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To kickstart 2020, we've got TFD partner and COO Annie Atherton in the hot seat this week. Annie is here to tell us about her background, why she does the work she does, and explain how TFD makes money and stays in business. Annie and Chelsea also share some hilarious stories of teenage (and adult) hijinks.

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Hello, everyone.

And welcome back to a brand new episode of The Financial Confessions. And I know I say this every episode, and you probably don't believe it at this point, but this actually is a very special episode for reasons that will not immediately be clear to you, because this guest will be almost certainly unknown to you unless you're their parent or spouse.

But very special to me because it's someone that I have the pleasure of working and just interacting with on a daily basis. But I will get to the big reveal of who the guest is in just a moment. First, I wanted to give a very quick shout out to our beloved partners with whom we create every episode of The Financial Confessions.

So as you guys may know, we make every episode of The Financial Confessions in partnership with Intuit. And if you don't know Intuit, you almost certainly know some of the amazing products that they make. Basically, Intuit aims to put a personal CFP in your back pocket by giving you all the different tools you need to help manage and optimize every part of your financial life.

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No matter what your financial needs are, unless you are living off the grid somewhere, you are probably going to need help at some point. And Intuit is the perfect partner to get you all the help that you need. If you can't wait to get started, check out Inuit at the link in our description or show notes and get cracking.

So as I promised, we have a very special guest who is unbeknownst to you guys, but very knownst to me. And that is my partner-- my business partner, not life partner-- Annie Atherton. Hey guys.

Hello. So you guys, if you're familiar with TFD, you probably know that I have another partner, Lauren Ver Hage, who used to be on the YouTube channel-- for you guys watching YouTube-- who also still works with us every day as our designer, and who is my co-founder. But she is actually in Ireland right now-- top of the morning to people-- so she is not here today.

And I thought since you guys already knew her a little bit, it would be cool to introduce you to my other partner, who really manages so much of the day-to-day goings-on of The Financial Diet as a business. So Annie, to get us started, would you kind of just contextualize for our viewers what you actually do at TFD every day? Yeah, for sure.

That was quite an introduction that I have to live up to now. I have to say, as much as you are tooting my horn right now, I feel like this experience gives me a much higher appreciation for you being on YouTube, and, in fact, anyone who is on YouTube or on a podcast, because it's kind of nerve-wracking when you don't do it. It's interesting.

Annie has been prepping intensely for this day, I would like everyone to know, which is very much part of her personality. But she takes this very seriously, which we really love. I am the COO and a managing partner of The Financial Diet.

So I run the company along with Chelsea. And that encompasses a whole lot of different things. We're a very small team, about seven people in office on a given day.

So as you can imagine, all of us do many jobs beyond what our technical title is. But my primary responsibility for the past two years has been to bring in advertising revenue. Or what you might be more familiar as sponsorships.

So that is the majority of how The Financial Diet makes money, not unlike probably most digital publishers. And it's a lot of work to go out and find these folks, and manage the campaigns once they're running, and make sure that they do well, and that they don't-- aren't intrusive and integrate well into the rest of what we do. Beyond that, I do a lot of behind the scenes just logistical work.

So like managing our payroll, making sure we get paid, and pay other people, and vice versa. And lastly, I get to help out with some creative stuff because-- which is very unusual for somebody in my position. But because we're small, because Chelsea is very collaborative, and cool, and wants everyone to give input, I also get to work on the creative side of things as well.

So that's Chief Operating Officer, for people who may not know what COO stands for. And so how did-- so I know that we obviously know how we came together. But how did you come to work at The Financial Diet?

Can you give a little back is to like our origin story and yours with TFD ? Yeah. So Chelsea and I used to worked together at a pretty big media company in Brooklyn-- Which shall not be named, but I'm sure you all can Google.

Yeah. And we were both very new to New York. I think we met within both having moved here like a month before meeting each other, and really had that like bright-eyed, bushy-tailed approach to being in New York City.

I was 25. I think you were 24. I'm a year younger, so yes.

That math checks out. Yeah. And it was my-- not only was it my first job in digital publishing, it was my first full-time job salaried ever, first nine to five.

Same. I had kind of a weird career path where I was-- started out, I did a traditional four year university, but then when I graduated with a degree in English and international studies, I was like, oh, was I supposed to like have been thinking about what I was going to do after this? Like, missed that memo.

So I did-- I basically had no plan whatsoever. And I didn't even really want one for a few years. I just did a lot of random stuff like barista, server, worked as like a combination host/security guard at a dinner theater.

Was that the burlesque theater? Yes. Did a lot of backpacking-- You got to give people the zesty details.

Yeah. Yeah. Come on, that's so good.

And I honestly loved it. It was like having been a person that was like-- I was very into school, and like had gone 17 years without having anything that wasn't like, this is your prescribed path. It felt really good to just be like doing nothing-- or not doing nothing, but not having any distinct plan for a while.

You WOOFed, right? Yeah. Yeah.

I did this thing called-- I actually can't remember what exactly it stands for, WOOFing, but it's like Workers On Organic Farms, I think, in Australia. All that is to say if you find yourself graduating from college, or at any point, and are like, what the heck am I doing? That is exactly what happened to me, and it's fine.

You'll figure it out. I don't regret those like wandering years whatsoever. But anyway, long story short, I finally reached a point where I was just like, oh this-- is I need to do something, have some momentum.

So I came to New York and did this summer publishing institute for six weeks. And then right out of that, I started working at this company. And it was like pretty random, how I ended working there.

I looked up the CEO's email online-- The company being the one we worked at. Yes. It happened to be listed, asked if they were hiring for anything, and they were hiring for a salesperson.

Bear in mind that is by no means what I had intended on going into. I thought I was going to be in book publishing. You probably dodged a bullet.

Yeah. Thriving industry-- Industry-wise. I don't know if you heard.

But yeah, for whatever reason, I like had coffee with this guy. And I was just like, this just seems fun. This seems more different.

And the sales, I knew from the beginning, would not be really cut and dry. It was creative from the beginning because we were like integrating it into the editorial that we were doing. And that's why I worked really close with Chelsea, because she led that process.

Right. Yeah. I was working on the editorial side, like basically, a brand would come to the company, and I would work with the sales team to help decide what that campaign would look like.

So we were doing that together at this media company, and we worked with a huge range of clients, like a bunch of movies that you would recognize, like random alcohol brands, like really across the board-- Really random alcohol brands. --and some really kooky experiences. Fun fact, we actually worked with one alcohol brand that, of course, will not be named. But we worked with that brand for several months and none of us ever, to date, have ever seen this alcohol in a store or a bar.

