Interviews

FIREside chat with Liz: "How I saved $100,00 by the time I was 26"

Quirk Team
November 10, 2020
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FIREside chat with Liz: "How I saved $100,00 by the time I was 26"

Hey Liz! Thanks for agreeing to chat with us. Can you introduce yourself?

Liz helps Canadian Millennials learn about personal finances in a fun and non-intimidating way. As a young adult, Liz struggled with anxiety around money, and became committed to improving her financial literacy to help her cope. She dove deep into Personal Finance books, blogs and podcasts and saved $100,00 by the time she was 26. She has been featured in BNN Bloomberg, Globe and Mail, and Apartment Therapy and hosts her own show "Ambitious Adulting" on Cable 14.

What personality type did you get? Did you find the results to be accurate?

Optimizer. Being logical and organized comes very naturally to me.

Liz took the Quirk Money Personality test and received the Optimizer personality type.


What inspired you to start a social media presence about personal finance? For completely new readers, what is the “tl;dr” of your brand?

Initially, I started blogging in 2016 after I bought my first property. I wrote about my do-it-yourself projects and how I was fixing up my house. When I looked at my analytics, I saw that most people were interested in knowing how I saved for the down payment and the finances behind buying a house. My blog was just for fun but in 2018 I created the ambitious adulting brand to help people learn about personal finances

What is your relationship with personal finance? - If applicable, how has that defined your current pursuits? What changes have you made that have helped? How has it changed over time?

My relationship with money has evolved over the years. Growing up I was extremely stressed about money and it caused me a lot of shame and anxiety.  I became extremely frugal, and scared of spending money and felt very guilty making purchases. This way of managing money was not very healthy for me and I felt out of balance and unhappy. After a few years of working non-stop and saving aggressively, I quit my job and moved to Vancouver for a 6 month adventure. Later that year I quit another job and spent four months travelling around the world. I felt like I was making up for lost time, but recently, I have truly found a happy medium where I can live comfortably, feel fulfilled, and still meet my financial responsibilities. I am in a really happy and healthy place now but it took me a decade to get here.


What’s the worst money advice you’ve ever received?

The worst money advice I've ever received was that everybody is in debt and you will never get ahead. That's not true. While there are many people who may fit that generalization, there are other people who beat the odds.  I think it's important to highlight these positive stories so you can have something to look up to. Once I saw that other people could start businesses and be successful even though they came from nothing, I felt inspired to do the same.

What are some things that worked for you for maintaining balance and managing your spending?

Finding my financial numbers was key for understanding and creating a balance. Once I knew how much I needed to have in my bank account so all my bills were paid automatically, and I was investing according to my goals, any money left over was guilt-free spending money and that helped me manage my spending.


Is there a specific financial goal you are working towards right now? What steps are you taking to achieve that goal?

Currently, I'm working towards creating more passive income streams and reaching a $500,000 net worth. I plan on buying one more piece of real estate and continuing to invest aggressively to help me achieve this goal by the end of 2021.

What do you most enjoy spending on? Or any guilty pleasure you can share.

I enjoy spending money on going out with friends, eating out, and travelling. I don't feel guilty when I spend money on these items because I have allocated it in my budget.

How often do you check your finances?

I review my finances at least once a month. At the beginning of the month I update my net worth and check in on my investments.

For someone who is starting completely new to personal finance, how would they get started? What specific tips would you have for newbies?

I think the first thing anyone should do is a financial audit. Write down how much money you have, and how much money you owe, so that you can create a plan for your finances.


What’s your stack? (Accounts, credit cards, apps or other tools)

- 4 sinking funds

- 1 emergency fund in a high interest savings account

- 2 TFSAs

- 1 RRSP

- 4 credit cards

- 1 custom spreadsheet with budget, net worth, goal tracker, and investments

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