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In this episode, Chelsea talks to Cristine from Simply Nailogical about the monetary side of YouTube, how she fell into internet success, and why she's keeping her day job despite making more money off her videos.

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Hello, everyone, and welcome back to what may be, for many of you, the most exciting episode of The Financial Confessions ever.

For the past two years, I think-- we've done the show for almost two years, now. That's right, ish.

Ish. Close enough. We've done it for close to two years now.

And since the inception of the show-- without fail-- in the comments of every video and podcast, we are nothing short of inundated with requests to feature Simply Nailogical And I'll be perfectly honest, I'm a bit of a connoisseur of a lot of different sub-genres of YouTube, but beauty and makeup and nail stuff has just never been particularly my area of interest, so I was not familiar. And moreover, I was like, what in the hell? Like, what am I going to have someone on-- how are you going to fill an hour and change of just being like, are nails expensive to do?

Well, it depends. Do you know what I'm saying? I was like, what the hell conversation are you guys wanting me to have?

Little did I know that Cristine of Simply Nailogical has a lot of really interesting things to say about a lot of topics that are very, very tangential to what we do here at TFD-- but also, I think, provide a wonderful level of transparency to both making content online-- which is obviously a big part of what she does-- and also maintaining, to this day, a regular-degular job along with it. There are so many rich subtopics in just that alone, in addition to the rest of the stuff that she does and the choices she's making, which I find very fascinating. And you guys had many questions to ask her when I threw it out to you guys, so we will be making sure to dedicate a lot of time and space to those questions.

But first, I'll talk to her just a little bit myself. And without further ado, we have, as requested, Cristine Rotenberg of Simply Nailogical. Hello.

Hello, Chelsea. Nice to see you. It is very nice to see you, and my goodness have you been heavily requested.

Why do you think it is that our audience-- do you have any guess as to why our audience is so into you being on the show? I've seen the requests on my end as well. And I apologize for not responding to maybe previous requests for an interview.

And the real reason that is is because I don't really do interviews. I'm quite shy and despite the fact that I have my own podcast, the only interview I've ever done-- aside from this one-- was one for Philip DeFranco because we became friends with him and I was finally like, OK. So yeah, it's just a personality shyness thing.

But I've watched a lot of The Financial Diet and The Financial Confessions lately, and I just decided that I really like the direction you've taken, in terms of empowering women-- and I know most of your audience is women-- and thinking about their finances. And I just think it's a really important message. So I decided, OK.

I need to start modeling what I'm thinking, so maybe I should come on this podcast and chat with you. So thank you for having me and for thinking of me. Well thank you for being here and in your honor, did a fresh coat this morning.

I have got my nails ready to go for this conversation. I'm not showing up here with chips or any of that nonsense. So my first question-- or to just introduce the audience to you and what you do and how you do it, can you give a little bit of an overview of both your work on and off YouTube and how those two things have woven together throughout the years?

So I run the YouTube channel Simply Nailogical. It's about six years old now, but I started as a nail artist on Instagram. And then it evolved into making YouTube videos about nail art and then just entertaining, kind of comedy videos almost.

And in addition to that, in the last year and a half, I have launched my own nail polish brand. It's called Holo Taco. And I also run a podcast, SimplyPodLogical, with my partner Ben.

And outside of YouTube, which precedes my YouTube career, I work as a Crime Statistics Analyst for the Canadian government. And you still do that? Yes.

Are your coworkers-- how do they feel about this? People ask me that question all the time. And I think-- there's a whole world of people out there who don't really watch YouTube.

So I have a lot of coworkers-- especially the older ones-- whose kids maybe are familiar with YouTube, or who follow YouTube, but there's a lot of people I work with who just don't really know it to be such a major part of young people's lives. And that's not a bad thing. It's just everyone has different hobbies or interests.

My parents also don't really watch YouTube. So yeah. It's not that big of a deal, which I kind of like.

And that's one of the reasons why I've kept my day job, is that a big part of me wants to remain as-- I crave that regular life. And the swap between going back and forth to the creative output that I could do on YouTube and just having fun, versus going into the office-- well back in the days, when we had a physical office before COVID-- but I really do enjoy that mind swap of the creativity and then going back to a normal person job, if you want to call it that. That is so aspirational.

Also, my parents don't want YouTube. And bless them for that. They don't watch you?

I mean, occasionally, every now and then. But definitely not with any regularity, and that's appealing to me. I don't really want them to because I just think that they're-- and I wouldn't want my friends to really, either, for the most part.

I just think it's more healthy to have a really big separation between the public persona that you have and the actual person that you are in real life. And most of my friends, my closest friends, are not people who are whatsoever involved in creative or internet-based pursuits, and I think that's really healthy. Also, my parents-in-law do not speak English, which-- talk about a blessing.

I mean, wow. I can say anything I want and they'll never know. So in terms of the changes that you undoubtedly experienced in your life as a result of finding a lot of success on YouTube while still having that normal job, obviously one of them has got to be financial, right?

You must be making quite a lot of money from both YouTube and the auxiliary pursuits that you have based on that initial YouTube notoriety. And I know that you and your partner have spoken about wanting more transparency around what these YouTubers are making, the kind of life it's giving them, because a lot of them probably allow their audience to think that they're just like them in a lot of ways, or are broke even-- and that's often not the case. So talk to me a little bit about what transparency around the financial aspect of what you do means to you and how having that huge extra influx of income has affected your relationship to your primary job.

I think it's definitely a struggle that I imagine a lot of creators face, especially the ones who start out as very relatable in the sense like, maybe they're in university and they're sharing their studies, maybe they just got their first job and they're kind of sharing that experience. And then maybe there comes a day when they're making 10 times more in YouTube revenue than their job, and it's a really difficult struggle for them, maybe, if they didn't set out to become a famous rich YouTuber-- which not all YouTubers sought out to do, right? There are some people whose goal is that, and then there's other people who truly just sought out sharing their creative content on YouTube.

And that's why I started on YouTube. I didn't even know I could monetize my videos until like five months in, in 2015. And then I realized, oh, you can make money off this?

So then I turned it on and realized. But for me personally, I'm not a consumer of, I guess what you'd call, flex culture type videos. It's not something that I enjoy as a viewer and as a result, it's not something that I wanted to make in terms of my content.

So my content has never really been about like, look how much money I can spend. Now, there are times occasionally where I've spent money for a bit of a joke, almost. Like one time I bought a car to paint with nail polish.

It was $1,000 to buy the car-- it was a used car-- and that-- well, that was a business expense. But I think that's a very different thing than the struggle of deciding where the line is in terms of being relatable to your audience. And I think what is most important for me is to have some moments of reflection.

