Hey, guys. It’s Chelsea from
The Financial Diet. And this week’s video is
brought to you by Wealthsimple. And today, I thought
I would do something a little fun, because we
haven’t done one in a long time. And you guys are
very, very active in the comments, both
here and on the TFD site and social media,
asking me lots of questions, so I thought I’d take some
time to answer some, some that are more just about money
generally, some that are more about me as a person. And hopefully, these will
answer some of your biggest ones as well as some of the ones
you sent me on Twitter. The first question– and I get
asked this actually quite a lot with varying levels of
tact, but basically, it’s how much money do you
actually make from TFD. So I won’t share
the exact amount that TFD makes as a company each
year because I have partners and it’s not just
me that affects. And I should really have their
permission to do that too. But I can tell you my salary. So my take-home salary
this year is $60,000. I might get a bonus if
I’ve been really good. I don’t know. And last year it was about
$25,000 of take-home salary. And the year before that
it was basically zero. So although for a lot of
you $60,000 as a salary may seem less than you thought,
or it may be more, for me it’s just hugely, hugely
cool that, that salary is paid out of a sustainable
business that I own. And it’s also substantially
more than I ever made at other office
jobs that I had before I started my own business. So that feels in and of
itself like a huge success. And whatever small business
ownership may look like to you on the outside, it’s always
important to remember that these looks can be
very deceiving, especially on social media. And if at all possible,
if you are someone who is self-employed or owns a
business, sharing with people the real numbers behind what you
do is not just good for maybe hopefully the other
creators being able to also advocate for themselves,
but it’s also just good to give people a more realistic
image of what that business ownership is like. So for me, this year
it’s a $60,000 salary. The second question
is actually one I got from Twitter when I
threw it out to you guys. And this person
asks, “Is it better to use savings to pay
down credit card debt or to maintain savings
in case of an emergency?” So I would say
personally– and not every finance person is
going to agree on this– but for me it’s extremely true,
that if you have no emergency fund, that has to
be your priority. Now, the problem is, especially
with something like credit card debt, if you’re only making
minimum payments, that could seriously impact
you in terms of interest and lead you to spend way more
than you should have to pay off that credit card. So if at all possible, when
saving up an emergency fund– because that should
be, theoretically, your priority beyond
anything else– you need to go into
emergency mode, and that means working really
hard to earn extra side money, do everything you
can to not compromise those super high
interest payments, while also diligently
working toward having at least a couple thousand
dollars in the bank. Because the problem with
not having an emergency fund is that literally anything
that comes up unexpectedly could completely
derail you, potentially put you on the street because
you can’t afford to pay rent. I always look at it as, not
having an emergency fund is like speeding down the
street without a seat belt. You need to put
on your seat belt before you do anything else. But in an ideal world,
you would not compromise. If I had to pick and you
only have room for one, I would say make
the minimum payments and at least get $1,000 or
$2,000 in an emergency fund before you start really more
aggressively paying down that credit card. Other people might disagree. But that’s just my experience. I’ve been without
an emergency fund and it landed me in an
enormous amount of trouble. So take it with a grain of salt,
but that’s been my experience. The next question
is also from Twitter so I’ll read you guys that one. “What are some steps to take
after being let go from a job unexpectedly, especially
with student loan debt?” So unfortunately, my honest
answer to this question is somewhat of a don’t get
in this situation scenario, in the sense that I believe
everyone should always have multiple streams of income
on top of that emergency fund. So A, let’s hope you
already, in this situation, have an emergency fund. And that’s what emergency
funds are partially for. Unexpected loss of
income is an emergency. And you may need to tap into it
to pay your basic bills, rent, et cetera. You’re not going to be living
particularly high on the hog during this time, but ideally
you have that money in case this happens. So to the person who asked
the previous question, if your credit
cards are maxed out and you have no emergency
fund and you lose your job, you’re completely screwed. You need an emergency fund
for this kind of thing. So assuming you have that,
definitely tapping into that while you immediately get
another source of income to replace it, even
if it has to be a temporary gig between
jobs, is definitely step one. But also in terms of
avoiding this situation, I always advocate having at
least two streams of income so that if something
happens to the first one, you’re not totally broke and
without any income to rely on. And that could be something as
simple as picking up a weekend job or being signed up
for different gig apps that you can pick up
when one job goes down. And so lastly, if
all else fails, I would say in the
immediate, while you’re looking for that new job–
and you should obviously be doing that the second
you lose the main one– sign yourself up for some of the apps
that will allow you to pick up work on a short notice, things
like babysitting apps, dog walking apps, house
sitting apps, Uber, Lyft, all that stuff that you can
just pick up and then let go when you maybe
don’t need it as much. If it’s something that
you’re legally allowed to do, you can even get more
creative with, for example, renting out your room
on Airbnb and going to crash with a friend or
even your parents for a month, and just figuring
out ways that you can really, really
supplement your income, slash, reduce your costs
in that immediate time. But on an emotional side, I
would say the number one thing to do, as someone who has
been fired many times, is to look at it in a lot
