Prioritizing your time and optimizing your finances can be a fine art. In this episode, I chat with Tiffany Grant, aka "Money Talk With Tiff," about her journey with money and how she has optimized her life to tackle urgent and important tasks efficiently.
Tiff is a busy mother, podcaster, content creator, website designer, and real estate investor. Learn how she manages to juggle all these roles and still make time to relax.
Connect with Tiff and learn more about her at https://moneytalkwitht.com, or follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @moneytalkwitht.
For transcriptions of this episode and more, visit https://learnedsooner.com.
Follow Tim Winfred on Twitter and Instagram at @contimporary (it's like "contemporary" but more fun)
00:00 Typically how I start my day is I look at my urgent and important, which is my due first category, and then I'll pick my top three and as long as I get those top three done, I feel accomplished for the day.
00:11 And just my strategy on this is I do it on my whiteboard and I use sticky notes for my task. And so when I'm done with one, I take it down, crumple it up, put it in the garbage can. So my garbage can is like all colorful stuff and it makes me feel good because I'm like, those are all the tasks I got done.
00:29 Definitely think about that when you're looking at time management or decision management. Yes. Hi there and welcome to the long anticipated season two premiere of the I Should Have Learned This Sooner podcast.
00:43 I'm your host, Tim Winfred, and wow, am I so excited to be back recording and doing this again. It's been so long, pre-pandemic, since I recorded a new episode and I'm just so stoked to bring you the guests this season.
01:02 My first guest today. I'm just going to jump right into it because it's such an amazing conversation, is with Money Talk with Tiff, someone that I met on Twitter and followed on Twitter and reached out and loved her content, loved her amazingly adorable laugh.
01:20 She is just so infectious and we had a really great conversation. I'm super excited for you all to hear this conversation and I hope you learn and get to take something new from it. If you have any questions or you're just interested in learning more about the show, feel free to reach out to me after you listen to this.
01:43 And I'm on Instagram and Twitter @Contimporary. It's like Contemporary, but more fun. Wow, it's so nice to be here and thank you so much for tuning in. It means so much to me. This show is honestly kind of like therapy, and I have people ask me questions about finance so often that I decided to bring season two with a bit of a twist.
02:10 Leaning more into the finance and real estate and financial independence and anything related to money conversations is where I'm really going to be focusing on this season. Without further ado, let's talk to Tiff.
02:25 Hello. Welcome. Thank you so much for joining me.
-Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.
-Yeah, it's really nice to have you. You're actually, surprise, my first guest of the season. So super excited to have you here.
02:41 I will say that 100 times. I'm always so excited whenever I'm recording these. So tell for everybody who's listening, please give us a little introduction to who you are. -Yeah. So my name is Tiffany Grant, and I run the Money Talk with Tiff platform, which is a financial education platform mainly aimed at black and brown communities to up their financial literacy.
03:01 But of course, anybody can come catch these gyms. It's a blog and a podcast and then a social media presence. -Yeah. You do regular Twitter chats that you convert into podcasts, right, called FinNoir?
03:15 Yeah. So every Monday, 09:00 P.M., you know we go real late. We don't talk about anything crazy, but we do FinNoir, which is a space for black Money Talk on Twitter. And so you can catch us live and participate, but if you don't replays on my podcast the following Monday so you can catch those episodes.
03:35 Usually we go for about an hour, and it's usually a pair panel of. At least like, six people, but it could be more. Just depends on whoever shows up. But we talked about all types of stuff from our last one was about, does online banking remove inherent bias versus traditional banking?
03:54 So instead of going in, does that erase all of that? And so we had a really lively conversation because there were some people that were on the fence. There were some people that were like like, yes, there were some people in the banking industry that was like, no.
04:07 And so definitely check it out. It's very good information. Even if you're not in the black community, it's stuff that you can be aware of. -Yeah, there's a lot going on right now with algorithms and everything with this new Chat GPT AI stuff happening.
04:22 So I'm sure that's going to be a continued conversation happening over on your channel.
-Yeah, absolutely. And I love AI. Let me just put that out there. It's awesome. As far as the writing. It's scary, though, because it's like, are people going to really write anymore?
04:40 I'm a professor. I'm an adjunct instructor. Let me do my real title. But I'm an adjunct instructor at a local university. I'm like, dang. If I use stuff like Jasper and Chat GPT like this, I wonder if my students would just be like, oh, let me just write this paper and just give it to the AI.
04:59 So it's interesting. So we'll see what happens.
-Yeah, there's a lot of things in the world, I think, that are just repeated over and over, whether it's writing a paper for school or for me, I'm a software engineer, and there are certain pieces of code that you write again and again.
05:17 And so I've actually used it in my industry to write tests for my code. For example, I'll write the code and then ask it to write a test for it. It never does it 100% correctly, so I have to edit it and do it.
05:29 So I see it as, like, a great opportunity for that. But--
-Absolutely, I mean, I'm going to just be honest because I'm always honest. Some of my social media posts come from like, AI. That's awesome. Some of my emails come from AI.
05:42 Some blog posts are helped by AI. So it's really cool. But like I said, and like you said, it's not perfect, but at least for instance, I never have writer's block anymore because if I do, I'm like, hey, can you just finish this up for me?
05:56 Yeah. To go to something else.
-But anyway, I know I think about all the potentials. It's going to be a Wild West, and Google is introducing theirs soon, so, yeah, I could go down a whole rabbit hole and just derail the whole purpose of our conversation today.
06:11 You can absolutely take me with you because I'm a tech marriage. However you want to go.
-Before we do that, maybe we can say that and do it afterwards. I do want to jump in. So to the first question for anybody who's new to listening in, I have a set of three questions that I generally ask each guest.
06:32 So the first one for you today is what is something you know now that you wish you had learned sooner?
