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Chelsea Fagan is a lifestyle and financial advice writer and co-founder of The Financial Diet.
She founded her blog in 2014 as a way to hold herself financially accountable after racking up $4,000 in credit card debt and losing her job due to an arrest for unpaid traffic violations. What started as a way for her to track her financial progress eventually became her main source of income as more people flocked to her site for advice.
Fagan later launched The Financial Diet YouTube channel, which now has 1 million subscribers. In addition to running the blog and social media channel, Fagan also hosts workshops and classes, and has written several books.
Why She’s a Top Money Expert:
Fagan’s blog and YouTube channel approach money “in a way that doesn’t feel scary, judgmental, or boring as hell.” If you’re looking for no-nonsense money advice, look no further than The Financial Diet.
What’s the one piece of money advice you wish everyone would follow and why?
Even if you aren’t ready to change anything about your habits or your spending right now, commit to at least looking at all your statements every day for a month — nothing else, just look at the numbers. I guarantee that after doing that for just a few weeks, you will naturally want to take control of your money and make better decisions without anyone needing to push you.
What’s the biggest mistake people make when it comes to money, and what should they do instead?
Not talking about it because they feel ashamed or awkward. We think that we’re the only ones who have financial issues or anxieties, and that everyone else has it so together, or that being quiet is the only way to keep friends or not seem weird. But once you start speaking openly about money — with empathy, with honesty and with humor — you’ll find that nearly everyone is relieved to talk about it, and that being honest allows all of our relationships to become stronger.
And anyone that actually would judge you for saying things like, “Hey, I’m on a budget right now,” or “I’m working to pay off a lot of debt,” shouldn’t be in your life anyway.