of ways as a good thing, as a blessing, as someone
doing something that you maybe didn’t have the courage to do. Because chances are, if you’ve
been negligent enough in a job to be fired with cause– now, being laid off is
a very different thing and can feel very
unsatisfying– but if you’ve lost a job with cause,
there’s a good chance that you weren’t overly
enthused about that job in the first place and
didn’t care enough about it to treat it with the
respect that it deserves. And you would probably be
better suited at another job. If you did get laid
off, as I said, it can be very unsatisfying. But it’s important to
remember that layoffs are beyond your control. And clearly, if the
company is laying you off, your future was probably
not great there regardless. Either way, you
will probably have many jobs in this lifetime. And sometimes, unexpectedly
having to leave one is the reason that you needed
to seek out the job that was better for you. So maybe you can spin
that straw into gold. I did several times. So this one I get asked all
the time, especially on videos where I talk about it or
articles where I talk about it, because me being bilingual
is a really good thing for me earning money. It was a huge source
of income for me before I got into
my current career and while I was transitioning
into being a writer full time. And whether you do pick
up that second language and can work with that or
you’re using your English skills to tutor that way, language
is a really, really good way to make side income and also
to just enormously broaden your horizons. And a lot of times
you can do those jobs from home with your computer. But so the point
is, this question, in some form or another, is,
“How did you learn French, and can you say
something in French?” So to kill two birds
with one stone, I’m just going to answer this
question entirely in French. And I’ll provide
subtitles for you guys. [SPEAKING FRENCH] So the next question
is actually one that I got on
Twitter when I asked. But it’s a really good question. And it’s something that I
personally think about a lot, and maybe you guys do too. And that question is, “Do
you have more practical tips for getting out of
fast fashion and buying durable classic pieces?” Like where to shop or
what to look for in places like thrift stores, et cetera. So for me, I will say
that for most people, myself included, getting
totally away from fast fashion or stores that have
fast fashion practices is very, very difficult
to do completely. Because even though the stores
that we kind of associate in our minds as being like the
major culprits of fast fashion like H&M and Forever 21– they are by far not the
only companies that do it– and even a lot of the more
upscale clothing retailers have a lot of practices that
are very similar to those stores and environmentally and
human rights wise not good. So it can be very, very
hard to avoid those things. Now, obviously,
doing some research off the bat on which
companies really engage in the kind of
practices you want to support is a good way to
go, because you may find that some of the
less expensive brands actually have practices
that you support. And that may be a way for you
to broaden your range of places that you’re shopping
from off the bat. So beyond that, I would say
that thrift and consignment shopping, on top of outlet
shopping– which I would say is my biggest personal
shopping strategy– is just a really underrated
skill that almost anyone can develop. We’ll link you guys
in the description to a couple of really,
really good bloggers who totally break down how
to navigate thrift stores and consignment stores. Because there’s tons of
strategies about which ones you go to, which days
you go to them on, what questions to
ask the people that work there to really
ensure that you’re getting the right products for you. And I would also say, once
you really train yourself up on how to master that
shopping, I think beyond that, my biggest tip would
be specifically to go to these
stores and try only to buy higher end and high
quality material pieces. You don’t want to
go to a thrift store and then just buy
fast fashion pieces because it might be cute. You want to go there and
buy nice wool sweaters that will last you for many
winters, or leather boots, or wool coats, things
that really can stand the test of time and are
really justifying the deal that you’re getting. I actually recently got a
really nice leather jacket that was originally like $450. It was actually
mislabeled at Marshall’s. And I got it for $49. But I frequently found
pieces like that. Our editor, Holly,
actually found a $300 coat at a store for $50. And these are pieces that will
last for years, possibly even decades. And there’s really no
excuse not to buy them at least at an outlet,
if not second hand, because most of these
high quality materials are built to last
for a long time. So there’s some of the
few items that you really don’t need to buy new. Also, I would just
say, as a general rule, you should really get used
to thinking of your pieces in terms of how you
can maintain them. I have gotten my favorite
shoes resoled many times. I have fixed many
small problems on items that I love and wear
over and over again. I’ve replaced buttons on
things as my style changes. And I’ve even kept some
items, put them in storage, and didn’t get rid of them
because I kind of thought, maybe I feel like they’re not
really my style right now, but I might grow into them. And low and behold, I ended up
liking them a few years later. And one personal challenge
that I did with myself as far as trying to really get a fresh
perspective on my wardrobe, was I did a 30-day challenge
last year where I could only wear outfits that I’d never put
together in that combination before. And some of the outfits were
a little wack, to be honest, but at least it pushed
me out of my comfort zone of always defaulting to
the same three pieces worn in the same three
ways and feeling like I needed to totally
overhaul my wardrobe. So those are just a
few of my personal tips that have really helped me. So the next question is
also one from Twitter. And it’s something that I’m
happy we got because it talks about the TFD site, which maybe
not a lot of you guys read, or maybe a lot of you do, but
it’s the FinancialDiet.com. And we publish
new articles there every day from tons of different
writers about all things money and how to live with it. And that website is actually
