Ep. 23: Pianist Pays Off $60,000 Debt & Becomes Financial Planner

Listen on: iTunes - Spotify - Stitcher - Soundcloud

Cody Garrett developed a curiosity and love for music when he began piano lessons at the age of six, and from then on strived to become educated in music history, theory, composition/arranging, improvisation, production, and business. Cody continued his academic education at the University of Houston Moores School of Music, where he studied music theory, composition, and piano performance. Desiring a greater understanding of contemporary styles, reharmonization, and music production, Cody attended Berklee College of Music as a scholarship recipient, where he completed the legendary harmony and arranging curriculum in two semesters.

Since then, Cody has developed new interests and skills in digital audio production and professional music direction in his current work as a keyboardist, music director, and arranger. Cody currently lives in Houston, TX, and explores professional opportunities around the world.

Cody has collaborated as a performer and arranger with many renown artists/projects, including Aaron Lindsey, Alley Theatre, Ben Vereen, Brian Courtney Wilson, Cindy Cruse Ratcliff, Gene Moore Jr., The Hobby Center, The Houston Symphony, India.Arie, The Irish Tenors, Lakewood Church, Michael Moritz Jr., Michael W. Smith, Second Baptist Church, and Will Makar.

Topics mentioned:

  • Growing up in a family of NASA engineers
  • Being a “left brained creative”
  • Learning piano at age 6
  • Getting burned out playing classical music
  • Learning video game and movie music
  • Diving into progressive rock
  • Deciding to pursue music in college
  • Earning a bachelors degree in music theory
  • Leaving mid degree to attend Berklee
  • Gigging in churches
  • Deciding to pursue a career in finance
  • Getting married
  • Pre-marital counseling
  • Paying off over $60,000 in debt in under 2 years
  • What is a CFP®?
  • The reality of being in a “band”
  • Living gig to gig
  • How to plan for variable income and fixed expenses
  • Utilizing sub-accounts
  • Having an emergency fund
  • Ratio based banking
  • “You don’t know what you don’t know”
  • How to say no to gigs
  • How to decide when to play for free
  • The stigma of talking about money
  • What it means to be vulnerable
  • Fee only financial advisors
  • Make a plan and get out of consumer debt
  • The power of public libraries
  • The habits of millionares

Resources & Names mentioned:

Connect with Cody:


[email protected]


Thanks for listening and keep thriving!


Learn more: www.SpenserLiszt.com

Free list of potential tax deductions: www.SpenserLiszt.com/p/TaxDeductions

Join the Thriving Musicians closed Facebook group: www.Facebook.com/groups/ThrivingMusician

Email questions, comments or nominate a Thriving Musician to [email protected] 

Follow Spenser online:


50% Complete

7 Habits of Thriving Musicians

Free PDF download detailing the habits successful musicians prioritize to achieve financial & creative freedom!