how podcasts rank and get found. Oh and please subscribe so that you’re the first to know when new episodes drop.

You can find “The Thought Card” on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify and Google Play Music.

How to subscribe to the show?

  1. Head to your favorite podcast player.
  2. Search for “The Thought Card”.
  3. Find it.
  4. Hit Subscribe – Woot Woot!

See you back here for Episode 2 where we chat about the importance of having a travel fund.