Financial blogger Jim Wang started his first site, Bargaineering.com, as a side hobby.
Less than 5 years later, he sold it for $3 million and moved on to a different project: launching Wallethacks.com, where he simplifies personal finance and shares the strategies he used to get where he is today.
Wang was never directly taught any money lessons — in the classroom or from his parents — but one particular childhood experience stuck with him and has shaped the way he approaches saving money, he tells Farnoosh Torabi on an episode of her podcast, “So Money.”
Growing up, he recalls flying back to Taiwan — where his parents emigrated from in 1978 — to visit family every couple of years.
It was an expensive trip: about $1,500 per ticket, or $6,000 total for his four-person family, and required diligent saving.
“We were frugal and smart with our money,” Wang explains, but as a kid, he didn’t fully grasp the concept of saving or understand why they couldn’t buy certain things.
“My parents would say, ‘In order for us to see any of our family in Taiwan, we have to save up money for all four of us to go, and that requires some sacrifices,'” he tells Torabi. “And so while I was never directly taught many money lessons, one of the things that I always remembered was, you need to have a goal when you’re saving money, because that’s what motivates you.”
For Wang’s family, going back to Taiwan was enough motivation to save upwards of $6,000 every other year.
“That’s one of the big lessons that I’ve taken,” he tells Torabi. “And what’s funny is that at the time, I was a kid always saying, ‘I want this, I want that.’ My parents would say, ‘No, we can’t get this. No, we can’t get that,’ and it wasn’t until I was a young teenager when I started realising that there is a reason why we’re saving this money.”
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