Thanks for visiting. My name is Rich Jones.
I’m passionate about helping millennial professionals navigate their careers and finances so they can achieve the freedom they want. I spent 11 years working in staffing and human resources across industries and in 2018 became 100% debt-free. I’ve been building things online since 2008 and podcasting since 2013.
Paychecks & Balances started as a podcast and, with the help of Marcus Garrett, expanded to become a multimedia platform that provides easily digestible resources and expert advice with a few core beliefs:
Money doesn’t have to be complicated (or boring).
In 2013, my life priorities changed and I became much more interested in my financial future and charting a path to more enjoyable work. I started listening to personal finance podcasts and many of them made me feel dumb for what I didn’t know and/or bored me to sleep. This was the beginning of my quest to create a platform that made conversations around money easy to understand. I didn’t want people to get bogged down in jargon and overly complex concepts nor be talked down to because I knew that would lead them to shy away from such a crucial topic. I also thought it was important to make topics around finances and careers fun and relatable, and that’s been key to P&B to this day.
Freedom looks different to everybody.
It could mean the financial means to travel or work on projects that bring personal fulfillment. Freedom could be waking up excited to go to work, whether that’s for a company or self. It could mean more time to spend with family and friends.
I don’t believe in shaming people for not becoming entrepreneurs or for having a day job. I also don’t believe in tearing people down for having values or goals that don’t align with my own or what’s popular. P&B’s goal is to help people along their path, whatever it may be.
Mental health matters.
When my spending has been out of control or my performance has slipped at work, there’s always been an underlying mental or emotional challenge that was holding me back. I’ve had to come to terms with past trauma and seek help in the form of a therapist. And honestly, pursuing therapy is the greatest decision I’ve ever made. It’s hard to experience freedom and contentment when you’re battling things like depression, anxiety, addiction or low self-esteem.
Mental health challenges don’t just impact one aspect of your life. They impact everything. And while things may never be perfect, I’m a strong believer in proactive and ongoing maintenance to ensure your mental health remains in order. There’s no shame in getting help or talking about it. You’ll find conversations around mental health sprinkled throughout the content.
Diversity isn’t just a buzzword.
When I first started listening to personal finance and career podcasts, I noticed there weren’t many voices like mine or people that looked like me. Often times it was hard to relate to what I was hearing and it became important to create something for people that had similar experiences to my own. If you listen to Paychecks & Balances, you’ll notice there are guests from all backgrounds and demographics. This is important because you never know who the right messenger will be for that point to land in a way that inspires you to make a change or adjustment.
I also believe it’s important to understand how other people see the world because it enhances our overall perspectives and well-roundedness. My experience as a Black man impacts my interview style and allows me to pull out interesting tidbits that will be applicable to people that look like me and beyond. Diversity is always key to what I do.
Good career decisions lead to good financial outcomes.
The importance of good career decisions often gets lost in conversations around money. For most of us, the day job (whether at a company or for self) is our primary source of income. It allows us to get out of or avoid debt, create an emergency fund, save for retirement or enjoy life experiences. It’s important to talk about handling interviews and salary negotiation, identifying transferrable skills, navigating performance review season and a lot more because these areas all impact our finances. I wouldn’t be debt-free if I didn’t make good career decisions. I was able to increase my income 300% from one job to the next, which helped me get to where I am today. In fact, it gave me the freedom to be able to build this platform.
A Few of Our Media Mentions
- NBC News: Self-taught financial advisers keep it real about money management
- The Penny Hoarder: 11 Podcasts for Anyone Who Wants to Get Smarter About Money
- GoBankingRates: 15 Money Podcasts That Are Perfect for Your Commute
- Lending Tree: 14 Black Financial Experts You Should Be Following
- NerdWallet: 8 African American Financial Gurus to Follow in 2020
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