On board the podcast today is Sherry, better known as the SaverSpender from her Instagram channel, and her blog savespendsplurge.com. We talk about her 13 year journey to Financial Independence and how she became a millionaire in her 30s
“I am my own sugar momma”Sherry, SaverSpender
Sherry lives in Canada – the northern hemisphere’s much colder version of Australia. Today we are talking aboot the reflections from Sherry’s journey to financial Independence, and the powerful lessons she can pass on for us still working towards FI
Sherry started her financial journey much like anyone else – graduating in 2006 at age 23 with enourmous amounts of student debt and into a less than satisfying working role. Working in Science Technology Engineering and Maths, Sherry realised if she quit her job and freelanced that she could make more money and pay her student loans off faster.
By 2008 she did just that – pulling the pin on her traditional career, and trading off the stability for flexibility and higher pay. In doing so, she was able to quadruple her income to $260,000 and become debt free by the end of the year. In 2010 she hit the awesome milestone of a $100,000 net worth, and was hooked. She started side incomes and watched her Net Worth rapidly climb.
Eight years later in 2018, she became work optional and then in 2019, became a millionaire at the age of 36. All in all Sherry worked 13 years to become a millionaire, and now commands an impressive freelance income when she chooses to work.
Sherry is an accomplished author and blogger, having published several books on finance, investing, web design and social media management, as well as running her successful website and instagram channels. Sherry lives in Montreal with her partner where they are raising their child together, and enjoying the benefits of an early ‘work optional’ or ‘semi-retirement’ lifestyle.
Financial Independence with Sherry
- Check out Sherry on Instagram on her page @SaverSpender
- Check out Sherry’s awesome Blog Save Spend Splurge
- Check out Sherry’s books at https://www.likeabossbooks.com/
Financial Independence with Sherry
CaptainFI: [00:00:00] Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome aboard captain fi the financial independence podcast.
[00:00:25] Welcome to an episode of captain fire, the financial independence podcast, where I opened the cockpit for some of the best and brightest in personal finance, as well as those who’ve reached or are on their way to financial independence
[00:00:42] on board today. Sherry better known as the saver spender from her Instagram channel and her blog. Save, [email protected]. Now Sherri lives in Canada, which is the Northern hemisphere is much colder version of Australia, but the financial landscape is actually very similar to what it’s like here in ALS.
[00:01:06] Today, we’re going to be talking all about the reflections of Sherry’s journey to financial independence and some of the powerful lessons and experience she can pass on to those of us still working towards financial independence. So how did she, so what was Sherry’s journey like? It started off much like anyone else.
[00:01:30] She graduated in 2006 age 23 with enormous, off student debt into a, less than flexible working role, working in science, technology, engineering, and maths. Sherri soon realized that if she quit her job and freelanced, that she could make more money and pay off her student loans quicker. So in 2008, two years later, she did just that she pulled the pin on her traditional career path, trading off the stability for more flexibility and higher pay in doing so.
[00:02:08] Now this is the bid that amazes me. She was able to quadruple her income to over $260,000. She became debt-free by the end of the year and started tracking her net worth in 2010. She hit the awesome milestone of the first hundred thousand, which as Charlie Munger will tell you, it’s a bit of a. Pain in the bum to get that first a hundred thousand, she was hooked.
[00:02:40] So she actually started multiple site incomes to compliment her freelancing income and watched her net worth rapidly climb. Eight years later, 2018 Sherry became work optional. And the following year in 2019, she retained a millionaire all at the age of 36. All in all Sherry’s working career after graduating was 13 years to become a millionaire.
[00:03:09] And she still now commands and impressive freelance income whenever she chooses to work throughout her working career, Sharon became an accomplished author and blogger having published several books on finance, investing, web design, and even social media management. Of course, as well as running her successful websites and Instagram channels share email lives in Montreal with her partner where they’re raising their child together.
[00:03:43] They enjoy the benefits of an early work optional or semi retirement lifestyle. And couldn’t be happier. How are you
[00:03:52] Sherry: [00:03:52] going? Hi, how’s it going? Not too bad with me.
[00:03:55] CaptainFI: [00:03:55] Okay. It’s shaping up to be a wonderful day. Your on the other side of the world, aren’t you Sherry?
[00:04:01] Sherry: [00:04:01] Yeah, so I’m from Montreal, but I grew up in Toronto.
[00:04:04]For me, the weather here is actually more, I would say inclement than being in Toronto, seeing as Toronto is more landlocked and here I’m basically surrounded by water because Montreal is an Island.
[00:04:18] CaptainFI: [00:04:18] Oh, wonderful. So I guess with a mild, or whether you might be getting out in a boot,
[00:04:24] Sherry: [00:04:24] a boot milder, no, this is not mild weather here in Montreal.
[00:04:27] You get a lot of snow and we don’t have as much money as Torontonians. So they tend not to clear the snow in a timely manner. But also with COVID, I’m just, I’m not leaving the house unless it’s for a doctor’s appointment or. I’m on death’s door.
[00:04:41] CaptainFI: [00:04:41] It’s been a bit tricky here as well.
[00:04:44] Sherry: [00:04:44] I like that. By the way.
[00:04:45] Nobody says a bird year. Nobody, especially not in Quebec. Give back, get
[00:04:51] CaptainFI: [00:04:51] it. Oh yeah. Everybody’s ah, you don’t understand hate, you don’t know what hates life has been. Yeah, and I think it’s the opposite, isn’t it? Everyone’s Oh, I’m so cold and Canadians. They’re like, Oh, you don’t know what cold is.
[00:05:05] Have you been to Canada? It’s minus 40 years. That’s exactly
[00:05:08] Sherry: [00:05:08] it. That’s exactly how we feel. I don’t know if you work in Celsius, but it gets down to minus 20 here. Yeah. Oh yeah.
[00:05:18] CaptainFI: [00:05:18] Opposite ends of the spectrum here. But fortunately we are both on the same end of another spectrum, which is financial independence. So I have been fanboying your blog and your Instagram for quite a while. I’ve read almost all of your books. I wish I found them 12 months earlier. Seriously. They’re really helpful.
[00:05:45]And yeah, it’s great to finally be chatting to you, really
[00:05:49] Sherry: [00:05:49] excited about this. No, I did not. I said about
[00:05:57] CaptainFI: [00:05:57] food. I stopped to look for the benefit of listeners who maybe like me, haven’t been following you for the past 12 plus months. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself where you’re from some of your upbringing and what do you do and what are some of your hobbies?
[00:06:16] Sherry: [00:06:16] Okay. You all know that I’m from Montreal, Canada, but I actually grew up in Toronto. I work as a consultant in STEM, which is science, technology, engineering, and math. I know it’s very vague, but that’s all I’m going to say on that subject because I reveal quite a bit more. About myself than maybe a normal person would, if they had shown their face and, talked about their family and that sort of thing.
[00:06:39]Because I’m so transparent on everything else, I don’t want to be recognized and I’d rather stay fairly anonymous. Don’t please don’t DM me asking me what hobbies for me. Yeah. Pretty normal. I like to read, I like to make money. It’s one of my hobbies making money. I also like fashion and style.
[00:07:01] So I’m one of those people that you would think, Oh my gosh, she must be such a spendaholic. She just goes around and spends all of her money. She’s a debt. Look at the thing she’s wearing and what she’s buying and so on, but that could not be farther from the truth. I just don’t say anything, but I do enjoy shopping and style a lot, which I think a lot of people think are at odds with being financially independent.
[00:07:22] But I think that both can be achieved. It’s just a question of what you’re willing to do. To get to either, or as for reading this year, I’ve already hit 200 books and I’m probably going to read another 10 more this month and maybe another 10 more. Oh, wait. We’re already in December. Okay. So I’m probably going to read another, maybe 10 more for December.
[00:07:44] So let’s see 210 books, maybe 212, which is a banner year for me. Usually I only read about a hundred a year. And then I’m going to start working soon. So I won’t actually have time to read as much as I really want to. Other than that I really like food. I don’t know if you can call that a hobby, but I like to read biographies and chefs.
[00:08:03] I like to watch all the cooking shows you name it. I’ve probably watched it including iron chef Japan. And I I just I love to eat food. I’m not a great cook, but I’m a very enthusiastic dinner guest. If you ever want to invite me over to eat food, I will make happy noises and praise you for how brilliant you are.
[00:08:24] And you’ll invite me back for even more food, which is the whole point of me saying that I’m going to be an enthusiastic dinner guest. Aside from that, there’s not much that is going on with me, got a six year old and full-time mom, that’s it.
[00:08:42] CaptainFI: [00:08:42] 210 books.
[00:08:46] Sherry: [00:08:46] That’s the plan I’m already at 200 and something, but the goal I think will be 210, maybe 215, by the end of 20,
[00:08:54] CaptainFI: [00:08:54] I’m just going to put it out there and say, 200 books.
[00:08:57] It’s pretty impressive. And 210 books. He’s very impressive. So look, I actually like reading as well, but you’ve totally put me to shame. We read, one book a month, maybe two books a month at best. So Holy moly. We’ll touch on this a bit later because I definitely want your top recommendations for books.
[00:09:22] I do have a bit of a rolling total of a reading list and things that I’ve found really inspiring and influential. So it sounds like you are going to have some great tips when it comes to reading resources down the track. Secondly, if you ever want to come down under to Australia are more than happy to show you Australian Outback cooking.