-Where do I begin? I think the biggest thing for me is real estate investing. Okay, so I bought my house when I was 26, so it was in 2017.
06:49 And I wish I would have known more about house hacking and stuff like that. That would have been amazing. Even though I have kids, now that I've talked to people and I have friends that have done house hacking or currently do house hacking, there are ways that I could have done it in my house and I never knew that.
07:08 And so I wish I knew more about real estate early on. Especially because, come to find out, my grandpa, on my dad's side, had a lot of properties, my grandparents on that side. And I didn't know this growing up.
07:23 I didn't know until his funeral, which is crazy. I was like, no, I could have had these conversations. So take that away. Make sure you're having conversations with your loved ones about money and stuff like that, because they never talked about it at all.
07:38 But come to find out, they had so many properties in New York. New York is expensive. And so many properties in Florida and all this different stuff, and I wish I could have sat down with him and talked about that. Like talked about, how did you do this?
07:54 He was an immigrant from Jamaica. How did you start? What did you do? Did he house hack back then? That type of thing? So I wish I would have had those conversations earlier and knew more about real estate earlier, but now I do know, so I'm starting to take steps in order to get some doors.
08:13 I want to get some doors. Sounds cool. I have ten doors, so I do want to do that. So that's one thing that I wish I knew more about early on.
-Awesome. So right now, you just have one property? Yes, so I just have my primary house, and like I said, I bought it in 2017, so I've been here I mean, how many years is that like six, seven?
08:33 Yeah, six years now. Whoa, where's time going?
-So, yeah, I had three bedrooms, two baths, me, my kids, and that's what we do.
-So you're not house hacking it right now?
-No, and I don't think I will, honestly, with this property.
08:48 I think when I get my next one, I'll probably move to that one in house hack and rent this one out. Just because I feel like. This one. I don't want to do it now. First of all, when you live somewhere, you accumulate too much stuff, like you fill it to the brim.
09:01 And I feel like that's where I'm at now. Like my family, they're like, Tiffany, you really don't have that much because they're hoarders. But to me, I'm like, this is... a lot.
-And it makes moving difficult because you don't want to move all of that.
09:17 You got to pay a company or you got to pay your friends with pizza
-Or to get my girlfriend's truck.
-But yeah, it's just too much. So I think with my next property, I might try house hacking and then just rent this one out.
09:29 I think that's going to be my next move.
-Yeah. So for people who are unfamiliar with the term house hacking, can you describe what that is to you and what your goal is with it?
-Yeah, so house hacking is when you have a property, so like, you buy a house and then you rent out a portion of it, whether it's a bedroom or if it's a downstairs, maybe upstairs, down, whatever, you just rent out a portion of it to someone else.
09:56 And pretty much what happens is they pay your mortgage for you at the end of the day. And so you're pretty much like living kind of rent/mortgage free because that person is paying it. So that's what house hacking is.
10:10 And I know a lot of people now that have done that strategy to get more properties or to pay off their house sooner. There's so many different avenues that it can open up for you if you do decide to go that route.
10:24 And when I was talking to one of my friends that's heavy in real estate, he was saying, I could have just walked off my main bedroom that has a bathroom attached and just take one of the windows out, make that a door.
10:38 And I was like, well, it doesn't have a kitchen. Like, it doesn't have anything else. He was like, well, when you go to hotels, does it have a kitchen? I was like, you got a point. So, I mean, a bed and a bathroom is pretty much what people need.
10:51 So that was one thing that I learned later on. I was like, oh, if I would have known that ahead of time, I probably could have just did that from the beginning. But anyway, like I said, that's what house hacking is.
11:01 So if anybody is interested, definitely learn more and check it out.
-Yeah, and there's so many flavors of it nowadays. I mean, it didn't have this term house hacking, you know, before, I think bigger pockets invented it.
11:13 But there's so many flavors. You can short term rental it with airbnb, like you said. Do just a room and a bathroom. You could long term rent it. Your returns are going to be lower. But there's so many different flavors.
11:25 Actually, I just bought a house and converted my basement and just finished adding a kitchen. And I'm going to be renting that out, hopefully as a midterm rental. I'm going to try to work out the details as I go and see what-- it's not going to fully cover my mortgage, unfortunately, but it will cover more than two thirds of it, is my expected return.
11:48 So still good. And then that two thirds, like you said. I'm most likely going to save it to buy another property and move out of this one just like you, and rent it all out. But I'm thinking, unlike you, so that I don't have to move all of my stuff.
12:03 I'll just leave everything here that it has no sentimental value or whatever, the furniture that can all stay and I'll just buy new in the new place.
-Yeah, I think that sounds like an awesome move. And hopefully I can do that because like you said, I hate moving, Moving is like too much.
12:24 Yeah, I can just leave it all here. It's all Ikea stuff, so you'll get good stuff. Ikea need a sponsorship, by the way. Way. But yeah, I would absolutely do that if I had the opportunity. Yeah, well, speaking of Ikea, I'm going to do an opposite and say, don't buy your furniture at Target.
12:41 I've bought the Target furniture. And that particle board just breaks so easily. Yeah, it's terrible. Dragging it across carpet and it cracks.
-Earlier you mentioned something that really resonated with me that within my own family made, basically, you mentioned you didn't talk about money with your family, especially your grandfather, who had a lot of properties.
13:04 I grew up, same thing. Not really talking about money. What I mean, clearly that's changed for you, and you're talking about it a lot more, but has that stigma in your family gone away? Or is it adjust within your Finn community?
13:16 Because I do what I do. I'm very like, I'm not going to say in your face, but I'm not afraid to talk about money with my family. And so, for instance, me and my grandpa just had a conversation this morning about bills and things like that.
13:32 So I get people talking about money just naturally because this is just what I live, breathe, and do. So I think it's getting better, at least with my immediate family. Like my mom, my grandpa, my grandma before she passed away last year, my little sister, even my kids, it's like I'm the nucleus.
