EP. 28 Overcoming Financial Norms To Be Financially Independent

[EP. 28] a sunny side up life podcast thumbnail ellie mondelli

As so many people are settling for the financial norms of a 9-5 job, a few vacation days a year, and retiring at 65, Ellie + her husband have been working hard to create their own “normal”. Ellie + Ron are debt-free, including their home, are now saving to cash-flow world-travel + a rental property, and they plan to one day be financial independent + retire early. But getting to this new level of their financial journey wasn’t easy! Ellie is sharing all about her journey, why she doesn’t love her job, and her secrets for reaching her money goals at such a young age.


In this episode, Sami + Ellie talk about:

  • Why Ellie uses a pen-name to blog

  • Why she shares her budgeting numbers so openly

  • How she updates her budget daily

  • Ellie + Ron’s debt-free journey and their future rental property + travel goals

  • How she went from strict anti-credits to using credit cards to travel-hack

  • Breaking free from the norms of society + being “weird”

  • Why it’s okay to not love your job

  • Why money is really just the gateway to your dreams

  • Why it’s okay to take a break from paying off debt or saving sometimes

  • Why it’s important to be realistic + focus on one goal at a time

  • How to refocus + re-motivate yourself

  • How different it feels to save money vs. paying off debt

Memorable Quotes:

“Even if I went over budget, the power of knowing makes me feel better than guessing.” (Sami)

“I am not interested in personal finance or money – I’m interested in freedom. Everything else is just means to an end.” (Ellie’s Blog)

Resources Mentioned:

Who is our guest?


Ellie is the blogger behind EllieMondelli.com where she openly shares her + her husband’s journey to financial independence. They became debt free when they paid off their mortgage in January of 2018, and are now saving $100,000 to purchase their first rental property in cash while cash-flowing travel + smaller goals along the way.

Instagram: @elliemondelli
Facebook Page: Ellie Mondelli

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Budgeting course review

The course is broken down into small, bite-sized lessons and is very simple to use. It is designed to be taken over a 30 day period by watching one video per day.

Included in the course:

  • Lifetime access

  • Foundation Module: 10 lessons

  • Organization Module: 20 lessons

  • 14 digital/printable worksheets

  • Access to all recorded workshops and tech tutorials

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Your Sunny Money Method   Full Budgeting Course

Your Sunny Money Method
Full Budgeting Course

Budgeting Starter Pack   Set of 14 Budgeting Worksheets

Budgeting Starter Pack
Set of 14 Budgeting Worksheets

Magic + Money    FREE 5-Week Email Course

Magic + Money
FREE 5-Week Email Course

Things I Love   All of my favorite resources

Things I Love
All of my favorite resources


I'm the wife to my high school sweetheart, Daniel, + homeschooling momma to our 3 girls. I'm the Budgeting Coach + Motivational Speaker behind 
A Sunny Side Up Life

My family used to be in $490k of debt + living paycheck-to-paycheck, but after we hit rock bottom everything changed for us!

Now that my family has become debt free + gained financial freedom, I want to help your family do the same! My passion is inspiring women to live abundant lives through budgeting, intentional living, and positive thinking.

I offer a jump start into budgeting with my free 8-day Declutter Your Budget Challenge + full budgeting experience with my course, Your Sunny Money Method.


Come follow my day-to-day life over on my Instagram Story