CNN’s new financial podcast, “Diversifying,” is focused on opening up financial topics to everyone, particularly women of color. And the host of the podcast, Delyanne Barros, is well-prepared for the task. Barros established a successful career as a money coach before ever joining CNN’s team. As the money expert explains on her website, after supporting herself through law school and landing her dream job as an attorney, she was still in debt from school and dissatisfied with her career. Rather than sticking to what she knew, Barros decided to make a change. After teaching herself to invest, she was able to get out of debt and is now on track to retire at 45.
She created her company, Delyanne The Money Coach LLC, and began sharing her journey and tips via social media. Through her podcast, Barros is working on going more in-depth on those topics and continuing to make financial knowledge more accessible. During an exclusive interview with The List, she explained why finance isn’t black and white and how “Diversifying” works to show that.
Through her podcast and other platforms, Delyanne Barros hopes to create a welcoming learning environment so that even those new to personal finance or struggling with money can feel welcome. To do that, Barros emphasizes how specific financial plans are to each individual. Instead of following the same cookie-cutter method, she says each person needs to define their financial goals for themselves.
“You have to start with your goal in mind, which sounds like something out of a self-help book, but it’s so true,” the money coach told The List. “Because if your [reason] is to impress other people, you’re not going to be very motivated for very long. You’re going to soon realize that’s not sustainable, and it doesn’t make you happy.”
Once you’ve found your end goal, Barros believes it’s much easier to set goals and priorities for your money. Because there are so many factors in personal finance, she added that it’s often difficult to gain complete financial independence. “I tell people financial independence isn’t the only goal that you should be striving for,” Barros said. As an example, she said that while it may not be realistic for someone to retire early, they could work towards cutting down how much they work. “They think it’s all or nothing. It’s either financial independence or work until you die. There’s a lot of gray area in between,” Barros said.
Coming into the personal finance community and starting her CNN podcast, it was important to Delyanne Barros to add more nuance instead of just telling people to cut spending. “That’s what the financial industry has been doing for ages, and people are tired of it. They don’t see themselves in those stories … And because of that, it’s hurting them financially,” she said.
The money expert added that there has been a lot of gendering and shaming regarding spending. “Women are usually marketed to as, ‘Hey, you’re over-spenders, and you are spending too much money at Sephora and at this and at that, and you should cut your spending.” Barros explained that men are usually spoken to much differently. “It’s much more about building wealth and investing and starting businesses and being moguls.”
In her advice, Barros focuses more on balancing spending and increasing income instead of cutting back on everything. “You’re going to be pulling those levers throughout your life at different rates,” Barros said, later adding, “You need to be thinking about both instead of just focusing on cost-cutting and couponing. That is, again, a very scarcity mentality.”
You can listen to Diversifying on CNN Audio or anywhere you listen to your podcasts. New episodes drop each Monday.