13:52 And everybody around me is talking more about money, which is great because we can share these types of things. So, like, for instance, when my grandma passed away in September, we were all responsible for getting her arrangements and stuff together.
14:08 And so that sparked a conversation about life insurance because luckily she had some. Come to find out it wasn't enough. So if you want to get buried, if you want to get buried, you need at least $30,000 plus, because it's very expensive.
14:22 When we put her away, it was at least $30,000 to get buried. So keep that in mind.
-Down payment on a house.
-Right? Crazy. I said, these people are making bank. But yeah. So that sparked the conversation, luckily, about life insurance.
14:39 And so now other family members are like, oh, I need to get life insurance. I need to do this, I need to do that. -Awesome. Yeah, definitely. It's fascinating how many people don't talk about it with their family and kids, and it's so taboo.
14:55 Like, you know, especially if I grew up in a lower income family. And I remember at one point hearing my mom say that she had $10,000 in credit card debt. And to me, you know, having a $100 was a lot.
15:09 So to hear at, you know, that age, probably 16 or somewhere in that range, and hearing that was a lot. And net flash forward to 2018, whenever I started paying down my credit cards, I think I had like 20 to $30,000 in credit card debt.
15:26 And because we never talked about and how it impacted my family and the generational wealth, I made those same mistakes over and over. So I'm in the same boat. I have my niece, she's seven, going to be in April.
15:40 By the time this episode airs, she'll probably be eight already. And it's a fun time to sort of start seeding those conversations. You know, she's still too young to really care, but, you know, I'll give her money for her birthday or something like that and ask what she's going to do.
15:56 And she actually has a piggy bank that she's, like, saving for college. And I'm like, I wasn't even thinking about college. I was like, give me the next Pokemon cards.
-Just to tag onto what you just said.
16:09 It's never too early with my kids, from the time they were old enough to know what was going on, for instance, in the grocery store, they know that Mommy's not going to buy anything unless it's on sale.
16:21 And so now they're trained to the point where they don't even ask unless it's on sale. And then if it is, they're like, "Mommy can get this. It's on sale." And they'll point.
-They got you figured out.
-Like my eight year old, for instance.
16:35 That's my youngest. Well, not my youngest anymore. That's my middle child. And he is funny because he reminds me of me when I was little and that he's. He wants to charge everybody for everything. And so, like, when he goes to my mom's house, for instance, his grandma, he'll be like she'll ask him, oh, can you help me with my plants?
16:56 And he's like, oh, that'll be $20.
-He's like, My time is worth money. You are going to pay me.
-Exactly. But it's funny and it's interesting, dynamic. But it's good that he's learning those lessons, that his time is valuable and he should charge for what he's worth.
17:14 And that's what I used to do when I was little, like when I was his age, my grandma told me because I was living with my grandparents, she said, oh, yeah, if your grandpa would ask you to empty his garbage can, I would charge them.
17:25 I mean, it wasn't $20, but it was probably like a couple of dollars or whatever, and I would empty a garbage can for him. So he reminds me of me in that regard. But it's never too early to start. Like my kids, anytime they get money, we go to the bank, we go through the whole motion.
17:43 Like my oldest son, since he just turned 13 last year, that was like his rite of passage for his own checking account and own debit card and whatever, and he has to budget like he couldn't spend. It was funny because we went down there to open it, and he's like, oh, I can go on roadblocks and all that other stuff.
18:02 And I'm like, you can't spend anything unless you do a budget first to see where your money is going to go, how much you're going to have left, this, that and the other. And so he couldn't touch it until he got that done.
18:14 And so just instilling those values. And then also whenever his statements come in the mail, I hand them to him and I'm like, here's your statement. And it's funny how kids think because is when his first statement came.
18:28 Okay, so he knew how much he had, right? Yeah. So he's looking at it, he had, I think, $100. So he saw that it said $99. And he's like, wait a minute. Like, where did my dollar go? And he looked at the statement and it was a bank fee.
18:44 And so I was like, well, you know, banks sometimes charge fees on accounts and so that's where your dollar went. So he was like, So you mean to tell me if I put my money in there and I don't touch it, there's still to take a dollar every month?
18:57 And I was like, yeah, that's how it works. So just getting them used to wherever they are in their maturity, getting them used to having these money conversations is super important. We do all types of things.
19:10 I talk about my budget. Like not too long ago, I think like a couple of weekends ago, they were like, because we've been eating in the house since the year started, because I'm trying to do better. And they were like, "oh, we want pizza."
19:23 And I'm like, "well, I was going to cook and I don't have pizza money, so we're going to eat in the house." And they were like, well, we'll use our money. So they sat there so they sat there and split the pizza between both of them so that way they can save some of their money.
19:39 And so they both got pizza.
-I love that.
-So they're already thinking about ways to use their money wisely and things like that. And that's just because I started them early, just having conversations, showing them different things.
19:55 My little sister used to live with me, and we had the conversation about compound interest. And it was so funny when we had that conversation. She was like, so you mean to tell me if I put like, I think I did $5 a week until she got older, like college age, she was like, "you mean tell me if I put $5, I'll have this much, I'm about to do this today?"
20:17 Like, she started like, already playing. She was like, I'm going to tell Mommy about this. And I was like, yeah, that's compound interest. That's how it works. And so, you know, just getting them thinking about different things.
20:27 Yeah, I mean for myself again, going back to the fact that it wasn't talked about in my family, I didn't learn about that until I was in my late 20s. You know, the power of that. And I wasn't investing in anything until my late 20s and just thinking about what I could have had and, it would have been honestly little sacrifices, right.