[00:09:43]We’ll get the campfire.
[00:09:47] Get some damn Pogon. We’ll get the camp half an hour. Spoiler alert camp cooking is not fancy, but it’s a, it’s very hearty. If it’s
[00:09:56] Sherry: [00:09:56] delicious, I don’t care what it looks like. We’re
[00:09:58] CaptainFI: [00:09:58] getting the Billy out and I’ll get you to swing a T Billy. So now this is interesting. You can get into some Australiana and you can have a read of some of the old Australian nursery rhymes and stories like folklore, like waltzing, Matilda.
[00:10:15] And they’ll talk a little bit about the Billy can, it’s essentially a teapot, the way that you boil the Billy on the campfire, you put your tea leaves in it, and then you spin it around really fast in a big circle with your arms out stretch. And the theory is it pushes all the tea leaves to the bottom of the belly, and then you can pour yourself a nice cup of
[00:10:36] Sherry: [00:10:36] tea.
[00:10:37] I feel like you’re making this up just to make people spin around really quickly and make themselves look like Google. Right now, Google this later.
[00:10:49] CaptainFI: [00:10:49] Hey, I could see how this sounds fake, but I assure you this after we do the spinning of the tea, I think that’s really a proper name for it.
[00:10:57]I’ll take you how to prepare yourself to stay safe from hoop snakes and drop bears. Oh, God threats in the Outback.
[00:11:06] Sherry: [00:11:06] Got it. All right. Be prepared.
[00:11:10] CaptainFI: [00:11:10] Like I said, always absolutely amazed when I first discovered your account now. If I’m honest, when I first discovered your account, I initially was turned off because I saw your title spend, say, now
[00:11:29] Sherry: [00:11:29] save comes first.
[00:11:31] I saved first. Then I spend, and then I go over my budget and I splurge.
[00:11:37] CaptainFI: [00:11:37] We’re not a sore. And I had a quick look through your feed. I was like, ah, this is a spending account. And I was like, so with financial independence and buying stocks and living frugally, then I was like, Oh no, this is, she’s just going against the.
[00:11:54] Being frugal. And then somebody, I kept seeing people tag you being tagged in posts, or they’d be sharing your stuff. And I finally was like, Oh, I’ll have another look at it. And then I realized that it was, we were actually on the same wavelength and it was all financial documents.
[00:12:13] Sherry: [00:12:13] Yes. And basically anybody who talks about money and cares about financial independence is on the same wavelength.
[00:12:19] We all know what we are all talking about and we just do it in different ways. That’s all
[00:12:25] CaptainFI: [00:12:25] exactly. And it was awesome. So I got into your Yours Instagram as reading all your posts. I jumped onto your blog had a rate of some of your blog posts. And then, I was amazed to see how you, what did you quadruple your income in under two years?
[00:12:43]Sherry: [00:12:43] I started working out of school for initial, initially the job offer was 50,000 and I flat out, just went for it and said, I’m a mercenary. And I will go with whatever company pays me the most. I told this to all of the job offers that I got and one of them came back with, okay, we’re going to bump it up 30%.
[00:13:03] So they gave me 65 and that’s what I started at. Then after I worked at 65,000 for about a year and a half, I saw an opportunity to quit. And go as a freelancer and I rage quit. And I think that following weekend, after I rage quit and I, and then of course I panicked when I reached quit. I thought, what am I doing?
[00:13:27] I’m such an idiot. And there’s $2,000 in the bank account. And I have student loan stuff to pay, but I had a feeling that if I didn’t try this now, I would never do it. So I did it. And the following Monday, I got a contract and I think I banked 90,003 months. So that was it. That was my turning point. I never looked.
[00:13:46] CaptainFI: [00:13:46] That’s pretty incredible. You even went one further than that you diversified your income into, was it over 10 different streams of income?
[00:13:56] Sherry: [00:13:56] Yeah. So it depends on how you break it down. If you just say blog in general, or you can break it down to three streams there, so there’s advertising there’s affiliate and then there’s products that are being sold.
[00:14:06] So that’s three, but under the banner of, blog, which is just one then I think it really all just started during the recession during 2009, 2010, I thought to myself, I can’t believe I’m sitting at home freaking out because I was, I didn’t, I just come back from a year long trip on Yolo around the world.
[00:14:26] And I thought that I would be able to snap up another contract pretty easily, but that was not the case. I came back right at a recession and it took me about two years to find another contract. And in those two years I was biting my nails, not spending any money. I spent the least amount I’ve ever spent in my life.
[00:14:43] I think something like 20, 20, $3,000 that year. And I was just freaking out. I thought, this is not what I expected. This is, I thought I would make good money, but if I have such lean periods like this, I’m going to go anxious and go crazy easy, try to figure out what I’m going to do, because I just can’t do this.
[00:15:02] I need some sort of income coming in. And that’s when I started working on the side incomes. I have about 11 now, 12, if you include my day job, which I barely work out, 12 let’s say in total. And from there, I just started building up all these different things of making money, because the thing is that one of my hobbies and I said it half jokingly, but I really do making money.
[00:15:24] I see money everywhere I go. I see ideas. I see plans. The only thing holding me back from doing everything that I want to do is work. And I’m very lazy. So when I see something that I know can make money, I think, wow, that’s a lot of work. I have to do this, and generally speaking, I’m not that excited about the idea to put in all of that work.
[00:15:46] So even though I see lots of money making ideas, it doesn’t mean I’m jumping at everything, but it is one of my hobbies making money. Even now, when I’m doing my upcycling of jewelry, some people have asked me, are you going to start selling these pieces? And I guess I can. But I, it’s another moneymaking opportunity, unity right there.
[00:16:02] It’s just upcycling jewelry and selling, and people actually pay money for upcycled pieces, especially if they’re unique. Interesting, beautiful, whatever. So I guess the whole point of this ramble is that you can make money with anything. It’s just a question of what you’re willing to do. To get that money.
[00:16:19] And if it’s worth the time that you’re putting into it, and if you actually enjoy doing it, which I think is the most important piece of it, because you’re not going to care about it. If you’re not able to actually put your heart and soul into it. And that’s where people fall flat, when it comes to coming up beside and comes inside households, they think that they could just, start a blog and suddenly start making $600 a month.
[00:16:41] It doesn’t work like that. You need to spend time working on it. You need to research, you need to write content. You need to think of, what’s interesting. You have to come up with images, you have to edit everything. You have to respond to comments. You know what I’m talking about? You run a blog too.
[00:16:56] So it’s one of those things where it’s just a matter of work. And people think that jobs or side hustles are things that are easily built overnight, but they’re not. And it took me over a decade to get to where I am today and that starting in 2009, 2010. So what you see now is from a decade of work.
[00:17:14] Not that I just started a blog and overnight I’m making what I’m making.
[00:17:21] CaptainFI: [00:17:21] I can definitely relate to that. And yeah, I probably spend far too much time on my mind as well. It’s, I think you’re a natural born entrepreneur Sherry, because I really like I’m hearing what you’re saying about, you’re seeing dollar signs everywhere.
[00:17:37] I can relate to that. And one of the most powerful messages, that I took out of some of the books that I’ve read I guess specifically rich dad, poor dad, and also Vicky Robbins, your money or your life was the power of assets, passive income. And the fact that money. And time is interchangeable.
[00:17:59] So similar to you when I see an opportunity and you said, Oh, I see the opportunity to make money, but I see it as work. I see that opportunity to make money. And I see it similarly as time because I’m seeing, you need to invest time to make money, to get back time. So it’s all this big trade-off and, I think it’s pretty inspiring to see how, 11 sources of income, like I think you’re pretty safe there.
[00:18:30]The only ones
[00:18:31] Sherry: [00:18:31] I care about are the really passive ones and those ones take a lot of time. So dividends. Private. Yeah, exactly. Bank interest, that stuff, the stuff that, the incomes that I truly care about take too much time or more time than let’s say 10 years, because let’s say for a 1% return on dividends, you need about a million dollars invested who has a million dollars overnight to invest, to get dividends.
[00:18:56] Nobody. So in the meantime, you have to come up with other ways to get income, to get to that goal sooner. And then once you reach that goal, you can just say goodbye to all of these things you don’t want to ever do anymore. Things that maybe are not your passion. One day maybe blogging will never be my passion again, and I don’t have to do it anymore.
[00:19:14] I’ll just sell it. Like I did my other blogs. But it’s one of those things where I think about. What it takes to get to what I really want. And my end goal is truly passive income. The kind where I wake up in the morning and I’ve already made a thousand dollars. That’s the kind of income I’m aiming for where I have done absolutely nothing.
[00:19:33] And my money makes money for itself. That’s my ultimate goal.
[00:19:38] CaptainFI: [00:19:38] It’s a great goal. I remember waking up not that long ago and checking my checking my ad sense account and, it had made $10 when I lost, I was sleeping and I just, I thought it was amazing. It was yeah. Good
[00:19:53] Sherry: [00:19:53] rush. Yeah.
[00:19:59] CaptainFI: [00:19:59] Sherry. What gave you the idea to start writing? Because first up your Instagram was great. It’s really playful. You’re quite sharp witted and very playful and funny. And when I jumped onto the blog again, it was, I could really see your personality through your writing was quite easy to read. And having then I got onto your your books that you’ve published and they were really helpful for me.
