You mention that you created this blog in your twenties and decided to focus on that age group. Why did you feel it was important to create a financial management blog primarily for millennials?
Millennials are unlike any previous generation and conventional financial wisdom does not always apply. Gone are the days when you stay in the same 9-5 job for your entire life. Millennials are searching for more meaningful work. At the same time, it’s becoming tougher and tougher for millennials to be able to afford the lifestyles that their parents once had – buying a house is almost unimaginable these days!
I started this blog because I wanted to teach millennials smart financial management habits. I worked as a CPA so I have a lot of financial wisdom to share (especially related to budgeting). I also want to share my personal life motto – to do what you love and not let the finances stop you.
A few years ago, I quit my “cushy” job to pursue a different path. Although most people thought it was a dumb idea to walk away from a high-paying job into a life of uncertainty, I made it work. I picked up frugal living habits in order to save money, move abroad, and live my dream life.
I would love to inspire other people to do the same: chase their dreams and not let money be the deciding factor! All in all, money empowers us and I aim to inspire millennials to have a better relationship with money and to afford the life they dream of!
Many millennials struggle with student loan debt. Was that something you also had to overcome?
Luckily, I never found myself struggling with student loan debt. I was fortunate enough to earn enough scholarships to cover all of my tuition fees and graduate debt-free. I recognize that I am quite an exception to the rule.
While I was in my 3rd year of high school, I already started planning for scholarships I wanted to apply for. You have to do the groundwork in advance because lots of these big scholarships look for sustained good grades and extra-curricular activities.
It just seemed so obvious to apply to scholarships to pay for college. However, after talking to other people, I realized that most people actually don’t even bother to apply for scholarships at all. Most of my friends didn’t even try because they thought that “the competition is too high” or “I’m not good enough” or “there is no point.”
The surprisingly thing I learned after talking to the college admissions office is that actually some scholarships get so few applicants that they don’t all get handed out! So seriously, just apply! What’s the worst that could happen?
What advice do you have for someone who has just graduated college?
I have so much advice to give.
First, don’t worry about finding a job. You will find one. And once you do, focus on learning how to manage your money. Don’t spend just for the sake of spending. Put a bit aside every month towards retirement. Learn how to budget and live within your means. Try to earn more income while reducing your expenses.
Take risks and don’t be afraid to fail. It’s easier to bounce back now while when you’re still young, eager, and willing to learn.
Finally, don’t be afraid to live unconventionally. That childhood dream you always had? It’s never too late to start pursuing it now!
For all our female readers, what does being a “girl boss” mean to you?
A “girl boss” is about girl power. Sorry for the reference, I grew up in the Spice Girls era. A girl boss is ambitious and goal-driven. She doesn’t care about what others think of her and she is not afraid to try and try again. She is here for one purpose only: to achieve her goal. Girl bosses stay up late and hustle hard to accomplish their goals. They are here to show all the haters that everything is possible!
Other than becoming a millennial globetrotter, how has your life changed since starting My Twenty Cents? Do you live your life differently because of it?
Since starting my blog, my life has changed immensely. Through my blog, I was able to help thousands of readers with managing their finances, making life decisions, and even starting a blog of their own. I’ve even helped a few people with advice on college admissions and moving abroad!
For me, the thing that I love the most about blogging is that I am able to connect with readers and other bloggers from all over the world. I never would have imagined that this would be possible. And I love that I can work from home while hanging out on my couch with my pajamas! This is the life!
Where do you see the blog going in the upcoming years?
I am hoping to grow my blog readers even more and share more advice on finances and moving abroad. My money manifestation workbook had some good reviews and I hope to offer more products through my blog in the future – possibly an ebook or e-course.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about financial management since starting My Twenty Cents?
I learned about the FIRE movement (financial independence, retire early) and it’s really changed my perspective on some things. I am inspired by other bloggers who talk about their investment strategies and it has inspired me to also take investing more seriously!
Got a quote about financial planning? I’d love to hear it!
“The work you put in now will pay dividends in the future.”
For me, financial planning is about doing all the “grunt work” now in order to pay yourself in the future. Although sometimes the task may seem daunting and time-consuming, your future self will thank you for it! Financial planning is like planting the seeds that will blossom again and again in the future!