‘Never thought I’d be the one teaching … about money:’ Tahoe’s Tawnya Schultz launches 
The Money Life Coach; course starts Aug. 19

At 35 years old Tawnya Schultz was $28,000 in debt, had no savings, and felt helpless as bills continued to roll in.

As a freelance writer living in San Francisco, Schultz struggled to make it past living paycheck to paycheck. That’s when the former founder and chief of Tahoe Snowboard Magazine decided to take control.

“I was struggling financially,” said Shultz, who also made ends meet by working at local restaurants. “I just felt like I kept getting back into debt again and again.”

After years of just getting by, she began trimming the financial fat from her life, following a strict budget while working as much ash she could, and selling anything and everything that wasn’t necessary.

In just eight months, Schultz said she’d managed to go from thousands in debt to paying off her car, dumping nearly $4,000 a month in payments.

“Basically, I was like, ‘I’m just going to work 24-7 until this is paid off, and then be able to relax,’” said Schultz.

While anxiety over car payments was relieved, there would be no relaxing for Schultz, who shortly after launched herself toward a new career path as a financial life coach.

“I never thought I’d be the one teaching someone else about money,” said Schultz, now 39 years old, adding that in four years she’s gone from roughly $28,000 in debt to a net worth of more than $100,000.

“For me, it was really getting on a budget. That was the fastest path to financial freedom,” she said. “It’s really focusing on learning how to budget, sticking to it, and making it a habit.”

By finding her way out of debt, Schultz was inspired to start a business to help others do the same. Whether working as a server or as the one signing checks, moving toward financial freedom started with following a budget.

“I worked in a restaurant for so long I was like, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I need a way out,’” said Schultz. “Anybody can do this. It doesn’t matter how much money you make. You can get on a budget and turn your situation around.”

‘I was inspired to help others’

As Schultz initially began working her way out of debt, she said her mother kept mentioning lessons taught by author Dave Ramsey. At first skeptical, she eventually dove in and soon began following the “Baby Steps” Ramsey had trademarked decades ago. The roadmap outlined by Ramsey, which starts with saving, and then aggressively paying off debt, soon inspired Schultz to launch The Money Life Coach — a Tahoe-based business dedicated to helping others find financial freedom.

“I got inspired to figure out my money situation,” she said. “And through that I was inspired to help others.”

During the past year, Schultz began gaining traction, booking speaking gigs, offering one-on-one lessons, and creating financial courses. Just as she began finding her footing, however, the outbreak of COVID-19 brought things to a halt.

Schultz quickly pivoted and began creating an online course on how to create a blueprint to pay off debt and begin saving for the future. The three-week course begins on Wednesday at a cost of $297.

“I want to be able to reach as many people as possible,” said Schultz. “Creating this course virtually, I think is going to be really big.”

For more information, visit

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643.

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