[00:20:25]We can talk more about the books later, but Jay’s, I wish I had those 12 months ago when I was just doing, but the social media and particularly, again, even more important was the how to start a blog like a boss, like that was just chockers full of great gouge. Such an incredible hurdle to even just start writing, let alone publish your own books.
[00:20:52] How did you start and what keeps you motivated to write?
[00:20:56] Sherry: [00:20:56] I, you know what? I started with another blog over 10 years ago, right? About the time I was getting out of debt, because it was the thing to do blogs, believe it or not back then were very hot. They were the Tesla of today. So it was everybody had a MySpace page and this page at that page and blogs and in particular, where were the medium of content?
[00:21:18] We didn’t have Instagram. There was no Facebook. We walked up the snow both ways and up the Hill, both ways and snow with spikes on our feet kind of situation. And. It’s one of those things where I thought I better Chronicle this because I feel like there’s a story here. And if I miserably, everybody will love to read it because everybody loves drama and a train wreck.
[00:21:41] And if I do really well and I get lots of advice from this and it benefits me in the end, right? So I started a blog. I just started writing about it and I would post random thoughts the way that I do today, but a lot less sophisticated. I had a lot of opinions back then, far more than I do today. And I was a lot more close-minded.
[00:22:00] So there was a real learning process to come up against people with different opinions other than my own. And it’s something that I wish I could tell my younger self back then is to be more open-minded and to just calm down. But I just started writing because I thought, why not? Why not start something who knows if I can make money off this?
[00:22:19] And I remember getting even one penny. From ad sense. And I was so happy. I thought, Kenny, Oh my goodness. Look at that free money. But of course all the time. Yeah. Did you put into writing does not equal even a 10th of minimum wage? If I were to have picked up a job at Starbucks or something, but it was still more fun than slinging a coffee at Starbucks.
[00:22:40] So I thought, let’s keep at this and I just got better and better at writing from all the readers that were challenging me as well as of course haters. But I just felt like there was something that was in me and I wanted to write about it. I wanted to get it out there. And when I was pregnant, I decided that I didn’t have time because I knew that newborns were a lot of work at babies in general.
[00:23:06] Weren’t a lot of work. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do all of this. So I sold everything. I had three blogs at the time. I think. I sold it all for five figures. I don’t know if I can disclose the number. I don’t remember the agreements I signed, but I sold it for quite a chunk of money to, to a couple of local Montrealers actually.
[00:23:23] And I got out of it completely and I thought, okay that’s it. That phase of my life is over. All my writing is done. I’m out, I can do whatever I want with my life. Now I’m not beholden to having to listen to people, call me names or I’ll do all this other stuff, or even all the lovely, great things that people say.
[00:23:39]It’s a lot of work being a semi-public kind of person online and taking all of that. But then two weeks went by and I have to tell you, I had never been. So bored in my life. So incredibly bored. I just, I, it was like, I was shaking, because it was just, you’re just so addicted to writing that when you stop it, you either are relieved that you don’t have to do it anymore, which was not my case.
[00:24:05] Or you thinking maybe I’ll just, I’ll start another one, another blog, but I don’t blog as much as before. Cause I was doing daily blogging before. Maybe I’ll just do it once a week. Yeah. So that didn’t last long. And I started blogging every day again, and I’m actually scheduled until the end of February almost twice a day now until the end of February.
[00:24:28] And it’s one of those, hallelujah moments where I thought this is it. I actually really enjoy writing. I enjoy writing. I like. Coming up with an idea and think of just having something pop in my head, either a discussion I had with a friend or whoever else or something that makes me really angry on the internet.
[00:24:47] And I want to talk about it because I have nobody else unleash this on because my partner is not interested in the slightest in any social media, in any pop culture, in any of these issues, except the ones that we talk about, like racism and so on. So he’s actually not great to talk about when I want to expound on the fact that I bought a second hand designed your coat.
[00:25:10] Like he doesn’t care, but other people care other people on the internet care. And I get lots of great comments back. So it’s almost like having a community of people to talk to. And I missed all of these people and some of these readers and followers have been, Oh, gee, Followers from 10 years ago. Can you believe this from 10 years ago, they’re still following me.
[00:25:33] And when they tell me this, I say, Oh, bless your heart. I can’t believe you lasted this long, but it’s one of those things I realized it’s a vocation and Elizabeth Gilbert. If anybody wants to Google her Ted talk talks about what a job, a career, a vocation. And I can’t remember the last, what the last one is, but this writing thing, whatever you want to call it, blogging or writing books.
[00:25:54] And so on. This is a vocation. I enjoy it. It’s a passion. I can’t stop. I only tried for two weeks and I went mental. So now that I know that I love to write and I love to get go kitchens because I can’t keep my big mouth shut. This is just something that’s now part of my life. And I keep saying to myself, maybe when I get really old, like 80, maybe I want to stop.
[00:26:18] But maybe not, maybe I’m literally going to write until the day I die. Who knows, but at least I’m having fun doing it. And I’ve always promised myself the day that I start having fun writing is the data I’m going to stop. And so far that day has not arrived. So that’s, hopefully I keep going.
[00:26:37] CaptainFI: [00:26:37] It’s awesome that you’ve been able to combine, some of your passions and hobbies one being the making money and second being the writing. Now I’m very terrible at French, but you did mention you’re from Montreal. So does that mean you found your race on Detra or how do you pronounce that plays
[00:26:58] Sherry: [00:26:58] on that
[00:27:05] CaptainFI: [00:27:05] laughed at if I’ll get laughed at, if I ever tried to speak brain
[00:27:10] Sherry: [00:27:10] laughing at me now with my accent, so don’t worry about it.
[00:27:14]CaptainFI: [00:27:14] That’s okay. We’re just both on the same spectrum yet. So how do you actually go about publishing a blog and, or publishing a book? It sounds really daunting, like big publishing companies meetings with executives, editors people.
[00:27:35]Sherry: [00:27:35] No. None of I did none of that because I am deep down extremely cheap. So when you’re very cheap, like I’m sure you can relate to you learn how to do things on your own. Cause I remember hearing about you figuring out how to do that retaining wall on your own. And that’s the same kind of attitude that I have towards pretty much everything.
[00:27:56] So I always think to myself, am I able to do this on my own? If somebody else can self publish a book, why can’t I, I don’t understand what makes them so different. So because I have that attitude, which I call the. White male, rich white man attitude. I always think to myself, I can learn how to do this.
[00:28:14] I’m going to learn how to do it. And if I can’t do it, then I’ll pay somebody for it. But why not try and figure out how it works first. So I always tend to figure out how it works first. And that’s when I started realizing that they said I could actually just do it myself by reading a couple of articles.
[00:28:32] So that’s literally what I did. I went to Amazon and I saw that they had a self publishing option. And from there with the self publishing option, I read through all of their articles. They have thousands and thousands of articles on how to publish your own book. They tell you the trim size. They tell you the layout.
[00:28:50]There’s just so much information there. It is very difficult to be able to. Screw it up if you’re really paying attention and I did screw it up, which is why I wrote a book on it, but you just have to learn what it takes to publish it. And they even have a walkthrough of how to upload your book in what format and so on.
[00:29:11] And I’m fairly good with Microsoft prod project Microsoft products in general. So I already know how to use Excel. I already know how to use word, and I knew how to format books and play with margins and that sort of thing. So from there, it was just trial and error. And I think my first book published took me a good six months before I figured out how to do it properly, which is why I documented it and then wrote a book on how to do it so that nobody has to ever go through what I had to go through.
[00:29:41] And from there I realized how easy it was. So I started creating templates, which I started, writing other books that went with. With what I thought would make sense for what I thought people might want to know how to do publish a book, write a blog up their social media game on Instagram, in particular, all these things that I’ve learned.
[00:30:02]I can write a post about it. I can talk about it on Instagram, but there’s nothing like having an actual resource that has everything in it to refer to versus trying to sift through posts or things to try and figure out how to piece it all together. Because I’m one of those people that likes the whole process.
[00:30:18] I like to know from start to finish, what do I do? Give me step one. What is step one? And then from there go through a checklist. So I’ve written a lot of my books in the same sort of structure where people can just go down the list one by one, that’s figuring out each topic. And then by the end of it, you’ll have a book or you’ll have a blog or whatever it is that I’ve written the books on.
[00:30:40] And. The thing about self publishing is that when you do that, you’re not going to get that massive budget of public relations, which I was perfectly fine with. Because if you go with a big publishing house, they’re going to put a lot of money towards it, where they’ll have publicity events. They’ll have you for book signings and bookstores.
[00:31:00] They’ll fly you to different places at different cities to sign books and so on. They’ll get you on TV shows. They’ll get you talking about this. They’ll get you on some bestseller list and all that. And I don’t want any of that because again, because I’m anonymous, I don’t care for people to know who I am, frankly.
[00:31:18] And self publishing seemed like really the only option, because otherwise I’d have to start revealing a lot more about myself and even showing up in person for book signings and so on. So that’s the real beauty of being a self published person is that you can stay anonymous, you can do it yourself and, make a couple hundred bucks on the side if you’d like, but if you want something that’s much bigger than that, then you can try and go with a publishing house meetings with executives and all that stuff that you mentioned.
[00:31:45] But that means having to also accept the life of a, Hey, I’m a writer. Now, this is what I do. And that’s not me at all. Writing for me is a side thing. It’s something that I enjoy doing. And I just happen to also be able to make a little bit of money off it, but it’s not my career. So I think that’s the difference that we have to differentiate between self-publishing and actually going with a publishing house.
