6 Awkward Money Questions With Anna Akana | The Financial Diet

6 Awkward Money Questions With Anna Akana | The Financial Diet


(Chelsea): Hey guys! It’s Chelsea from The Financial Diet. And today I am here with a very special guest,
Anna Akana, who is also herself a YouTuber. I’m sure that plenty of you know about her. Um, and she’s also someone who is cool and
open enough to talk about money. So we thought we would bring her here to do
the 6 Awkward Money Questions that we did with Hank Green, and we’ll link you guys to
that in the description, but we also thought that we would do a little, quick lightning
round about what it’s like to be a Youtuber who has reached, let’s be modest here and say some level of professional and financial success. (Anna): Just a modicum. (Chelsea): Just a modicum. So let’s get right into it! The first question is “What was the worst
money you’ve ever spent in the name of romance?” (Anna): Oh my god! There’s so much. I bought a Slave Leia costume, um for like
$500 because this guy I liked loved Star Wars and loved Princess Leia and like casually
dropped like having sex with a Slave Leia costumer was like his end goal. And so I was like “I will be that costumer.” So, I put it on a credit card, even though
I had like $20,000 in debt from stupid, first-edition mint comic books, and I banged him. *laughter* (Chelsea): I have to admit, I was not expecting that
answer. Wow. (Anna): Yeah. (Chelsea): Next question! So something that we love to talk about on
TFD is the idea of spending money in the interest of sort of making yourself a better person
or becoming a new version of yourself. So, what is the worst money that you’ve ever
spent in an attempt to become a better person? (Anna): Wow. You know, honestly, I can’t say that any of
the things I’ve spent my money on have been a terrible decision. Even if I hate the programs that I– like
I’ve done a lot of like, “manifestation” “Transform your life”. A lot of the things that I’ve done, even if
they were a stupid amount of money like for a course, ultimately I feel like it’s helped
me honed into like what I believe. (Chelsea): Has there ever been like, I mean, even like
a clothing item? I feel like I’ve bought so many things that
were just even for like personal appearance that I was like, even like the decision to
get bangs. (Anna): Oh, well, I cut my own bangs, but I didn’t
spend any money on that. I don’t know, I mean I’ve had cosmetic surgery,
but I’ve been happy with it. Like, I love it. So, nothing I’ve done, I’ve ever really regretted. (Chelsea): Not even the Slave Leia costume? (Anna): No! It was great sex! He was an awful person, but it was a great
night. And I like used that costume to like work
as a booth babe for like 2 years after that, and like met a bunch of great friends who
I’m still friends with today. So, I was like “This is great!” (Chelsea): So what is one guilty pleasure that you spend money on that you know that you absolutely shouldn’t? (Anna): Uh, food. Expensive ass food. I am so down to drop $300 on a meal. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Bazaar
by José Andrés. Like, the first time I ever went there, I
dreamt about it. I dreamt about eating there for like a full
week, and then I became a regular there, and it was a horrible financial decision, but
every meal I was just like “Oh my-” I was like crying and like shoving shit in
my mouth. And even now, like I’m down to try an expensive
restaurant just to see if the food will be delicious. (Chelsea): So sort of on the opposite note, what is one thing that you are really cheap about, that you know you should spend more money on? (Anna): Oh man, that’s a good question. Um, I’m really cheap about self-care. I go and be like “This massage is $85 dollars?!”,
even though like I clearly, badly need a massage and I just blew like $200 on crystals or something. Um, so I, yeah, I’m trying to get a lot better
about like being ok with spending money on my own body. (Chelsea): Is there any money, body spending, that you
are gung-ho about? (Anna): Body mods! Love body modification. (Chelsea): What does that mean? Like tattoos? (Anna): No, not tattoos. I mean I’ve had a boob job. I’ve done like botox in my jaw to help with
my migraines. (Chelsea): Well, so this is a question that implies that
you have money, and while I don’t want to make any assumptions, I think it may be fair
to say that you do. What is something that people with money know
that people without it don’t? (Anna): I think, and I say this as someone who eight
years ago was having her phone shut off every month and bought my groceries at the 99 cent store. I think the more you worry about money the
less likely you are to actually get it. I refuse to worry about money. And I have the mentality, “I’m going to make
money no matter what. I will be fine.” I really do think you have a lot of power
in your own life to like manifest certain situations or have things come to you. And I know it sounds very new-agey and like
privileged as fuck, but uh the moment I stopped worrying about money, the more money I actually
started making. (Chelsea): There’s probably a fair amount of empirical
evidence to support that in the sense that people can tell when you’re desperate about
money, and this is particularly true in like interactions with clients or employers or
any kind of situation where you need leverage. And we talk quite a lot on the channel about
the importance of negotiating and the importance of advocating for yourself in terms of what
you’re worth. And if you are struggling with money or at
all feel precarious about it, you can tell. The person across the table from you can tell. And for a lot of people I think especially