And I try where I can to be transparent about being realistic with where I am in my life and also not trying to downplay the fact that I have made a lot of money off YouTube. And what bothers me a lot sometimes is when YouTubers realize that audiences don't like it that they've gotten rich, and then they try and downplay that they're rich, and they'll say things like, I'm too poor to afford this, when it's not true. And I find that to be really dishonest and misleading.

And I don't do that, but there is a balance to be found between flexing on people and making them feel bad because maybe they don't have as much money as you, but then also not underplay your success and being deceitful to your audience. I totally agree. And I think a lot of the healthy medium is really-- it really just comes down to living below your means and not living that flex lifestyle just because you can, because I think what is ultimately relatable or not relatable to people-- I think number one, transparency just honesty is a huge part of that.

But I think also a lot of it is-- just comes down to how you move through the world and what your day-to-day experience is. And so in your case, for example, you go to a job. You go to a 9 to 5, like the vast majority of your viewers probably do-- or some type of regular job.

And even though you do have that money, that's still a massive access of your day-to-day experience that you can relate to them on. And I similarly have elements of my life like that when in normal times, I also go to a regular office job with TFD. It happens to be the company that I also produce for creatively, but it's still like-- a good amount of my day is spent doing like administrative things and tedious stuff that I don't like doing.

And I live in New York City, so I don't have a washer and dryer in my apartment. So there's probably a lot of you guys who could honestly flex on me on that level, with having a washer-dryer in your apartment, because that's a luxury I may never know living in Manhattan. But I do think that what it ultimately comes down to is being honest.

And I think the dangerous thing is when a lot of YouTubers become dishonest. It's tough because you see all these news media reports about how many millions of dollars YouTubers make, right? Every year there's some Forbes list about how much the top YouTubers make.

And then when I google myself-- if you just google Simply Nailogical net worth, some articles say I have a million, some articles say I have $10 million. Who knows where they actually get these numbers from, but they're basically just for clickbait headlines. But I think, as a result of that, it almost makes me feel like sometimes people want to define big YouTubers by the fact that they have money.

And that's something that makes me uncomfortable, because A, that's not why I sought out to do this. That's not my main driver for doing this, and it's not the kind of personality that I want to portray to others or that I feel is my most valuable personality trait. And I think some YouTubers want it to be part of their persona, and I'm quite the opposite.

So it's been kind of a struggle seeing those headlines, or having fans or family members text me these articles and being like, is this true? Do you have this many millions? Yeah, I guess I've just never really been that comfortable with the idea of people perceiving me in that way.

I don't want to be defined by what Google says my net worth is, I guess. We're going to do some boots on the ground journalism here, guys. I've never googled Chelsea Fagan worth, and I'm really curious if there is a number.

And I'll tell you guys if it's right or wrong. You should. It's fun.

OK. Ooh, it comes up. I'm prompted.

Chelsea Fagan net worth. Fagan has an estimated net worth of around $500,000. Where do they get that number?

Literally no idea. I mean, I could really, I'm sure, deep dive into that website and see where they're pulling their data. But interestingly-- and this is something that I think everyone should contextualize about those net worth numbers, is that it's both wildly overinflated and underinflated because I certainly don't have anywhere near that amount of money just sitting around in a bank account, and my salary-- I'm very open-- my salary today is $90,000-- might go up this year, but whatever.

That's the money I'm working with for myself. And obviously, my partner makes money too, but he doesn't even live in the country right now, so our assets are not really that combined. But all of that is to say, for me, that money-- I certainly don't have anything close to that liquid, and I own 60% of The Financial Diet, which on paper is probably worth around $5.5 million.

But that is A, utterly theoretical, right? That's just going off of a few different back-of-the-napkin math that you could do, because we do well over a million in business every year. But A, totally theoretical.

That assumes someone's buying TFD, which is not happening anytime soon. But also, B, is directly like-- when you own a business, until that money is actually turned into cash-- we basically end the year at 0 every year-- intentionally, because we reinvest the money back into the company, we choose to pay our employees and contractors a certain amount. We make a lot of choices that basically whittle that number down to essentially zero every year.

Also, that's good for taxes. We'd rather put the money back in the business. But all of that is to say, that money is both highly inflated and highly underinflated because theoretically, if you were to go off the value of TFD as a business and I own 60% of that, that's millions of dollars right there.

But I can't buy a candy bar at the store with that money, it's completely theoretical. So I do feel like those numbers are both-- they're misleading in both directions, essentially. Yeah, for sure.

And I imagine when journalists are writing these, they're thinking about the value of the business of that person's brand, too, not just maybe what that person decides to pay themselves personally. Because I'll do the same, I won't pay myself very much personally, so my personal income tax is nowhere near what the internet says. But that's just a business strategy, like you said.

So I'm also incorporated and did that back in 2015. I was overly proactive in that, I think, when I had no idea how much money Simply Nailogical Inc. Was going to make.

But I think that was a good decision, in retrospect, was to get an accountant very early on, someone to figure out-- HST and GST is what we have here in Canada-- and how to get a business number and what that means for business expenses, what types of things are business expenses-- which is a very interesting question for someone who makes YouTube content-- when your content is also a hobby. So that's an interesting one. I've paid many lawyers to help me figure out what kind of company structure makes most sense for me.

And I think those were all really good investments early on in my career. And I think I did that earlier than the average YouTube figures that out, but that might be a result of my age. Because-- as a reminder-- I was 26 when, I guess I went viral, or got big on YouTube.

So I was already old by the standards of-- Ancient. --online digital creators. And also, it should be clarified-- because I know that even just from me saying some numbers-- I actually don't know how much we ended up doing last year in business, probably $1.5 million or something like that. People are going to ride with that number.

We have, as of today, nine employees and are about to add more. So there's a big discrepancy between that amount of money coming in and what actually makes it to my pocket. But I do think, when we take it to a broader more societal level-- because I think this is the case for a lot of YouTubers.

Now some YouTubers are-- they're pretty much one-man shows. I don't know if you-- do you have employees? Nope.

Just me and Ben. I don't have a manager, I don't have employees. Yeah.

I'm bad at handing over control. Listen. I mean, there's ups and downs to both, right?

My primary motivator is, I don't like doing things. I would like to do fewer things, so it's good for me to pay other people to do those things. But a lot of YouTubers, influencers, creators, they're essentially businesses of one, and they probably have a lot of contractors-- like they have lawyers, agents, people like that-- but they don't actually-- they don't have a business that employs people.

But then on the flip side, you have public figures who are CEOs and leaders of companies, startups, all that kind of stuff, who do have a lot of those employees. And in both cases, I feel like a lack of transparency around the finances of it, in addition to being misleading to your audience-- which I think is the case on YouTube-- it also allows you to often get away with not doing super great things, you know? Whether it's not compensating someone fairly, or on the flip side, the fact that YouTubers don't really talk about compensation means that sometimes the YouTube themselves are getting screwed, whether it's the bad brand deals or management taking too high of a cut or whatever it might be.