[00:32:09] Which I think is what you asked.
[00:32:12] CaptainFI: [00:32:12] It sounds a bit more manageable after you’ve explained that. And so how many books are you up to now? Cause you’ve got quite a few,
[00:32:21]Sherry: [00:32:21] Six, six, but I was supposed to work on a seventh one. I just haven’t dumped down to find any energy for this.
[00:32:27] CaptainFI: [00:32:27] Okay. So let’s step
[00:32:28] Sherry: [00:32:28] through them.
[00:32:29] So the first one is start a blog like a boss. So that’s that technical book that you mentioned, and it goes from creating a blog literally from scratch from what’s your idea, what’s your strategy. And then I walk you through the entire technical setup. I’m talking FTP servers to web hosting, to domain names, like everything, technical that you can think of, that you might be intimidated by this book.
[00:32:55] We’ll have a screenshot for it. And if I don’t, you can always message me, but I’m pretty sure I covered everything because I’ve done probably about 10 websites now. And each website’s pretty much the same. It’s just a question of a different angle or a different topic. Okay,
[00:33:13] CaptainFI: [00:33:13] can I just quickly chime in there, Sherry.
[00:33:15] Now I recently interviewed a couple Matt and Liz rod who are, I guess you’d call them some pretty inspiring entrepreneurs. They started in physical business manufacturing and they moved into websites. They’re doing really well. So I interviewed them and talked a little bit about them and the course that I am now doing through them.
[00:33:38] And a lot of people messaged me being like, Oh, is this, is this a scam it’s quite expensive? Is it worth it? And first of all, I’d say yes, but if you’re not ready to make that kind of a commitment, all I would say is it’s pretty amazing that a lot of the information that can be learned in that course is actually contained in your book.
[00:34:01] Now I wish I actually found your book, how to. 12 months ago, I’m honestly serious because it’s such a good step-by-step guide. And I can’t believe that I was like, Oh, 10, $10 or whatever it was for the book. I’ll be honest with you. I would have, I reckon there’s a hundred dollars or more where the value, just in terms of an actual book.
[00:34:27] Obviously, if you’re going to use that and you’re going to implement all the lessons in that book that, that $10 investment into your ebook, can make you, if you’re going to put the time, you can make thousands of dollars a month, but I guess it is important to say you do need to put the time in and the value of having, doing a course, is it, I guess you can ask questions.
[00:34:50]But it’s incredibly generous of you to put that out there that if people get stuck, they can message you. Now you might get overwhelmed with inboxes
[00:34:59] Sherry: [00:34:59] sharing, then I’ll just send them all to spam. No joke. I promise I won’t I do tend to try and respond back, but if the question is going to take me more than half an hour, Then I may redirect you elsewhere as into another book or to another person that would be more technical and would be able to answer your question.
[00:35:19] Like I can’t code. Okay. I can’t program, I can’t code. So this book is for dummies literal dummies, like myself who cannot code or program. And that’s the mindset I went into, what I wrote it. I thought of myself and I thought, how stupid was I when I first started? And this is what the stupid leader wanted to know.
[00:35:36] And that’s what I created.
[00:35:41] CaptainFI: [00:35:41] Maybe a, another option. You could start up a Facebook group and try and get a community of people that can all answer each other’s questions as well.
[00:35:50] Sherry: [00:35:50] That’s actually a really good idea. Yeah. Oh, absolutely. This is all work when you’re saying all of this, I’m thinking this is a wonderful idea.
[00:35:59] Forum of Facebook page, a Facebook group. And then I just see work because then you have to moderate all of this and so on. So for now, I’m just going to say people can message me. And if it gets crazy, I might move on to another platform and say, okay, everybody messaged yourselves.
[00:36:17] CaptainFI: [00:36:17] So were you guys, you get some really good advice from someone who has made over 10 websites who’s sold websites and made quite a money, both income, and also capital lump sum from actually selling website.
[00:36:33] Take it from me, someone who I’m currently running a portfolio of six websites. Now I’m starting to, turn over a few thousand dollars a month. I found that book incredibly useful. You’ve literally got nothing to lose. And if you’re worrying over 10 bucks, like WhatsApp, literally rotary John one UPF verges, right?
[00:36:53] Sherry: [00:36:53] Follow-up books. Don’t forget, you also might need to have a social media presence. So I’ve also written a Instagram for dummies book, which I wish I had when I first started, because I can tell you, I reached something like a thousand posts before I realized what I was doing was completely wrong.
[00:37:10] I had to redo my whole strategy, which is why I wrote the book again for dummies like myself. And I also have a third one, which I think some people might find very interesting is how to stay anonymous online. I’ve done it over about a decade now, and I haven’t revealed myself and I don’t ever plan to.
[00:37:26] So there are some trick tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years of how to, basically keep the regular Joe or Jane off your back. It’s called a stay anonymous online, like a boss. And then you’ve also mentioned that I do have a published a book like a boss, which is my whole foray into eBooks and physical publishing.
[00:37:48] And then the last two are just money-related. So we have managing money like a boss, which is a general money book for anybody. It doesn’t matter what really, what country you’re from. It’s just the book that I wish I had. I wrote that book for my 16 year old self that ended up with $500 in her bank account and 60 K in debt.
[00:38:06]By the time she graduated college. So that there’s that book. And then the investing money like a boss, one is just mostly for Canadians. It goes into how to read a stock ticker symbol, and basically what basic investing is, and the fact that you don’t need a PhD and you don’t need to be a finance bro to actually invest your money easily and without any stress at all.
[00:38:27] So those are six books that I have in general and I’m working on the seventh. And when I say working in air quotes because I haven’t actually written and supposed to be small businesses and how to basically start a small business and figure out how to see all the different side hustles or side income that you could cultivate to create site incomes for your life.
[00:38:53] But I haven’t started it. So don’t get excited. I may never have here.
[00:38:58]CaptainFI: [00:38:58] I’m looking forward to having having a rate of it that Sherry, I think I might be out of here. Little bond in the
[00:39:04] Sherry: [00:39:04] background. Yes. He is unable to stay away from me. And he knows that at four o’clock or my time Eastern time, I was supposed to have been finished this call.
[00:39:14] So he came into the door, he knocked and then he came in and went. So now he’s playing with Snapchat. So that way. He’s entertained. He’s just buying me, it’s one of those things where I don’t know if you have pets. So if you’ve ever had pets before, but they just want to be near you and children are very much the same.
[00:39:34] So he just wants to be near me on my lap. He wants to physically see me physically touch me. And then I just hand him a device and say, here you go, please be quiet.
[00:39:47] CaptainFI: [00:39:47] It’s beautiful. Yeah. I’ve got my my dog. She she’s got to be everywhere. I am. She’s wonderful. She’s just sitting next to me. Yeah. And look, I actually, I can’t wait to be a dad.
[00:39:57] That’s been one of my major motivations. No, Mr. 10
[00:40:01] Sherry: [00:40:01] kids with one woman, the son, you better find somebody who is as gung-ho about children as you are because 10 children is a lot.
[00:40:11] CaptainFI: [00:40:11] It might be a little bit ambitious. I’m from a big family myself, but look, I’d settle for anything that I can get, but a big family would be great.
[00:40:19] Yeah. Yeah. You
[00:40:20] Sherry: [00:40:20] know what? I had the same ambition too. When I wanted to start a family, I said, minimum four kids. That’s what I told myself. And then after we had our first, I said, you know what, maybe this is not for me, but you’re right. Having a lot of it would be wonderful. It’s just, I think it’s harder for me in particular, just because I don’t have a lot of family around here, especially in Montreal.
[00:40:42] I’m very isolated. It’s just myself, my partner and my son, there are no aunts, no uncles or cousins, no close family, friends. They’re all in Ontario or they’re all in Europe. So not having that help, I think makes us very reticent to have more children. And in fact, we’re one and done. So we’ve already decided that our son will be the only child that we will have.
[00:41:03] But if our family lived closer, I think my decision may have been different. I probably, I would have had at least another child, but without that kind of help. I’m not interested in it. And also I know people are always saying, Hey, you can hire a nanny. You can hire outside help. Yes. But I don’t want to.
[00:41:21] So it’s one of those things where I also, I grew up with a nanny, so I’m not very keen on the idea just from my bad experiences with nannies. Which is the reason why for us, just one child was I think enough for our little family and having lots of kids I think would be wonderful.
[00:41:37] Especially if you have all that help that you have around you, which it sounds like you do. I think that would be
[00:41:42] CaptainFI: [00:41:42] great. It’s a really important discussion to have. And, since I’ve been a little bit more vocal about, my desire to become a dad and, meet someone special and raise a family, it’s actually started a really important discussion online between me and some of my listeners and followers and some of my close friends.
[00:42:04] To all talking around, I guess the concept of equality, consent and choices. I started I’ve, I’ve mentioned this on my blog, but two of my sisters and again, I come from a very big family, but two of my sisters are both PhDs and have studied family, like quite extensively.
[00:42:24] And. I’m opening my mind a little bit more with some of the literature that I’ve been getting into, especially around the whole discussion point of, starting a family and the patriarch and understanding that, how you need it is a, be unreasonable to expect, Hey, I’m going to find a woman and we’re going to have, six kids.