in their first job negotiations, like when I was negotiating for my first salary, I literally
said on the phone with the guy like, “I would do this job for free.” (Anna): Oh my god! (Chelsea): Which you’re just really not supposed to say. And I think it was largely due to my kind
of, I mean overeagerness but also that, that desperation, and I think the power to walk
away from things is often what will lead to the money coming. (Anna): Yeah, and I think being able to believe it
and being able to see it is so necessary in order for you to unconsciously make the choices
for you to get there. Cuz if you’re fixating all the time on like
“I don’t have money. I don’t how I’m going to have money” Like,
you’re just, that’s what you’re focusing on, so I feel like that’s what’s going to come
true for you. Versus like being proactive and taking steps
until like, “Ok I want, I want this money. I know it’s coming to me. What can I do to deserve it?” (Chelsea): And you have to be on some level willing to
take risks even if that risk entails just going for a job or a project that you don’t,
don’t feel like you could get. So what is something that 2018 Anna does with
money that 2008 Anna would have never thought possible? (Anna): Wow, um, I have a pension plan, I guess like–
I’m able to really manage my money in a way that I never would’ve dreamed I could have,
like now I’m able to really calculate, “Ok, how much should I put into this project? How am I willing to lose on like this property?”
or something like that. And so just the ability to reinvest in yourself,
I think is such a beautiful concept, and feel kind of financially liberated from– I don’t
have to work a day job. I literally get to be creative all day. And thought that’s a, you know, as you, I’m
sure you know, it’s hard enough in itself when you’re like completely focused on that,
but it’s, it’s also really liberating and a privilege. *Chelsea making alarm noises* (Both): Lightning round! (Anna): I know that sound cue! (Chelsea): So, I wanted to ask you just a few questions
around, so as you mentioned, you used to not have so much money. (Anna): Yeah. (Chelsea) And now you have a good amount of it. If you want to like, you know, ballpark it for our audience. (Anna): Yeah. Before taxes or after taxes? (Chelsea): One of each maybe. (Anna): Uh, before taxes, for the last three years,
I’ve made a million dollars. After taxes, it’s about $400,000. After reinvesting in myself, maybe about $100,000
is stuff I actually take home and spend on myself. (Chelsea): Interesting. So, does in that $400,000 that you’re reinvesting
in yourself, does that count all of like your bills and living expenses? (Anna): No, it’s mostly like youtube, financing passion
projects, supplies, um headshots, random websites that you have to be subscribed to. Movies actually count as research for an actor,
so any kind of entertainment. I luxuriously spend on entertainment because
I know I can also write that kind of stuff off, but mostly projects. (Chelsea): It’s kind of fascinating to me because we’re,
at TFD, we’re much more in like the personal finance world which is full of obsessives
about maximizing every dollar, and it’s very interesting to hear someone who is taking
home seven figures but choosing to actually live on about a tenth of that. Is there a time at which you envision yourself
not doing that anymore? (Anna): Not any time soon because I found that the
more I invest in myself, the more opportunities come to me. So, I’ve been able to build a library of work
that then gets me bigger and bigger opportunities every year. My first short, I invested $60,000 into and that brought me a series that was like a million dollar budget So, the shorts after that I’ll put like $100,000
into. Um, my current stop-motion project’s about
$200,000 for four minutes, but I really want to go after the Sundance and festival circuit
and try to nail a directing job in features. And I know that’s the way to go. So, to me it’s like, no I’m putting this back
in for me to have bigger opportunities and to grow and to level up as a businesswoman
and as an artist. I mean, my work is my life anyway. So, if even if I like had a million dollars
to spend, I’m like, “What would I buy? Like a boat? Or like an island? That’s so expensive. And the maintenance costs and like just recurring
like sales tax would be a nightmare” So, um for me, it’s always been a very easy decision
to just put it back into yourself, um, also raise your value and expand your business
by doing so. (Chelsea): Is there any kind of goal that you have in
terms of wealth? (Anna): Yeah, I want to be a billionaire someday,
for sure. I am really upset at the billionaires of the
world. Like, once you’re past like, honestly, $100,000
a year is so much money to live on. I have so much money like I freely give it
away. Like, I troll animal GoFundMe’s as my good
deeds or Kickstarter in order to try to fund passion projects or um if my friends have
a really good web series idea but they’re not necessarily notorious yet, I’m like, “Hey! I’ll fund that. Just give me like EP credit on IMDb or whatever.” Money, to a lot of people, when you get that
high becomes a game, and you’re super emotionally detached and you’re really irresponsible and
are kind of a dick, and I would love to be in a position of power to make real change. (Chelsea): So, if you, like me, were incredibly riveted
by this conversation and would love to learn and hear and see more of Anna, you can find
her at youtube.com/annaakana. And everything social media @annaakana. (Anna): Thank you! (Chelsea): So, as always guys, thank you so much for
watching, and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button and to come back every Tuesday and
Thursday for new and awesome videos. (Both): Bye!