20:47 $5 a month or $5 a week or even $5 a day is affordable. Maybe not to everybody, but there is an amount that's affordable. Whether it's fifty cents a day, something that you can maybe, I don't know, pick a penny up off the ground on occasion, right?
21:03 And invest that penny. I'm exaggerating here with that. But yeah, it's fascinating how something so little can grow over just given time. If you look at all of the really old billionaires, who are Warren Buffett and Ray Dalio, their money trajectory, it's like, yeah, they made millions whenever they were in their 30s so they had a big start.
21:30 But that number just in the later years of their life: It's like tripling and quadrupling every decade or every year. It's just insane how it just builds on top of itself.
-Absolutely. And so if you all are listening, get a part of that.
21:46 Get a piece of that.
-Even in a savings account, really, like people are like, "oh I just like to keep cash maybe under mattress or whatever." But if you put it in an account it can actually get that compound interest and rates right now at least with the online banks they're like three point something percent.
22:07 Yeah, at my bank, their money market savings account is 4-something. And you know, I've heard just all over the place 4% I 3s and with a know a month you're going to be getting probably ten. I don't know.
22:23 Math at rapid pace is not my best skill, but $4, $40, something like that, a month, and then that just compounds on top of itself. And it's actually-- so there's a strategy, I heard, sort of taking it a little bit back to so you said in house hacking there's two things, which is one is to pay off your home early.
22:46 The other is to save that money and buy a second property, for the people who are in the paying off your house early stage. I heard this strategy, I think it might have been on Bigger Pockets or on Paula Pants Afford Anything podcast.
23:01 The strategy is you take out a personal loan, and those personal loans, the way that the interest hits, it's not every day, so we're a mortgage compounds every day. Compound interest is great whenever it's working for you, but whenever it's working against you and you're paying compound interest, it's a lot worse.
23:21 So if you think you're going to pay an extra $5,000, say this year into your mortgage, maybe that's two payments on a $500,000 home, you can take out that $5,000 now at an interest rate from the bank. That might be a little bit higher.
23:37 But even if it is a little bit higher because it's not compounding daily, you're going to be paying less over the long term. And by paying it off at the beginning of the year, right away, it's going to reduce your overall lifespan of your house, the amount of payment.
23:53 So just a little tip to throw in there for anybody who wants to take that early payment strategy.
-Yeah, interesting. I haven't heard of that one. Says, so I need to go do my research. But yeah, that's interesting.
24:06 And speaking of compound interest working against you, we're seeing that a lot with these credit cards now. Every time the Fed raises the fed funds rate interests. Credit card interest rates go up because they're variable, in any other variable.
24:20 So he locks stuff like that, which is home equity lines of credit -- I just want to make sure I cover. But they're all going up as well. So, like, if you have high interest credit card debt, it's going to be like you're on a hamster wheel if you're only paying the minimum payments because they keep raising the rate.
24:34 So, yeah, they can definitely work against you. Look at those minimum payment things for credit cards, and it's like pay the minimum payment payment on your $5,000 balance every month and it's going to take you 20 years to pay it off.
24:47 There's a reason that they have those minimum payments as the minimum, because -- at so low. I mean, because they want you to keep that balance and they want to make that every month. They're just taking money out of your pocket for holding your debt.
25:01 So that's the type of money that I want to be in a situation where I'm giving out my money and people are paying me that interest.
-Exactly. That part I want to be on the other side.
-It would also be a lot easier, I think sometimes than doing all the house hacking and renovations and management of properties: private money side of things.
25:22 So I want to jump in, since we're a little more than halfway through our conversation, into the second big question, the conversation which is, is there something, whether it's a book, a quote, a person, et cetera, that really impacted your life.
25:38 Where do I begin?
-Now, I know it's a big question.
-So usually when I'm asked this question, I go to Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin, which is a book. And I mentioned that because, first of all, let me preface by saying she's like the Godmother of the FIRE movement.
25:59 And so that book is pretty much about how you do the FIRE movement, whatever, which is Financially Independent, Retired Early for people that don't know. But what I took away from that book, which really stuck with me and even to this day, because I never thought about it like that.
26:13 Is to think of your money in terms of time versus money. And so she gave the example, for instance, let's say something cost. Let's say you want some shoes and they cost $100, right? And you get paid $20 an hour.
26:29 So that means that's 5 hours of your life you have to give up for those pairs of shoes, which when you think about it in those terms, you're like, dang, that's almost a whole old days worth of work in order to get these shoes.
26:41 So then you start thinking about things a little differently. And so that book was very impactful. In particular, that lesson was very impactful for me. So now when I look at things, even on the other side, as a business owner, I have to think about: okay, how long is this going to take me?
26:58 Is this worth my time or not? In order to make money, you get what I'm saying? So you can look at it both ways. And both ways are helpful, whether it's looking at time is money for spending or looking at time is money for earning.
27:13 So anyway, that was my biggest takeaway from that book. So it's something that I think is a very important lesson because people justify purchases based off of in-the-moment feelings and don't tie it to the actual value, that which is in most cases, people's time, right?
27:35 They're exchanging their time. In some cases people exchange their energy and do things themselves to reduce costs. But that also is time. It's all tied to that. And I think it was on TikTok, I saw this really interesting question from a graphic designer who said, "okay, you want a logo made?
27:55 I will design this logo for you and get it to you for $12,000, okay? And I'll get it to you in 5 hours." So his time was maybe I should say 6 hours, just to make math easier. $200 an hour, right? And so the guy said, "well, what if I can get someone to do it cheaper?"
28:18 And sure, maybe you can get someone to do it cheaper, but maybe that person is going to take six days to get it to you. So even in that front, if your money going out and how quickly it returns, the value that you're expecting is a time/money problem.
28:36 It all comes down to, you're spending your money somewhere and what's the value of the return and what energy do you have to put in to get that. Because maybe that more senior experienced person is going to come in 6 hours with five variations and they're all beautiful and done.