[00:42:43]You have no rights over women’s body. And it’s really, yeah, it’s a two way. It’s a two way thing, isn’t it? You need to find someone who wants to have that, has that same goal and same desire. And
[00:42:56] Sherry: [00:42:56] what, there are a lot of women out there who are like that. I know a couple of people who want as many kids as they can have, so it’s not like it’s impossible or that all women don’t want to have that many children.
[00:43:06] It’s more finding, like you said, the right person that has the same view like that. They really want a big family. And I think that’s wonderful.
[00:43:17]CaptainFI: [00:43:17] Going through some of these books, though, it’s really opened my eyes to just how powerful financial independence can be for women and, without sounding too mansplaining here women get significantly disadvantaged in our culture.
[00:43:33]Whether we’re talking about, the glass ceiling sexism issues at work and also just general cultural issues, women often get the short end of the stick when it comes to money, like finance can be such a powerful. Tool for independence and for a lot of women to, take that power back.
[00:43:53] My mom, for example, she had to leave an abusive relationship. She left she took all those kids. We left the farm and we moved we moved a long way away. And mum didn’t have really any support. She didn’t have any money. We left with basically some backpacks with clothes and the car, and that was even, she had to start again.
[00:44:14]And so my dad in that respect was quite financially abusive. To her and, to her credit, she managed to completely overcome this. And whilst initially it meant, living in poverty or below the poverty line she was really able to make it work. So when I see when I think people like you Sherry that are blogging about this and posting about it talking about financial empowerment and how women can take back their control, it’s really inspiring.
[00:44:43] And I’ve seen your financial coaching and, support that you’re providing to specific people and to the community in large. And I think it’s a really positive movement. What got you interested in the financial coaching and helping people and what exactly do you do?
[00:45:02] Sherry: [00:45:02] So financial coaching just came out from the fact that some of my answers were starting to take up a lot of my time. On Instagram and even on the blog. And I thought there’s a need here for people to pay for my time to help them, because I don’t mind helping. It’s just that I have a limited set of hours in my day as well not to mention my son taking up a good chunk of that.
[00:45:25] So I set up financial coaching to not, dissuade people, but to weed out people who are actually interested in bettering their lives and people who are just going to ask me questions and waste my time, not to be rude, but that’s a lot of what happens, especially as a public. Persona online.
[00:45:43] I’m not very famous, but it’s, you still get a heavy chunk of questions thrown at you every day. And sometimes I can redirect people to blog posts, but other times I absolutely cannot help unless I know your situation. And to know your situation means I need to spend time listening to what it is you do, how old you are, what your plans are.
[00:46:03] And so on. So financial coaching came out of that as a very minor income stream that I actually don’t self promote it all because I’m terrible at self promotion, but it’s there as a, as an option for anybody who’s interested in paying me for my time and to have truly me, one-on-one speaking to them and listening and going off the cuff of what I think should be done, which is something that I’m never going to be able to offer when I’m direct messaging or through emails or whatever else.
[00:46:34] Now my whole premise, not necessarily financial coaching for women in particular, but it is mostly women who talked to me, my whole premise of what I do, my blog, my Instagram it’s to make sure that everybody understands where their money is. It shocks me every single time. I read articles that say things like 57% of millennial women let their husbands do all of the investing.
[00:47:01] And I think, are you, is this an onion article? Because I, 57%, that’s more than 50% of women my age, because I’m an older millennial. So that’s the only place I fit in. Let somebody else completely take over their finances. Then when I post that and I’m outraged, even just in my stories, People message me saying well, but it’s because I’m not very good at math and I’ll say I’m not either, I’m not amazing at math either.
[00:47:29] And I managed to figure it out. Or they’ll say to me, it’s because he knows better husbands or men just better at that. And they say that’s a bunch of horse crap because I’m a woman. And I seem to have been doing pretty fine myself, millionaire at 35, 36, rather financially independent at 35 out of my own money and not having anybody hand me money.
[00:47:50] And it’s not my partner’s money. It’s not my son’s money. It’s not my family money. I, I don’t believe in any of these excuses. And I might be quite, I would say harsh when I say this, but I think at the root of it all, it’s number one, people are. Insecure in their own ability to teach themselves new things, especially as older adults or just in general, to teach themselves outside of a school setting, to actually research into these things and read books and understand it on their own, or to put the time and effort into it.
[00:48:25] And secondly, maybe people are just lazy and that might be most of the cases of people who are lazy because they’re unable to spend the time actually reading. So it’s very difficult for me to believe these excuses and yes, they are excuses. You can say what you like, but. If somebody like me who did not know how to invest, how to budget, I didn’t even know what a budget meant when I graduated for university.
[00:48:51] All I knew was that I was paying 10 to 15 bucks a day in interest. And that seemed outrageous to me. And I couldn’t believe that I’d been working since the age of seven and I only had $500 in my bank account after working three jobs and going to, to me, it was ludicrous how stupid I was with my money.
[00:49:09] And that was the kick that I needed to actually reach the goals that I set for myself that day when I signed my lease for my apartment and thought, wow, I’m borrowing money for rent. And it just, it blew my mind. I don’t accept excuses that you can’t teach yourself. There are so many resources out there, libraries that have lots of money books, but even if you can’t get to a library, you can’t read an e-book there’s Instagram.
[00:49:36] There are articles online. There are blogs like mine and yours. There are so many free articles and resources out there that I can only come to one conclusion and is that people are lazy. And when people are lazy, it makes me angry because I think this is your money. You, nobody should care more about their money than you.
[00:49:57]This is your livelihood. And especially as a woman, it riles me because I think to myself, what happens if he decides he’s going to leave you? What happens if he doesn’t leave you? But then you divorce for some other reason, or like in your mother’s case, she had to leave an abusive relationship.
[00:50:12] These are all things that I hope will never happen to anybody, but they do happen. And. Just because you wish and you hope, and you say things like, Oh, but we’re love, this will never happen. It doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily going to be true. I’m sorry to say. So I’m more of a skeptic slash cynic than I am those colors romantic, but it’s one of those things where I, it I’m so passionate about it because I get so many messages when I post these things from women saying exactly what you said.
[00:50:45]I wish I knew this a year ago before I found out that my husband was a drug addict, that he drained all of our joint accounts. And now I just start all over again. Or another one where a woman said I had to leave an abusive relationship and I didn’t have a single penny to my name. It was very tough to start over or stay at home mother saying, I wish I had known this as well, because now I have three children I’m working a minimum wage job or two trying to just make ends meet.
[00:51:13] And I didn’t have any of this that you told me that you’re saying that we had to have set up like a separate bank account, a credit card in my own name. I have nothing. And I just start all over again. These stories break my heart and because they break my heart, I get even angrier. And I get even more passionate about it because I think just because it, you don’t think it’s going to happen to you.
[00:51:37] It doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. The best case scenario is always the plan. I’m a planner at heart. I like to plan until the cows come home. Okay. I like knowing what I’m doing today, tomorrow this week, next month, next year, this is what I am. This is what I do. So even just a little bit of a plan can save you such a lot of heart ache and a lot of trouble.
[00:52:00] I don’t know why people don’t do it. And the other question that I get, or the other, sentiment that comes across in my direct messages is, it’s because you’re not married. So I don’t, I’m not sure what that has to do with anything, because I’ve been with my partner for over a decade now, and we have a son together, but whatever, apparently not being married means that I’m, I don’t know, unable to advise married women on what to do, which I think is a load force crop as well.
[00:52:27] And the other messages that come through is, Oh, it will never happen to us. You’re just being cynical. And I say, okay, you know what? I hope it never happens to you. I hope that you go all the way to the end together holding hands and you die or death beds together. I really hope that’s what happens, but in case that it doesn’t don’t you think it would be a good idea just in case to have some money set aside and, and I try not to argue too much about.
[00:52:53] About these topics, because like you said, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. All I can do is talk about all these examples of other women. Who’ve been through horrific traumas and horrific situations and say, why don’t we just plan for it? It doesn’t take a lot to create a bank account, to have a separate credit card, to, to build up your credit score.
[00:53:17] Maybe even to get a part-time job or to have some sort of income coming in on the side, or just to know how to invest your money and how to run a budget and how to do basic things. I, it boggles my mind when people fight against it, because it’s almost like they feel like they’re not a woman anymore.
[00:53:34] If they do that, that the man should be the head of the household and the man should be the one taking charge of everything, but you’re putting a lot of trust into another person and that person may have good intentions. They may not, you don’t really know what’s going to happen. You can only hope. And hope I’m afraid does not put food on the table.
[00:53:55] So it doesn’t solve all the problems. And that’s why I’m so passionate about is, I could literally go on for hours about this, all the different examples I have, but it’s one of those things where I’m one of those people that says don’t trust anybody, but yourself with your money.
[00:54:11] Even if somebody else is handling the investments, you have to understand where the money is going, where it’s being invested, what they’re investing in and what they’re
[00:54:18] CaptainFI: [00:54:18] doing. I can tell you’re obviously very passionate about financial independence and specifically being in control of your own destiny.
[00:54:27] So how with this being said, how do you and your partner structure your finances and investments and how has being a mom changed this. Okay.
[00:54:40] Sherry: [00:54:40] So how will you normally structure our finances is that we do it completely separately. He has his own bank accounts and his own investing accounts. And I have my own bank accounts in my own investing accounts.