That was some kind of CIA operation to test the limits of media ad buys. I wouldn't say-- Or a hallucination. Don't forget collective hallucination is possible.

Yeah. I actually think that's an interesting question for us to talk about and for people to hear, like what are-- what do we say no to? Like what makes us say no to things?

Like where are the limits? Because I think it's very much a case-by-case kind of thing. And we've talked recently about like we feel like we should really nail down exactly what those limits are.

But it can be very gray in each situation. So I'm curious as to what you think about that. Yeah, definitely.

I mean, one thing that's pretty obvious is that we don't promote anything that we think is like really egregiously luxurious. We're not going to show $500 sunglasses. Like we're just not going to do that because we wouldn't recommend that to our audience as part of a sound financial plan.

And of course, you know our whole ethos is that anything can be part of a plan if it fits for, you but our assumption based on the age and life circumstances in most of our audience is that they're not in that position. If you can afford it, no judgment. I mean-- Yeah.

That's true. I feel like it's interesting because I often watch like-- YouTube is a really good example, because the average person who's watching YouTube has watched YouTube creators like promote products. And a lot of times, you can really tell that like it's not even comfortable for them.

But you do really realize-- like we've said no even pretty recently to a brand that kind of from the get-go was a little bit different than what we usually do. But like some of their messaging-- and we won't get into the messaging, because that would be too revealing of who the brand was-- but as we got into the process, we were like, ooh, this probably doesn't really sound like us. It doesn't sound like something that we would endorse.

And so not only do you have to have the uncomfortable conversation with the client of saying like, I'm sorry, but we just can't run this as it is. You have to, in the case that you've received the money, return the money. So it can be a very-- like even for someone at our position, who has the financial ability to say no, and who has a team of people, it can feel very hard and uncomfortable.

So I can totally see how like if you're just an average creator working by yourself, oftentimes-- and this is your salary, basically, like that could be really difficult. So I have empathy, and I feel like a lot of times audiences can be really hard on creators who maybe don't always like hit it out of the park with their ads, because that's how they make their living in most cases. Totally.

I mean, one thing that I think a lot of people don't appreciate that often is that content didn't used to be free. Now everything is free, and people just expect that. And in some ways, that's a beautiful thing and has democratized the internet.

At the same time, I think people literally forget that creators have to pay themselves somehow. Yeah. And I think they can even, in some cases, maybe begrudge it.

Totally. But it's like where do you think they're going to get that money from? Yeah.

Do you feel like these people-- yeah. And it-- I mean, for me at least, it's always felt like kind of like really kind of a Scylla and Charybdis situation, in the sense of like I've never necessarily felt comfortable with something like a Patreon for us, because we are able to sustain ourselves through ad revenue, and we do discourage people from spending on a lot of things. So I don't want to then turn around and say, but spend on us.

But I'm not sure that's totally right because I could also make the argument that we're providing something that is really great for-- and we want to pay everyone. And we do pay everyone a very competitive salary. But then on the other hand I also-- I know that even the most well done partnerships will open you up to that same criticism.

So you can often feel like there is no way to win. And I think that in some consumers' minds, like especially consumers who will use something like Adblock, even on sites that they love, that they know are run, it's like you're basically-- what you're saying to that creator is like, I want what you're making, but I don't think you deserve to make a living from it, you know? So it's just like you have to figure out what does the-- what does the sustainable model look like, you know?

Yeah. I mean, imagine if like all car services were free, and you just had to like watch a commercial in them. Like that would be an insane business model.

Oh hell yeah. Yeah. I'd love that.

That's media, you guys. I would take that. Something else that I feel like doesn't get discussed enough-- and this is I think partially tied up to like how much this is most YouTubers, it's their whole career, and they're often alone in this, is that like it is-- it can be really taxing on mental health.

And that is something that we have encountered so much in this industry, as seeing people who make content online who really have a hard time maintaining any barrier with their audience, with other creators. Like that it becomes their entire life. So I feel like part of what we've always tried to do at TFD is keep a strong sense of like, yes, we're doing this-- we're very passionate about teaching young women and men about money.

We love what we do. We love making good stuff. But we're also human beings with private lives.

Like, we're not going to come out and just reveal everything about ourselves or give unlimited access to ourselves. And I feel like that's the other thing that a lot of creators have not found the right model for, is giving enough of themselves to make the work that people love without giving so much of themselves that there is nothing left. And I feel like that's another place in which you can be a more-- a more discerning fan and a better fan, is like I have creators that I love, and I'm in a weird position of sometimes like meeting creators that I love.

And it's a fine line, but I think it goes a long way to just treat them with respect, and like have a respectful distance, and make sure that they don't feel like they're a performing monkey when you're around. What do you think it is about the way we talk about money that has made it easier for a lot of people to talk about money? Because we've had a lot of people even on this show who've revealed financial details about themselves that they never had.

Yeah. I think that's a really good question. I think as we've always said from the beginning, there are a million places online where you can find investment advice, and like, what's the best credit card for me?

Like we've never set out to be your cutting-edge financial advice or promising anyone that we're going to make you a millionaire. Like, we're for sure not. But I think what there has been a huge need for, which is a need that we're filling, is a place to talk about the emotional side of money because money is very emotional.

It's like simultaneously this thing that affects everything, affects everyone, is necessary in order to do anything in this world, and yet, is something that we're taught to not even talk about-- and let alone learn about or feel we can use to our advantage. Did you talk a lot about it growing up? No.

Not really. I mean, I wouldn't say-- probably no more than the average person, which is barely, you know? Before joining TFD, were you-- was that like an interest of yours, money?

So I have never been a very like nuts and bolts money person. In fact, like growing up, I was like in notoriously a little flaky about it. But I would say what I have thought about a lot since a very young age is how class effects people in their lives, and how we perceive other people, and ourselves.

Interesting. What do you think made you think so much about that? So I think a couple of things.

I grew up in a neighborhood that had very mixed incomes, very, very wealthy people, and also like housing projects. And then I went to school in a district that is incredibly wealthy. It was a public school, but it just happened to be very, very prosperous.

And I think just seeing those differences, and being aware of those differences, and thinking about them always sparked that interest in me. And I was a little bit of an outsider at the school because I didn't live in the district. I was especially allowed to commute because my mother was a teacher there.

So I think anytime you have that outside perspective, that like allows you to analyze the situation in an interesting way. I really relate to that. I had a very-- as you guys probably know if you listen or watch-- I have a pretty-- I had a pretty similar experience during my high school years, in particular.