28:55 And you can accept one right then and there where that more junior person is going to come and give you one design in six days that took them six days to get to you. And then you're going to have to give them feedback and work on it.
29:11 Absolutely. I worked at a company that hired only junior people and it showed in the company. So it's a poor strategy, I'll put it that way
-Yikes, because my background is in HR and I'm just like but I will say I've seen that in action too with my business.
29:27 So another side of my business that people don't know about is I have a digital marketing company. And so I like building websites for people. That's just something I like to do for fun. So I don't really advertise it because I don't want it to be not fun anymore.
29:42 But I had a repeat customer come back last year, the end of last year, and he was like, "I need a website done." And I'm like, okay, cool. He's like, and I need in like two days. And I'm like, you know this is going to be more expensive, right?
29:56 Because now what I would have to do is put my other clients on to the side in order to work on this to get it done and then pick up their work afterwards. I'm going to have to charge you more because that's taking up.
30:10 More like a quicker turnaround. So he's like, oh, that's fine, that's fine. I know you do good work. But that you always like, if there's any business owners listening, always look at how much time it's going to take, how fast it needs to be done, what value you're giving to the person, and then price accordingly.
30:29 So even though I was like, now, because this is going to be a lot more expensive than what you pay before, he was like, that's fine, but you never know if people will go ahead and pay you your worth. And even if they say, "oh, it's not in my budget right now," then that's fine.
30:45 It's just not your customer right now. You don't have to budge on that. Because one thing about life, we all have a finite amount of time. It's like everybody has a set amount of time here on Earth, and you have to value that time, whether it's if you have a business and money with that time or using that time to spend with family, or using that time to educate -- whatever it is, you only have a certain amount of time.
31:12 So you need to allocate it appropriately and charge for what it's worth, because everything we do has an opportunity cost. And so you have to look at the opportunity cost. For instance, when I took on his project, like, okay, opportunity cost is this other client that I'm supposed to have his website done in two weeks.
31:32 Might have to give him some messaging, like, hey, this might be a little delayed. How is that going to look for me as a business? How is that going to impact his bottom line or whatever he needs the website for?
31:41 And so you kind of have to look at things like that. And so anyway, I can go off on a whole tangent.
-Yeah, that's the center storyline of so many Hollywood movies, right? The working parent who isn't at their child's recital.
31:55 Something like that's an opportunity. You're taking the opportunity to spend your time going off and doing X instead of Y. And everything in life has that you can. Choose to stay in on a Friday night and relax and do some R&R, and that is great.
32:15 But you could also be doing something that's productive. Not saying one is greater than the other, because trust me, I value that downtime so much, even on a Friday night.
-Yeah. And I tell my students, because this is one thing that I teach them.
32:29 Time management is really decision manage. You're really making a decision on what to spend your time on. So there's different strategies that I teach them to try to help them with that because I teach freshmen, so they're brand new to adulting.
32:43 Good luck, y'all. But when you're looking at how you spend your time, there's different strategies you can use. Like, for instance, just to give your audience something. I use the Eisenhower method, so I don't know if you're familiar.
32:57 Okay, now we go into teacher mode. What you're for what you do is I do it on my whiteboard. So I have four quadrants in the top left, I have urgent and important. The next one is not urgent and important.
33:14 Beneath that is urgent and not important. And then I have not urgent and not important. So urgent and important. Those are things that I need to do first. So those are things that are like, "okay, Tiffany, you need to get these done."
33:26 Usually I only keep about eight things there at the max, and they need to be done within two days or so for me, putting it up there and the not urgent and important, that's the schedule. So that's stuff that is important.
33:39 But I'm not going to do it right now because it's not as pressing. As the other ones.
-Well, I did do that. I did get those done this week. But you can schedule those. So you're like, okay, this is an important task.
33:52 Let me go ahead and throw it on my calendar. So that's what you schedule then in the urgent and not important, those are things that you delegate. So. In that category, I'll put stuff that I can give to somebody else to do.
34:04 So like maybe it's my VA or maybe it's my social media manager or somebody can do that stuff because it's not important, as important as my stuff, but it is something that's urgent that needs to be done.
34:17 So that's when I delgate and then not urgent and not important. Guess what? There's nothing there because that's what I don't do. There's no reason for you to do that stuff. And so I keep that pretty empty.
34:28 So that's called the Eisenhower method. So definitely check it out. It's very helpful. And typically how I start my day is I look at my urgent and important, which is my Due First category, and then I'll pick my top three.
34:40 And as long as I get those top three done, I feel accomplished for the day. And just my strategy on this is I do it on my whiteboard and I use sticky notes for my task. And so when I'm done with one, I take it down, crumple it up, put it in the garbage can.
34:55 So my garbage can is all colorful and stuff and it makes me feel good because I'm like, "those are all the tasks I got done!" And so yeah, definitely think about that when you're looking at time management or decision management.
35:07 Yeah, it's funny because I was thinking urgent and not important are things like taking out the trash and you could ask your son to do it, but he's going to charge you $20.
-That's when I get my oldest son to do it.
35:21 How much does he charge you?
-Nothing. No, but they do already. Like in my house, chores do not get paid like your main chores. Those are just your chores. You don't get paid for those. If you go above and beyond, then you might get something.
35:39 But just doing regular stuff, like he can go somewhere else in charge. But here if you're doing your regular stuff, yeah, you can't charge me. I'm just going to be like. Do it.
-Yeah, this is the cost of the roof and the food that you get built in here.
35:54 It's not my love that's for free.
-Absolutely. Yeah. That's just... yeah.
-This Eisenhower method. It makes me I'm not surprised now, I guess, that you have such a young child and two older children and you have a marketing gig and a podcast and all this dozen things while I'm sitting over here, type A, writing down 100 things that I need to do and staring at it like, this is scary.
