Happy 2016 everyone!
Today is the 30th edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions.
Today, our 10 Questions are being answered by Tawcan who hails from beautiful British Columbia. Despite failing kindergarten (read on to find out why), Tawcan really has his stuff together. He realizes that while money and financial health is important, there is much more to life.
So Tawcan, let’s go hiking in the mountains one of these days when I make it up to your beautiful part of the world. I’d also appreciate a quick photography lesson or two.
Tell us about your blog
- Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
Tawcan.com is a personal finance blog that I use to record the crazy ideas that come across my mind every day. In my early 30’s and living in the great white North that we called Canada, plenty of crazy ideas get generated in my head each day. It’s a great blog because it’s designed by a 10 foot magical unicorn and a talking Canadian polar bear. Can a blog get more awesome than that?
- Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog (dream big or don’t dream at all!).
It’s shocking that money, personal finance, and investing topics are never taught in the educational system. No wonder so many adults have financial issues! Can you imagine what our society would be like if concepts like living below your means, pay yourself first, and good debt vs. bad debt are taught in elementary school and/or high school? Through my blog, I hope to inspire people to take charge of their finances, be happy with their life, and start their own financial independence journey.
- What goals do you have for your blog, short and long term?
As mentioned, my main goal is to inspire people to take charge of their lives both financially and emotionally. Having money in life is great and all, but money doesn’t buy you happiness. Externally driven happiness doesn’t last. We all need to find peace and happiness from within. My long term goal is to become a famous internationally known blogger celebrity! I’m kidding of course. ☺ I would feel very proud and would have a huge smile on my face if one day someone I know tells me to check out one of the articles I wrote because it has changed his or her life. This would be a wonderful goal to accomplish one day. Having said all that, I do enjoy writing down my ideas and sharing them with people. I feel truly blessed that people actually read my writings and leave comments on the blog. I am also deeply appreciative all the returning readers.
- What post are you most proud of and why?
Although I write about investing and financial independence, I’m quite proud of posts that I wrote about life lessons that I’ve learned. Have-Do Be or Be-Do-Have was one of those posts that I wrote after reading a couple of self-improvement books and having long discussions with Mrs. T. The post actually took me over a month to write and I almost decided to delete it because I thought nobody would like the post. It totally surprised me that a lot of people enjoyed reading the article and it somehow got featured on Rock Star Finance.
Tell us about you
- 1500 Days is about early retirement. Do you have early retirement dreams? At what age do you think you will retire?
The blog’s description is journey to quest for joyful life and financial independence, so early retirement is definitely one of my dreams. Early retirement is not a strange concept to me since my dad is an early retiree himself. Since retiring, my parents have been able to travel extensively as well. Seeing how much they enjoyed early retirement is definitely one of the reasons why Mrs. T and I are working very hard to become financially independent. According to the financial independence spreadsheet calculator that we created, we should be able reach our early retirement dream in 8 – 15 years. We don’t have an exact age/date defined because we wanted some flexibility. We also know that these estimates are just estimates, things could and most likely will change.
- If blogging isn’t your full time gig, what is?
I’m the head scientist in charge of developing Dr. Evil’s deadly “laser” system. In order to find the perfect spot to hide the top secret laser system, I get to explore the wilderness regularly. Hence you’ll often find me skiing and hiking in the backcountry.
- When you are 90 and look back on your life, what do you hope you have accomplished?
I hope I have made a difference in my community. As mentioned the Sunshine Blogger Award blog post, I was involved heavily in Scouts in my childhood. I was quite shy and introverted when I first joined Scouts. One of the leaders took me under his wings and helped me become who I am today. This particular leader passed away from cancer about 10 years ago. The said Scouts leader wasn’t a rich person and lived a very simple life. What surprised me was that close to a thousand people attended his funeral. Everyone at the funeral all had great things to say about him. I learned at then that your impact to the society isn’t measured by how much money you have, but rather how many people you have helped and touched during your lifetime. This is why one of the biggest dreams I have is to be able to write a one million dollar cheque to a charity of my choice. I also donate blood regularly and provide helping hands in the community whenever I can.
Money, money, money
- What is the best money management or investment tool you have come across?
There are a lot of great money management or investment tools but the best one that I have come across is the good old spreadsheet. Call me a spreadsheet nerd but I love playing with spreadsheets. In our household, we track all of our finances and investments on spreadsheets. For our dividend portfolio, I utilize Google Spreadsheet so it’s easily accessible. I love that fact that I’m not tied to a specific computer. I can update the spreadsheet anywhere, on a laptop or on my smartphone, as long as there’s an Internet connection. Although Google Spreadsheet doesn’t track stock dividend information, I’ve found some awesome hidden functions to allow automated tracking of stock dividend information.
- Did your parents teach you about money as a kid? How so?
My parents have taught me a lot about money as a kid. Frugality runs deep within my family and I learned what frugality meant from a young age. Growing up, my parents have always taught me that I should only spend money if I have the money in the bank and I kept this advice when it comes to using credit cards. I didn’t have an allowance growing up, my parents always had a small amount of cash in a kitchen drawer that I could use whenever needed. My parents never asked what I used the money for. My parents knew that they taught me well and trusted me to use the money wisely. For some reason, I would always tell them what I used the money for. This trust from my parents and all the financial knowledge I learned from them certainly helped me in my own financial journey.
- What is your favorite style of beer – and what is your favorite beer in that style?
I really like Belgium type beers but I also like specialty beers as well. One of those beers that I drink at special occasion is Innis & Gunn oak aged beer. It’s slightly pricy but boy it’s delicious. Definitely not the type of beer you drink to get wasted. ☺
- We notice a lot of frugal people are into board games – what is your favorite?
My favourite is between Ticket to Ride or Settlers and Catan. For Ticket to Ride, I prefer the European version than the North American version. For Settlers of Catan I have played a few variants and loved them all. I recently came across Settlers of America- Trails to Rails which I thought was an extremely interesting and addicting game.
- What is the best thing you’ve read lately?
I recently read Letting Go by David R. Hawkins. The book outlines a simple and effective way by which we can let go of the obstacles in our life so we can become free of negativity. I thought the book is brilliant and the method is very effective. I’m still learning and practicing the method described in the book. I’ll probably re-read the book a few times to get better understanding.
- Tell us three things that people might not know about you.
I am a part time photographer. I specialize in portraits and weddings. I can talk about photography for hours.
Mrs. T and I have written two cookbooks. We both love cooking. All the photos in the cookbooks are taken by me.
I’m left handed but I use scissors with my right hand. The only reason is because there were no such thing as left-handed scissors when I was a kid. I was one of the lucky kids that failed kindergarten because I couldn’t cut a piece of paper with scissors!
I’ll finish the interview series with some pictures that I’ve taken over the years. No not pictures of Mr. 1500 with his home-made bra. Thank god!!!
Mr. 1500 note: Oh come on Tawcan, I think at some level, you really enjoyed those!
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