So I do feel like the impact of people not being very real about these numbers has a lot of bigger impacts than just being annoying. Yeah. I think that it's a bit of a black box, too, when it comes to influencers charging rates and deciding what their value is.

I remember early on in the nail art community when I started out on Instagram, it was always a question of, how much do I charge for a sponsored nail polish post. I had no idea. And I'd started a little group on Facebook just among some other nail artist friends, and we would share information about what brands had offered us.

And we would control for our follower count to try and see what is making sense here, and it really helped me early on to understand where I should place my value, because how do you do that if you have no frame of reference? So the only way I could do that was to talk to my peers. So there isn't really a universe where that goes on naturally between YouTubers, unless you just know someone and you just ask your friend and they happen to be willing to share the information and it isn't under an NDA-- which does happen, too, where you're not legally allowed to share that.

But I think if you can, for content creators starting out, is to ask your peers. Ask people in the same industry what kind of rates are being paid by companies and what makes sense for your following so you can value yourself accordingly and not be taken advantage of. I totally agree, and that goes for every industry and every employee.

You should have group chats going with your friends where you talk about negotiating, and you can role play with each other and practice these scenarios when you're starting a new job, or you can have mastermind groups in your own industries where you're talking about what you're getting paid and make sure that it's competitive, and make sure that you're not undervaluing yourself-- especially, I think, as women because-- this bears out in the data, right? Women negotiate less. They often undersell themselves.

They're often not being paid competitively for similar jobs. And I think a lot of that has to do with how we're raised, in terms of being very discouraged from-- I think the way it's often framed to women is that you're somehow being rude almost, if you push back against a number or you negotiate or you advocate. And I feel like that's one of the big things to get over is, that ultimately, negotiating for yourself or advocating for yourself financially at any job in any industry is just a question of saying, I would love to work with you on this.

We just both need to be working on it at the right terms-- which is not rude, it's what a professional does. I remember being-- my first experience with this was when I was 19. I worked in a car shop.

And I did their chart of accounts-- fun fact, my first experience with accounting. No education background, they just needed someone to figure out how to balance the books. So I learned Simply Accounting when I was 19 and trying to figure it out.

And I did all the paychecks for all the employees at the car shop. And it came time to when the manager was giving raises to all the mechanics. And I thought I also deserved a raise for all the hard work I had put into the books and everything, and I believed that it was far beyond my position level, what I was contributing to the business.

And I got so nervous to ask for $1 an hour raise. Yeah. So I remember discussing this with my friends.

I practiced how I would ask for that raise. I also knew they could afford it, because I knew their books. I made a case for it.

And they did give me the raise, but I just remember that I was struck with such fear and anxiety to even ask that, while I was also simultaneously preparing a rationale for why the other employees should get raises based on their performance, or based on what the company brought in the previous year. Totally. I still get that feeling sometimes.

I'm very strategic. I try as hard as I can here, on Twitter-- you can look at a bunch of stuff-- I try to be as transparent as I possibly can with what we pay for everything and how we make money and all that stuff, because I do think it's really important-- especially because media, in general, is such a bad industry with regards to that. But you also-- just in terms of being a strategic business person and having some savvy, there are certain things that you need to play closer to the chest.

I will never put out a rate card for TFD, for example. And by the way, I don't think any creator ever should, because you are basically already negotiating yourself downwards on many potential jobs that could come in paying you way more. We've had many a client walk through the door and they want to buy something that normally-- let's say we would charge $10,000 for it-- they're offering like $40,000.

I'm like, hell yea, multinational corporation. You can pay me four times as much as I would normally charge. And if they knew how much we charged for that, we would be negotiating ourselves out of that before the conversation even started.

So you do have to play your cards a little bit right. But there are still times to this day where we'll be negotiating about something and I do have that feeling of, even though I know what it's worth, I almost feel embarrassed even having the conversation. So I don't think it ever fully goes away, I just think you have to learn to power through it.

That's interesting that you don't put out rate cards, because I think most influencers do do that, right? I don't, because I honestly don't really do that many sponsorships, so I don't have a reason to give rate cards, so I just ignore emails when they ask me for rate cards. But that's interesting that you guys decide not to do that.

Yeah. I think it's a bad idea-- yeah, it's a bad idea, I think. And I think that you can speak in terms of generalities.

And I think what is very important for any creator is making it very easy to contact you, to put out what is called a media kit-- so that's basically-- I'm sure you know, but for those who don't-- it's just usually a PowerPoint deck that's a little bit about your brand, your audience, why they should want to work with you essentially, why one should want to work with you, a really easy contact form. Set up all the basics so that people know what they're in for. And you could-- I think at most-- maybe put a minimum on there.

Like, my minimum entry point for this or that is whatever it is, but everything is totally custom and subject to change, because A, I think it is-- a lot of times when you're-- I don't exactly know how much of our revenue sponsored content represents. It's definitely over 50%, I think, right now, although it goes down month to month. But it represents a lot of it, right?

So we do quite a lot of it, and that means we do all different types. And often, A, you'll get offers for things that are not necessarily on your rate card. So you don't want to box yourself into a corner in terms of the types of deals that you can do.

For example, we do a lot of events in partnership with certain brands, or things that maybe would not have been on our rate card a year ago. So you don't want to close yourself off from other opportunities, but I think you also just don't want to ever-- as the saying goes, you never want to be negotiating against yourself, and if you start out with the number-- It's a similar reason why when you're in a job interview, generally it's better for them to offer you the opening number. You don't want to be offering them the opening number because they might have been able to pay you more.

Yeah. Yeah, that's a really good point. I tend to do it on more of a case-by-case basis.

So it really depends on the brand and the nature of the relationship and how I think we are cohesive in terms of working together. And I may decide to charge less if it's someone that I really want to partner with and I see value in them almost shouting me out, too, in a way. So it really depends for me.

So I don't have a rate card because I guess I don't even do enough sponsorships to merit designing one. But if you do more, don't put a rate card out. Don't let them know.

Let them make-- let them open the kimono, as Bert Cooper once said on Mad Men. Yeah, no. That's a good argument.

So talk to me a little bit about-- I must get on to this subject, as someone who is not-- as I mentioned, I don't watch a ton of YouTube beauty videos, but Lord have I enjoyed the drama that comes out of that community. What is going on with you guys? What is in the water over there?

Me? Not me. I'm not in it.

Give me your thoughts on the beauty YouTube community, is it toxic? Why so much drama? Well, I've always thought of myself as a bit of an outsider of the beauty community, in the sense that I don't fit in enough to be considered in it, but I'm also never going to be considered by drama channels to be included in the beauty community, either.

That being said, I've developed friendships with some people who are in the beauty community and I've had generally positive experiences. And I don't know, man, what's going on. I think ultimately, audiences, regardless of the community, are always going to find places to indulge in drama and to guess what's going on behind the scenes and jump to conclusions, because part of that is just the entertainment value of what you can do in different communities.