36:24 I've done something in a similar method. I didn't know I had a strategy where I just wrote that 100 thing and then pulled out the most important things for the month to do to prioritize, which is an important skill in life.
36:38 Yeah, I will say, because I used to be that way too, where I just had a bunch of lists, to do lists.
-Lists everywhere but I'm a spreadsheet person, I'm crazy about it.
-Sticky notes person, I wish I could see my desk, but I was listening to a virtual conference.
36:56 Somebody was speaking and she was like, you could have a bunch of to do list. But does anything get done? Usually. Not usually, right? Usually it's just a list. It stays there. For instance, for me, I like handwritten stuff, so it might be in a notebook.
37:11 Like, I just came across a list the other day and then it gets pushed away with the other stacks of old notebooks and that type of thing. And so she was like, if something is something that you really need to do, just put on the schedule, just put it on your calendar so that way you can make sure it gets done and you can block out the a time to make sure it gets done.
37:30 So that's kind of I was like, yeah, you know, you're talking about my life. I need to get it together. So that's when I looked into the Eisenhower method and I started using that. But yeah, I used to be the same way, which is.
37:42 Paper everywhere. Like, my whole desk would be full of sticky notes. You couldn't even see the desk. I'm like, "Oh, I need to do this, I need to do that." And then none of this stuff would get done.
-Something you talked about in a recent episode, actually, I think to the people who are listening, it won't be the one that came out today, but the one that you had that came out today was talking sort of I'm bringing this up because it's a tangential part of what you're saying, which is is basically schedule the things you need to do.
38:10 But I'm also thinking if you're getting into that mindset of scheduling out everything, you should also keep free time on your calendar. Your recent episode you talked about, you called it blow money, which to me sounds like you're buying something white and powdery.
38:28 Darn, I didn't get you.
-But it's fun money. Money that you're going to... And same thing with your time. You need to make sure that you save time to not schedule things. You need to not be fully booked out.
38:43 You need to make sure you're not booking straight until 10:00 P.M.. And then waking up at 6:00 A.M. And you already have something, your breakfast is scheduled from 6:30 A.M. and whatever, because then you get blind to it eventually as well.
38:57 Yeah, and that is the quickest way to burn out, because that's how I used to be. So now what I've done is I blocked off time. And I started this, actually in corporate. So when I was working for someone, working for a company, I was the type of person where I just like to get stuff done.
39:15 So I would come in early, leave late, work through lunch, whatever the case may be. Then there was one moment that changed me from that, and that was I had an asthma attack one morning when I was getting ready.
39:30 And usually I don't have issues with my asthma, but that particular morning when I was getting ready for work. I had an asthma attack. I was literally on my bathroom floor gasping for air. And luckily, like, my little sister was living here and my oldest son, they were able to bring me what I needed in order to get myself together.
39:50 And it was in that moment, I was like, "Tiffany, like, you are working yourself to death for this company. You need to make some changes." And so that day when I went to work, I went ahead and blocked off my 2 15-minutes breaks.
40:03 So 10:00 and 03:00 I blocked off my lunch, which was like twelve to one inch. And then I made sure that I left on time. And so for my 15 minutes breaks, nobody can put anything on my calendar because I was an HR business partner and I was the only HR person in the building.
40:20 And so my back September all day, right? Like I just left my door open because I'm like, there's no point. And so people couldn't schedule when I started blocking time off. And I would go out for walks.
40:35 I even started like a walking club because I'm HR and I'm an employee. And so I even started a walking club so we would go out during our 15-minute breaks to do our little walks and stuff. And it made life so much easier.
40:51 And now, even to this day, like as an entrepreneur, my day pretty much how it looks now is I'll start working at 9-10 o'clock. So I'll do all my breakfast and all that stuff. And then like 9-10 o'clock is when I actually start working and I shut it down, cut it off at 2:00.
41:09 So if there's somebody that needs to talk to me or have a meeting or whatever, if it's between two and six, it's not going to happen. Because that's when my kids get off the bus, that's when I need to help with homework, that's when I need to cook dinner, all that stuff.
41:26 And so that time is sacred for me. So if anybody needs that time, it's probably not going to happen because... That's what I've blocked off. And then I'll pick back up after they go to bed. So, like, now I don't know if people know what time you record it's, like, after 09:00.
41:44 And so I might pick back up and say, okay, I can take a couple of meetings or a meeting, and then that's it. And then go to sleep and do it again the next day.
-Yeah, it's one of those things for myself as well.
41:56 I have dogs. It's not as necessarily demanding. Sometimes I got a Jack Russell, and that brain power is just non-stop. But especially in wintertime, whenever it's darker, I so value getting out and taking them for walks.
42:16 I try to do it at least once a day. Sometimes in winter, I'm in the Denver area. So this year it's been extra snowy, and it's hard to do that. So I actually take them to the pet store and walk around the pet store for 15 minutes.
42:33 So many smells and stuff. And then I usually get them a little treat, because I'm a sucker. But those things, they're so important. They're rituals. I released the first season, this show, this podcast. Back, started in 2019, and released the final episode in April of 2020.
42:53 It was prerecorded before the pandemic hit, but one of the biggest things with the pandemic, that broke me for a while and, you know. Messed up my mental health, was that change in my routine, which was the drive to work.
43:09 I'm now remote. And so I've adapted my lifestyle and everything to my new normal. But that routine of driving to work was like my mental. Get ready for the day. I'd listen to Eye of the Tiger and Light of a Clear Blue Morning by Dolly Parton to get me pumped up, or motivational speakers, whatever it needed to be.
43:27 And then in the evening, on the drive home, music or something that was like let my brain decompress. And so all of those things, they're so important and it's like what maintains your mental health?
