Personal Finance

How I became a personal finance pro and so can you

We can all become financially independent, as long as we drop the money myths and gain the financial education we all need. For those who invest in themselves, the benefits are far beyond the value of a dollar.

Maria Alcantara
Money — Let’s Be Real
4 min readJan 13, 2022


Photo by Meghan Lamle on Unsplash

Do you get money? And I mean really understand it. The ins and outs, the cash flows, the interest rates, the financial instruments, debt, credit and mortgages, how to make it, how to save it, how to spend it and how to invest it?

I didn’t.

So I changed my life path and switched from studying psychology to guess what? Economics and finance, of course. A decade later, the most important thing I learned was totally unexpected.

Here’s the story.

Started from the bottom

I ditched my dreams of working with animals and developing an animal therapy program because a) my college teachers told me it was a waste of time and b) because I was broke and tired of being broke.

I finished my psychology degree, quit my job at the vet and joined the banking industry. I started from the bottom and that was key.

Speaking with an average of 50 people a day for months and years on end like bank phone agents do can be very insightful. If you truly listen, you get to understand how people view money and how that impacts their overall life.

I was on the other end of the line with people who made their first million dollars, with those who lived on welfare and even with those who lost everything when their spouse suddenly emptied their bank account and broke up their marriage. That’s quite the spectrum.

I studied and worked my way up the corporate ladder and became an investment advisor working with massive fortunes. The education and experience covered everything from portfolio management, investments, insurance, taxes, estates, you name it.

While formal financial education is a game-changer, I learned something much deeper about people and money.

What clearly stood out is that people really don’t understand money. Those conversations from the early days of my career taught me more about money than any textbook ever did.

Now, we’re here

After accumulating all this financial knowledge and feeling deeply unfulfilled in my corporate career, I decided I was done with that chapter and wanted to share what I learned along the way instead. My goal was and still is to empower people financially.

When people have money problems, money itself often is not the entire problem. I have personally seen many people who are struggling financially come across large sums and blow it all. Since they never address their foundational financial knowledge and blueprint, they ended up back in square one, or even worse, in debt.

Alternatively, I have seen people who, like me, started from the bottom and continued on to create their dream life and a fortune, which, by the way, is very personal and subjective.

Money Myths

Over the past decade in my financial education journey, what really stood out is that there are a whole lot of money myths circulating and driving people’s decisions about their personal finances, which in turn impact their whole life.

Like whether buying a house really is the best decision, or if saving is really as simple as stashing money in a savings account, or why money can sometimes make or break marriages and relationships, or how to get rid of student debt and countless other money questions and myths.

I’ve personally been asked these questions by friends, family and clients repeatedly.

Therefore, I decided to launch this publication where I will be exploring and debunking all the misconceptions, misunderstandings and misrepresentations about all things related to money and personal finance and giving you instead the timeless, tried and true way to be financially set, from an actual finance professional.

Be prepared for actionable, simply explained financial education, the kind of education you should have been given as a kid and young adult. This no longer is optional, financial literacy is now a skill you need to survive and thrive.

Welcome to money myth busting.

So get ready to bring your money game to the next level and learn some seriously life changing financial tips, tricks and strategies, it’s time for financial freedom!

Have the best day ever.



Maria Alcantara
Money — Let’s Be Real

Personal finance enthusiast and professional inspiring you to create your dream life — get my free book and guide at