Always have a job and a side hustle — the job pays for your life and the side hustle pays for your investments and passions. When I was 100k dollars in student loan and credit card debt, I had side hustles to pay off my debt and then continued those side hustles to contribute to my savings and investments.
As a part of my series about the The 5 Essentials of Smart Investing, I had the pleasure of interviewing Barbara Schriehans.
Barbara is the owner of Your Tax Coach, a tax consulting company. She helps business owners, entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals save money in taxes. She can look at a tax return and within seconds, tell you some tax strategies that could save you thousands of dollars per year. Her typical client saves over 20,000 dollars every single year. She shares bite-size tax, money, and business tips that are easily digestible — no stuffy accountant talk here.
She has lived all over the country with her military husband and 3 kids. She loves coffee, weightlifting, and saving people money!
Thank you for doing this with us! Our readers would like to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the finance industry?
I grew up very poor — on welfare, my mother was a drug addict and my father was a gambling addict. I always wanted a better life and then I became a single mom in college. When I went to my career counselor and asked him what major I should go into that would give me a 100% chance of getting a job straight out of college so that my son could have the best life possible, he said ‘accounting.’ Since then I started my own tax practice and have become a self-taught entrepreneur and investor.
Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occured to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?
I received this email from a former boss:
‘We just received the firm’s biggest check in its 50-year history due to the tax savings you provided our client. You get to beat that next year.’
The check the client wrote was for 150,000 dollars. No thank you. No good job. Nothing.
My husband said, ‘what would have happened if that was your company?’
A week later I started my own company. The lesson was: take a chance on yourself, believe in yourself, and know your worth.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
All-year-round I am providing tax strategies for my clients. This is where we deep dive into your business and save you money in taxes. I saved my clients over 4.5 million dollars in taxes last year. Right now, I’m also working on launching a course where business owners can learn about all the deductions available to them. It’ll be ready by summertime.
Ok. Thanks for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. According to this report in Fortune, nearly two-thirds of Americans can’t pass a basic test of financial literacy. In your opinion or experience, what is the cause of these unfortunate numbers?
They don’t teach this stuff to us in school! They teach econ but not the basic fundamentals of investing. We always joke we’re going to start the school of life with our kids and teach them finance, balancing a checkbook, budgeting, and taxes.
If you had the power to make a change, what 3 things would you recommend to improve these numbers?
- Make finances and money not a taboo topic to talk about
- Ensure these topics are taught in school and reiterated in college
- Create an easy-to-follow course to teach these topics to adults
Ok, thank you! Now to the main question of our interview: You are a “finance insider”. If you had to advise your adult child about 5 non intuitive essentials for smart investing what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each.
- Always have a job and a side hustle — the job pays for your life and the side hustle pays for your investments and passions. When I was 100k dollars in student loan and credit card debt, I had side hustles to pay off my debt and then continued those side hustles to contribute to my savings and investments.
- Instead of paying for room and board in college, I would buy them a house near the university. The roommates would pay my child rent and his room and board would be paid for by the other tenants. Not only does this save money but it teaches my child to have responsibility, be a landlord, and have an investment property for post-college.
- Max out retirement funds first and then live off what is left. Invest in a ROTH, backdoor ROTH, and max out 401ks. The power of compound interest is insane. As an example, if you max out your child’s ROTH for the first 5 years of their life (so a total of 30,000 dollars invested), your child would have over 2.1M dollars in retirement.
- If it seems like a weird concept — it’s probably a good investment. Think about it — anytime a new company has disrupted an industry, we’ve all thought, ‘This will never take off.’ Amazon disrupted the e-commerce industry. Netflix disrupted the movie rental industry. Tesla disrupted the technology industry. Crypto disrupted the money industry. Airbnb disrupted the hotel industry.
- Find ways to make money that isn’t time for money. Passive income means freedom. Ideas include rental income, rental arbitrage, stock market gains, dividends, and passive e-commerce stores (this is an investment I use and love).
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
When I met my husband I was in 100k dollars of student loan and credit card debt. He had never owed money on a credit card in his life. Instead of judging me, he encouraged me to pay them off as soon as possible and even helped with getting roommates, driving for Uber/Lyft, selling my stuff on Poshmark, etc. Once I was out of debt, he encouraged me to get into real estate, and then I got the investment bug. We slowly started to invest in the stock market and crypto as well. We then found e-commerce as an amazing way to earn extra income and the rest is history.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
If you’re not uncomfortable, then you’re not dreaming big enough. People always ask how I am able to ‘do it all’ but for me, I want to always be pushing myself to level up, learn more, earn more, and be more valuable to my family and clients.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would teach people the power of manifesting. Whether this is manifesting money or success or love. Changing your mindset can change the entire outcome of your day, your situation, or your life.
Thank you for the interview. We wish you continued success!