43:38 And I think that's why a lot of the people who are going for FIRE or just even financial independence in some way or another is it so that they can control their time. So anybody who has any access to their time in one way or another we already talked about time and money and I'm looping back to it.
43:59 But it's just so important to have that option to manage your own time. Absolutely. And I will say, just piggybacking on to what you were saying. That's one thing. Let me preface by saying, I'm an extreme extrovert.
44:14 I like being around people. I like talking to people, as you can tell I talk. So the pandemic was very difficult. Like, talk about mental health. Like I'm like I cannot talk to nobody. It was bad. So anyway, last year what I did was, because also what was happening.
44:34 As an entrepreneur or as someone that works from home is very easy to get off task and not do what you need to do, because there's the bed, there's the kitchen, there's chores, there's laundry, there's, like, all these things that are staring at you all day.
44:49 And I was very notorious for like, I think I'm going to take a nap, and I'm only going to take, like, a ten to 15 minutes nap. Next thing you know, it's an hour later and it's time for the kids to get off the bus.
44:59 So what I started doing, I went ahead and bought an office space because I needed that separation between my home life and my work life. And I've been a full time entrepreneur since 2019. And I realized that that was one of the productivity things that was holding me back.
45:18 I needed to get out the house. So I noticed when I go, like you were saying, going through the whole motion of getting out the house, taking the drive, going and sitting and doing my work, I would get so much more accomplished at the office space than I would at home.
45:34 And so I would encourage, if anybody's listening and they're a business owner or they work from home, highly recommend a coworking space or whatever you have in your area to just kind of get out the house.
45:47 I found that it helped really help my productivity. And like I said, it was a separation. Like before, I would just work all the time, and I felt so bad for my kids because I would be in my office working, and they're like, "Mommy, mommy!"
46:03 And I'm just like, "Wait, I just got to wrap this up." Or, Wait, I just got to do this.
-They don't understand, though.
-Right? I'm like, we need to eat. This is how I'm earning money. But now or before I had the baby, I would go out, and then when I came back.
46:21 Everything. I wouldn't even take my laptop out because I wanted that separation. So anyway, I say all of that to say it's very helpful to have that separation if you can, if you're able, locally. I know coworking spaces you can do like by the day for like $20 or something like that.
46:37 So just something to think about. Yeah, I like to do a similar thing with friends. It's unwork related, but if I'm present with the friend, the Apple Watch is great for it because I can check, make sure it's not an emergency and look back without pulling my phone out and interrupting our conversation or whatever.
46:56 Same thing. Whenever I go in and visit my family, I don't take my work laptop if I'm not going and with the intention of working, I try to leave as much behind that separation, even if it isn't leaving your house, if it's closed off your office, whatever it might be.
47:15 Have those set hours. We are almost at time, but I have a third question that I sort of want to wrap up the conversation with, which is more future looking. We've talked a lot about what you have learned across a wide variety of topics, but I'm interested.
47:32 First of all, you said HR, marketing, website design, financial podcaster, and the most difficult job you have of all, is mother. First of all, I want to say you're a superhero, so I can't even imagine that you're digging into learning too much more.
47:50 But my third question is, what is something you're working on learning now?
-Yeah, I'm always learning. I'm a nerd, so this stuff I always want to learn as much as as I can. And what I've recently, as of like last year, started getting into dividend investing because, being on Twitter, there's a lot of people, a lot of different groups and stuff.
48:13 And apparently I have a lot of Twitter friends that are dividend investors, I would see, like, their post, and I'm like, you know, let me see, let me dabble a little bit. And so that's something that I have started doing, which is really cool because it's, like, compound interest on steroids, because even as the company's stock price goes up, if they push out dividends, that's adding even more to your portfolio.
48:38 So, anyway, I started that last year, and it's been an interesting ride, and I'm still learning.
-Especially last year, right? Yeah, you might have been making dividends, but the price of the stock was either flat or down, most likely.
48:52 Exactly. And see, that's the thing with the dividends. They were still pushing out dividends, most of the companies that I hold. So anyway, I say that to say I'm always learning. And that's what's new on the brain right now, is dividend investing.
49:06 And there's so much like, I know a lot about finance, and I know a lot about a lot of different things. Like, I tell people I don't know everything, but I know a lot about a lot. But there are so many intricacies that I didn't know about dividend investing and terminology and stuff like that.
49:26 So I've been diving into that and just see what happens. I have this philosophy where ready, fire, aim, instead of ready, aim, fire. So I'll get ready, and then I'll go ahead and fire and just see what happens, because I feel like that's the best teacher.
49:43 And I always tell people all the time, like, people look at me from the outside looking in, they're like, oh, my gosh, you're so successful. But I feel like a big part of that is not not being fearful of anything.
49:56 I'm just like --
-You jumped into the deep end and you learned how to swim at the same time, right?
-I'm just like, shoot, just try it. If it doesn't work, then you learned a good lesson. If it does work, then awesome.
50:08 You did good. So there's a lot of things that I've. Fell flat on my face. But I don't look at that as failures. I look at it as lessons. I look at it as lessons. Yeah, definitely.
-There are two things that made me think of.
50:23 The first is there's this quote that I saw years ago on the Facebook campus, which is "done is better than perfect." So I love that I go by that wholeheartedly, especially as a software engineer pushing code, knowing it's not going to be the first time necessarily.
50:39 And the other thing is that people get stuck in analysis paralysis by doing the ready, aim, fire. Because they'll sit there and they'll look through that scope too long and try to find the perfect shot.
50:52 And as they're doing that, the wind is changing, the sun is setting, all of the variables to that shot are constantly changing and they never take the shot because all of those variables and they can't get it down to that perfect piece.
51:07 And so I know, especially going back to what your big lesson is in working with real estate, that's the thing people do is people blame "oh, I can't buy now because all these bidding wars" and prices are too high then oh, I can't buy now because interest rates are too high.
