Behind the Screen with Ty from Get Rich Quickish
I have an awesome one for you today. Ty rocks the personal finance site Get Rich Quickish (love that name). Ty is one of those guys that you see and you like immediately. Plus his music tastes are top notch. Then you read what he has to say and you like him even more.
Let’s talk a little bit about who you are and where you are coming from. Tell me about your money journey? What got you started in learning about personal finance?
Howdy all. My name is Ty and I live in the Seattle area with my wife of almost 18 years and our four kids. Our kids’ ages are 15, 11, 7, and 6 (boy, girl, boy, boy), which means we’ve got them from high school all the way down to kindergarten. We’re currently teaching one how to drive and one to ride a bike. Exciting times and never a dull moment in our household. I love it!
I’m 39 years old and got a late start to this whole financial independence game, so now we’re playing catch up – trying to Get Rich Quick’ish so that we can retire early! I’ve been blogging about our journey over at GetRichQuickish.net since January of this year.
The thing that initially made me want to start learning about money was my lack of it. Or more precisely, my lack of savings.
A few years ago I feel like I finally hit my stride, career-wise. I was making more money than I’d ever made in my life, but didn’t have a single penny saved or invested. Only after realizing just how scary that situation really was to me, my family, and our future did I start getting serious about personal finance. Our whole story is available for your reading pleasure on my About Me page, but it’s kind of long… you’ve been warned.
What would you say the biggest money obstacle has been for you to overcome?
Leaving my savings account alone has always been tough, so I’d say that learning to be disciplined enough to keep my greedy little hands off the stash has my biggest money obstacle.
I was always pretty good at starting to save money, but as soon as that money began to add up the temptation to spend it would become too much.
It wasn’t until I realized that financial independence and early retirement were real possibilities that I was able to overcome this obstacle. Rather than using my money to buy stuff, I could now using it to buy my freedom – that’s when my lightbulb went off, and that’s when everything changed.
How has overcoming that obstacle changed you?
Learning how to leave my savings alone is what finally put me on the path to Getting Rich Quick’ish! The formula for creating wealth is so simple, and it all begins with saving:
- Spend less than you earn (i.e. save some money!)
- Invest the difference
- Eliminate, then avoid debt
Realizing that I was buying my freedom changed everything. I became a man on a mission and was constantly looking for ways to save more money, for expenses to cut, ways to contribute more to our 401k, etc.
Are there any obstacles you are still working on?
My struggle these days is finding that balance between saving for tomorrow while still enjoying today. I’ve got some serious tunnel vision with reaching financial independence ASAP, so I tend to go overboard on certain things. Honestly, I think this is something that I’ll always struggle with a little bit.
As an example, about a year ago I got rid of our second car and didn’t replace it. Keep in mind that we’re a family of six, so living with one car is challenging to say the least. Between traveling to work, school, swimming lessons, gymnastics, soccer games, boy scouts, doctor appointments, etc. someone is always in need of a car, so only having one requires a little bit of planning, flexibility, and sacrifice on everyone’s part. It’s definitely possible to make it work, and we’re saving a bunch of money by doing so, but has the savings been worth the inconvenience and hassle? I’m not so sure.
There’s a moment in the Godfather 3 when Michael Corleone is trying to get out of the “Family Business”, and he says: “Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in.” What is one bad money habit you just can’t seem to shake?
Easy. Eating out. I spend around $500 per month dining out. Most of that comes from me frequenting the food trucks on my lunch break at work, but we also eat out as a family once or twice per month. My wife and I also have a date night once per week where dinner is often on the agenda.
It all adds up and is easily the biggest hole in my budget, but honestly, I don’t stress this one too much because we really don’t have any other vices, and I’m not going to give up my date nights! I probably should start brown bagging it more than I currently do though (which is never).
If you were to start your money journey all over what would you do differently?
If there’s one thing I’d do differently it would be to start earlier. The power of compounding interest is amazing.
I didn’t have my financial epiphany until about 7 or 8 years ago (in my early 30s). I wish I would have figured all of this our much earlier, but at the same time I’m soooo glad that I figured it out while there was still plenty of time for me to reach financial independence.
What is your proudest money accomplishment?
I clearly remember the day when our net worth became positive. I was updating my financial spreadsheet one afternoon while I was at work when I realized that we’d crossed that line between negative and positive territory.
I had a bit of a lump in my throat when I told my wife the good news. That was a good day!
Who is your money hero?
My dad. Although he didn’t teach me about how money works, he did teach me how to work hard for my money. From that first lesson on working hard to earn a buck I’ve built my financial foundation. Now I not only work hard for my money, but my money is also working hard for me!
What was your worst money mistake?
I don’t think I’ve made any terrible money mistakes. I’ve not always been wise with my money, but I’ve never done anything egregious. I did buy a McRib combo once – that was a pretty bad mistake. I wish I had that $7 bucks back.