I'm sure there's drama in gaming communities, I just don't know about it or watch it. Maybe there's drama in Minecraft playing. I don't know.

In ASMR, there's probably some drama going on there. Oh yeah there is. Who knows?

Maybe they're whispering about it. Yeah they are-- yes there is, and yeah they are. But go ahead.

But yeah, I've never been one to want to be involved in it. If anything, I've parodied it, maybe-- in a lighthearted way. But at the same time, I understand why there are so many views on videos about beauty drama, because it's just like reality television in a sense.

People want to know the drama surrounding someone's real life. And part of that is kind of sad-- that as humans, that's what we find of value in entertainment, is the real life-- sometimes sad situations-- of other people's lives. And other times it maybe is the influencer or the reality stars making drama on purpose because they know that that's going to get them attention or views, because maybe they're coming out with a product or service next.

So whether it's a marketing tactic or it's just a sad reality of what humans like to consume, I think it's an interesting sociological question why we like this kind of stuff. Well, I think part of it is because-- because obviously all those other communities do have drama, including the ASMR community-- of which I consider myself an auxiliary member. Shout out to all of us.

I mean, there's drama everywhere, but I think the beauty community in particular gets more attention, maybe because they are just such inherently glamorous figures in a lot of cases. I would say they're closer in their presentation and their behavior to actual celebrities, as opposed to the gaming community, where-- it's a bunch of dudes in t-shirts that are really hard to-- it's hard to get into, it's hard to understand. But most people, at a glance, they can understand a makeup tutorial.

They can understand why this person is aspirational. They can also understand-- there's a similar, I think-- even in the visual presentation, but also the way that these influencers position themselves. It's much closer to like actual celebrity.

Yeah. I guess I don't really identify as doing that myself because, if anything, I've tried to make my content move away from the beauty sphere. And I guess you would count nail tutorials in the beauty sphere.

But since I started with nail art videos, I've morphed into just more silly entertaining videos, like my cats pick my nail polish, or mixing all my nail polish just for fun. So that's less about typical beauty content and more about entertainment, me just sitting in my basement doing something kind of stupid for fun. And I consider that-- that's the kind of content I want to watch, so that's why I've shifted more in that direction.

Do you feel a pressure to be more-- to have a certain type of content, or to be more in that traditionally glamorous beauty space? I guess there was a period when I was doing more makeup tutorials-- just for fun, just experimenting it-- and I was doing some collabs with beauty influencers, and I didn't feel a pressure to be more like them. If anything, it felt like a fun experiment almost, to get the opportunity to work with them and see into their world and just realize how different it was.

And I think part of that is just-- I live in Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, and it's a government town. And when you walk outside here and just look around at the types of people, it's so incredibly different than going to LA, for example. So the first time I went to LA a few years ago-- which would have been for VidCon-- was a shock to me.

And I guess that just proves how not cultured I am, in a way. I'm just stuck up here in Canada living a totally different life and have just a completely different world view. And it really opened my eyes to meet a bunch of beauty influencers, see where they live, talk to them about their businesses and how they view their futures on the internet.

Whereas me, just sitting up here in Canada, I feel like I saw this more as just for fun. And that doesn't mean that I'm underplaying the business value of what I realize has grown out of Simply Nailogical, but for the longest time, I just saw it as like, I just want to make silly videos and paint my nails. I didn't really see myself as like some big public figure.

Well, let me tell you about LA. I mean, listen. I live in New York City, and maybe in Ottawa I would seem fancy or something, but when I go to LA, I'm like, where the hell am I?

Everyone is just-- I can't take that many attractive people in one place. It's too stressful. I didn't mean it like that, that I didn't feel attractive.

I just felt-- No, no, no! I just felt pretty normal, pretty plain, I guess is the word. Yes, yes.

Well, not fancy, but like-- I don't mean to say that you weren't not-- that you felt unattractive in LA, although I think everyone-- maybe it's just me-- but I think everyone goes to LA and they're like, wow. There are some really pretty people. Everyone's so beautiful.

I called it the land of beautiful people. It really is. But people just put in a level of effort there that I cannot relate to.

Yeah. And I can't imagine growing up in that world and being socialized in a world like that, where there's just so much pressure. You look around, your parents, your peers, everyone at school.

I can totally see how that might affect you as a young woman, specifically, and growing up in that. I didn't grow up with those same types of pressures. I mean social media will have the same type of pressure on a young person than maybe growing up in a rich suburb of LA, but I also didn't grow up with social media in the same sense that kids are growing up with it today, right?

Like MSN Messenger-- I think we're about the same age-- but MSN Messenger was the extent of my social media as a young person. --which was basically like texting. I mean, it was not true social media. And it's interesting.

I feel like, for the size of an audience that you have on YouTube, most people-- and I would say, even people, because although it's probably predominantly women, I think it crosses gender-- who reach that certain level of fame on YouTube-- almost systematically-- they get veneers and some plastic surgery and they're really tan all the time and they completely change their appearance in a way that more conforms to the more traditional Hollywood standard of beauty. And part of that is probably because a lot of them aspire to move towards television and film and things like that. But also, I think it seems rational to assume that if you spend years looking at yourself on 4K video and having millions of people look at you, you probably develop a kind of body dysmorphia around how your appearance actually is perceived and how you perceive it.

Have you ever felt that pressure around how you might look on camera or what your image of yourself versus your outward public facing view of yourself is? Yeah, absolutely. And I've tried not to take any of comments I've received to heart in a meaningful way, but that doesn't mean I haven't thought about them.

And I remember the first time I saw a comment about how thin my lips were. That's the first time I even thought that I had thin lips. It just was never something that occurred to me or I never thought of this as a teenager.

Literally, I have never heard that comment in my life. And when I was 25 or 26 on YouTube, someone was like, you should really get some filler. Your lips are so thin.

And I got that comment more than a few times, and I think it was because I had done a lipstick tutorial very early on-- a joke lipstick tutorial. It wasn't a serious one. And I remember being like, what?

And then I realized that, when you look around on YouTube and my peers, getting filler was a very common thing. And I'd never in my 26 years of life even questioned the size of my lips until someone on the internet said that to me. So had I not put myself on the internet and continued to live in, I guess the society I live in Canada, where people maybe care less-- I'm not saying everyone.

I'm not saying it's perfect here, but just amongst my peers who would never think to say that or care-- it wouldn't have occurred to me that maybe that was something on my face that people thought. But it's just a product of your environment and maybe who you see on the internet. And I imagine that the people who commented that to me are used to watching influencers who have fuller lips, whether or not it's because of filler or they just naturally have larger lips.

But yeah, it made me stop and think, is something wrong with my face? So yeah. You take a second there to be like, wait a second.

