We’re talking to Nat, the creator of the IG page Tipsaccepted.
Nat combines beautiful illustrations with different money topics, to help readers improve their financial literacy. She’s answering some of the questions that you all submitted on Instagram. And by the way – don’t forget to submit your listener letters on IG or email to be featured on the show.
Check out her website at www.tipsaccepted101.com
ILV: Good afternoon Tipsaccepted. Welcome to Money Memories How’s it going?
TIpsaccepted: Hi, I’m great. Thank you for having me.
ILV: I’m so stoked to have you on the show. So let’s kick it off. Do you want to tell the listeners a little bit about how you grew up?
Tipsaccepted: Sure. I spent five years of my life in South America where it was born, and then I moved to United States. I was a really blessed child, despite immigrating to this country and having to start over, I never really felt like I was missing anything. And in fact, we actually ended up living in someone’s converted garage when we first moved here, and it was still one of those things where you feel like home is where your family or where your heart is because it was totally natural. And my father, I remember he went from working as the head of marketing of Coca-Cola, and starting over at McDonald’s when we came here. and I really learned that in life, you just have to hustle and not feel sorry for yourself. And, and you know, when, when things get difficult, you just pick back up and start again.
ILV: Wow. Do you want to share your earliest or most impactful money memories? with that context that we have now?
Tipsaccepted: I actually really wasn’t aware of money until like 2008, 2009 with the financial crisis, I watched my parents become money conscious for the first time in my life, and concerned for their own jobs. So, when I witnessed them lose an investment property, which was something they worked really hard to build up to, at that point, and so that significantly changed the dynamic in the household and the way I thought about money, even though I wasn’t aware of it at that very moment. Later on, I think that that came back to me and that’s kind of where my, my money consciousness came from.
ILV: And when you say that later on, that came back to you with, what do you mean?
Tipsaccepted: I found that as I got older, like school trips and things that we would go on, when your parents would give you like allowance money to go, like spend on whatever trip you were going to. For example, we did a trip to Disney and people are going to go to the gift shop. I would hold onto my money. I would not buy a single thing because I was like, no, this has value. And it’s more valuable in the hands of my family. And I don’t want to take that away. And I think that’s really strange for like a kid to have. And that kind of continued to grow with me as I aged as well. And I was subconsciously trying not to become a financial burden
ILV: Can you talk a little bit about what your first experience was really fully taking control of your own finances of your own kind of money journey?
Tipsaccepted: So my very first experience, was when it came down to choosing my college and going away for my university. So what ended up happening is my parents, had worked really hard when they moved to this country to build up a tuition fund for me so that when I did choose to go to university, I could. You study without an issue, live at home, have no problem. But, they didn’t count on you wanting to move away, ‘cause that’s something you don’t do in South America. You stay home forever until you’re married.
So, when I did that, that was a really big shock for them because they weren’t expecting that and they didn’t have the money to cover those, those expenses because housing, food, transportation, books, any extras, can be very, very costly. So what I ended up doing is, I decided to apply to every scholarship, grant, student aid under the sun to try to like give myself a chance and thankfully, I was able to get approved for a lot of those scholarships and grants. No loans, but I was able to, to fund my first year, essentially, between all of those things.
And by my second year, I had to start over and figure out, okay, well now what am I going to do? Because scholarships eventually run out or, you know, grants aren’t forever. And so I had found that you could essentially work at a student housing apartment facility and get a reduced rent. And in addition to the reduced rent, you could work there and make an income. So it’s a double whammy. And I was like, “Oh, I gotta do that!” That is the thing to do in order for me to make it in order for me to stay and, graduate debt free, hopefully. So I actually started doing that. I became a model apartment as well, which means that when you tour people. I’m in the apartment complex. They can go into your apartment at any time of the day, but that will reduce your rent even more. So I was like cleaning up after my roommates, making sure my apartment was ready to go. I was working all the time, balancing all my classes and I did everything I could. I hustled all day, every day. Making sure that I can make my payments, go to school and then eventually graduated debt-free. So I was very thankful.
ILV: Wow. That’s amazing. I applaud your hustle I’m just really shocked at the parallels in our lives because. I too, had a similar experience. My senior year of college as an RA, a resident advisor, and as an RA, I got to, we did not make an income, but in exchange, we got to live rent-free on campus, which is, which is a very big thing. Unfortunately, I was the world’s worst RA ever. Well, that shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody listening to the show, I really am not concerned with how people live their lives. So you sound like a much better ambassador for campus housing. There’s so many. There are ways to, you know, alleviate kind of like the debt burden or the income burden when you do decide to go to school, it just takes like a little bit of, a little bit, a lot of creativity and a lot of flexibility. But I, I love that you were able to share that example. Thank you.