Like I was a not-- we weren't poor at that time, but we were definitely a middle class. But I went to school with like-- I would say half the students in my class got like a new BMW for their 16th birthday, like it was very much like-- and being around that, like looking back, I think I would have been infinitely better off being in that situation as an adult than as a teenager, because I feel like as a teenager, it is just uniquely crushing to like not-- to have that, to feel that distance, because teenagers-- like adults will at least not say shit to your face, but a teenager will be like, are those fake UGGs? And you're like-- Oh yeah.

We had UGG day on my cheerleading squad. Where you had to wear UGGs? Yeah.

We had-- do you know what ours were? At my high school-- And Juicy suit day. Juicy-- OK, we had like-- we had Lacoste polo shirt day, like where-- it was a very popular thing.

So I'm from a very WASPy town, where it was very popular at the time to wear-- God, looking back, what the hell was this? Like people would wear multiple polo shirts on top of each other. Oh, I did that.

And pop all of the collars. I did that. And they do the rainbow pop, which is they wore like seven-- I didn't do that.

The Roygbiv. I'm like sweating profusely. I like probably look like the Michelin Man.

But like they would wear them all in the rainbow colors, and pop all the collars, and it would be seven layers deep of Lacoste polo shirts, which, by the way, cost $72, or did in 2005. So I just remember like looking at that and feeling like-- I would like obsess over the fact that like my family bought like store brand cereal, and be like-- or like I would ask for a polo shirt at Christmas, and I would get an Old Navy polo shirt, and I would feel disgusting, like I would want to rip my skin off my chest. And like looking back, it's so funny because there was a time in like the transition period where like I definitely still cared about those things, and now it's like, looking back, I feel actively glad that I didn't receive a free BMW because-- not to generalize.

I mean, I'm sure some of those kids are doing fine. But a lot of them really aren't. Like a lot of them had a really troubled life after that.

And like-- or at the very least are not in the position that I think that they would aspire to be. And I think it's probably in large part because having that much at that young of an age, I think it really kind of damages your brain in a way, because you really lose a lot of sense of perspective, and what is your expectation going into life, and like so many things that the average person work for would now be a disappointment, you know? My husband and I are now in a position where we can collectively outearn both of our parents.

Like we earn more than either of our parents did together, which, when you live in New York City, doesn't really feel the way that it would feel in another city. Both of our parents, they didn't live in big cities, so their cost of living was lower. But they just both had like more normal middle class salaries.

And it's not that we're millionaires, but we have reached that stage. And like it is really interesting the degree to which both of our parents will often like really actively kind of shame us, and be like, you guys throw money around like it's nothing. Like you guys really like-- when we will pay for certain things, or not worry about certain things, or like-- and it does give you that twinge of like, ooh, maybe that's right.

Like maybe I am not taking my money seriously enough. And I think it's a real blessing to have that, because if you don't have that, like that really does in many ways help curb our lifestyle inflation in a very active way. And I feel like if we didn't have that, it would be even easier than it is to get on the hamster wheel of New York City, where you can just-- your mind immediately adjust to so many costs that you would never otherwise normalize.

Totally. One of my friends who used to work at a big fancy law firm said-- used the phrase "the golden handcuffs" to describe a lot of partners at the firm who get in this vicious cycle, where you work like 80 hours a week, but then you have a mortgage, and a car, and you just trap yourself, literally, in this lifestyle where you can never get off of it because you have to afford it. I just think it's very healthy, in general-- like, I definitely agree that the class focus-- even more so than money, class is such an important prism to view all of this through because it totally defines what you deem as normal, or acceptable, or a need, all of these things are what you or I might describe it as a need, someone else could totally live without.

So that's not a need. Totally. When it comes to money and class, so much of what matters to us is purely just dependent on who is around us.

And that totally defines-- and I think that comes back to what the value of The Financial Diet is, and why I feel like it's a-- we're providing a value for people, is that it is a community in its way. We have ourselves sharing our stories, we have all of our contributors on our website, we have all the commenters on our YouTube videos and in our Facebook group-- which you guys should all join. But the idea-- It's called Talk About Money.

Yeah. But the idea with us sharing all these stories is to give people more perspective. So they're not only having to look at the 10 people around them that they work with, or go to the bar with, or went to high school, and then only compare themselves to these folks, who might not even be sharing the full story with them.

Absolutely. And I think that's one of the biggest issues, is that there is no comfortable place to even hear other people's stories, let alone share your own. So if you read a story on our website, or hear Chelsea talk about how she used to destroy her credit, and we share-- With a pickaxe.

Yeah. Hopefully-- we hope that you have a sense that you're not alone in this struggle, and that you are probably doing a lot better than you think you are. And I also feel like that for me-- this is why we always joke-- I mean, god damn, we need to get that bell.

Like anytime someone shares a number, good or bad, that's why we feel so excited about, because I really believe firmly that the only antidote to a lot of these anxieties, insecurities, and even maybe a lack of solidarity is transparency. Like there is something terrifying and liberating about being totally financially naked, so to speak, to use Erin, Broke Millennial's, word, because there is something about it that I think so many people were raised not to talk about money. But I think also, so many people have so intricately coupled with their worth as a human being, or some kind of like ultimate indicator of their value, that it feels terrifying.

But once you do it, and you realize, as Ryan said when-- in a previous episode, that the sky didn't fall. You're still alive. Like everything's still fine.

All of the sudden, that thing has so much less power over you. And it-- not only that, but it can become a tool. Like I obviously share what I make, but like-- I mean, I don't share what our employees make, because it's not my place.

That's their option to share if they want, but like, I hope they're sharing it. Like I hope everyone's really transparent with each other because I would never want there to be a situation where people-- and I think that if you have that opportunity at your work, like please, share your salary-- make sure you're in a safe space, but that is such a valuable tool. Like so many people at jobs, not until they leave, and maybe even years after, find out they were being paid $30,000 less than someone else making-- doing the exact same job.

Especially women. Especially women, especially women of color. So if you can get over that initial fear, your power just automatically increases.

Yeah. And I think not talking about something just makes it seem shameful. And probably one of the best things our generation has done, I think, is break a lot of the stigma around sexuality, race, mental health, like all these topics that people used to like whisper about.

And money is kind of late to the game in that respect, almost. Like we-- I was going to say that it's like-- It's like the final frontier. It is.

It is for a lot of people. It totally is. But it's also like before we talked about sexual health, mental health, about like finances, it was a lot of, is this normal?

