Invest in Your Valuable Time with Todd, from Invested Wallet

The Zebra
Jan. 31, 2019

invested wallet

 

What inspired you to start a blog on financial management? How do you think Invested Walletis different from other blogs?

I started taking my personal finances more seriously back in 2014 and after a few years of progress I became obsessed with them. I read tons of money books, read blogs, and took steps to better my situation. And then I realized I really wanted to write about it myself.

I had a music blog back in the day and I also work in marketing, so I knew I could create something cool. Additionally, I saw somewhat of a gap in the personal finance and investing space, especially with bigger media outlets. A lot of the stories were of people who retired early or amassed a massive amount of money in a short time. Don’t get me wrong, those stories can be really interesting. But I personally found it to be unrelatable and saw that, in the comments, many people agreed with me and felt discouraged.

Since I’m not a millionaire (yet) or even close, I felt my story and progress could hopefully be more relatable to the “every-day” person, to inspire others to care, and that learning about finances/investing is not as hard as it may seem. I have no prior background or education in finances. I am self-educated. I worked hard to save and boost my career to now be able to save 60% of my income. Yes, I live with my girlfriend. Yes, I have student loans! And no, I don’t have a six-figure job.

 

For some, investing/finance can be pretty scary, but obviously very essential. What advice do you have for someone who wants to learn about financial management, but not be overwhelmed?

Being overwhelmed is a common feeling with investing and personal finance. I absolutely felt that way in 2013, which led me to delay fixing my personal finances until 2014. I didn’t know where to start and put it off. Big mistake! I missed a solid year of potentially revolutionizing my finances, but it’s okay!

The best approach is to know that there is a lot of material out there, but you don’t need to know it all right away. Put your financial goals together, create a simple budget, and figure out what you’d like to do in the next few years. Once you know that information, look for books and articles around those specific areas and read an hour or two each week. Read the material at your own pace, re-read things if it does not make sense, and take it day-by-day. You’ll quickly learn a lot, even if you don’t realize it at first.

Don’t compare yourself to others, whether that is friends, family, or other bloggers with sensationalized headlines. Stay focused on what you’re doing. This will ensure you don’t get discourage, frustrated, or worry if you are behind or ahead.

 

What are some immediate solutions for someone still living paycheck-to-paycheck?

More people live paycheck-to-paycheck than you might realize, so firstly do not be embarrassed or discouraged. I was living this situation only a few years ago too. You can do a few things:

  • Look at your income and spending and put all that data in a spreadsheet. You’ll probably catch a few things you are overspending on, don’t need, etc. This can save you some quick money every week/month.
  • Start living below your means. You don’t need an expensive car, apartment, clothes, phone, etc. If you’re living in luxury but can barely afford anything, this is a sign to cut back dramatically.
  • Ask for a raise. If you have not gotten a raise in your job in a long time (or ever), and you work hard, simply ask for a raise. So many times people are afraid to ask, when they might easily get one by asking. Not every company, job, or boss will be great so no guarantee to work. But it’s really worth asking.
  • Boost your career worth. Take on extra tasks at work, learn skills outside your work, etc. It takes some hard work, but it can make a huge difference in your future salaries that can go to saving.
  • Start side hustling. Flip items on eBay, if you are crafty you can sell your art. Drive for Uber, etc. Tons of ways to make some extra money on the side. Even if it’s just $50 bucks a month extra, it can be a game changer.

 

What the most enjoyable side-hustle you’ve come across?

I’ve been involved in three different side hustles since graduating college, and technically one in college as well.

My first in college was working for an independent book company that would buy textbooks back and then sell them for cash at a price much lower than the on-campus book store. At the end of every semester, I would work for week or so collecting books. I met a lot of people and made $1,000-$2,000 pending how I did. It was easy and good money for the short time, especially for a college student.

I’ve also done company and domain naming (made about $8,000 in under a year doing this), freelance/consulting marketing gigs, and blogging.

 

How has your life changed since starting Invested Wallet? Do you live your life differently because of it?

Actually, my life has not changed that much (yet), since starting Invested Wallet. However, really the big difference is that I made it an LLC and I’m treating it as a business. This is the first time I’ve ever done that, which is pretty cool and exciting.

 

What do you see coming for yourself and the blog in the upcoming years?

My goal for the blog is to continue growing it, and with it I am encouraging others to learn. Anyone can make changes in their finances. Additionally, I want any blog income to cover my monthly expenses, that way I can save 100% of my full-time income. It would accelerate my financial goals and freedom. I think I can make it happen, because my monthly expenses are not crazy, I know how much blogging can generate, and I have the marketing background to put my site to the test. I don’t know what the future will exactly have in store for Invested Wallet, but I’m excited about the possibilities.

 

What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about personal finance since starting Invested Wallet?

I was really surprised how big and supportive the personal finance community is. I knew there were others like me, but didn’t realize how many other bloggers, forums, and online communities there were of people who all have some unique story. It’s cool to know there are so many people working towards bettering their finances and hoping to help others.

 

Got a quote about investing? I’d love to hear it!

Don’t let the media and gurus discourage you; learning about personal finances and investing is easier than you think. Start reading and put a plan in place, you’ll be amazed what you learn in month, a year, etc.