Tipsaccepted: And, and also, yeah, I just want to add to what you said. I agree with the creativity aspect. I think as long as you get creative with however, you’re going to finance your college experience, you can really do a lot to, to make sure you graduate with little to no debt. I had one of my friends, she started a business sewing skeleton hands on bras for like the EDM concerts and stuff, or what are they called? I don’t even know. I’m not hip, I’m young, but I’m not hip, but she blew up in Australia. And that’s how she funded a lot of her, her college. So get creative.
ILV: So speaking of creativity, I think you run a really creative Instagram page called “Tipsaccepted.” And I think what really stands out about it is that you combine these really lovely illustrations that you hand draw, hand design, with different personal finance concepts. I just think it’s so unique. So can you talk to us a little bit about, where the inspiration for that came from?
Tipsaccepted: So everything came about, in the middle of this pandemic, right around March. I was sent to work from home. The rest of my company, a lot of them were furloughed, and I watched my dad get laid off and I was fortunate enough to have, an emergency fund saved up and a secondary income source from my rental income. And I was really put into a fortunate position where, I said to myself, well, you know, I’m taking some CFP classes. I feel like I’ve done well in my life. And I’d love to help someone else, maybe learn a little bit about personal finance, you know, even if it’s at the most basic level, because all those little tips and tricks really made a difference for me. I wanted to personalize all the content that I created to make it more visual because I’m a visual person. So for me, when I read a lot of these, complex topics are just not so fun. They’re dull topics, really. I say to myself, well, how can I make this fun and creative and, and kind of engage with people. And that’s kind of where the, the idea to draw things came from.
ILV: I think it’s, I think it’s amazing and it definitely stands out because there’s yeah, I feel like there’s not any pages in like the personal finance Instagram space that have such a strong visual identity. And we’ve actually opened up Money Memories to listener letters, and so we invited some, some listeners and followers to ask some of their questions. And one question that we received a lot is, how did you get started with illustrations or with illustrating? Because as I mentioned, like your, your aesthetic is so unique.
Tipsaccepted: Oh, thank you. So the artistic background really came from my father. He’s a brilliant watercolor painter and photographer, and he’s very artsy, and I did not get any of that. I got like the doodle, “you can doodle” gene, which is great. That’s all I need. And, it’s, it was really great to kind of reconnect with that side of myself because I hadn’t drawn years probably. I can’t even imagine, or I can’t even think of the last time that I drew something. And finally, when I realized that I wanted to start kind of tailoring all of the concepts and making them into graphics and enter that world again, which was so, so fun for me and kind of merged my left and right side of my brain again, to work together, to make these things more accessible. But it really does come from that. My dad’s side.
ILV: Wow. That’s amazing. So do you have any like formal training in like illustration or design?
Tipsaccepted: Not at all. Not at all. I just doodle cause it’s fun.
ILV: You’re so under-selling everyone! Check out Tipsacccepted and tell her that she’s totally underselling her talent. And where did the idea for like, cause the one theme that you have and all of your posts and your visuals is this tip jar and obviously your page is called “tips accepted.” So where did that idea, that inspiration come from for you?
Tipsaccepted: So Tipsaccepted came about with me thinking, okay, well, I always accept tips so that I could better for myself and we should all be accepting tips to better ourselves, so that’s where the tip jar comes in. But instead of monetary tips, now you get financial tips.
ILV: That is so clever. And speaking of financial tips, our last question to round this off and to bring it back into personal finance, what is the worst financial decision that you’ve made?
Tipsaccepted: Dun dun! Worst financial decision has got to be, not hiring a better inspector for my home. So every time you buy a home, you have to have a home inspection and they tell you whether or not your home is in good shape so that you can decide whether or not you could afford to buy it. So my inspector essentially said your home is good, the roof will need to be replaced in approximately five years, but it’s good to go now. So I buy my house and, you know, halfway through the first year I have a leak. And that’s fabulous because I get it checked out and it turns out to replace my roof it’s $30,000. So don’t make a $30,000 mistake, people.
ILV: That’s not fun, especially cause inspectors, they are not $30,000. They’re like, oh, like got a couple hundred bucks usually.
Tipsaccepted: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. A couple of hundred bucks. So spend the money, don’t be cheap and get yourself a good inspector. Thankfully my dad is a handyman as well. And in addition to being an artist, he’s a handyman. So, he patched it up. And I’m saving up to buy the new roof now, but you know, not fun.
ILV: Wow. Geez. Well, it seems to me that you come from a family with very talented, people who can do everything from design to illustrate, to watercolor, to patch troops. And I’m just, I would love to spend a day in the life of your family.
Tipsaccepted: I would say we’re, we’re a crafty.
ILV: well, tips accepted. If people want to, connect with you, follow you on Instagram, visit your website. Where should they go?
Tipsaccepted They can find us at www.tipsaccepted101.com, or @tipsaccepted on Instagram.
ILV: Please follow her people. She’s brilliant. And I really, I do learn things every day when I look at her page. So thank you so much for sharing your story and your money memories.
Tipsaccepted It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for hosting me on my first podcast.
ILV: First it not last, first of many!