I assume it is or I assume I'm-- I'm a horrible person and doing everything wrong. And that is not-- that's not a way to live. It really freaks some people out.

Like people-- some people-- I always forget when I'm not in a TFD zone, I'll like-- Marc and I love to like eat at the bar, and we'll strike up conversations with people near us when we're like out traveling, especially. And occasionally, I've gotten into conversations where I'll reveal a number. And they have this look on their face of like, who are you, lady?

Like Ew. And I'm like, oh, sorry, this is like my normal. On that note, are there any fun numbers you want to share?

Any-- I don't know, it could be anything. But we always love a number. A number-- did not prepare this one.

Oh. I don't know. It could be like a-- I don't know-- just like even your rent.

I don't know-- it's like fun-- it's always fun to share-- Sure. I can talk about-- I'll talk about my rent. So I just moved to New York City, which is exciting, to be able to-- I'm in the TFD office every day now, which is awesome.

And this is just a few months ago. I moved like two weeks after getting married-- don't recommend. But I love our apartment.

It's in-- it's just south of Prospect Park, like basically along the edge-- so central Brooklyn, if you're familiar with that area at all, and it's a little far from the office. But to me, it's worth it. We have a two bedroom, which I've never had before.

And it's-- It's a luxury. The lease price is $2,550. We negotiated one month free the first year.

So it normalizes to like 23-something. Which is a very good price for a two bedroom in New York. That's a good deal.

And it's like all redone. It's brand new. We've had a little hiccups with the heat-- if you're listening, management-- which is a theme for me in New York-- Could you imagine?

To throw back to a further-- to a further situation, let me just paint a picture for you, when I first moved here and lived-- We know-- the Hey Arnold house? Yeah. And I was making like $35,000.

Talk about knowing the value of a dollar. This was like beyond, though. Like I think I had like a weird almost like belligerent needed to be self-sufficient and wouldn't ask anyone for help.

And I was like, I will live on $35,000 in New York City-- Which is very little in New York. Yeah. And had no heat for an entire winter.

I had a huge space heater. The guy took pity on me and gave me that. Also, can I please contextualize that I always call it the Hey Arnold house because she always had like a rotating cast of like like older boarding member characters.

She'd be like that like 60-year-old Czech woman who's always microwaving fish or whatever. Yeah. We didn't really interact.

I was the only person in this-- I love the idea of you like a manic pixie dream girl, like the woman you a fish through the window. You've got no heat. You're like, I can do it.

We want to like I've picture you in like a Victorian crumbling in Crown Heights with like boards over every window and ghosts. Oh. Yeah.

It was like above one of those pizza places with the thick bulletproof glass to pay. Oh no. But it was fine.

I was never hassled or anything. I never had-- I never felt unsafe, strangely-- maybe I should have. But, yeah, anyway, long story short, the heat is a recurring issue for me in New York City.

But aside from that, everything is great about the place. But I will say that that's a huge increase in right from what I was paying in Seattle, which was I can't remember right now-- 14-something a month. Wow.

And that was for a one-bedroom. In Capitol Hill. Yeah.

So it was much smaller, but it was in like the cool neighborhood. So it still was a good deal. And yeah, so it still stings to be-- to be adding like $1,000 a month to our rent, but-- Oh yeah.

For sure. So no matter how you talk about money, it's always important to remember to do it with the right tools at hand. So fun fact, I say all the time that I used QuickBooks, that I look at QuickBooks basically every day, and I do.

But Annie actually uses QuickBooks even more than I use it. Tell us a little bit about QuickBooks. I do, yeah.

It's how we manage all of our money, basically. And it's-- Shout out QuickBooks. You literally have all our money.

It really is pretty intuitive. I taught myself how to do it, and I had-- I'm not that tech savvy. So I think that goes to show that it's a really well-designed platform.

It is. And so we use it basically every day. We just manage like everything from like payroll, to invoicing, to keeping track of our spending.

I mean, honestly, on a certain level budgeting for a business is not that dissimilar from budgeting for your home, if you were like a really, really rich person. But so like it allows you to like see where you're spending, and see where you might be kind of going over budget, and things like that. And it just really makes the whole process of managing finances so much easier.

Like before Annie joined-- this is like big shout out to her-- Lauren and I were like literally using like Excel spreadsheets and pieces of paper to keep track of things. Like it was a hot, hot mess. And Annie actually took it upon herself to be like, no more.

I will not work under these conditions. And got us set up with QuickBooks. Well, thank you for that.

But yeah, it is a good platform. And I would recommend it, genuinely. Check it out at the link in our description and our show notes.

So as a last question before we get into some of your guys' questions that you submitted for Annie and myself, why do you not pursue any kind of social presence? Or even like outward-facing presence with TFD? Yeah.

So I mean, I'm on social media. Yeah I have-- I do use Instagram at like-- in the old-school sense of the word, like keeping in touch with friends and family and-- yeah, but no. I'm definitely not pursuing social media fame in any way, shape, or form.

Why? So I think a few reasons. One is I think it's like I don't feel any calling to it in the same way that I don't feel a calling to go into medicine or engineering.

And to me, it's like today, it's almost like a career path. And if somebody-- A calling. No.

I mean, some people are just very extroverted and feel very comfortable sharing about themselves, and they get a lot of joy out of it. And also maybe more joy even consuming social media. But if that is your call, like you should do that.

But I feel like a lot of people today force themselves to do it because they think they should for their professional resume or whatever. And it's like, if you have to make yourself, I don't really think you should. If it comes naturally to you, that's cool.

Like I know some-- I think we know somebody who said that they scheduled tweets like on their personal account. Oh, do we. He was like, I schedule all of my tweets like a week in advance, for his personal account.

And I went back and read some of his tweets, and they were like meant to sound spontaneous. They were like, cannot believe like the blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, this is honestly unhinged.

I bet you're a murderer. Like this is so scary. Yeah.

Yeah. But-- yeah-- so there's that. I also-- I think I don't do that well when I'm too aware of what other people think of me.

I prefer to just like pretend that other people's opinions don't exist. Obviously, I'm sure I'm aware of it on a subconscious level, but like thinking about it too much just kind of makes me tweak out. It's always so funny.

I always say this to you, and I always feel like you're like mildly like not put off, but always like, that's not true. But I always feel like you're like the most just genuinely well-adjusted person I know. Like very little seems to ruffle you, or really bother you, or get to you.

And it always seems like you're very much just like doing your own thing in almost like a vacuum, which I don't know many other people-- and sometimes it's social media, but also sometimes just like a personality thing. So do you feel like being very kind of private in that way and not really using social media very much like helps in that? Probably for me.

