- We focus on value instead of price. This is a privilege of having money: when a particular set of running shoes went on a closeout sale that Chris loves, he purchased 3 sets to use over time.
- Finding healthy, fun, challenging ways to fill your normal day-to-day life when you’ve got more free time (retired early, semi retired, part-time, etc) is important. Sure, we could afford to drive to pickup groceries, but we’d rather take a 10 minute walk, get fresh air, and build up our shoulder muscles on the trek back. If you remove all challenges, chores, and tasks from your life through money—you’re going to have a lot of time to fill on your hands that might lure you into too much sedentary entertainment.
- Whether something (a tool, clothes, stuff) is cheap or expensive has little bearing on how we treat it. We want our things to last, partly out of an attempt to reduce waste, but also because we don’t want to constantly feel the need to upgrade and replace them. It’s a lot of effort and mental weight to research, review, and buy new stuff that we’d rather spend on activities that bring more value to our lives.
What are your three articles people should read to get to know you and your message better on your site?
- How to Become a Millionaire in 10 Years (Debt to $1.2M at 33)
(By both of us)
Our thirteen-year saga from student loan debt, to graduate school, shifting careers, and starting two businesses. At the lowest point, we went from a negative $107K net worth to $1.2M in nine years. This is how we became millionaires and reached financial independence.
- 3 Steps to Conquer Your Fears of DIY Mistakes (And More!)
After 7 years of holding back, I conquered my fears and finished my DIY project. Start now with my 3 steps to get past your fear of making mistakes!
- This Is the Power of FU Money (and How I Was Escorted Out)
FU money gives you control over your own destiny. It lets you take risks and act with confidence & patience to become even wealthier while protecting yourself.
For someone looking to improve their financial situation, what’s your best advice?
Our best advice is to find an accountability partner and set relevant goals. Your accountability partner can be a spouse, significant other, or a friend. They should be someone who wants you to succeed. Your accountability partner should be knowledgeable about personal finance and willing to keep you on the right track.
In order to set your goals, you need to understand personal finance. Your first goal may need to be gathering this knowledge. Once you have determined your goals, set up regularly scheduled check-ins with your accountability partner to evaluate your progress. Once your goals are met, make new ones and continue to repeat the process for both short and long term goals.
What’s an area of your life which has benefited from improving your personal finances? Have there been any areas of your life that have suffered?
Improving our personal finances has greatly improved our relationship with each other. We are able to have difficult conversations about money without it leading to fights. We discuss what we want our future to look like and how to bring it to fruition, together. Having a healthy relationship allows us to be each other’s accountability partner and progress towards achieving our goals.
We believe that good communication is key to a successful relationship.
In your opinion, what’s better? Focusing on increasing your income, or focusing on decreasing your expenses?
Your first priority needs to be to decrease your expenses when trying to get a handle on your finances. You can make immediate changes to your spending, today. You could use any of the tactics to reduce your spending we talk about on our blog. Increasing your income is an important component, but it’s a slower process that has a stronger dependency on others.
Do you have any financial mistakes you’d like to share, and how have you grown from these mistakes to improve your personal finances?
When I was 18 years old and looking at going to college, I didn’t have a strong grasp on debt and how student loans would affect my future. By the time I finished my doctor of pharmacy, I was over $100,000 in debt. Similar to taking the maximum pre-approved amount for a mortgage, I took the path of least resistance and maxed out my student loans. I now appreciate the powers of compound interest and know not to accept a loan I don’t fully comprehend.
Mistakes?! I have too many to count! Here’s some that I’ve shared:
These days, we stick to investments that merely attempt to match the average through broad, diversified index funds. We’ve kept our lifestyle inflation in check by building the life we wanted, then saving for it. And when it comes to hobbies, we’re defensive of them—we keep our business and personal lives separate. It’s the reason that TicTocLife runs no ads and has no sponsorships. It’s a passionate hobby we intend to defend.
What’s a non-money related interest you have and what do you love about it?
We both love traveling and exploring the outdoors. Sometimes it’s as simple as running to the river and exploring a trail we have never been on. Other times it’s booking a flight and a boat ride to a remote 2-mile island in the middle of the Bahamas. These outdoor adventures make us feel alive. We spend time outside daily. Disconnecting and being in nature gives us time to be with each other, in the moment, and to simply have a conversation.
We are adventurous. We don’t get frazzled if our plans don’t go quite as planned. It’s part of the adventure of life and makes the moment that much more remarkable. In fact, most of our travel memories are brightest when something didn’t go quite right, yet we made the most of it and are still here to tell the story.
Why do you believe learning about money and caring about personal finance is important?
It’s generally not taught in school yet can quickly become a boat anchor to drag with you for your entire life. It could be the evil power of compound interest used against you. Money influences our well-being and is pervasive in society. Learning about what you can do to control money is a way to direct your life the way you want. Understanding personal finances will help you define your life goals, the first step to reach them. Then, developing a plan will give your life structure and offer you control.
It’s also part of your emotional intelligence. If you have no idea why your finances are a mess, and are constantly stressing about getting yourself out of the cycle of debt, it will affect your health, mentality, and the opportunities you earn. Over time, your increased knowledge and your actions on your personal finances lend you the patience required to achieve a future of financial independence.
How You Can Contact Tic Toc Life for More Information
You can learn more about Tic Toc Life at https://tictoclife.com/
and follow them on Twitter at @TicTocLifeStory
Thank you for reading this interview, and thank you, Tic Toc Life, for providing us with some great personal finance tips!