[00:54:49] We don’t combine anything. We don’t have any joint accounts together whatsoever. And usually because I cover some of the bills such as condo fees housing taxes and cell phones as well. No not the internet, just the cell phones. I cover all those bills. He’s paid, he usually pays half for them as well, but he also pays for other things that I don’t pay for like groceries and all these other household items and all this planning that he does or errands that he runs and buys things for the family or the house.
[00:55:21] And every couple of months, when the tally starts to get a little bit high, I would say around the $5,000 range, I will send him a spreadsheet that says, Hey, so I paid for this and this Can you fill in your numbers on that side and we’ll figure out who owes what, and we’ll transfer the money back and forth.
[00:55:38] And that’s what we do. So some people have said that this seems like you’re living with a roommate, but for me, it’s having control over my money in the sense that he doesn’t have any access to my accounts, which means that if ever anything happens, I have everything in my name. There’s no issue with, Oh, it’s a joint account.
[00:55:58] It’s going to be frozen. How am I going to act as money to pay the bills this month? There’s none of that issue because we each have our own separate accounts. Number one, number two, it works for us because we’re very 50 50 because we make or made, I should say about the same amount of money he’s already retired.
[00:56:14] I am not. And. Because we split everything 50 50 for us. It’s the fairest arrangement. This may not work for everybody. Some people may have a spouse making more money and they should maybe proportionately pay more of the bills as a result. But for us 50 50 works. And I like knowing that anything I spend on he’s on, on, on board to pay 50% of it and anything that he spends on I’m on board to pay 50% of it.
[00:56:41] And it’s quite fair because none of us are resentful at all because of this situation or this, planning that we’ve done with our budget. I’ve never had a single money fight with him, not one in a whole decade, over a decade of being together. We do not ever fight about money because there’s nothing to fight about.
[00:57:00] Everything is very fair for us. Very equitable and makes sense. The only time I will say. That I got really, I was really surprised was when he came home with six custom made chairs and he said, look, our chairs came in. I said, chairs, what chairs? And each chair was $250. So there was a couple thousand sitting in our hallway.
[00:57:26] I said, I don’t remember approving this because usually if anything goes over $500, that’s when we talk to each other, if it’s a $500 expense for the home, that’s it’s a fridge or the washer broke down, I’ll say, Hey, we need a new washer. I’m making up a story, but we need a new washer. Let’s see what we have what we have as options.
[00:57:45] What do you think about this one? And then we’ll discuss it because it’s, over $500, even over a thousand dollars, we’ll discuss it. But this was not discussed at all. And he just came home with these chairs, which I love by the way, but I had no seen them because he didn’t even tell me that he was having them made.
[00:58:01] So that was a surprise for my budget that month. But luckily. Because I have my own money and he has his own money. I said, okay they look nice. They look very sturdy. I see where you went with this design. I’m sad that I didn’t get to pick the color, but that’s okay. What, how much did they cost? And you told me 250 each.
[00:58:18] I almost had a heart attack in the hallway, but then I pulled myself together and I said, that’s fine. They’re worth it. They’re comfortable. Sure. Okay. And that’s usually that’s the farthest or the, I guess the most extreme that I’ve ever gone with ever having a fight with my partner, but money that’s.
[00:58:34] I think that’s one of the only times we’ve ever argued about something on a budget. And it’s just because I was blindsided. I didn’t know if he was having these chairs. Other than that other money discussions or, fights we might have is we’re planning on buying a home a much bigger home than where we are right now and having a huge garden.
[00:58:53] And that’s why I’m so inspired by what you’re posting, because I’m so excited for my new garden. And he actually said, we need X amount of money. And I said, okay, then I’m going to need to take a contract because I don’t have this cash. He gave me such a strange look. I said, you don’t have the cash for this.
[00:59:12] I said, no, I don’t have free cash. I don’t have $300,000 lying around in a bank account. I need to take a contract and say for this, he said wait. He says, you’re telling me right now, you don’t have a way to get $300,000. I said, no, everything’s invested. And I got so angry. My face turned red. I said, I have invested every single penny.
[00:59:34] I don’t have a spare 300 key lying around in cash. Nobody does. And he’s, he was half yelling back at me too. He says, all of my money is invested too. I said, so what are we talking about then? Are we arguing? I don’t have the cash for it. Because for me in my head, that’s when I realized we were two very different money people and why we could never combine finances.
[00:59:56] Is that when I invest my money, I consider it gone. I don’t even look at it as a possibility to, to divest of. And to use as cash for anything. When it is invested in my bank account or my investing account, or my portfolio in a stock or a fund it’s gone, it doesn’t need to exist. What I have is what is in my bank accounts.
[01:00:17] And my bank accounts do not have 300,000. I have an emergency fund of about $30,000. And that’s all I have in my head. That is all the money I got until I have more income coming in or whatever. And for him it’s completely opposite for him. He has all of his money also invested, but he thinks he can just liquidate it and use that money and buy a home and do all this other stuff and then reinvest it back in.
[01:00:44] The problem is that I’ve been too much into personal finance over the past decade, that all I can think of is the lost opportunity cost of having to divest those investments to take out $300 in cash, to pay for something, and then to wait for that $300,000 to come back when we sell our condo, which is the plan, and then to put it back into the market after divesting of it and paying taxes on it.
[01:01:09] So the money person in me, the money goblin inside of me says, absolutely not, no effing way. Am I doing this? I am not selling a single stock. And yeah, in my head, I had to somehow come up with $300,000 in cash. Sean decide over the next few years to pay for this. And his attitude was the complete opposite.
[01:01:31] He thought that I have the money invested. It means I have the money. That’s the other only other major, fight or discussion that we’ve ever had. And it was about our own separate respective beliefs on money. But other than that it’s, it’s just what we think is the most fairest way.
[01:01:47] I think, to the split our money, especially since I’m very opinionated and pigheaded. And so is he, and it drives me crazy when every penny is not fully utilized. So he’ll be the type that will have a hundred thousand dollars in cash sitting around in an account, earning zero interest. You do not know how much that goals meeting and I can’t look, I just, I can’t look at his accounts because I would cry.
[01:02:11] I would think, what are you doing? I know, I
[01:02:14] CaptainFI: [01:02:14] know. I probably sit somewhere between you two guys, and I’d probably say a lot closer to to you Sherry. I think that encapsulation of how you and your partner run your finances, it makes a lot of sense. And I think it will be quite inspiring for a lot of people, especially women are there listening to this podcast to know that, you do not need to follow the standard, get married, joint finances, et cetera, for a lot of people that works.
[01:02:47]But as we found out, for some people that doesn’t work and it’s awesome to know that you can basically have your own separate finances. And you don’t need to let a cultural stigma or anything bother you about that. And it works just fine.
[01:03:02]Sherry: [01:03:02] Not only that, because I have my own money, I can do whatever I want with it.
[01:03:06] So if I decide that I want to go to the spa and spend $600 on, permanent tattooing or semi-permanent tattooing for my eyebrows, because I’m vain, I can, and nobody’s going to say to me, you spend how much on your eyebrows, because he’ll never see the expense. He’ll just see these amazing eyebrows.
[01:03:25] CaptainFI: [01:03:25] That’s a really interesting segue there, because one more thing that caught my eye about your Instagram feed we sent your fashion game is pretty, pretty awful. So as a bloke with two left feet who. Frequently matches jeans and sneakers. That’s the the future dad’s Nene’s combo. I figured I’d get a few sneaky fashion tips from you.
[01:03:50] Sherry: [01:03:50] No, nothing about men’s fashion. What are you talking about? My, my partner is just like you, he doesn’t even care about fashion. His idea of a great outfit is a clean pair of sweatpants
[01:04:04] CaptainFI: [01:04:04] op shop a fair bit. You do a bit of upcycling. You make your own jewelry and you even resell some of it as a hobby. So is this one of your 11 income streams? No, it’s
[01:04:15] Sherry: [01:04:15] not. I don’t resell any of the jewelry that I make, but I do resell what’s in my closet and I have done some thrift shopping and I’ve resoled some of those items.
[01:04:23] So yes and no. Although now with COVID, it’s a no, I’m just reselling what’s out of my closet. And the thing about secondhand shopping is that somebody else has already paid the full price and you just. Pick it up for a fraction for something that’s pretty much like new, especially if you’re very careful about what you buy, you can spend a 10th of what somebody else would have paid for it at retail and get the product pretty much new or like new, which I think is an amazing deal.
[01:04:51] I wish I figured this out years ago, how stupid am I paying full price? I would say, charity shopping as best for the environment, especially you’re already buying something that’s already been made rather than buying things that are new. And I try very hard to stick to this. There are some things that I break the rule for, and I actually buy new because I cannot find it secondhand or the prices just about the same.
[01:05:14]But other than that, I would say I’m very much pro secondhand shopping for everything.
[01:05:21] CaptainFI: [01:05:21] I totally with you there, I’ve picked up a few awesome secondhand Bardens when it comes to, furnishing my apartment or, any toys that I want, I generally have a rule that I need to steal something if I want to buy something.
[01:05:34]So I love the secondhand economy for pretty much all of the reasons you’ve mentioned. It’s pretty inspiring to see how you’ve become work optional at 35 and millionaire by 36. Now you mentioned that in order to fund your new property, you’re looking at taking on some more contract work. But what I love is that it’s optional and you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to.