Should I be different? Also, let's be honest about the lip filler thing in particular. They are very hit-and-miss.

And many people who get lip filler, I think-- one of the most frustrating things about these kind of enhancements, whether it's people getting full-on plastic surgery or getting fillers or veneers or these edits to your face, is that it is very much a crapshoot when people get them, in terms of what it will actually end up looking like. And I think part of the problem is that-- especially with the rise of social media and things like Instagram-- what we're often comparing ourselves to and aspiring to are people who have completely different faces than us. And they have different bone structure, they have different proportions.

And if you want to-- if you were to get lip filler, for example, there's no guarantee that it wouldn't look very strange on you because your face is built proportionately to support the mouth that you have, you know? And I feel like often, we see-- and we see this with creators, we see this with celebrities, and we increasingly see it with normal-- quote unquote, "normal"-- people is that once you start getting on to this hamster wheel of changing things, often you end up having to change more and more and more things in order to keep up with your evolving appearance. I think, for me-- if someone really wants to take those steps and decisions to change their face, I think that decision should be their own.

But they should make that with confidence knowing that it's what they want and not what they want to change because of others' opinions. I know that I have no personal desire to get lip filler or Botox, honestly-- even though people tell me like, you should prevent those wrinkles, Cristine, you're 32. And I'm like, I actually don't really care.

And I'm not going to let comments on the internet change that perspective. And I think that strength for me, in recognizing that-- that I'm OK with my face as it is-- is something that I hope more women, especially young women, can see, that don't let comments on the internet affect you in a way that's going to change your own perception of yourself. That doesn't mean that I think people should be shamed for taking decisions if they really have a long standing insecurity in something that could change their life and make them happy.

I understand there is a great value to that as well. But sometimes, if something's not broke, you don't need to fix it. And I don't think you should necessarily take a couple of comments and have them completely change the way you look at yourself.

I agree. And actually, I'm also 32, and plan on getting a little bit of injectables, probably this year. I've got a consultation.

We'll see how it goes. And I find it an interesting topic because we were literally just talking about changing your appearance based on being on the internet. And I genuinely don't think it has anything to do with that, because I actually never get that comment-- about, you should get Botox.

In general, I feel like because you're in the beauty space and have done a lot of videos that are makeup, it more invites the comments on your physical appearance. I don't-- I do get them sometimes on TFD, but generally, much fewer, I think. And also, they tend to be about more general, like, oh, lose weight or whatever-- whatever dumb man stumbled on our channel.

Like, why are you even here? So I don't get comments like that, and I do feel like-- I feel a weird almost reflexive defensiveness about my desire to preventively get a little tox. But I do think one of the things as-- God, I'm so sick of saying this, but I have to reiterate it.

It's such a big life thing for me. I only follow women-- influencers-- over the age of 50, on social media-- 50? Five zero.

Because I just think that we are a toxically youth-obsessed culture, especially on social media. And I was following regular influencers on Instagram and it was making me feel terribly about myself and also ugly. So I was like, no more of this.

There are so many reasons why I love following only older women influencers. I think the biggest is just that you really get this really nice portrait of women of an age that is usually very forgotten in our culture. They're out there doing really cool stuff and living great lives and they look great.

But a lot of them-- they look amazing, but they also look their age. They look-- they don't look like they're trying to be younger. And many of them are very transparent about the fact that, yeah, I get some laser.

I've gotten a little resurfacing. I have a strict retinal regimen. I have Botox and all that stuff.

And I had braces as a kid-- didn't wear my retainer, so they're messed up. I had really bad teeth and I got braces. And to me, getting braces is not really much different from any of these other procedures-- it is, in most cases, aesthetic.

And so I think that, in following those women, I've been able to see a version of like, you can do these things because they make you feel like the best version of yourself without necessarily either wanting to fundamentally change yourself or wanting to conform to someone else's beauty standard. And doing it because you want to, and not because the industry said, this is what you have to do to succeed I think is important, and just doing what feels right for you and what you feel comfortable with and never doing it out of pressure because your boyfriend said you'd look hotter if you did this to your face, or because a social media comment made you feel that way. And I think that's what it should come down to.

Absolutely. Yeah, and I think everyone's going to have different versions of that. And the truth is that everyone on some level does things aesthetically that they don't have to do, right?

It's completely optional and everyone has their own comfort level. But it does make me sad when I see-- especially the really young influencers and YouTubers and things like that, who are totally reconstructing themselves based on this very, very narrow definition of beauty. And it sucks.

I hope it stops. Yeah. I just hope people want to maintain looking like themselves in a way and not necessarily striving for a look that is ideal because someone else has made that ideal.

I totally agree. So we-- as I promised-- we have quite a lot of questions from our audience. They are very excited to have you here.

They say hello. Thanks. So first question is, how do you manage your time?

And this is between running a YouTube channel, which is also a business, and keeping a day job. I get this question a lot, as if people think I have some secret time management skill. I don't have a secret to unlock here, but I guess something practical that I do-- and I've always done since university-- is I subset all of my tasks and everything I need to do into milestones, as opposed to time.

So for example, I don't divide my day by like, for four hours, I'm going to do this, and then for four hours I'm going to do that. I find that that limits and restricts me completing things. Instead, I'll be like, I need to finish a cut of this video and get it down to 30 minutes.

And when I reach that point, then I'm going to switch to swatching nail polish. And when I swatch seven nail polishes, then I'm going to go write part of my paper. And when I finish the first two paragraphs, then I'm going to go to bed.

So I subset the day into tasks, smaller tasks, that I know I want to complete. And I learned that skill in university because you're forced to learn how to manage your time in university. And I think that's the biggest takeaway and value I got out of grad school, which was, when you're writing a thesis, you have a supervisor, and mine was pretty hands off.

And he was like, figure it out. And you spend a year writing this long ass essay, basically. And the only way I could do it without completely forgetting about it and then doing it last minute-- which is what a lot of people end up doing-- was say, OK, today I'm going to write the intro.

Four pages. Or the next day I'm going to do, just a literature review. And I have to read these two journal articles.

And if you subset a giant project into many tasks and you can check them off, I find that for me works the best in the most efficient way to managing my time and getting as much as possible done. I really like that. Also, how exotic and chic to call it university instead of college.

Oh. So in Canada, there's university and college, but there is a distinction. There is one here, too.

So yeah, university is academic studies, and college is usually more applied stuff. But I guess in the states, it's always college, right? Well, we have both, too, we just always say college.

Oh, OK. So one of the things-- so I hear that you are-- and this is something our audience has asked about as well-- but I'd love to hear from you about it. So you're also-- if it's OK to disclose-- you talk about being on the childfree train, journey, with your partner.

Is that accurate? Yes. We do not plan on having children.

I'd love to hear more from you about that decision, what brought you there. Have you faced difficulties with it, both either publicly or privately? Talk a little bit about that for us.

