Borrow Student Loans

From Broke to Millionaire with Chloe Elise

Haley Paskalides  |  October 4, 2023

Rather than living a life of restriction, Chloe Elise wants you to live by your priorities – and buy the leggings every once in a while.

Chloe Elise found herself in almost $40,000 worth of debt in her mid-20s. To pay it down, she turned to many of the world’s popular financial gurus to help get her spending in check. Only what she found was that their tough-love, shame-based approach didn’t apply to her — or to any of her college friends, for that matter — so she created her own method for paying down her debt. Fast forward to today, and now she’s officially a millionaire at age 27. As CEO of the financial literacy company “Deeper Than Money,” she works with women to ban restrictive spending habits and instead spend in alignment with their priorities. (And yes, a priority could be the Lululemon leggings you’ve been eyeing, along with any long-term goals you may have!) 

Chloe Elise found that the problem with the messaging she heard from financial gurus was shame-based: They put the blame on US for making the wrong decisions, rather than empowering us to make better decisions in the future. But a shame-based approach can make us feel like failures for making the choices we know are right for us and our families. Shame doesn’t work, and telling people they are completely to blame for their financial circumstances is false. 

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Like many of us, Chloe Elise took on student loans without a full understanding of what she was signing up for, and then had to face the reality of owing almost $40,000. For those of you who are concerned about student loan payments resuming, Elise says the first step for her was “acceptance for where I was at without it meaning anything about where I was headed.” Next, she says, by coming at her loans from a place of “radical responsibility,” we can feel empowered to take the wheel and make a plan, rather than feeling overwhelmed and ignoring them.

LISTEN: The Best Money Moves for Gen Z

Elise also wants women to know that we don’t always have to deny ourselves the things we want in a store or on social media — because that creates a vicious cycle of restriction and overspending. 

She suggests trying this brain teaser the next time you walk into a store: Tell yourself you can have anything you want, then, consider your priorities: “Do I want to take the money that I was going to put toward debt and put it toward these leggings instead? Or is my top priority paying off this debt? The key is, you are allowed to make either decision. If your decision is the leggings, that is completely fine, but then you are not paying off debt as fast.” 

Listen in to hear more of her tips for living a life of abundance while paying down debt or saving for a big goal! 

Lastly, in Mailbag, a listener asks for more clarification on one of Ramit Sethi’s money rules: “save 10%, invest 20” and we hear from someone who is wondering what the consequences are for closing a credit card they never use. For our money tip of the week, the number one first step when it comes to creating a plan for paying off your student loans


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All advisory services offered through Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. (FEA), a federally registered investment advisor. Results are not guaranteed. AM1969416

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