I don't want to speak for other people. I think I am happiest when I'm doing things that are like more in-depth versus breadth. So like reading a book for like three hours, or having a conversation with you for like two hours, about-- just going in-depth on something versus like consuming a bunch of different content.

I know, and love, and respect many people who are the opposite. So I think that's maybe just a personality type. But yeah, if I refute your compliments of me being very well-adjusted, which I appreciate-- It's like stressful, because I'm like deeply not well-adjusted.

No, it's only because-- And I'm always like, look at Annie, so cool in her tunic. I was going to say it's only because I don't think it's as true as you think. I definitely have anxiety as much as anyone in our generation.

As much as any millennial. No. No.

I've been to therapy. I've been on medication. I'm very open about that.

And I think that-- I think I do-- I think I am relatively well-adjusted compared to a lot of people in media, sadly, which is not-- Yeah, not a high bar to clear, though, that being said. I feel well-adjusted for media, for what it's worth. I often ask myself, it's funny-- not that this is about me, this is a question for you.

But I feel like I'm the opposite, obviously. Like I do have a social media presence and I do post. And I feel like I often interrogate myself like why I do it, because obviously, there-- sure, there's like a serotonin boost to people liking a post.

But I often-- I've found personally-- like Twitter is just clearly like-- no one should be on Twitter. Twitter, I read for humor, and like to share whatever. But it clearly does no net good for me as a human being to be on Twitter.

But I do feel like the most honest version of my approach to social media, that feels like it could be the most positive iteration of it, and feels somewhat true to myself is like I find it really helpful as like an accountability tool to myself. Like I'm often motivated to finish things, to follow through with things, to do things-- or do them to a better quality than I otherwise would. And I'll push myself in a way because it just kind of like-- if you feel like you have people around you.

And I feel like if you can lean more into, hey, I've got a team cheering me on, and less into like, I have an audience to please, then it's maybe more healthy. That's a really good point. And I will say the one limit that I've put on myself that has proven healthy, I think, for my mental health, and also just like the balance of what is versus isn't online is I won't-- I've done it a few times in the past and I kind of regret it.

But I will not do any kind of like brand deals, sponsorships, whatever, on my personal platform. Like that is just my life. Obviously, I will promote things on TFD, with TFD, but I will never just like-- anymore, ever-- I think I've done it twice, and neither time was worth it.

But I-- like because it's hard. Like when people come in your inbox, and they're like, hey, you want this free really expensive item in order to-- in exchange for tweeting about it or whatever? Like it's hard to say no.

But every time I did it, I felt like it was a weird invasion of my own personal life. And also I felt like I was now giving to the people who follow me, who have a reasonable expectation of following just a human being, like a pretty artificial view of my life, because in some cases, like you wouldn't be able to afford that thing, or do that thing. And so I feel like by keeping up that barrier, it keeps you more authentic, and-- like to your budget, and your life, and what's real, but also like keeps you from a place where-- like it really freaks me out when I see influencers who like do sponcon at their weddings, or like for their baby's birth, and like-- but that doesn't come out of nowhere.

I think ultimately, like something that I've said to a lot of creators, even on this show, is that like I think the best thing you could ever do on your digital life is to separate what your brand is from who you are. Aside from like the potential conflicts of interest, and like the potential monetizing your wedding, it's also like you might not be a young, hot YouTuber forever. And you maybe want to have some longevity.

So I don't know. But I think it is very interesting. I personally, selfishly, I would love for you to have a little bit more of a connection with our audience, just because you're such a huge part of what TFD is and does.

And I feel like it's really beneficial for our audience to understand more about like who we are as a human. So I'm really glad you're doing this. I know it's like a little stressful for you.

Scary, yeah. No, it just makes me respect people who do YouTube more, honestly. I will say that I'm not unaware that declining from like being on Twitter, for instance-- especially like five years ago did close some career paths.

Like you can't really like a writer these days. And that was something I had to-- I mean, at one point I kind of wanted to do that-- clearly, not enough. But I was like, I can't do both of these things.

So you do have to-- I mean, it does close off opportunities to you. And by the way, I would like to give a shout out to Lauren here, because speaking of like-- I also think that-- so Lauren hosted the TFD YouTube channel with me for over a year. She never wanted to do that.

Like that wasn't-- I mean, she liked doing it, but it wasn't her wheelhouse. It wasn't what she set out to do. But like that was absolutely necessary at the time for us because we just didn't have the manpower, like we didn't have the resources.

And so her putting herself out there, her-- she's more of a public internet figure than you are-- like her having that-- like she really put herself out there because we didn't have a choice, you know? And sometimes like-- sometimes you do have to put yourself out there. Like especially if you were like, let's say, an artist, who is looking for work.

Like you don't really have a choice but to build up a social media following for yourself or like produce content if it's needed. So you know hats off, because I know that like it definitely came more naturally to me than it did to her. And I'm-- obviously, I'm still doing it.

I don't mind doing it at all. But like that's-- hats off, because it wasn't always easy, especially because, as you've said, it was pretty nerve-wracking for you to go on camera. And it was for her, too.

Like she had a really hard time with like-- and she made it look really seamless, and plus the magic of editing, but it was definitely an uphill learning curve. And it's like that took some guts. So shout out to Lauren.

Hope you're-- Yeah, definitely. And also wrote hundreds of articles. Hope you're eating some shepherd's pie.

What? She also wrote hundreds of articles. She also wrote hundreds of articles and designed like tons of stuff for the website.

Like she did a lot of stuff that was not her wheelhouse at all that she had to do. So you enjoy that rest of your year in Dublin. But come back soon.

All right. So we have some audience questions for you, but I guess also me, a little bit. So we'll answer them as a squad.

The first question that our audience threw at us, what are TFD's upcoming goals? Well, we have quite a few. I would say one of them, get to over a million subscribers on this here YouTube channel.

Get that-- get that plaque. So for those who are watching YouTube, so we get this littler plaque at 100,000. But when you go to a million, and you get this enormous gold plaque.

We want that plaque. Yeah. Tell your friends.

Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell your family.

What else is a goal? Yeah, so growth on all platforms. We've had insane growth on Instagram in the last year, just from people coming to our channel and liking it.

It's been really fun to see that grow because I think people genuinely get a lot of joy out of our Instagram posts. And that is close to a million as well. So that's another one, that maybe that should be our number for the year, a million.

