Tips Accepted featured Penny, a savings jar for tips

Tips Accepted – Illustrating and Financial Literacy | Nav.igator Spotlight

We sat down with our financial friend for an inspirational interview on setbacks and life-altering moments that inspired the captivating site Tips Accepted. The founder is on a mission to break down money topics into bite-sized pieces using illustration so that YOU can take control of your financial future.

What inspired you to start Tips Accepted?

Around March I watched the world as I knew it fall apart. My father was laid off in the midst of the pandemic and I was sent to work from home while most of my company was furloughed.

I was put in a position where I suddenly had to rethink my plans for the year. Fortunately, I happened to have 6 months of savings and a secondary income source – rental income. I  took a look at how fortunate a position I found myself in, and I decided I had to share my passion for personal finance with others in hopes of helping in some small way.

Little did I know, Tips Accepted would grow into what it is now. 

Benefits of a side hustle

Can you tell our readers about your background?

At almost 6 years old my parents and I immigrated to the U.S. The situation in our country was not ideal and they wanted to offer me security in addition to the American Dream. 

My father made the move first and left my mother and I behind while he found a job and a place for us to live. He went from working in management at Coca-Cola to working at McDonalds, but a job was a job. 

When we made the move to join him, we started out by living in a converted garage where we all shared a bed. Surprisingly, I never really felt like anything was wrong or missing because we were together again. 

In life, a few things are irreplaceable, you can always make more money and start over but you cannot replace your loved ones. 

This principle has stayed with me throughout my life and influences everything I do.

And professionally?

Despite my love for personal finance, my background is actually in marketing. I always knew that finance interested me, but not in the way you are taught in college. Instead, I chose to follow in my father’s footsteps and study marketing.

In 2019, I also decided I wanted to take the CFP courses to further my personal finance education and I successfully completed the courses I took.

You use a lot of illustrations to convey your message. Tell us about your history with art?

My father has the art gene- he is a very talented watercolor artist and photographer. I did not get his gift but he did give me a slight talent for doodling. Haha

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed drawing until I started Tips Accepted. I cannot even recall how long it had been since I last drew anything… 

I am very grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with this side of myself again. It’s fun giving financial topics an entertaining spin.

What inspired you to start your personal finance journey? 

My boss in college lent me his book, Rich Dad Poor Dad and it changed my life. “Don’t work for money, make money work for you” became my life motto. 

How did you start managing your own money? What were the first steps you took?

The first step I took was opening a brokerage account and investing. It was my birthday gift to myself. I then began investing some of my money into index funds and into some individual stocks.

What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them? 

Finding a way to graduate debt-free from college was a bit of a challenge. I was privileged enough to have my parents prepay tuition but they never expected me to want to move away from home to attend.

I had never had a job and had never managed money in the past. Somehow I was able to navigate college without accumulating credit card debt and simultaneously working to pay for my books, excess tuition, my transportation, food, and housing. 

I did this by working in the apartment complex that I lived in order to have a reduced rent and earn an income.

How do you stay focused?

If you mean focused on the goal, then it’s because of my strong belief in what I am doing and in my “why”.

If you mean in terms of staying focused on tasks, then I don’t. I have the worst squirrel syndrome in the world. I write daily to-do lists to force myself to accomplish everything I need to do. 

How do you balance work and life? 

I can honestly say that I’m still learning. I have such a hard time saying no to taking on more projects and often overwhelm myself. 

Just recently, I decided to set a boundary for myself to take a step back from work and social media on weekends to give myself a break.

I am also giving myself grace for not being able to do it all. I am not superhuman and that’s okay.

What has been the most effective way of improving? 

My most effective way of improving has come from learning to listen to good advice. Whether that advice comes from family, books, podcasts, or mentors, sometimes you just need to open your mind to the possibilities. Your mind really is your greatest asset and liability. 

What has been your most effective money-saving strategy?

Automation. I save every month without realizing it.

What is your money mindset?

Live below your means, pay yourself first, save and invest what you “pay yourself.” Repeat. 

Enjoy the rewards and give back.

Why is community important to you?

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” I believe we are all in this together. If we grow, learn, succeed, and help each other as a community, then we can change the world. 

And that, my financial friends, is why we are so excited to bring different voices and experts to share their wisdom. We are honored to have such a creative Nav.igator in our community, helping us change the narrative around money. Don’t for she accepts money management tips to inspire posts and cartoons at Tips Accepted or connect on Instagram.

Remember you can read about others their money inside the money app which also offers you free tools for budgeting and automating savings.

You can download it at Google Play and the Apple Store.

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