100 Replies to “6 Awkward Money Questions With Anna Akana | The Financial Diet

  1. Anna is so awesome. I mean, there were some WTFs in this clip, but seriously, who does not have a bunch of 'em? Awesome!

  2. Investing in yourself is always such a good idea!! I found this really inspiring, invest in what inspires you. I am investing in education which to many seems like a very expensive risk but sometimes you need to take calculated risks in order to succeed!!

  3. I would never do a job for free but I would set it close to the necessary minimum to live if a job is desirable for me.

    Although I will definitely milk it for the most I can get.

  4. Love these kinds of videos! It's so interesting to hear about how someone spend their money, and not just talking about it generally, but actually gives some details. Thank you for this video!

  5. This was awesome and truly helpful, would love to see these continue and develop into a series on you channel!

  6. Great collaboration video! It’s nice to see another side of Anna and see where she is now. Please do more of these with other youtubers!

  7. Amazing video!! She was such an amazing guest to have on and she was so candid, knowing how she invests in her future self and passions is so inspiring!

  8. Yeah definitely agree about a positive attitude. I grew up with parents that were super cheap and super poor. I never worried about money. I always planned ahead. My first job, I purchased all my furniture and clothes with that money. I started paying for all my groceries, phone, and rent while living with my parents. I then got my first real job and spent ONE YEAR putting as much of my pay cheque towards my student loans. Paid them off and moved out. Did not have to worry about buying professional clothes or furniture/kitchen utensils, etc. because I had purchased that two years ago. I simply moved my stuff to an apartment. And since I was used to paying rent and groceries at my parents it wasn't a shock when I moved out. Aside from internet and electricity which is $40 it was nothing new. I now use all the money I have to travel abroad. Next year I am implementing savings so that I have money for a house and kids while minimizing my traveling. Have your cake and eat it too. Just plan!! And ALWAYS make sure you NEVER EVER borrow money from anyone!!!! I never ask my parents or boyfriend to pay my bills. If I max out my budget on groceries because I bought expensive cheese then TFB for me. Learn from your mistakes and only rely on yourself.