It's the number-- it's the year of a million. Yeah. And then a little more qualitatively, I think we want to launch a new YouTube series at some point that I'm going to be working on a lot more closely, which is exciting.

We want to, at one point, host a one-day conference for freelancers and people who want to run their own business, or have a side gig, something like that. So really just expand what we're doing. Totally.

Anything that you would add to that? Yeah. On the qualitative side, like we have-- by the time this airs, the first episode will be coming-- will have already come out, and then we'll have another couple in the can.

But Lindsey Ellis, who is a YouTube I love, did a four-part guest series taking over my Tuesday show on the YouTube channel where she explores money and pop culture. That was thrilling to be able to do. And I'm already talking to several other YouTubers who I'm obsessed with to do a different kind of special takeover where they talk about things that are in their wheelhouse.

And I think, I would love-- like we finally have the financial and production capabilities to reach out to these people that we really respect, and love their work, and have them come create work about finances with us. So that's very exciting. We're also doing a good amount of events this year, which we've been able to also bring out people that we really love and respect.

So-- Oh, we're doing a website redesign. That's pretty big. We're going a website.

It's going to be launching, hopefully, tax day 2020 is our new website. And it is going to be fabulous. So yeah, there's a lot this year.

But I think one good thing, and you can maybe correct me if I'm wrong, but one good thing is we did a lot of hiring over the last six months. And we're pretty much good for 2020. Really, the last month.

Especially the last month, but like we're really good for 2020, which is great. I mean, we may end up hiring another person, but like there's no like pain points anymore, whereas there really were up until this point. And like hiring is very difficult and time-consuming, so that's awesome.

What do you see as the biggest issue for media companies of TFD's size? Yeah. Well, the biggest challenge, I think, is that from an audience perspective, i.e., all of you listening or watching at home, we-- You lot.

Yeah. We're the same as like the BuzzFeeds and the VICEs of the world. But meanwhile, like our entire operating budget is probably equivalent to like their furniture budget.

Like we are doing-- Like when Jonah Peretti sneezes, that's our whole operating budget. But from your guys' perspective, our stuff is free, their stuff is free also. It has to be just as good, if not better.

And that's a high bar. So there's that. And not only are we competing for audience, we're competing for advertisers.

And that is a whole other ball game, because let me tell you, the ad sales world is crazy. I learned when I first started in this industry, about these things called sunglasses and jeans parties, which is where like salespeople would take out media buyers, and just take them to a store and say, buy whatever you want. Like a sunglass store or something.

I can tell you we've never done, and never well. I don't know how prevalent that still is, but just suffice to say that there a lot of wining and dining, and just like-- to just get in front of-- Oh, and let's be honest. I'm sure in many industries, it's not just sunglasses and jeans party.

It's like other parties. Yeah, I would also specify that a lot of access-- That's probably the above bar, yeah. A lot of way access journalism goes down where it's like, well, we'll tell you a story early, but a lot of your other stories should be a little nicer.

And if you'd like a review unit of this like refrigerator for your home, we could do a 12-year long review. Right. Yeah.

No, we're like very above board with our client relationships. But that's honestly not even the biggest thing. I think the biggest thing is that advertisers can just go-- and by that, I mean any brand, basically, that wants to put their message out there-- can also just advertise directly on Facebook, or Instagram, or Amazon, is actually the-- one of the biggest advertising platforms now.

So Amazon is our competitor. Great. Like people advertise on Amazon.

But this sounds like-- this sounds like some whining, but it's actually kind of a humble brag, because I think we're doing pretty good, all things considered. Yeah. And you know what?

I think, honestly, in many cases, like one thing that I think is our biggest advantage is that we're totally independent. We have no funding, we have no board, we have no one who has to like-- we have no bureaucracy. We're very able to make our own decisions.

It's funny, because a lot of times in the news, when you'll read about like X or Y company got you know $75 million in their Series B, or whatever, they got this amazing amount of funding, what that often doesn't tell you is that a mere year later, that company may well not exist because most of those big venture firms that are investing in these companies, they invest in a portfolio of companies knowing that only like, in a great scenario, one out of 10 is going to do well and become a fundmaker. So they put enormous pressure on these companies to scale and grow, and scale and grow, past what is sustainable to-- like to essentially have a chance of earning out that initial investment. And in many ways, like I've seen-- both in media and in other industries, I've seen companies who are at the back end of receiving that funding, and their lives became miserable overnight.

And like they can have a year where they have $120 million in profits and it's still considered a failure because they were targeting $250 million. But that initial goal was externally imposed upon them. So in many ways, it's kind of nice to be like, well, if we make a decision, it's ours to make, and our goals are our own to set, you know?

Yeah. So this is a very juicy one. Would the partners ever sell TFD?

Would they, Annie? So we are not actively pursuing a sale at this time, but never say never. It would just totally depend on the offer and the terms.

And the terms I think it's probably worth stating that there are very few situations in which just a straight-up sale of TFD would be-- if it's going to be as lucrative as you would want it to be, it's probably going to be a terrible situation on the back end. And if it's a pretty good situation on the back end, it's probably not going to be a lot of money. So it's pretty complicated.

Like there is a stat that we were quoted like, when a company gets acquired, CEOs on average only like spend 25% of the time that they were contractually obligated to spend at the new parent company. They leave early, almost always. And that usually means leaving a lot of money on the table because they were on some kind of vesting schedule with the purchase.

And that says a lot, right? That probably says that what made your work and your life unique in your independent capacity is often incompatible with an acquisition. I'm not saying there aren't iterations where it could be good.

I just think that often an iteration where it could be good, even, for example, in the instance of partnering with another media company who's doing a lot of similar work, and would love to just like really amplify what we're doing and bring TFD to a bigger audience, and bring us more resources, and that kind of thing. And where we could maintain a lot of editorial control and it would be the stuff that we love to do. Oftentimes, that's what a lot of money.

It's not like an outright just like you're getting bought by some firm. It's like much more of a collaboration, essentially. And all kinds of strings attached.

So and we've had-- like in transparency, we've spoken to various potentially interested parties. And-- But only when they've come to us. Only when they come to us, we don't seek it out.

Yeah, we never sought it. And it really doesn't take the shape that you would think it takes. So like Annie said, never say never.

But I would say what's more important to me, like I would not ever want to be in a situation where I felt like it was ruining what TFD is to sell it. So it would definitely-- the highest priority would be a partner who would do something wonderful with it and make it what it should be, because-- I mean, I can't run it forever. So eventually, it would either have to really change form or be sold.