[01:06:00] So I guess what that means is, You could retire now, if you want to. So what are your plans for early retirement? Do you, is there anything specific that you want to do or how are you going to spend your time now that you’ve bought back your freedom to be
[01:06:15] Sherry: [01:06:15] Frank with you? I’ve actually only worked 50% of my career.
[01:06:19] So I’ve already been, I’ve already been prepping for this early retirement for a very long time. Because as a contractor, you don’t get contracts a hundred percent of the year, unless you’re willing to go for a very low rate, which I’m not willing to do. So I tend to work only about half a year. On average, some projects are maybe only three months.
[01:06:41]There was one quite amazing project I did in New York city. I worked 10 weeks and I made 130 K. So that was great. But other than that, it’s one of those things where I’ve already been preparing for early retirement. And I think I’d be really bored because as much as I complained about working. I like working when it’s on my terms, like why I need to save up for this house in the interim for cash so that I don’t, take out a loan, then yes, I have to work and I have to save up 300,000 fine.
[01:07:11]I’ll do it. I’ll take on a contract, but I’ve already been not working since I was let go in March because of COVID from my other contract. And I’m pretty bored. My days are filled with reading books, lots and lots of books. It’s filled with trying to clean, trying to organize. And frankly, all of it is extremely dull for me.
[01:07:32] And as much as I love being a mother, I can’t spend a whole day with a six year old. It’s just, it’s not my destiny. So I think working for me gives me a chance to talk to adults. It gets, it gives me a chance to use my brain and my work is actually my career in meaning that I really enjoy what I do. I’m good at it.
[01:07:52] I like doing it. And. And because of that, I don’t think I’ll ever retire. I think I might do the semi retirement thing until I am too old to do it anymore. I don’t know what age that would be, but it’s nice to be able to take on a contract and then decide, Hey, I’m going to take the summer off and go hang out in Toronto, which is what I did last year.
[01:08:13] I went for a couple of months, three or four months to Toronto and hung out with my family. So all my friends ate all the food when Al did all the shopping. And it’s nice to be able to just say, I’m not going to take a contract this year. Why don’t we jet off to Japan for a couple of months and do that?
[01:08:30]So for, it’s hard to say, I don’t think I’ll ever retire. I don’t think I’ll ever do this early retirement thing that everybody’s going on about, because I love my job. I love working and it’s not a bad thing to love your job. The other thing too, is that being able to be so free with my time. Makes me very wasteful with it.
[01:08:49] And I don’t mean that everybody should be productive a hundred percent of the time all the time. Everybody said he hasn’t has all these funny memes about COVID and how they’re going to come up with a six pack and, two businesses and all this other stuff. And none of this has happened.
[01:09:05] I don’t know about you, but I’ve managed to Polish off two kilograms of chocolate put on 10 pounds, it’s does it have what you think is going to happen? And I think all this extra time, without any hobbies or anything to take up that time is the worst thing about early retirement for a lot of people, usually an early retirement.
[01:09:28] What I’ve noticed is that if you’ve always been used to working, you can’t stop. So luckily I have these side incomes, like blogging and Instagram that keeps me fairly busy and I’ve really thrown myself into it, which is substituting for work. Although I don’t get paid as much as in my real job, but it’s, you have to have a plan for when you want to early retire.
[01:09:50] And even though you have all this freedom and I love having this freedom, it’s too much freedom sometimes because you can’t travel the entire year. It’s first of all, it costs a lot of money, but it also takes a lot of time and you might be too old to do this depending on what age you retire at. And you have to have a plan for what you want to do.
[01:10:09] Maybe it’s gardening. Maybe it’s, you’re going to golf more, think about it. How much golf thing are you really going to do? Are you going to go every single day? Will you be able to handle golfing every single day? Cause it’s one thing to work a full year and then to take two weeks off for vacation and think, Oh, I wish I could do this every single day for the rest of my life.
[01:10:28] And that’s a wonderful sentiment, but it does get boring. And I can see why super rich people start getting antsy when even though they have all this money and all this time, because they’re bored, they don’t know what to do with all of this time and all of this money. And this is a great problem to have, but it’s also something that I think people don’t think about once they actually stop working.
[01:10:50] What are you going to do when you actually stop? And I haven’t found the answer because I’m working through it. And apparently my answer to when I’m going to stop, actually stop working is that I’m going to eat a lot of chocolate read books and profile. This is, seemed like a plan. No.
[01:11:07] I know this is not what I want. So I, that you have to think about what you want to do that would substitute for that job. Maybe not at 40 hours, maybe a part-time job in a library, or, just volunteering at a school or a senior center. Think about what you want to do that can substitute in a job like capacity so that your brain doesn’t go to mush and you’re not sitting around watching television all day, scarfing
[01:11:32] CaptainFI: [01:11:32] chocolate.
[01:11:35] You need to have, I’m going to try and pronounce it again. Is it that raise on Detra? You still need to have to get out of,
[01:11:45] Sherry: [01:11:45] you said that the English way, that the English way, so the English people can understand you. So that’s good.
[01:11:51] CaptainFI: [01:11:51] So just on that, You mentioned, you’ve been doing a lot of reading. Now your list is going to be absolutely massive and I’m going to be pretty, totally cruel here, Sherry, but I’m going to give you a little bit more flexibility than I do for most of the people I interviewed.
[01:12:09] If you could list your top five books, personal finance, self-help and development, let’s open this up, let’s say books, blogs, podcasts, some of the most influential source of information for
[01:12:25] Sherry: [01:12:25] you. This is making it worse.
[01:12:32]I’m going to, I’m going to go with books because I don’t want, I don’t want to start getting into these other categories. I would say the first book that you will break something. Oh, thank you. I’m sorry. I’m going to start again.
[01:12:47] I will break something. All right. So the first book that I would recommend in terms of self-help and personal finance and, or in that kind of developmental category would be fair play. I know that this is not a money book, but I think everybody should read this men, especially, but women as well, fair play is a book by Eve Rodsky and it’s one of the most influential books I’ve read all year, because it speaks exactly to what mothers go through when they have kids and what they take on when they agree basically to be married or to live with somebody.
[01:13:28] And I’ve gone through exactly the same issues. Maybe not to the extent that she’s explained in the book, but I definitely felt like I’d done more than I should have. And then people. Okay. Okay. You said that you wouldn’t bring anything. All right. Now mommy’s gonna have to restart again. Okay. Sorry. This is the life of a working parent.
[01:13:51] Are you sure you want six? I’m just going to put it out there. So the very first book that I would recommend would be fair play and it’s written by Eve Rodsky and it’s a book that I think that every man, especially men and women should read, because it’s one of those books where it made me realize how not unfair, but how an equal the responsibilities were in my relationship.
[01:14:16] Because even though I have a pretty equal relationship, like he’s quite a feminist, I still felt like I did much more than I should have. And this book made me realize that because it was something that I knew was on the back of my mind. But until she articulated it, I did realize how bad it was. And then we’ve already started making changes towards that effect.
[01:14:38] So for me, the net result has been very positive, so fair play, excellent book. That’s one. The second book would be invisible women. This is a book about how basically the entire world is built from men. I know this sounds like a book that men don’t want to read, but if you work in any kind of public sector or even a private sector of building products for people, for communities, for buildings, whatever it is just deciding about Zillow, the laws for sidewalks and so on.
[01:15:08] This is a book you should read because it’s one of those books that talks about how important it is to consider women in society. When you take into account your products, an example from the book would be after I read it, I realized why my car doesn’t understand me it’s because my voice is too high.
[01:15:25] Pitched. The voice control only recognizes a voice that is deeper like a man. So if I’m to speak to my own car that I purchased, they’re paid for in cash, I have to deepen my voice like a man to get it, to understand me. This is just one of the many examples that are in this book. Other ones are astronauts suits and so on.
[01:15:46] Excellent book. So that book would be invisible women, the third book. And I think it’s a good starter book in terms of money. Other than the ones that I’ve written, of course plug, it would be the millionaire teacher. I believe his name is Andrew Hallam. It’s one of the clearest books I’ve ever read on basic investing and just understanding how to manage your money properly.
[01:16:07] He, I think he was formally a teacher, which is probably why his book is so clear, but millionaire teachers, one of the books that I really recommend that people start with the fourth book would be Ramit Sethi’s. I will teach you to be rich. I think this one’s quite popular, especially for millennials.
[01:16:23] It’s got a very funky, cool cover rom it’s a great guy as well. You can on Instagram, he has everything that my philosophy on money is about. So if you want to follow somebody way more famous and more amazing rabbit Sethi would be it. And he goes into how to make money decisions, but in a very relatable matters.
[01:16:43] So one of my favorite examples that Ramit Sethi has is when he goes to a restaurant and he says that I look at how a person eats a chicken wing. If I see that this person has completely cleaned it, the entire bone is stripped bare. I know this person’s an amazing person and going to be a great friend, but if I see this person just took one bite and through the chicken wind down, this person should not ever be trusted.
[01:17:08] And we will never become friends because to waste all that meat on a chicken wing, Shows me how you treat everything else in your life. And I know this is a funny example that you came up with, but he’s right. If you’re somebody that eats a chicken wing, you should examine all examine yourselves right now.
[01:17:25] But if you’re somebody who eats a chicken wing and you don’t eat it down to the bone where you’ve gone, every single little piece of meat off, you don’t understand how to manage your money properly and how to budget correctly, because you’re thinking you’re so wasteful with what you have in front of you, that you don’t see the riches that you already have.