51:28 Oh, I can't buy now because dot, dot, dot it continues on and it's just a vicious cycle. So soon as you fail and if you can fail fast and cut your losses, that's great. Who is it? Is it Albert Einstein? I think. Failed 100 or 1,000 times.
51:47 No. Who invented the light bulb? Not Albert --
-The other smart guy, edison, thousands of times to create a light bulb. And I mean, honestly, that's with anybody, anybody that you perceive as successful, there's so many things that they have tried.
52:08 Didn't work, gone through that wasn't ideal, whatever the case may be. And I have this philosophy where it's not what happens to you, it's how you react to it. And so whatever gets thrown my way, some things I could fly off the handle or I could get sad about or whatever, but I'm like, you know what, it's okay.
52:33 Be the lesson that I'm supposed to learn here, and we're going to use this and move on to the next thing. And so I feel like that's an important lesson as well. And another point to what you said, fail early and fail often.
52:46 I live by that philosophy all the time. So if it's something that I want to try, like for instance, let me see, 2021, I started video for the podcast for my podcast, right? And I was like, okay, well, let's just try it.
53:00 Well, last year I went back and looked at the data. The audio did better than the video on YouTube, and YouTube is a video platform. So I was like, you know what? I'm going back to just audio and I can podcast in my underwear and nobody's ever going to know.
53:15 You just have to just try things. And that's part, whether you're in a career or whether you're an entrepreneur, that's just how you can figure out your path and your journey a little faster. A lot of people are amazed that I'm like 30.
53:32 Well, I'm 31 now, but a lot of people were amazed, like where I was in my career, when I was in career, at what age I was, and I was just like because I gave myself raises every year, forget your 3%, I'm about to go to this other company and even more, that type of thing.
53:50 So. Anyway. All of that to say, fail early, fail often. Another quote. "Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear." I live by that as well. And then ready, fire, aim. Just get it done.
54:01 Put it out there. You want to do a podcast? Put it out there. See what happens. It's never going to be perfect by a long shot. Like, I always look at myself and I'm like, dang, I could do this, or, dang, I didn't even notice that.
54:12 So it's never going to be perfect. But what you perceive as horrible or not ideal, everybody else is like, "oh, it's perfect." So you kind of have to put things into perspective. So anyway, then now we're over.
54:28 It's so coincidental and serendipitous that that was the way that this episode and that little spiel, rant, motivational speech was presented. Because my very first episode of the podcast, I just decided to record myself talking and jump into the deep end with it.
54:48 And I just talked about that because I'm just here talking. Because if I don't start and just do this, I'm not going to do it. So it's that. Just do it, and it will all come out in the wash. Things will get figured out.
55:03 So before we cut out, I do want to give you one last opportunity just for anybody who's interested in following up with you or checking you out online, maybe hiring you to do a website in two days for $5 million, cutting all your --
-Come on now, let me know that's your budget.
55:22 If it goes right, I'll join you. We could do it in one day.
-So, yes, thank you for having me. If anybody was interested in following me or learning more about what I have going on, the platform is Money Talk with Tiff.
55:36 The website is moneytalkwitht.com. I'm on all social media platforms because I am a tech junkie. I'm a social media junkie. So you can find me at @MoneyTalkwithT. And that's everywhere. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, everywhere.
55:51 It's @MoneyTalkwithT, and I look forward to having you over in my spia. Yeah, I look forward to seeing you online and being more in the finoir groups and joining you and chatting and just continuing listening to all your great content.
56:07 Thank you for everything you do. Thank you for being a guest on my show, my very first guest of season two, starting 2023, off strong.
-Thank you, Tim. Have a good one.
-Take care. Bye bye. And that's it. I hope you enjoyed that episode as much as I did.
56:23 Everything that Tiff said, I couldn't agree with more. I loved the idea of sharing house hacking with you all. If you're not familiar with house hacking or you're interested in learning more, there's so much about it online.
56:39 Just seriously, search house hacking. Ask Chat GPT about house hacking. It's such a brilliant strategy for reducing your expenses and growing your wealth long term, not only from cash flow from a property, but also getting the appreciation from that property at the same time.
57:03 Real estate is such a powerful tool. If you have any questions about it, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or Instagram @contimporary. I also really loved that we got to chat about the fact that money conversations are so taboo.
57:20 In 2018, whenever I wrote down all of my debt and figured out exactly how much money I owed, I had $88,000 worth of debt. I posted a video just confessing that and sort of shaming myself. Not necessarily really shaming myself, but just normalizing it for other people.
57:45 Because so few people talk about things related to money that we go our whole lives or most of our lives kind of blind. Whenever it's so easy and there's so much content about money out there and all you have to do is talk about it and you can change your life.
58:05 You can change the lives of people around you. And that's what, honestly, I really hope just if you take one thing away from this show, anything from this podcast, that it helps you grow and that you get to share it with somebody else, whatever it is, take a fact you learned today and just pass it along.
58:28 Because as soon as you open up that door about money conversations it might be difficult, especially if money is a struggle, but at the end of the day, it will make your life so much better whenever you just face it. Face the money, and get in control of the money yourself.
58:48 As Tiffany said, her favorite book, Your Money or Your Life and Time Versus Money. It all comes together and you have to make a choice. Everything you do is a trade off. And with that, I'm going to let you go for tonight or today, whenever you're listening, walking the dog at the gym, on your drive to work or just doing dishes at home, whatever it might be.
59:15 Thank you so much for listening, and until next time, I'm Tim Winfred with the I Should Have Learned this Sooner Podcast. Check me out on Instagram and Twitter at contemporary and I will see you soon.
59:28 Bye bye. Music for this podcast comes from FilmMusic IO Acid trumpet by Kevin McLeod incompotech.org, licensed by creativecommons.org slash licenses slash by 4.0.