And like I would really hope that in either of those cases, it could continue to be something great, because you don't ever want to look back at what you made and be like, remember when I took a little money to watch them burn it to the ground, you know? Yeah. It's been really interesting to see a few independent publishers decide to just completely close rather than sell in the past few years, Rookie magazine-- Design*Sponge.

Yeah. And both of those founders wrote really pretty transparent and thoughtful reflections about why that you can find online. Yeah.

I highly recommend it. Yeah. I mean, there are so many potential options of what the future could be.

But one thing that is important to remember always is-- I mean, nothing is forever, but especially not the internet is forever. So always keeping in mind what any kind of elegant exit could look like, in any fashion, I think is really important, and being realistic. I just don't necessarily know that it would take the form of a straight-up sale.

So there's a lot to consider. So I guess the short answer is that maybe someday in the future, but it would have to be really the right situation. And it's not something we're actively seeking out.

What is the biggest mistake TFD has made? You know, it's funny, because I feel like we make like 10 mistakes a day. But then when I think back on all of them, it's hard to think of one being that consequential.

I would say that we've come-- we've done not a great job of planning at times, and found ourselves being like, oh crap, we need to rush this thing, or we need to like-- We've had many situations where we're like, well, bad news, we have $4. Yeah, exactly. So we have to figure out how to get to next week.

But we've always done it somehow. So I mean, the mistakes have been not planning well enough. But luckily, thus far, we've made out alive.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

And I would say, similarly-- this isn't really quite the same as not planning, but my biggest mistakes have always been not leaving situations soon enough when it was clear that they weren't working out. I have a very hard time, like I can-- I complain constantly. But I have a very hard time ultimately like making a choice about certain situations, certain paths that we've taken, partners that we've had, that it was like it was clear for a long time that it wasn't working out.

But it took like probably six months longer than it should have to cut that off, and then get where you should have been. As a last question from the audience, what is the best idea the TFD has had? Maybe this series.

I don't know. It's a good series. Aw, that's sweet.

Really? It's hard-- every day we have-- we're an ideas company. Annie Atherton, this is your life.

I'm like, no, no, no. But in all seriousness, like I-- I feel like I-- it it's very unclear the trajectory to the person, like the outside observer. So what's really important to understand is that like-- and again, credit where credit is due, like Lauren was there.

Like literally, she lived on my couch in Williamsburg four days a week in my one bedroom apartment while my husband was away at work four days a week. Drove from New Jersey to sleep on my couch four nights a week in New York and start TFD. Quit her job, like sight unseen, had no money.

And it was like-- it was really scary looking back. And it was also thrilling, and fun, and exciting. But it was it was a huge, huge risk.

And so that is something that like deserves just the ultimate respect and the ultimate props. But at the same time, like when we reached-- when you came on full-time, which was-- you were part-time 10 hours a week because you had a full-time job all through like 2017. But then January 1, 2018, like you came in full-time, and it was a different situation.

We were more established and we had more to build on, but things were a mess. Like we really did not have any kind of infrastructure, we had no real internal systems, we didn't have like a budget. We didn't have anything that a business really needs to function.

And Annie really kind of like forced us into that level of maturity. So I do think that-- I mean, Annie and Lauren, definitely the best ideas by far, because you really need the right people in order to take things where they need to go. And everyone serves a different purpose.

And so-- yeah. Well, I really appreciate that. That's very kind.

It's true. It was an established audience, though. And I think that getting to that point is for sure harder.

Like the funny thing is I think a lot of people actually could have done what I did in terms of like setting up infrastructure. Like a lot of people have that skill set. I actually didn't, so I am very proud of myself for developing it out of necessity.

And I also give credit to you guys because for whatever like alchemic reason, I think you created a space where you were like, here, you are empowered to do whatever you want to make this stuff happen. And that was motivating to me in a way that it's-- I'm not even motivated in my own life to be like organized. So I think it goes both ways.

Like whatever-- you guys created an environment where I was able to do that. But I do think that that is still an easier thing-- those things are easier to do than building an audience from zero. I mean, that's probably true.

But I do think that ultimately, in any-- if you're someone who's thought about starting a small business of any kind, I think one thing that's really important to remember is that like it is infinitely harder to go it alone for a lot of reasons, mostly because you're only one person with one skill set, and one connection, and one network, and all that stuff. But also because it can be very, very daunting at the-- especially in the beginnings of things. And it's very helpful to have someone.

But it can be extremely fraught in a partnership. And it can be a-- it can be a chance to-- you can ruin friendships, family members can fall out over bad business partnerships. Like when there is money on the table, that's people's lives.

That's people's futures. So the most important thing, I think, to remember, and something that I think TFD has always been good about between the three partners is that like, definitely we've disagreed on things, definitely we've had growing pains, but there's always been a really sort of team first mentality. And I've never, for one second, had a feeling that anyone was really like gunning for themselves, which I feel like is often one of the most damaging things in any partnership.

So I think just going into any partnership knowing that you have to be-- you have to prioritize, especially financially, the whole team over just yourself is the most important thing, because without that foundation, you can't even do the day-to-day work because you're always going to be looking over your shoulder. Like Annie could literally steal all of our money tomorrow, you know what I'm saying? And I know she wouldn't do that.

But if I ever had a feeling of like, does she like resent some dynamic? You would wonder, you know? And so that cannot be bought, and that's something that you have to really be willing to enter into in a partnership.

And that's a good idea. So now the rapid fire. Number one, what is the big financial secret of your industry?

Media? I think that most companies are funded and have these huge coffers of venture capital behind them. Also most like influencers and creators are like really unhinged in real life.

Like some of them are mature, but some of them are like crazy. Yeah. You should see VidCon.

It's a lot of Jake Pauls. OK, number two, what do you invest in versus what are you cheap about? I invest in tech products, relationships, mostly taking the form of traveling and very expensive plane tickets to see people, food and drink out with friends, but that's kind of relationships as well.

Cheap about everything else, practically. What has been your best investment, and why? I think, again, relationships.

All of my relationships, but I will say in particular, my husband and I were long distance for two years. And that was really expensive. And this was while I was living in the no-heat apartment.

And yet I still flew back and forth a lot. But in a way, that was also an investment in the decision to be long distance was always an investment in my own career path, because I could have not. I could have gone back to where he was.

So it was an investment in both things at the same time. But it was very expensive. Honestly, on some level, like Mona, my dog, like I just love-- I love her so much, and she's so great for mental health, and she's so-- I don't know.

It's just like-- I mean, an investment, like we just like-- she's adopted, so like the money that it cost to adopt her, and the vet, and all that stuff, and the money we pay for her little-- her little toys, and her little food, and her little life. I love my dog. It's true.

