November 16, 2016

[Ep. 75] How Jessica Paid Off $40,000 in Debt in 3 Years as an Artist

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I’m Jessica and I’m a money expert, speaker, Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada®, host of the More Money Podcast, and am currently writing my first book with HarperCollins Canada (2025).
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It’s not too often you get to interview your namesake for a podcast episode, so it was a real treat to chat with Jessica Watchorn for this Listener Series episode. And not only do we share a name, but we also have very similar stories, both currently live in Toronto and have our own podcasts!

Similar to my background, Jessica went to art school in Montreal to study painting in the hopes of becoming an artist. She of course realized after graduating with her degree that pursuing a career in the arts, no matter how talented you are, was no easy feat.

But that didn’t stop her. Nor did the $40,000 debt that she owed from her education. So what did she do? She got a job as a cook in a restaurant to pay her bills and debts, formed a community of other like-minded artists through her Art Pro Podcast, and focused on making her art during her off hours.

As we talked about on the show, it doesn’t matter how much you make at the end of the day. Your income shouldn’t rule how you live your life.

Jessica wants to be an artist, and that’s exactly what she is and what she’s doing. She may not be making her ideal salary right now, but she’s able to afford the city life while pursuing her passion — now completely debt-free I might add.

You go, Jessica! Keep up the amazing work! Hopefully, I’ll be able to commission a painting from you one day.

Jessica’s Top Money-Smart Tips

  • Tracking your spending. Jessica realized she was spending ridiculous amounts of money on small things at dollar stores that she had no idea about. Once she started tracking her spending, she found a way to save 50% of her income.
  • Pay yourself first. When she gets paid, she immediately puts 50% of her pay into savings and then uses the rest to pay for living expenses and bills.
  • Don’t use your credit card for your day-to-day spending. Get in the habit of using cash or debit. It really does help you curb unnecessary spending.
  • Be aggressive with your debt payoff plan. Remember, the faster you pay off your debt, the less money you’ll have to put down.
  • There’s nothing more motivating than seeing your savings accounts grow.

Jessica’s Finance Book Recommendation

Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker

Check out Jessica’s Podcast

Make sure to subscribe and leave a review on iTunes for Jessica’s awesome Art Pro Podcast! And don’t forget to check out her beautiful Instagram account or join her Art Pro community.
Got a story that you think would be good to share on an episode of the Listener series? Please email me!

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