Taco Truck watching a Drive in Movie Staring Melody

About Me

Find out how this Food Scientist fell in love with personal finance

Here's My Story

Hi I’m Melody, and I’m on a mission to feel good about what my money can do for me and the world around me. 

My story isn’t “how I paid off $100,000 of debt” or “how I saved $100,000 by age 25”.

It’s a slightly less impressive one, but I don’t think it’s any less important to share. 

My story is about a woman who decided in her late 30’s to learn how to put her money to work. And during the process, she got so freaking excited about how it felt that she started a blog in April of 2019 in hopes she could help others feel the same way. 

You may be asking, “What does putting your money to work mean?”. 

For me, putting my money to work means using my money for things that are important to me and for the things that I value. 

Aligning my spending and saving with the things that I value has allowed me to build up my financial confidence and reduce my stress surrounding money. And all I needed was a few tools and a vision.

Moving towards a state of financial zen has been a journey filled with lots of frustrating how-the-f$%k-am-I-going-to-do-this moments, but it’s the small wins along the way that have kept me going. My journey will never end, and I am stoked to share my insights to help get others to start feeling good about their own money. 

First, I want to be transparent and fill you in on some of the privileges I’ve experienced in my life and let you get to know my background a little bit better.

We all have different experiences, goals, and challenges when it comes to money. And even though my experiences and struggles may not be the same as yours, I hope by sharing my story and thoughts on money (and life), I can be a resource for you as you embark on your own money journey. 

Back to My Story….

After college, I made some decisions that helped me financially, like starting to save for retirement as soon as I got my first full-time job. But beyond that, I never really gave my money much thought. My money was simply a way to pay my bills and spend whatever was leftover. 
Simply put: I was living up to my means, spending every dollar I had earned. I had no emergency fund, no plan for my money, and I was simply spending money to spend money.
I didn’t love that I was doing this and I tried to set a budget several times as I thought that was the solution, but it never stuck. 



Enter My First A-ha Moment – You Need a Budget

After a few failed budgeting attempts, I was super frustrated. I wanted to have a plan for my money, but I couldn’t figure out a way to stick to a budget. But then I found a tool that changed my life. 

I discovered the budgeting software/app You Need a Budget (YNAB)

YNAB revolutionized how I thought about my money and budgeting. It taught me to assign jobs to my money and to think about what every cent of my paycheck could do for me. 

It was amazing and that was the first time I felt empowered by my money. I will be forever grateful for YNAB. I get giddy just thinking about it.

The Second A-ha Moment – FIRE

The second turning point came when I learned about a concept called Financial Independence, Retire Early, or FIRE.

The concept of FIRE is to spend less than you earn and invest the rest. You then continue to do this for many years, and eventually, the return on your investments will cover all of your living expenses. After reaching that point you can CHOOSE whether or not to work, which is true financial independence. 

Shut the f#$king front door!

My initial draw to FIRE was the idea of retiring early. The idea of not HAVING to work was intoxicating; but as I learned more about FIRE, I realized it’s about more than retiring early. 

It’s about challenging our thoughts and habits to create financial stability to live a life we are excited about. By creating financial stability, we open up options that may not be available if we are spending everything we earn. 

The third A-ha Moment – Know Your Values and Spend Accordingly

This one came a few years into my journey.

I used to think that to be good with money and to feel good about my money, I simply had to learn to spend less and save more. 

Turns out that focusing on those things actually stressed me out. 

When I thought like this, every spending decision was riddled with anxiety. Should I buy this? Do I really need that? I couldn’t get my brain to stop questioning my potential purchases. 

What actually helps me feel good about my money is only spending on the things that are truly important to me while staying within my budget. And after some introspection, I found that the things that are important to me go beyond my small life and spill over into the world around me. 

When I spend money on supporting a restaurant that I love, supporting a local non-profit,  or on a campervan to make memories in, I’m spending with my values and my budget in mind. And when I do this, spending is empowering. 

Why Cash for Tacos?

In my Cash for Tacos world, “tacos” represents those things that are important to you. 

I want to help you think about and understand what you want for yourself and the world around you. And when you understand that, you can align your money with that vision.

Our money is more than just an afterthought. It’s a resource we can use to create a life we love.

Together, We’ve got this!

Thank you so much for stopping by Cash for Tacos and taking the time to learn more about me and my mission to help others feel good about their money. 

Together we can use our money to support the lives we want to live and a world we want to live in. 

Let’s do this. Let’s find our tacos! 

Eating Frites in Brussels

Hi! I’m Melody (and that’s Mr. Taco) and I want to help you feel confident about your finances and inspire you to become your own money boss so that you can start creating life you are excited about.

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