Can I change this question to “what’s the best money move you’ve made?”
I can? Thanks!
My best money move came about 7 or 8 years ago when I sold my truck. In that one transaction I not only eliminated several thousands in debt, but I also had about $1,200 left over. I used $700 of that surplus to buy a 1989 Dodge Ares with unknown miles (the odometer only went to 99,999, so I have no idea how many times it had rolled over).
That car was Ugly (notice the capital U)! But it actually ran quiet and drove smooth. I drove that $700 car for nearly five years. There was one day at work with I parked it between a Ferrari and a Mercedes. It made me laugh – one tire on either of those cars cost more than my entire vehicle! That $700 car was definitely one of the best purchases I’ve ever made!
What was your first money lesson?
I started going to work with my dad when I was old enough to pick up and swing a hammer. My dad owned a construction and drywall business and all of his boys had the privilege of learning how to work directly from him. Throughout the years he made one thing clear: “money doesn’t grow on trees.”
Translation: you want money – go earn it.
Dad worked hard for his money and couldn’t afford to waste it. If I wanted money, I had to work for it as well. And because I worked hard for it, I wasn’t very frivolous – that’s served me well throughout my life.
What money habits do you see in yourself (or others if you are perfect) that make you cringe?
The “stuff” we own and buy is trash, or will become so very soon. Watching myself, family, friends, and coworkers blow money on crap make me cringe. I’ve got a coworker that just spent more than $600 on some fancy shoes with red bottoms. Other guys will drop $300 on jeans. I just don’t get it. At all. But to each their own I suppose – they didn’t understand why I was driving a POS car to work each day either. 🙂
Would you classify yourself as a Spender or a Saver?
Reformed spender. Aspiring saver.
What’s the one personal finance book that had the biggest impact in your life?
I’ll have to admit that I only started reading personal finance books after I’d already discovered the world of early retirement. My most recent purchase was Dear Debt. I bought the book directly from the author (hi Melanie!) at FinCon 2016 and read the entire book on my flight home. It was great. If you haven’t already, I’d recommend picking it up.
@DearDebtBlog the pleasure was all mine! Looking forward to reading your book!
— Ty (@GetRichQuickish) September 23, 2016
The two others that I’ve read most recently are The Simple Path to Wealth, by Jim Collins, and The Coffee House Investor, by Bill Schultheis
Ok now my favourite part some non-money questions.
Give me a list of your top 5 foods?
In no particular order….
- Philly cheese steaks
- Lamb gyros
- Burgers & fries
- Chicken enchiladas
- Deep dish pizza
Haha. Putting that in writing makes me realize that I’m not exactly a health nut.
What is your favorite drink (alcohol or non-alcohol)?
Dr. Pepper! (I don’t drink alcohol)
What kind of daily traditions or habits do you have?
I eat at the food truck each day. Does that count?
Recently I’ve been working on being grateful for the things that I have in my life, rather than wanting for things that I don’t own. I think it’s having a positive impact – I feel much more content that I used to. When I started practicing this I came across this poem that I like:
As a rule man’s a fool.
When it’s hot he wants it cool.
When it’s cool he wants it hot.
Always wanting what it’s not,
Never wanting what he’s got.
I try to not be that guy.
Which group do you fall into:
Apple of Samsung? — Samsung
Coke or Pepsi? — Dr. Pepper
Coffee or Tea? – Coffee (I lived in England for a few years and still can’t do tea).
Night owl or morning bird? — Morning bird
I’m a huge music fan, what’s one (or more) of your favorite albums?
Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill
Aerosmith Get a Grip
What’s the one movie you could watch over and over again and never get tired of it?
Back to the Future.
If TV shows count then The Wonder Years. I’m re-watching this series from start to finish right now on Netflix during my bus commute home from work each day. When I’d watch this show as a kid I thought Kevin’s dad was a big mean jerk, but now I kind of find myself relating to the old man! What’s happening to me!?!
What book are you reading right now?
I’m re-reading a book that I started earlier this year, but never finished called Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert. The author makes the case that humans are pretty terrible about predicting what will make us happy, so we should stop making decision based on that. On the other hand, we’re pretty good at knowing what’s going to make us unhappy so if we can just avoid those things, then we’ll be happier people!
Also, my intern at work just gave me a book called The Complete Robot, but Isaac Asimov. I’ve not started it yet, but I’ll give it a read soon.
Finish this sentence with the first thing that comes to mind
I would rather be at home than be at work
Do you have a favorite quote?
I love quotes! I’ve actually got a hidden page on my site where I collect quotes that resonate with me.
As a family man, this one from J.E. McCulloch always hits home:
“No success outside the home can compensate for failure within it”
Where can people find you online if they want to get ahold of you? (Think social media accounts)
I blog about once per week over at www.GetRichQuickish.net.