Yeah. I've always gotten questions ever since including Ben, my partner, in my content. It's like, why aren't you guys married?

Or when are you guys having kids? And I always find it weird that people ask people why aren't you married yet, because you shouldn't need-- you need a reason to get married, as opposed to a reason not to marry. Because in my eyes, getting married is the active decision.

Not being married is the neutral decision. So I'm always a bit confused. But I think they're-- for me personally, I think it has a lot to do with how I was socialized.

And I don't have any social reasons for why I need to get married-- in the sense that, I'm not religious, my family doesn't particularly put pressure on myself or my sister to get married, and that isn't-- that has never been made to be an important thing that we must accomplish. And I think I've always been a little bit of a contrarian. And I remember working for a lawyer, when I was in university-- as a part-time job-- he asked me if I was going to university to get my MRS Degree.

And I looked at him kind of confused. I didn't know what he meant, I was just caught off guard. I was like, no, I'm getting my BA in criminology.

And he's like, no, no, no, your MRS Degree. And I realized later, he was telling me, are you going to university to get married, because I guess that's an old-school thing that 50-year-old men 10 years ago thought that women did, is they found someone to marry in university and that was part of their value. And that really stuck with me.

And that is-- let me just clarify-- that is not the reason I'm choosing not to get married, but it is a big reason that played into my thought process in thinking about the social value of marriage and why there is this expectation on people to get married as a way to be complete, especially for women. Like, if you are not married, therefore you are not either committed or complete in everything you need to achieve. That's just not how I feel.

And then the other reason why we're not married is because there's just no logistical reason why. So we're common law status in Canada, and there is no financial, immigration, or otherwise, health care benefit to being married. It doesn't make a difference in our particular situation.

If it did make a difference, like if-- for an immigration reason or for health care, and we needed to sign those papers, I think I would say sure. Let's just do it, because it makes sense and it's practical. But it doesn't make a difference for us in our situation in our province.

We're just happy the way we are. We've been together for eight years. We have a house together, we're common-law partners, we have a cohabitation agreement, and we don't have kids because-- honestly, I've never really wanted kids and I'm happy with all the projects I have going in my life and I'm happy to work on all of those projects with Ben.

For one second, I heard you wrong and I didn't know his name was Ben, and I thought you were like, I'm happy doing all those projects with the men. I'm like, men? Plural?

Tell me more. No. Not all men, just Ben.

Just like a bunch of men in your house. No, it's interesting. I have been really leaning into a bit of a renaissance with myself about several months of just personal development stuff that I've been really into, on top of work.

Obviously-- especially for guys who watch the channel-- learning Spanish has been a huge deep dive. My husband and I-- my husband is a French immigrant and he has been living in France for the past year for immigration issues, so I go back and forth there quite a lot. So against my will travel is a pretty large part of my life, and all these other things.

And I was having a feeling yesterday-- having a thought-- because my husband and I are also childfree. For the time being, that's the path we're on. I hesitate to say definitively because I do think in life these things can evolve.

But I definitely know, biologically, it's not for us. But either way, I was having this thought yesterday because we're-- as of this morning in New York, anyone over 30 can get the vaccine, which is kind of that final moment of, wow, we're really about to get out of this situation, and we're about to enter back into a more normal life pretty soon. And I realized like, hey, I'm going to come out of the pandemic a lot better in certain ways, and I feel like I really made a lot out of it.

And I thought about, if I were to create content around it, what would I say? And the truth is that just a massive, massive part of all the things that I've been doing that I love and are so important to me, just basically come down to not having kids, you know? And I don't think that's to say that it's impossible to do all of those things if you have children, and I think that many people do-- although I think it's a lot easier if you don't work and have children versus caring about working full time very passionately and having children.

But I do think we often sell women this vision of life where you're really-- I mean, the cliche of doing it all I think sums it up. But this real vision of life in which-- like you were saying, you're complete when you're married and you're complete when you have kids-- but then on top of it, you're also supposed to do all of these additional things, whether that's career or hobbies or look a certain way or whatever. And I do think it would be a lot healthier if, as women especially, we were able to say, you can't do all of those things at once.

It's just not even physiologically possible to do all these things at once. But also, it is OK and valid to say, I don't want this big life choice because I want all of these other big life choices. Yeah, and you should have that freedom to choose what you want to focus on, too.

I've gotten comments over the years that I think were trying to get under my skin-- like, your time is ticking. You should have kids soon because I know you're 30 or whatever. Creeps.

But in all honesty, they don't bother me at all. I just laugh, because this is my life. I mean, please go have kids if you would like to have kids in your life.

I'm happy that there's women out there who want to be mothers, because obviously we need that for humanity and to continue the population. But I think it's OK for women to choose that that's not their path. And I don't think we should shame women for a choice one way or the other.

I totally agree. Have you found that as you've gotten older and you're now two years past 30, that you've gotten more secure in this choice? I think I've always been secure in this choice.

Even being in high school, I remember thinking, that's not for me. And I don't really-- maybe it's part that I'm not that maternalistic, unless it's a cat. I love babying my cats.

But as far as humans go, I just don't really have that gene in me. But I also think I'm just so project driven, that I can't even imagine myself doing anything other than that. And yeah.

I would never want to see a child as a project, either. That's just not how I would want to see a child, raising one. So yeah, it's a complete different lifestyle and it's just not the one that I want.

That's all. I totally hear you. Also, I was a monstrous child-- and especially teenager-- and my parents love being parents.

It's their greatest calling. They've always wanted to be parents. And it was hard for them, having a really, really rebellious and shitty teenager.

So I can't even imagine, if you were less motivated than them and you ended up with someone like me. Shout out to my parents. Yeah.

I was a smartass, too. Yeah. Oh.

You were probably-- listen. You went to university, which already implies that you were on a much better track than I was as a teen. I did not go to college.

So where does your main source of YouTube revenue come from? AdSense, so the ads on the videos. And that's a choice in the sense that I don't take 98% of the sponsorships that come my way.

I maybe do a sponsorship twice a year, if that, on my main YouTube channel. On the podcast, it's different. We will do some sponsorship runs, but that-- as a nominal figure-- is much lower compared to what I would get on my main channel, Simply Nailogical.

So it's almost all from ad revenue, just the ads that play on my videos. And I can do that-- or rely on that, rather-- because I still get a lot of views on YouTube. And there's a lot of views that I get from older videos, too-- which I think people forget about.

But when you have a back catalog of years of videos, especially evergreen type content, like nail hacks or how to grow your nails, that's always going to be something that people are searching for, even though I posted that video three years ago. So there's still a lot of ad revenue coming in from older videos in that sense. Are you at all comfortable sharing anything around what you might make in AdSense in an average month?

I think we've-- well, I've shared before what the most I've made off of a video is. Off a single video or in a single month? Off of a single video.