run by our editor, Holly. So I threw this question to her. So the question is “I’d love to
know what articles on the TFD blog have been the most
popular since it started and what are the
team’s favorites?” So I spoke to our editor, Holly,
and three of her favorites were an article about amazing
Korean skin care products. That was actually one of
our most popular this year, just in terms of
traffic, but it was also just a really cool
article detailing products that most of us had never
heard of, actually written by a team member, Shammara. We’ll link that in
the description. Another one that she
loved was a piece about how beauty spending is a
necessity for many women, not a luxury. And yet it’s really
perceived as such. And she breaks down the way
women are treated differently when they’re not groomed in a
certain way, how it can really impact them professionally,
and financially, and socially. And of course we’ll have
that for you as well. And she also loves an
article, which I love too, “To All the Boys I Have
Wasted Money on in 2018,” which is just perfect. And as far as
really popular ones, this is probably going
to be disappointing, but this such is the
way of the internet, I think most of our
popular articles are just really,
really random articles that no one ever really
cared about but just had a really crazy perfect
combination of words that it constantly goes up
to the top in SEO rankings. Like we’ve had this
article that I think Lauren just put together the
first couple months of TFD when she was still writing– she’s not a writer,
for the record. She’s a designer. But she was having to
write articles just to get content on the site. And she wrote this article that
was like “North East Getaway Vacations” or whatever. And that thing was like we hit
the Price Is Right showcase showdown with that SEO
combination of words. Because that thing is
in the top articles every single month
like years later. So unfortunately, that’s kind
of our most popular articles consistently. But that’s just kind of
the nature of the internet. And also I try not to
think about too much in terms of the
articles that we do that are really popular
in traffic because, as evidenced by that,
that’s not always your best articles or the
things that you think most represent you as a site. And yeah, it’s kind of
nice to focus on the ones that you can feel
really good about and would want to read yourself
and show to all your friends. Another question I get asked
all the time is, “Why don’t we ever see Marc?” And well, here you can see him. Here’s a picture of us
at our wedding together. Cute, I know. And you don’t ever see
Marc because he is just not into the internet. And God bless him, because
I totally understand why someone wouldn’t be. He’s not really on social media. I mean, he uses the
internet, obviously. He actually works in
tech, so he’s definitely familiar with the concept. But I think, sort of
the idea of, in any way, being public facing
on the internet is really not his bag
of chips, so to speak. He’s a pretty private
and demure person. He doesn’t really like the
attention in that regard. A couple times, though, he’s
been on the street walking Mona and the combination of this
6’4″ skinny man and really fancy clothes with this tiny white
dog is like, “Marc and Mona!” And I think that’s
happened to him maybe like three or four times. And he always is a little
kind of charmed but a little weirded out by it. But anyway, I’ve never asked
him to be on the channel. And I’m sure that if I
really turned the screws he would do it for me to humor
me, but it’s not his thing. And so I think it’s kind of
just better to respect that. But he’s a great, great guy. And I feel very
lucky to know him, let alone to be married to him. And I hope that he will
continue to positively impact the world in all the
ways that you can without being on social
media or on YouTube. So the last question–
and this is probably the question I get
asked most commonly across all the
platforms that I’m on– is, “What is the
biggest piece of advice that you would give
to someone who’s going freelance or
starting a small business?” I would say the single
biggest piece of advice is that whatever your product,
or skill, or talent is that you are leveraging to
have this business, that is secondary to the
actual skills needed to market and maintain a business. Let’s say you’re really good
at photography, or repairing computers, or
playing the trumpet, or whatever it is that you
want to go and do on your own, it is a much, much
more relevant thing to be able to properly
market yourself, properly manage the day-to-day
operations, even just of being freelance, and that
means being your own boss, setting your own schedule,
doing your own finances, things like that. And obviously, some of
that can be outsourced. I’ve had an accountant since I
first went freelance years ago. But a lot of it can’t be. And a lot of it
really comes down to the degree to which you
are able to be diligent about those other
things and really learn how to present the
things that you do well in a way that sets you apart. You can be the absolute best,
let’s say, graphic designer in the world, but be simply
terrible at marketing yourself or working
with clients, be very unprofessional
or unreliable. I know many, many
freelance writers that I’ve worked
with over my career, commissioning them
to do projects. And you would be shocked
at the degree to which they are unreliable and
unprofessional around projects that are paying them a lot of
money– so really just learning that the skill itself is
kind of the secondary part. The primary skill is learning
how to market yourself, to operate a small
business, even of one, and to be someone that people
would want to work with. That is my biggest advice. And one thing I get
asked all the time is, “What is one
really smart thing I can do for my financial future
if I don’t have a ton of money right now?” And the answer is, you can
open an investment account with literally $1. And you can do
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Wealthsimple.com/TFD or use the link in our description. You can get started
with literally $1. And it only takes a few minutes. No excuses. As always, guys, thank
you for watching. And don’t forget to hit
the Subscribe button and to come back every
Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for new and awesome videos. Bye.