  9. This was so cool to see two separate YouTube channelers, both of whom I follow, but are in such diiferent fields, connect with each other!! Both of you ladies are fantastic all around, and thank you both for your time and effort to share your ideas, sugggestions, time and support. 🙂

  10. Yikes, why are the comments so rude? I love both creators and their unique prospectives on life. I feel like both parties was a little nervous but it was nice to see life from Anna’s point of view

  11. How do you spend 60% on taxes when at a million dollars your effective state and federal tax rate is less than 45%?

  12. Money tip: Don't worry about money.
    Ummmm so easy to say when you have it, impossible to think of when you don't.

  13. Anna being angry at the billionaires, and that 100k is plenty, it completely restored my faith on humans. Millennials and Gen Z really could change the way our world economies work.

  14. a million dollars income in 3 years… but after tax and deductibles its only 100k.. dang its not easy to make income as a youtuber.

  15. Fuck yeah Anna! It's so inspiring to see a woman in a creative industry (where so many people seem to think you should just do it for the love of creating) say that she wants to be a billionaire. You're gonna be an epic billionaire one day Anna and I'm excited for the good you're going to do in the world!

  16. For people confused about 1mil to 400k net inc. I want to help clarify that 1) it is impossible to pay more in tax than what you take home in 2018. Taxes are nowhere near 50%. 2) you can assume that 1mil is total revenue and 600k is expenses+taxes which leaves 400k net inc split into 300k retained earnings to be reinvested and 100k dividends paid to herself… but it doesnt sound like she's Incorporated… sooooo it's 400k net inc that can be used as expenses in the next tax cycle.

  17. I do think it's interesting what Anna said at the end about generosity. In my own experience – my life and the lives of those around me – I find that people are more likely to give altruistically when they are financially comfortable but not, strictly speaking, wealthy. I'm not sure why, but it's a thing.

  18. Yes! I stopped worrying about money, and I now have for the first time no debt and am about 2 grand in the green.

  19. wow, that was just pure amazingness. Thanks for being so transparent Anna! Definitely share your goal in achieving monetary wealth to actually make a difference!

  20. I completely agree with the part of worrying about money. That's something that I'm working on as well. Great vid!

  21. I would love to get to the point where I have a big enough chunk of money that I can just live off my investments/a small percent of my income. Then I would work on contract and all my work income would go to education and animal welfare initiatives. #retirementgoals

  22. The last few questions totally blew my mind. Wow. So glad to see someone wanting to become a billionaire for GOOD reasons. Holy shit.

  23. The thing that doesn't get enough attention in this video is that while Anna's taxes are high almost every thing she buys is a tax deduction (movies, make up ect) I have a small business and on paper make next to nothing but I drive a new car (owned by the business) fuel is a tax deduction, the list is almost endless. This is one of the reasons the rich keep on making money. If a person tries to start a business it has enormous overheads but once you are profitable suddenly your choice is do I buy this thing (for the business) or just give 60% to the government?

  24. This is very inspiring to watch 😀

    Anna's answer to question #5 is so true!! I have what I'd consider a pretty small income, but somehow, in the past 2 years, I've managed to do A LOT despite that. Working as a freelancer can be nerve-racking about money, but so far so good with me! I also always tell myself that money will come around and that I just keep focusing on what I want to do.
    People thinks I'm rich mostly for traveling so often, but it's actually about smartly managing the money, and finding the resources to save some.

  25. Thank you for being so transparent and just telling us in 20 seconds about your finances compared to other You tubers. This transparency is what brings people back to your channel

  26. I love anna, though I must ask… Why ask for patreon? I patreon for her, and I wont stop ~ though I do wonder why she would 'need' that extra in the way she asked for it :$

    Anna, I still love you. Keep using me. I'm a dumb human who wants to be entertained by you. whispers *forever ~

  27. Actually, this is very useful. I like the part where Anna talks about massage price, but on the other hand, she spends so much money on food. Prioritizing is the key.

  28. Having the same belief system as Anna and seeing her success and how it's made her outlook on life and money so much happier/greater gives me such confidence.

  29. Props to Anna on how she will and always be honest with everything about her, love her so much, you're my life role model Anna ^^

  30. Dealing with awkward money situations in your life? This 3-Minute Guide will help you navigate them: https://youtu.be/arJ98KGc7iY.

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