[01:17:47] And I think that’s, there’s some, greater analogy there with chicken wings, but it really does say something a little somebody who doesn’t finish a chicken wing, frankly. So that’s book number four and the very last book. Okay. So this is not a, this is not a book that would end up on anybody’s list, frankly, but I still think it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read in my life.
[01:18:08] It’s called the glass castle by Jeannette Wallace. And it talks about how she grew up with her family and her parents. And I think her father may have been schizophrenia, I want to say, but it talks about how she grew up extremely poor living hand to mouth and how her mother basically had a lot of money, but, or rather came from money, but didn’t know how to manage it.
[01:18:32] And it’s just it’s an excellent memoir to talks about poverty and how children are affected by it and how much they desperately wanted to escape that life. And the minute that they could be good and then change completely to be people who were financially independent. So it’s not a money book, but it has a lot of personal finance meanings that I really responded well to a secondary book that goes under that author was a half broke horses and it talks about her grandmother was such a badass.
[01:19:01] This woman amazing was a school teacher. Who knew how to manage money. And she’s the one that became rich on her own by buying land in Texas. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but both books by Jeanette Wallace, especially the glass castle, which is being made into a movie. Now are some of the best books I’ve read in the past couple of years I could go on, but I won’t because you’ve given me a limit of five and I snuck in number six,
[01:19:26] CaptainFI: [01:19:26] last question, Sherry.
[01:19:27] And this one might even be even crueler than the book. Now you’re obviously very successful when it comes to your career, your finances investing and being financially independent. It’s not something that happened overnight and you’ve worked in incredibly hard to get where you are today. So for people that are still on their journey to financial independence, what would be your three going to limit.
[01:20:00] Three top tips to reach financial independence. Huh?
[01:20:06] Sherry: [01:20:06] Can I say don’t be stupid? No, I’m joking. Okay. The first one would have to be to understand your money. Meaning make a budget. I basically say, make a budget and track your money. Okay. So this is one, one tip. You have to understand how much you’re making net after taxes and where you’re spending it every month.
[01:20:23] You’d be surprised after tracking your money. How wr with it? Because I certainly was when I finally started tracking my money for the first time in my life at 25, I thought, how stupid am I to be spending $800 on food, eating out, not even groceries, just eating out. It blew my mind where my money was going.
[01:20:45] And I thought, Oh, that’s where all my money went all these years. So tracking your money, having a budget. None of these are terms that you should ever be scared of. Cause people think, Oh no budget, it’s a prison. I never going to be able to break out of this budget. I have to stick to it. No, that’s not it at all.
[01:21:02] I create a budget and I regularly break it all the time. It’s more that you have to understand how much you’re getting in and how much is going out. And that’s all part and parcel of beginning your financial independence journey, because you don’t know what you’re making, what you’re spending.
[01:21:18] Then we can’t be friends and we can’t move on. I’m sorry. It’s true. It’s a criteria.
[01:21:28] CaptainFI: [01:21:28] Yes,
[01:21:28] Sherry: [01:21:28] exactly. You can sit at the table with us if you have a budget and how where you’ve tracked your money and how much you spent this month. Okay. You don’t have to know it down to the penny. Just the ballpark. That’s fine as well. Okay. I’ll give you, I’ll give you a free pass on that.
[01:21:42] The second thing to understand for financial independence is. Investing. And when I say investing, I mean investing as early as possible and as much as you can afford. So I understand this is difficult. When you have a mortgage, you have kids, you have credit card debt, whatever it is, but even $50 a month set aside is going to be a big, boost to your financial independence than just waiting until everything is paid for, and then saving for it.
[01:22:10] Because I think that’s the mistake that a lot of people make and that they think, Oh, let me pay off the house first. Let me pay off my credit cards first. Let me say for my kids’ education first. No, forget all of that. Okay. Pay what you can and what makes sense there, which is part of part and parcel of budgeting, but make sure that you also invest for your retirement and your future.
[01:22:30] As soon as you can, as early as you can, even if it’s $50 a month, start somewhere, put aside something, do something and teach yourself with that 50 bucks. That way you make a mistake with $50 and not with 5,000 or heaven forbid 50,000. So that would be my second tip is to teach yourself investing and to start early start often the third tip for financial independence is understand that you have a choice in what you decide your lifestyle is going to be.
[01:22:59] If you’re looking for financial independence, but you’re thinking, no, but I need at least $200,000 a year to live comfortably. Oh, you know what? Forget it. I’ll never reach that because who’s going to be able to save enough money to have $200,000 coming off in dividends or whatever to reach true financial independence.
[01:23:17]You’re going to need millions. Yeah, you are. So why don’t you scale back to what you think would be a comfortable lifestyle? So for me, a comfortable lifestyle is there’s bare bones. There’s a super bare bones where it’s extremely tight talking about just basic condo expenses. We’re just talking about basic food, rice and beans, that’s attitude.
[01:23:41]That’s bare minimum living bones, then go up one level, maybe even two levels above that and that’s considered comfortable and then maybe add a little buffer. So my bare bones for instance, is about $1,600 a month. I’ve gone up to 2000 as a quote unquote comfortable amount, but ideally I’d like 3000 a month as my truly comfortable financial independence budget.
[01:24:07] If I don’t reach that’s fine. But at least I have a plan that, this is what I need to cook to live a, what I call a comfortable life. But if you’re starting with, I need $200,000 a year that’s already such a chunk of money that you’ll never reach it. You’ve already priced yourself out of this dream of financial independence.
[01:24:25] So think about what it is that you want to spend your money on and what would be a comfortable life because you’re not really saving the money to be able to spend it the way I see it. You’re saving your money to become free. You’re saving your money for freedom. So that way you’re you don’t have to answer to anybody.
[01:24:43] You don’t have to answer to a boss. You don’t have to answer to a partner, a spouse, a child, family the government or anything, because you are truly free when you’re able to say, no, I don’t want to take your job. It doesn’t sound like I would have very much fun with that. And you can just say, F you and walk out, same with your relationship.
[01:25:03] If it’s toxic, you can say goodbye. So you’re buying financial freedom. You’re buying your true freedom and peace of mind, because I didn’t reach that until I was 35. I had lots of money before I had, $800,000 saved or whatever it was at 30 something, but I was never comfortable because in my head, I thought I still need to work.
[01:25:26] I still need money because I don’t have enough insight incomes. To cover my expenses. I have to sell my investments if I want to stop working. And that was enough for me to say, I don’t feel free. I feel like I still have to take a contract to, to make money and all that other stuff. And it wasn’t until I hit 35 and I had my side incomes covered my bare, bare bones budget.
[01:25:48] Then I thought, you know what? I can breathe now. I don’t need to say yes to anything. Sure. It’s going to suck the stay at home and not do anything and maybe just eat rice and some soy sauce on the side. At least I’m free. At least I don’t have to put up with misogynistic horrible managers that make me feel like crap every single day, because that, that has definitely happened in projects.
[01:26:10] And it wasn’t until I reached 36 rather rather at, in 2019 and I reached 1 million that I thought, what. I’m good. I’ve got my side in, comes to more than cover my bare bones expenses. I have money saved. My house is paid. My car is paid. I have no debts. I can literally stop working today.
[01:26:29] If I wanted to, I don’t have to do anything. I could just live off my side incomes and I’m fine. And that’s when the weight lifted off me. And I thought I’m free. I’m truly free. I don’t need to worry about anything and about anybody because I’m good.
[01:26:46]CaptainFI: [01:26:46] It’s very inspiring. And those are three awesome tips for financial independence.
[01:26:51] People want to track you down cherry and follow you online. Where can
[01:26:55] Sherry: [01:26:55] they find you? So on the blog, Sage, Spencer blurs.com or on Instagram at Sabre spender are the only two places that I’m really active on it. I have Facebook and tumbler and all this other stuff, but the real, the only two places are the blog and Instagram at saver spender.
[01:27:12]Oh, and also like a boss books.com where I sell all six of my
[01:27:15] CaptainFI: [01:27:15] books. Awesome. All linked to those in the show notes. And if anyone wants to get in touch with Sherry or read any of her awesome books, you can find those out through the links and as well, if you have any questions, Sherry is really incredibly generous with had time.
[01:27:32]And if you send her across a message, she’ll do her best to get back to you. Once again, Sherry, thanks very much for your time. Appreciate everything you’ve done today. And I think we’d better. Give a little, yeah. Yes, mom. Again.
[01:27:49] Sherry: [01:27:49] Thank you so much for having me. I really had a blast.
[01:27:53] CaptainFI: [01:27:53] Thanks for listening to another episode of the captain fire financial independence podcast.
[01:27:59] To read the transcripts or check out the show notes, head over to www captain fire.com for all the details. If you have a question for the captain, make sure to get in touch, you might even make it on the airwaves. You can reach me online through the captain fire, contact home, get in touch through the socials.
[01:28:21] I’m active on Facebook and Instagram as well as a number of online finance and investing forums. And finally remember the information presented on the show and the links provided for general information purposes only they should not be taken as constituting professional financial advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions and make sure it’s appropriate for your personal circumstance.
Captain FI is a Retired Pilot who lives in Adelaide, South Australia. He is passionate about Financial Independence and writes about Personal Finance and his journey to reach FI at 29, allowing him to retire at 30.