What has been your biggest money mistake, and why? I have made so many, but they're all-- my mistakes are always really dumb. They're like I didn't realize that I had this recurring charge or stuff like that.

Do I need to go into my biggest money mistake? Like literally destroying every element of my financial life almost intentionally by the age of 19 and then having to claw my way out of it for over the next six years. That would be my biggest money mistake, for sure.

What has been the financial habit that has helped you the most? I think just taking joy in simple things on a daily basis helps a lot. I get so happy from like making my coffee every morning.

And-- It's true, Annie. You really do. Like your-- her Instagram feed, she posts like once a month, and it's always like, look at these turtles I saw.

It is truly like-- you have the energy of like a 70-year-old aunt who's like freshly retired and living it up. I aspire to that. It's great.

You brought this up, actually, when we were discussing it. I cook quite a lot. And I cook big batch and I freeze a lot.

And so I feel like-- That's a really good habit. And I genuinely enjoy cooking a dinner at home for my husband and I, or having friends over to eat dinner, way more than I enjoy going to a restaurant. And I love going to restaurants.

So that is like awesome. That's a big money saver in the long term, especially in New York. When did you first feel "successful", quote-unquote, and what does that word mean to you?

I think I feel successful in a work sense a lot of the time when we have our events and we get to actually meet the TFD audience in person, which is funny because we interact with them in a digital way every minute. But to see people come up to us and be like, this has changed my life. I've actually raise my credit score, or gotten out of debt, or all these things.

I'm just like, oh, this is really making an impact. Totally. It wasn't the first time I felt successful, but my husband and I, on New Year's Eve, we spent a few hours doing our 2020 plan that included like all different elements of our goals, our finances , our professional lives, our travel, all that stuff.

And when we were doing the financial breakdown, like it felt really good to be like, wow, I'm contributing like a lot of money to this relationship for the first year. Not that I wasn't this past year, but it's definitely like I'm at an earning place that I never even thought I would be. And like my assets have real value, and I'm contributing a lot to our future, and that-- like seeing that all written down, and seeing what our plans are, and seeing how much I was bringing to it made me just feel really proud of myself, because not only was I such a fuck-up, but also like I-- for a long time, it was never clear that TFD was going to be a viable business.

And now it definitely is. So that felt really good. Out of sheer curiosity, did you think that you would make a lot of money, like as growing up-- like in high school early?

No. No. Like did you think that at some-- even if you were like, OK, I'm messing around right now, but someday, I'll make-- I'll make good money.

No. Intuit might make us cut this, but I honest to God used to think that I-- this sounds like horrible, and like it's fake, but I honest to God I used to think I would just have to be a con artist. Like I thought-- I didn't have the self-confidence in my physical appearance to marry a rich man when I was younger.

But I definitely felt like I would-- yeah, I felt like I would never have a real career. Like I definitely-- I don't want to describe it as con artistry, but like I have-- like definitely in my earlier days, like I have lied on resumes before. I've like inflated things.

I've like definitely-- and I-- looking back, I can't say like I think that it's unethical in a certain way. But I also do feel like, in many ways, the professional world and the path toward financial success is so rigged, and is so unfair, and is so favored toward people that I don't necessarily have like a level of-- I don't have that same judgment about like someone who maybe like fudged on their resume to get into a first job because their parents couldn't afford to put them through whatever school-- Internships. --or internships, or put them on the path. So it's, in some ways, like a little bit humorous to say con artist, but I definitely thought that if I were ever going to make any real money, that it would have to involve some kind of like schemery.

And-- That is so funny. I-- It doesn't, for the record. I did not think that I would ever make a lot of money, but not for the same reason at all.

I thought that I would be like a librarian, or like I just always thought-- I feel like you would be really happy being a librarian. I probably would. Yeah.

Like I feel like you have a pretty good salary. Now I'm not going to spill your beans, but you have a pretty good salary now. And I feel like you just genuinely seem like someone who would be happy either way.

Yeah. What's insane, though, is like how much money it takes to just like be a person, you know? Like to age-- In New York, man. --or to like retire today, like compared to like-- True.

Yeah. And that's-- when you start thinking about retirement, man, that money doesn't seem the way it seems when you just think about buying food. So think about retirement, that's my message.

So any lasting thoughts, recommendations, words of wisdom, advice, warnings, you would like to leave our audience with? I guess we've talked a lot in this episode about career paths, and expectations, and I guess the biggest message that I would give to anyone is that it's totally OK to not know what you're doing and what you're going to be doing. You'll figure it out.

Don't be so hard on yourself. That's true. And where should they go when they go to Seattle?

Coffee shops, restaurants? So I used to live close to a little cafe called Joe Bar that is tiny, but I love it. And there's-- I don't know-- there's a lot of good places.

Go get your coffee. Yeah. So a fun fact about Annie that may come as a shock to you is that she actually has to pay taxes every year.

Go figure. It's rare, it doesn't happen to everyone-- just kidding. You all have to pay taxes.

And when you do it, you're going to want the right tool. And as we've mentioned before on this show, there is an awesome product called TurboTax Live which basically takes the TurboTax that you have loved-- so explain to us a little bit about your relationship with TurboTax. Yeah.

The first time I ever filed was with TurboTax. And I-- Memories. Yeah, memories.

And then the next year that I did-- so I have a really hard time making myself to like logistical things, actually. So as an accountability thing, I made some friends came over and do theirs at the same time as me on their laptops. You had a tax party.

It was fun. I love that. Did you have snacks?

We ate candy-- yeah. Candy. Yeah.

I love that. Yeah. So now that you've taken TurboTax, which allows people like Annie, who maybe typically are avoidant toward that kind of thing, do their taxes.

And they have boosted it with TurboTax Live, which gives you access to real tax experts. They're certified and guaranteed, who can talk with you anytime of the day about questions that you may have, advice you need, et cetera. And you can speak to them by one-way video chat, which is very cool because it means you get to see them, but they can't see you.

So you can be in your pajamas or whatever. And basically, they just help give you that extra layer of reassurance that some of us need when they're doing their taxes, because it can be really intimidating. Like if you feel like you're doing something wrong, it's really scary.

So definitely check out TurboTax and TurboTax Live. We'll link you to that in the description and the show notes. So thank you, Annie, for being here.

And it's Friday, actually, so I won't see you for the next two days. But I'll see you bright and early Monday morning. Yeah.

Thank you. And thank you guys all for listening and watching. Bye.