The most I've ever made off a video was over $50,000. Whoo, buddy. That's a lot of money.

But that's an outlier, right? That's an exception. And that's when a video goes viral.

And that was after I was in Google Preferred, so ad rates were better. And that was after YouTube added mid-roll ads-- so when you get double the ads, like an ad plays in the middle of the video. So there's all these variables that go into it.

And then sometimes you have a video that gets demonetized, so you get very little to nothing off of that video. It's not reliable like my day job income. We are totally the opposite.

We make-- on YouTube, anyway-- the majority of our revenue comes from sponsorships and integrations, as we call them. So you can predict that. So that's good in the sense that you know what's coming.

No. We cannot predict that. No, no, no.

In fact, our YouTube revenue on the ad roll-- what she's talking about where it's just the ads that autoplay. Please do not use ad blockers with us. If anything, sign up for YouTube Premium.

I hate ads, too, but I just signed up for YouTube Premium so I can support the creators I like, and it's a much better experience. So we make a really predictable amount every month. We make about $10,000 to $12,000 a month on YouTube, just pre-roll ad revenue-- which, as I shared earlier, is a pretty small portion of our overall revenue.

But again, we have a lot of employees. So it's not like it's just my money. So we make a pretty steady amount.

It will fluctuate occasionally, but our model just is very different as a channel than most YouTube channels. We have several different shows that each vary wildly in terms of the length, the type of audience, the views. And we also don't really go viral very much, because who's trying-- what video about personal finance is going viral?

And we specifically don't do those really bottom barrel videos that some people will do to go viral in the PF community where we're making fun of someone's budget or their purchases or like things like that. So whatever. So that's really reliable.

But no, the sponsorship money is not predictable at all. It averages out over the year, but it usually breaks down that we end up with a few big advertising deals every year that are across all of our platforms, not just YouTube. But when those land, it's very unpredictable.

OK. Which is why, as a business-- much like an individual-- we have to have an emergency fund, because we often have to pay people before we are paid. That being said, clients, if you're watching, pay us promptly.

How do you decide, personally, that it is the right-- well, I guess the answer to this is that you don't hire anyone. Am I correct? Someone is asking how do you decide when it's the right time to hire someone rather than do it yourself in the company.

I think I should be honest and say, I admit I have trouble giving up control. And I think as a creative person, in terms of my videos on Simply Nailogical, I've always had a vision of exactly what I wanted and how I wanted to do it. In terms of editing, I've never hired an editor.

I edit all of my videos. But I also like doing that work. That is the work I want to be doing.

So if it's something-- if it's not something you want to be doing and you can reasonably outsource it without compromising the vision, then I absolutely see value in that. But personally for me, editing my own YouTube videos is what I like and enjoy doing. I want to be the one writing the weird text above my head, about a thought bubble I've had.

I can't even imagine someone else deciding what that should say, in terms of making a joke or a meme somewhere in the middle of the video. I know when I'm filming some dumb parody of a song how I want to edit it as I'm filming it, and I can't imagine someone else editing it. So I think it just really depends on the person and the creative vision.

That being said, when it comes to Holo Taco, my nail polish business, I knew and accepted that I can't make the nail polish myself. I shouldn't make the nail polish myself. So we work with a manufacturing company in the States-- it's in New Jersey, actually, and they also work out in New York-- to produce the nail polish.

And I accept that my expertise is in the formulas and the vision and the creative process and messaging I want in nail polish, but it's not in the manufacturing and the logistics of making nail polish. So I understand when I needed to find someone who can do that. So we have chemists, we have a lab that works on that.

That's not my expertise. I'm definitely interested in it, and I can't wait till COVID is over so I can go back to the lab. But yeah.

I think for me, it really depends on what content we're talking about. For my creative YouTube stuff, I've mostly kept it in my control just because that's what I want to do and that's the work I enjoy doing. But from a logistical perspective, in terms of getting nail polish off the ground and in the hands of customers, I cannot do that myself and I needed to hire the expertise from people who can actually do that.

So is that like-- it's like a licensing set up essentially, right? No, it's like a shared partnership. Oh, OK.

Got it. Yeah. I own the Holo Taco brand, so we invested a lot in the design of the brand.

It was actually a Canadian company we hired to develop the branding for it-- like the logos, the patterns, the messaging, and the vision for it is all me. And that's what I want to stay true to. OK.

Got it. But, so it's not like a line being produced by a pre-existing nail polish brand? No.

The brand is my own, but we've hired a manufacturer to make the nail polish. Got it. A lot of times what you'll see on YouTube-- especially in the beauty community-- is a lot of licensing stuff, where essentially, a pre-existing cosmetics company will partner with a YouTuber to produce a specific product that's under their brand, essentially-- both totally valid.

But it's cool that you're actually owning the brand and everything. So one question that someone ask that I am also very curious about, what are your long term goals financially? Because it seems like you could never work another day and still be comfortable, but according to you and Ben you still both work so much.

Do you know what you're working toward? Are you just doing what you love and will figure it out as you go? Yeah.

We did mention on a recent podcast that-- actually, I don't know if we put it this way, but I'll just say it again-- that we have made more money on YouTube alone than our day jobs would make if we worked for the rest of our lives at our day job. And that is a crazy fact to even think about, and I get how crazy-- I still don't really wrap my mind around that. And people always ask me, why don't you just quit your day job?

Because if you don't need the money-- clearly at this point, I'm not holding on to my day job for security. I think that I should be transparent about that. That's not why I'm holding on to it at this point.

For the first year of YouTube, absolutely that was a motive for holding on to my day job, I guess-- because who knows what YouTube was going to bring, especially with the volatility of working in that kind of industry. But I think it's clear to me now that I've kept my day job and I want to keep it because it's work I enjoy doing. I've been doing it since before YouTube.

I put so much work into getting my day job that I don't think people really realize. I did a lot of school just to apply for that job. I went through three years of being paid as a temporary employee in the government before I got offered a permanent position, and I've been in the position I am now for almost eight years.

So to me-- as an older person, I guess-- there's just a much longer history with my day job than I have with YouTube, which I've only been doing for the past five or six years. So it almost feels like it's a part of my identity. And to be honest, when I'm-- I don't know, 55 years old-- it's hard to imagine exactly what I'm doing and I'm not going to be able to accurately predict-- who knows.

But I've always thought maybe my life course would revert back to the girl in the cubicle running analyses on her computers. So maybe that's where I'll end up and that will be my main focus once again when I'm older, or maybe I'll be still Creative Director of Holo Taco. I really don't know.

But all I know for now is that I love having these multiple different types of jobs because they each satisfy me in a different way. I freaking love that. I have so much respect for that.

It's very fascinating. We have a lot of people asking, how do you-- essentially trying to amalgamate these questions-- how do you budget differently because you have this enormously life-changing amount of income coming in additionally, versus how would you budget without it? How do I budget?

I've always been very hands-on with my finances. I'm accounts payable and receivable for Simply Nailogical. I'm the one in the bank accounts, no one else.

And I've always been very spreadsheet oriented. Even in university, I'd keep a tab of how much I was spending on textbooks, how much I spent on groceries, how much roommates owe me for a fifth of this bill. And I've always kind of been like that, and I've definitely carried over those skills to YouTube finance land.

That being said, when you acquire an amount of money that is no longer reasonable to keep track in in a spreadsheet, I did hire a financial advisor who can really oversee investments because to be honest, that's not my strong suit, and I've accepted that I'm not going to become an expert on investing at this stage of my life. There's too many other things going on in my brain. So I have hired professionals who helped me on that front, when it comes to managing the money that the company is investing.

Man, I love that. Truly aspirational for the TFD community, already budgeting at a high level as a student. So we have reached that famous time in every episode of TFC.

I'm going to hit you with our rapid fire questions, feel free to pass on any of them. But these are just our zippy whatever-comes-to-mind questions. What is the big financial secret of your industry-- and we'll say for this, your day job.

My day job. I think the average person doesn't realize that all of our salaries are posted publicly on the internet because it's part of a rule of government transparency. So people can just look up exactly how much you make right now?

It's not by name, so you have to know what group and level I'm at. But I think-- that is just the complete opposite to how much influencers make, for example, right? The Canadian government has some-- I don't know, like rule-- about transparency of public servants, so you should be able to look at how much someone in such a position makes per year.

And it's just the opposite of influencer world. Nice. That's actually true for many US jobs as well in the public sector.

What do you invest in versus what are you cheap about? I invest in really good tech equipment. I spent $10,000 on a really big hard drive, but it was worth it to store all my footage.

And I'm cheap about anything to do with temporary grooming, like haircuts, getting my hair dyed, getting my nails done. I do all of that myself. Nice.

Listen, if you have the skills to do so-- happy, happy. I saw a lot of people doing those self things during quarantine-- could not be me. I would look like a crazy person.

What has been your best investment and why? Probably Holo Taco. So we were only able to start Holo Taco with a big upfront investment of several thousand dollars.

And the only reason I could do that was because of the success of the Simply Nailogical YouTube videos. So really the only reason I have a nail polish brand is because people have just enjoyed my videos. So I think that was an incredibly good investment that wouldn't have happened if I didn't already have an audience.

Love that. What has been your biggest money mistake and why? As an influencer, rendering services before being paid in full.

I definitely made that mistake early on of trusting brands to make a payment on an ad I was going to post on Instagram, or a video. And I just maybe was too shy at the time to be like, no, you have to pay in full or 50% on this date and then the final amount on this date. And it definitely got me screwed over, so I learned from that.

Well, we do not get paid before services are rendered on quite a lot of our jobs, but we do have lawyers and we will go after you. But you have agreements in place, right? Oh, yeah.

Of course. There's always a way. I don't mean it 100% has to be in full before you post it, but you need to have an agreement, right?

And you need to know exactly how it's going to go down. And I think I didn't think in advance very early on about that, but I definitely learned my lesson. Nice.

What is your biggest current money insecurity? I think that I'm insecure about the fact that just because I have money-- and that's something you can just google and decide-- that people decide I'm out of touch, simply because I have money. And I think I never want to be perceived as a person who can't relate or can't possibly empathize or be compassionate about the situation of others who aren't as fortunate as me.

Not that I've been accused of that in particular, but it's just something I reflect on a lot-- especially with the pandemic and the accusation of a lot of influencers being out of touch, which they absolutely are, many of them. But I think I'm always striving to never lose sight of what life is like for the average person who hasn't been as lucky as I have. I totally hear that and identify with it.

What is the financial habit that has helped you the most in life? Asking myself if I really need something and how many times am I going to use it and will it be worth it. And so I always value quality over quantity.

So if I'm going to spend a lot of money on the next MacBook, I'm going to do it knowing that I'm going to get a good return on investment with that because I edit all of my videos on my MacBook, and it's really important that it works well and doesn't slow me down. So I think really questioning before you make that purchase is important, but also allowing yourself to make that purchase if it's in your budget, if you're going to get a lot of value out of it-- to accept, sometimes it's OK. Because I've definitely struggled with telling myself not to spend too much.

I've definitely been a cheap person in my past, and I've had to learn to spend the money if it makes sense. Totally. I laughed when you said MacBook because it's the one tool I use for work.

Literally, I just use a MacBook for everything I do and I go through them like-- I chain smoke my MacBooks. I just am so rough on them. I get the really, really light ones and I take it absolutely everywhere.

And every time I have to trade it in, the guy is like, did you put this in a washing machine or something? I'm really rough on my MacBook but it's literally my one work tool, so whatever. Yeah.

It's essential. You need a good computer. It's essential.

And I know-- that, I will say, the company buys. We all get tech credits, we don't buy our own tech. So that-- whatever.

It fits into my budget. Let's put it that way. Last question is, when did you first feel successful and what does that word mean to you?

I felt successful when I felt like my hard work paid off, in the sense of some kind of social or public affirmation that my work paid off. And I guess there's a few instances in my life where that happened, like when I was doing really well on YouTube and my content went viral. And then all of a sudden, I had a million subscribers.

But even before that, I think I put so much work into things like school. I went to school for five years of my life, and that's something no one on the internet sees or cares about today, but when I defended my thesis, I remember thinking, I worked so hard for this and I was just so proud that I did that. And I also-- in the same week that I defended my thesis-- happened to be offered a permanent job in the government that week.

And so I just felt like it was me getting finally recognized for all the hard work that I'd put in. And I think everyone's life path turns out differently. Not everyone needs to go to school.

But for the career I was pursuing in particular, they did require certain pre-reqs in terms of education and criminology. So it felt to me like my hard work of school and being paid at a much lower rate as a student for three years finally paid off when I got that job offer. This is all pre-YouTube life, but it's such a big part of my life, too, that I've definitely carried into my YouTube world and I hope tries to keep me grounded in a way that I never want to forget, in essence, where I came from.

I love that. One of my favorite answers ever of that question. Well thank you so, so much, Cristine, for taking the time-- especially now knowing that you don't do a lot of interviews.

I really appreciate it and I know our audience will, too. So obviously, most of them are like your biggest stans, but for those who don't know, where can they go to find more about you and what you do? So I post videos on Simply Nailogical on YouTube.

I also have a podcast called SimplyPodLogical on YouTube and wherever you can get podcasts. And I sell Holo cool-looking nail polish at Love it. Well thank you so much for taking the time.

We've so loved having you here, and thank you guys all for tuning in. And we will see you back next Monday on the next episode of The Financial Confessions See you. [MUSIC PLAYING]